I have been sick for the past couple of days. Today is the first day I felt better. Yesterday was my worst day. I have just a common viral cold. I have been on the couch for the past couple of days. How long do the germs live on the couch? When can someone sit there safely? I searched the internet but only came up with the one same response. I just wanted to see other opinions: The length of time that cold or flu germs can survive outside the body on an environmental surface, such as a doorknob, varies greatly. But the suspected range is from a few seconds to 48 hours depending on the specific virus and the type of surface. Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses do. Also, it's generally believed that cold and flu viruses live longer on nonporous surfaces such as plastic, metal or wood than they do on porous surfaces such as fabrics, skin or paper.