The Fairfield Department of Health reports that staph bacteria can live on an object for up to 24 hours, making it important to wash commonly shared objects and surfaces regularly, especially when a known staph infection is present. Because many people carry staph bacteria, it is impossible to rid all instances of the bacteria. However, the Fairfield Department of Health advises that good hygiene can prevent the spread of the infection to others.
To kill staph bacteria on surfaces, the Fairfield Department of Health advises cleaning them regularly with a bleach-based cleaning solution. Clothing should be washed with detergent and dried using high heat, as opposed to air drying, to kill the bacteria when an infection occurs. Always wash hands with warm water and soap after touching bandages, clothing or other items that have come in contact with a staph bacteria infection.
MedicineNet recommends avoiding the shared use of personal items such as razors and towels to prevent infection. Always keep infected areas of skin covered with bandages until they heal completely. When using exercise equipment in a communal setting such as a gym, wipe down the machine where skin contact occurs to prevent the spread of bacteria to others.