What You Need to Know About Doing Laundry Amid Coronavirus – With supermarket shelves virtually wiped-clean of hand-sanitizer, it’s safe to say that people are taking seriously the need to wash their hands. But what about our clothing?
Whether you do wash at a laundry service or have your own washer-dryer, you might be curious about what risks you run, and what the best practices are for washing your clothes during a global pandemic – before this it never came up. Here are some common questions and health suggestions that should wash away your concern.
Things to Note Doing Laundry Amid Coronavirus
Is there a high risk of getting infected from clothing?
The truth is, you should be much more focused on washing your hands with soap and water than your apparel. That’s because coronavirus travels through respiratory droplets that can live on your skin, but aren’t likely to cling to cotton. Some research suggests that though the virus may be able to live up to three days on surfaces like plastic and steel—your buttons and zippers—the risk of infection from touching these materials is relatively low.
Do I need to strip when I enter the house?
Some have worried that being outside will leave their clothing filthy with germs, and must immediately change into “indoor clothes” when they return home. Taking off your shoes when you enter the house is a good hygienic practice, but you shouldn’t stress out too much about your clothes being infected unless you’re a medical worker who has had periods of contact with the virus. Most advisories are still suggesting you limit your social interactions and stay indoors, so if you are mostly passing time in the house, don’t think too hard about a change of wardrobe.
So how should I be doing laundry?
The CDC suggests using the warmest possible temperature setting in your washing machine, and drying items fully at a high temperature. While it is advisable to wear disposable gloves while handling laundry, it’s most important that you wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you finish handling the load. Be wary of shaking-out your laundry, particularly if washing in a communal laundry room, because this could disperse the virus into the air. Still, ask yourself what you have been doing in these clothes. If the answer is mostly sitting around the house, then you shouldn’t fret about doing a double-wash or changing your routine that much.
Should I still go to the laundry service?
If your main option for washing your clothing is a laundromat, and you’re out of clean clothing, then yes. Like supermarkets and pharmacies, laundry service are essential businesses too many who don’t have other access to washing machines. Just be sure that you are abiding by the general rules of social distancing: Keep six feet of distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face. You might also consider bringing some disinfectant spray with you to clean off any surfaces you are bound to touch. And if the laundry service is crowded, maybe return at another time.
Stay Home and stay safe, Doing Laundry Amid Coronavirus should not be that much of a headache any longer.