NOT April Fools – How I Sanitize My Amazon Deliveries & Stay Safe

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Sanitize Amazon Deliveries

Sanitize Amazon Deliveries – Here Is How I Do It

It is April 1st also known as April Fools Day.  A day where people love to play pranks on each other. If you told me 3 months ago that I would be writing a post about how I sanitize Amazon deliveries on April 1st I would have thought you were crazy.  Or at least that it was an April Fools prank post.  What do you mean sanitize Amazon deliveries? I grab the box, rip it open and enjoy what is inside (that I probably ordered 2 days earlier with Prime).  Well this is the world we live in these days.  I will share the system I have put together for this and some info on how long things can remain infected.  Remember that I am not an scientific expert, I am simply sharing how I am handling the situation in an attempt to stay safe.

How Long Does Covid-19 Survive On Objects

The first thing I did was look up how long coronavirus can live on certain objects/materials. Here is what Science Daily had to say on the subject:

  • Scientists discovered the virus is detectable for up to three hours in aerosols.
  • Up to four hours on copper.
  • Up to 24 hours on cardboard.
  • And up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

I read somewhere else it can live up to 5 days on wood as well.  So how does this play into Amazon deliveries?

Sanitize Amazon Deliveries

How I Sanitize Amazon Deliveries

So now that we have our guidelines in place I want to take a look at the worst case scenario.  Most everything that I order from Amazon comes in a cardboard box.  That has a timeline of 24 hours but what about the stuff inside the box?  Pretty much everything is made of or wrapped in plastic or metal.  That has a shelf life of up to 3 days so that is what I am focusing on.

As you can imagine I am ordering a ton of stuff from Amazon, almost on a daily basis.  Since I am trying to avoid going to the store, if I can, much of my non perishable food and household items are coming from them. And you better believe I am maxing out those $3 no rush shipping credits!

My Approach

I am usually ordering things before I run out or as they become available so I don’t need access right away. If you need immediate access then you will need to approach this differently which I will discuss below. But if you have at least 3 days before you need the items here is my process:

  • I set up a designated area to place boxes when deliveries arrive. I selected a spot inside my garage.
  • Once a package comes I open the doors I need opened and leave them open so I don’t need to touch anything.
  • I grab the package and walk through the previously opened doors as needed. You can wear gloves if you want when handling the package.
  • Then I place the boxes in the designated area in my garage and stack them according to arrival day.
  • I wash my hands for at least 20 seconds before touching anything else.
  • Then I grab a marker and write the date of arrival on the boxes.
  • After 2-3 days has passed (taking into account at least 1 day in transit) I open the boxes since any active virus should be dead by then.

This process works well because you are getting non perishable items delivered from Amazon so there is no need to refrigerate or store anything. This also cuts down on your need for cleaners or wipes which are hard to come by right now.

What If I Need Immediate Access

But what if you need access to the Amazon delivery right away? Then you need to take a different approach.  You should treat the delivery the same as how you should be handling groceries.  Here is a great video detailing the process.

Final Thoughts

Did I ever imagine I would live in a world where I would need to sanitize Amazon deliveries? Nope! But here we are and I think it is a smart move even if some think it is overkill.  Hopefully I have given you some useful tips on how to handle all deliveries and your groceries. At least until we get past this pandemic.

Share your tips on handling goods and groceries below. Stay safe and stay healthy everyone!

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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29 COMMENTS

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29 COMMENTS

    • I think food orders are fine if you transfer food into your own containers etc. It is said it doesn’t live on food so I think that is why people are okay with it. Anything that isn’t already in your house is a potential risk imo.

      • I think COVID & food warrants its own article and thread. Common sense says if your delivery person is infected and touches the packaging it can be transferred to you but I would love to see more facts about the food itself. Is it killed by certain temps? Is cold food more prone then hot food? If the person at the restaurant packing the food is coughing, sneezing or just talking to coworkers spitting droplets that fall on your food while packing your food, will the virus die instantly on all food? I find that very hard to believe. Think about food lines like taco bell or other fast food. Most workers are back there talking while preparing your food which produces micro droplets on to your food. I feel maybe a Pizza would be safer then most fast food, as its much hotter, baked cut quickly and directly in to a box without being touched, but who really knows what happens behind the scenes.

    • I do find it odd that the virus so called, may have started from bat soup (food) but now there is a “low risk” of it spreading through food Hummm… Sure maybe the bat was not fully cooked etc. I just have a hard time to believing the general statement of virus can not live on food.

  1. I open the package, wipe everything inside with Clorox wipes then wash my hands just to be sure. I’m not so positive about how long the virus is truly lives on surfaces, I did see the above time frames you mentioned but I also know the CDC found the living virus up to 17 days on the Diamond Princess.
    “SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted”
    Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e3.htm

  2. I set the boxes on my fires, let the contents heat up to kill any germs but quickly remove contents before the burst into flames.

    • Genius idea there James. You have to know the perfect timing of when it has burned long enough but not too long that you can safely remove the contents. You don’t want anything too crispy…this isn’t bacon after all!

    • Interesting tip on the produce. My wife uses a vegetable soak / cleaner for most of our produce but I use soap on Apples from time to time so good to know.

  3. Mark,
    Remember my prior advice to rotate disinfectants.
    Also, having a hard time finding alcohol gel?
    Your local compounding pharmacist might be a resource.

    • I do remember that docntx! Thanks for the tip – I am pretty well stocked. Was able to get some 70-75% alcohol pads on order which should be here in a few weeks. Just as I run out of Clorox Wipes.

  4. that’s basically what I do. I use paper towels on my hands to grab the packages; put them in a special spot; go wash my hands real good; then wait 3 days or so to open them (mostly what I buy I don’t need to use right away). Stack the next box in front of it the next day or so. Then when I open the boxes I basically wash my hands again. WAPITA! Oh well. New world.

  5. A little paranoid there! You do know it is likely 50-60% of people in the US will get it and the vast majority will be just fine. The things you are doing are SO LOW RISK it is crazy. Anytime you go out you have a greater chance of catching it than from surfaces. Also eating something that has been touched can’t give it to you plus it doesn’t go through your skin. Just wash your hands.

    You are WAY too paranoid for your own good!

    • I am trying not to go out as much as possible AC that is the point of the whole thing. I also am immune compromised so anything I can do to mitigate risk is worth it to me. No sense in taking any risk not needed right now. I live in a hot zone that is continuing to escalate so I am gonna do what I can to diminish the chances of anything happening.

    • AC, with all due respect, I think your perspective is dangerous. All I can suggest is that you take a visit to your local hospital and see what this disease looks like in person. I know you can’t really do that right now — but, if you did, I’m pretty sure you’d walk away with a different perspective than “the vast majority will be just fine.” I know because I’ve been there. There are plenty of videos online that will show you how serious this thing is.
      Sorry to turn this into a virus debate, which I know isn’t the point here, but I felt compelled to comment.

  6. I use an ozone generator. Put packages in my garage like you do. Close the door. Run the generator for an hour. Open the doors for 15 minutes, then put away the items.

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