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CDC shares tips for laundry


April 30, 2020

As the spread of the coronavirus moves through the country and neighboring communities, people have been taking extra precautions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Avoiding crowded places, washing our hands for the recommended 20 seconds, and thoroughly sanitizing surfaces are all steps we are taking to help slow and prevent the virus from entering our homes. However, there is another step to incorporate in our new cleaning habits, and that is learning how to wash and clean our clothes.

Can the virus live on clothing? If so, for how long? What do we need to do to rid our clothing of the virus?

Information from the World Health Organization (WHO), indicates the coronavirus may, “persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.” Further studies done by Harvard Medical School show the survivability of the virus is greater on hard surfaces than softer surfaces such as clothing.

While there is still much to learn about how long the virus can live on soft porous surfaces, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), has offered some recommendations for washing and handling clothing during this time.

To avoid spreading the virus upon entering your home, the clothing you wore outside should be immediately put into the washer. The CDC says, “if possible, do not shake the dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.” The CDC also suggests using the “warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry the items completely.” Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards.

People should also clean and disinfect their clothes hampers as well. The CDC states, “if possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered,” in your hamper.

Your shoes are another item you should be taking extra precautions towards. Leaving them outside overnight if possible, would be a step towards keeping the virus from entering your home. Spraying the soles of the shoes with a disinfectant is also another option to take into consideration.


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