Proper ways to wash clothes during COVID-19 outbreak

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Proper ways of washing clothes during Covid-19 outbreak
All fabrics can be contaminated, but the viability of the virus may depend on how porous the fabric is. Here's what you need to know.

We know the COVID-19 virus can live on different surfaces for hours and it's easily transferred, especially on things in your home that are touched often, like the TV remote control or doorknobs. But, there are ways to kill the virus, and it's not just about what you are cleaning, but how.

Use the hottest possible setting to wash clothes, and aim for water 80-degrees or warmer, but not boiling. Boiling water can ruin clothes.

Make sure you allow clothes to dry hotter and and longer, depending on the manufacturer's instructions.

A biomedical researcher tells the "New York Times," don't shake out your laundry because that could send germs flying into the air and around your home.

Question 1: What about clothes I've worn while around people in public?

Experts say it's always a good idea to take off your shoes whenever you come home. You can keep a bin outside of your door for your shoes and anything else you can take off before walking into your house.

If you are someone who is interacting with a lot people at your job, change into clean clothes as often as you can.

Another good tip is to line your hamper with a washable or disposable bag.

Question 2: What if I don't have a washer and dryer of my own?

If you can't wash at home, laundromats are still safe to go to, just make sure you keep six feet social distance and plan to sort and fold laundry at home.

Do you share a laundry room? Try to schedule a rotation with your neighbors, prioritizing anyone who may be a health care worker or someone on the front lines.

As far as dry cleaning, the chemicals used in dry cleaning are much stronger than chemicals used at home.

The best advice? If you are nervous about dry cleaning, wait for now.

Question 3: Can I do laundry of someone who is sick?

The best advice is to add bleach or a bleach compound to the washer if someone in the family is sick.

Try not to shake items like towels or sheets so you don't contaminate other surfaces.

Question 4: What types of fabrics allow the coronavirus to remain active longer?

All fabrics can be contaminated, but the viability of the virus may depend on how porous the fabric is.

You should prioritize washing leggings, underwear and dresses.

Question 5: What about my accessories?

Some viruses can remain active from a few hours to a few days depending on the material. Buttons and zippers and other items made of plastic, steel or copper would need to be wiped clean.

Remember, wash your hands after you touch any dirty laundry. Don't forget to also wash your jackets or coats, especially if you're using the sleeves to touch door knobs and even push elevator buttons.

Fabrics like vinyl or leather can be wiped clean.


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