The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) define COVID-19 as a virus that is transmitted through respiratory droplets that survive in the air for up to 3 hours.
- Specialists at Yale Medical School advise that COVID-19 can remain on your clothing for several hours to a few days. Clothing fibers are porous, so they can absorb virus particles. Since your clothing has many layers of fibers, cleaning the “surface” is not enough.
- Imagine that germs are as hard to get rid of as GLITTER! Experts believe that spandex-like workout clothing may retain the virus longer than natural fibers like cotton. The virus can also live on zippers and buttons.
- Disinfect the bottom of your shoes regularly as droplets with the from the air are heavy and land on the ground where people walk.
Doing the laundry in your home:
If you have been exposed to other people outside of your home, change your clothes before you move around your house. Put them in a disposable bag. Spray the bottom of your shoes with antibacterial spray.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises to use “the warmest water setting” for laundry. Dry your items in a dryer on the sanitize setting and not line dry, if possible. The CDC also advises against shaking dirty laundry so you don’t spread the virus through the air.
Use a disposable or washable liner in your laundry bin. Throw it away after you remove dirty clothes. Use a clean bin for clean laundry.
If you are caring for a sick person or exposed to COVID-19, keep their laundry separate. Wear disposable gloves when handling their laundry and throw them away after each use.
Wash your clothes every few days; no need to wait for a full load.
Detergents that are labeled antibacterial, or that contain bleach and are safe for colored fabrics, are recommended.
Doing the laundry at a laundromat:
Disinfect the door to the laundry, knobs, buttons, handles and all surfaces before you touch the machines, as well as the table before you fold your clean laundry. Wear clean gloves, and make sure you stay 6 feet away from anyone else in the space. Wash your hands after you leave and disinfect your phone with a disinfectant wipe.
Doing the laundry by hand:
Wear rubber gloves. Use hot water (no need for it to be boiling).
Special COVID-19 Cleaning Tips When Sheltering in Place:
Keep your environment clean! Regularly disinfect surfaces and objects inside your house and car.
Constantly wash hands with soap and water (when using a hand sanitizer make sure it has greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol).
Frequently disinfect all widely used items and surfaces (door knobs/handles, phones, computers, counters, refrigerator door, microwave controls, faucets, etc.)
To avoid spreading the virus through your air conditioning be sure to clean and/or replace filters often. Wear protective gloves and a mask when removing the old filter.