I am thinking of ideas for disinfection that can be done by the average person. So, this is one question I have: Can a material/surface be effectively disinfected (I am more interested in virus) by drying using low/medium heat + wind (or any other less thermally-intensive means)? Would the virus be only temporarily inactivated and is able to come back functional?


2 Answers 2


Viruses that are protected by a protein shell (non-enveloped) like adenoviruses, rotaviruses, and hepatitis A virus can survive dessication for a while. This paper showed adenovirus remained clinically infectious after 28 days on smooth surfaces, and this paper found around 1% of human rotavirus and hepatitis A virus survived after 60 days.
Other viruses might survive dessication even longer, these are just the ones I looked into.
Regarding rewetting, any test for virus survival will re-wet the virus.


No exactly related to surfaces, but in terms of killing viruses via heat, a study from a few years ago looked at the time required for inactivation of various Alphaviruses in blood serum samples at 56°C, finding that it could take anywhere from 20 min to 2 hrs [1]

If you're looking for ways that the average person can disinfect surfaces, some fairly common consumer disinfectants are actually already capable of killing certain types of viruses (e.g. Dettol claim that some of their products kill influenza, coronavirus, RSV, etc. [2])

[1] Park, S.L., Huang, Y.-J.S., Hsu, W.-W., Hettenbach, S.M., Higgs, S., and Vanlandingham, D.L. (2016). Virus-specific thermostability and heat inactivation profiles of alphaviruses. Journal of Virological Methods 234, 152–155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2016.04.004

[2] https://www.dettol.com.ng/products-old/see-all-products/


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