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Washing clothes to prevent the spread of COVID19

by Ashley Newland |

 

While it is well known that Covid-19 is spread via respiratory droplets among close contact with people (within about 6 feet or 2 meters), transmission from surfaces contaminated with the virus is yet to be documented by the CDC.  However, the CDC considers that the virus may remain viable for hours to days on different surfaces.  Ensuring clothes remain clean may help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For those with a washing machine at home, use it regularly.  If you don’t have a washing machine, ensure you take proper precautions when going to the Coin Laundry (i.e. maintain social distancing, wear gloves, avoid touching your face and make sure to disinfect all surfaces of the machines you use).  If you would prefer not to venture to a Coin Laundry, you can use your Scrubba wash bag to quickly wash small loads of clothes at home.

Whether you use a home washing machine, Coin Laundry or Scrubba wash bag, use warm to hot water that is appropriate for the clothing type (yep read the fabric care labels). If using the Scrubba wash bag, make sure the water isn’t too hot to avoid burning your hands as you rub the clothes against the internal washboard.

Where possible use a laundry liquid or powder that includes a bleach compound (again make sure to read fabric care labels).  Common bleach compounds in laundry detergents include sodium hypochlorite, sodium percarbonate and hydrogen peroxide).  The American Chemistry Council has compiled a list of products including detergents that are likely to be suitable against COVID-19.

Don’t overuse laundry liquid or powders.  If too much laundry liquid or powder is used, washing efficiency is actually decreased and extra rinsing will be required to remove all the cleaning agent.

Ensure clothes are fully dried and where possible, hang the clothes in direct sunshine (UV can kill residual viral particles) and in fresh air. 

If caring for an ill person, use disposable gloves if possible while handling their clothes and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after removing your gloves.

More to come. Please feel free to get in touch should you have any queries or have anything to add.


Sources:

https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html

 

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