How many of you are disinfecting packages?

I’m curious if people who were disinfecting packages are still doing this.  I’m also interested if you are using other methods, like quaratining, and whether it extends to other items like groceries.  At the beginning of COVID-19, I was using the guidelines provided by the article How to disinfect packages from COVID-19.


  • Comments (25)

    • 8

      Bigwig, Had started to disinfect packages and large envelopes picked up at my PO box. Had stopped. No other methods used. No groceries are inspected but must mention I will not buy something that can be touched by another customer eg celery and some oranges in net bag. 

    • 7

      Still following the same protocols which includes:  Bring my own fabric bags to store or bag at the car from cart since the virus won’t last on that material as long (and still minimizing plastics overall).  Quarantining items that can be for 3 days or more,  washing sealed refrigerated/frozen groceries, using disinfectant wipes on refrigerated grocery packaging that isn’t sealed, and transferring produce to clean containers.  

      • 5

        My local grocery store won’t let us bring in fabric bags. That’s nice that you have that ability still. 

      • 4

        That’s when I put it straight back into the cart and bag at the car.  Costco only does it that way even if you bring bags in.  Takes some dedication.  

    • 5

      We were at first but haven’t for months now. Too time consuming for a form of transmission that appears to be relatively low risk as it is, and being from an area that has never had a particularly high amount of covid circulation. If we were higher risk and in a hotspot, then maybe we would still be doing it, but for us, the tradeoffs in terms of time, labor, and our unease with using so much disinfectant all the time, outweighed the risk of transmission from a package or groceries.

      • 6

        My family hasn’t wiped anything down during the entire pandemic, I thought about it when it first came out and there were so many unknowns, but didn’t know the risks back then either.

        We all have made sure that we wash our hands really well as soon as we get home though. Just good practice in general pandemic or not though. Sometimes it does take a disaster to change people’s habits, including mine.

    • 4

      I never disinfected packages.  I never thought it would be worth the effort & now the CDC agrees.  Come to find out touching contaminated surfaces is not a common way for Covid to spread.  My plan was always, and still is, to not touch my face when handling any object someone else has touched recently, until I sanitized my hands.

      I am fully vaccinated with Pfizer and still wear a mask when out & still sanitize my hands after contacting any object someone else has touched.  And last week, my wife who also is fully vaccinated, and I for the first time in a year ate at a restaurant.  Things are starting to get back to normal.

      • 5

        We also stopped disinfecting when the CDC seemed solid about packages (and delivery food) not being a meaningful transmission path.

      • 1

        Just to add to this, the CDC put out a report last updated a few days ago saying that the risk of contracting COVID from touching a contaminated surface was less than 1 in 10,000 [1]. Importantly, that’s not just a random surface, that’s a surface known to have coronavirus on it.

        That said, it’s smart to avoid touching your face.

    • 6

      We still do. I’m not sure how big of a risk it is, but it’s still a risk, and I won’t recommend you to do something that I won’t do myself. Admittedly, we’ve gotten a little slacker about it, but we still do it. My wife doesn’t want to get the vaccine yet because she’s pregnant, but once she’s vaccinated we’ll probably stop.

    • 3

      Our protocols have remained the same: I disinfect everything entering the home and contain where incoming items are placed. For example, mail or parcels go in one spot, are handled/sanitized, packaging removed and then into recycling, then hands thoroughly scrubbed along with surface where items were placed.

      This info on length of time covid-19 can survive on surfaces is from February 3, 2021:


    • 5

      Was browsing the news headlines and found one article that said “The vast majority of coronavirus particles were rendered inactive within 30 minutes of exposure to midday summer sunlight, whereas the virus could survive for days under winter sunlight.”

      So leaving your Amazon packages on your porch can work on disinfecting them. Bring it to the back yard though to prevent porch pirates. You can also put your groceries out on the lawn to disinfect if they are able to do so without spoiling. 

      • 6

        Also exposing your packages to UV light should also kill most pathogens.

    • 4

      Josh Centers just did a great write up of if we really need to disinfect packages or not. Check out that recent blog post here.

      Great blog post by the way Josh!

    • 7

      We have a little cupboard outside for parcels to be stored in by delivery drivers if we are out. I’ve fitted it with two LED lights , 1 UV and 1 Daylight spectrum. That sees off most bugs.

    • 4

      I’m still disinfecting packages and groceries.  Normally I would be working from home but an extended project has me going into work.  Beside following work protocols, I’m diligent in wiping down surfaces prior to putting any of my personal or work items on them.  I’m doing this because while most indications are that this is not a major route of contamination, there’s a lot that we still don’t know, and recommendations may change.  Remember when the professionals told us that ‘we don’t need masks.’?

      • 4

        Wiping down surfaces covid or not is good practice. It’ll help you prevent some of the other common illnesses like the cold and flu, and those just aren’t fun.

        Hope you stay safe!

      • 2


        Absolutely agree with your comment. I don’t plan to stop doing this after covid. I think it is good practice.

        When I implemented sanitation changes in the office I used to work in, our illness and absentee rate dropped to almost nothing.

        Everybody used their own phone and equipment. Common areas were sanitized twice daily by myself or one of the owners (coffee machine, fax, printers, door knobs, etc). I had HVAC cleaned and fixed (it was an old building). It all helped.

        I’m applying the same methods at home. I don’t think covid will be the last virus we will have to cope with.

      • 6

        Still wiping everything down. It may not be a major route of contamination, but that isn’t saying that it isn’t a source of contamination.

        Like you said, the “we don’t need masks” changed. Too many flip flops on this pandemic.

        I’d rather ‘err’ on the side of caution.

      • 5

        Good on you! Too many people I know are going totally lax now that the vaccine is out and are blowing all warnings and safety concerns out the window. 

      • 6


        We probably could have been through this pandemic by now if everyone had just done what they were asked to do at the beginning (allowing also for some errors health boards made at the beginning – it was a steep learning curve for them).

        But, because of what I have seen with how this has spread, wow, does that ever make a person realize just how much poor hygiene is out there!