Researchers at the University of Virginia say that while coughs and sneezes do spread the disease, everyday objects in the home are another important source and must be cleaned regularly.
To reach the conclusion, boffins swabbed these common household surfaces in 30 homes and found traces of rhinovirus 42 percent of the time.
A single family member or visitor can spread the virus to other members through touching such things as door handles and taps, as the virus can survive on household surfaces for up to two days, the researchers told a US infectious diseases conference.
In the research, infectious rhinovirus was detected on almost a quarter of subjects' fingertips one hour after touching household surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Also, the virus' genetic material was still transferred to the finger tips of more than half of the 30 people studied 48 hours after the surfaces were contaminated.
Lead researcher Dr Birgit Winther said the public needed to be aware of this route of transmission.
"Some people still spray the air with disinfectants, but rhinovirus doesn't fly through the air. I think that the message from this research is that we need to focus more wisely on cleaning commonly touched surfaces in the home," BBC quoted the expert, as saying.