Tips for Keeping Your Clothes Clean Amid Coronavirus Concerns
May 13, 2020
Before April ended, the cases of coronavirus in the U.S. hit one million, and the number has only increased since then. Because of this, people are still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing, and follow hygienic practices to help limit the spread of the virus.
One of these hygienic practices is disinfecting surfaces. Health experts say that the coronavirus can survive on any surface between three hours and seven days, depending on the material. According to a research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can survive:
- Five days on glass surfaces
- Four days on wood surfaces
- Three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces
- 24 hours on cardboard surfaces
- 4 hours on copper surfaces
Although the amount of live virus decreases as hours and days pass, it’s still better to disinfect surfaces, especially if they are surfaces that the hands often touch.
But how about your clothes? When you go out for a grocery run or some other errand, your clothes—together with your face mask—are your body’s physical barrier against the virus particles you may get from other people. Can your clothes and mask carry the virus? If so, how can you clean and disinfect them?
Are Clothes a Coronavirus Risk?
Clothes are made up mostly of fabrics that absorb moisture. As long as they stay dry, the chances of the virus surviving on the surface of your clothes are minimal because it needs moisture to survive. Of course, some pieces of clothing have plastic or metal parts, like zippers and buttons. In theory, the virus may survive longer on these parts of your clothes.
Still, there haven’t been enough studies on how long viruses stay on fabric surfaces. So, the best thing you can do is take precautions.
Washing and Disinfecting Clothes
If you’ve been following your state’s stay at home order and practicing social distancing, your clothes aren’t likely to have been exposed to coronavirus. But they may be contaminated if a contagious person coughs or sneezes near you, or if you’re someone who comes in contact with people with the virus.
If you’ve been exposed to these people, take your clothes off as soon as possible. If you’re having your clothes washed at a laundromat in your Springfield neighborhood, store them in a clean bag or disposable hamper.
If you are washing your clothes at home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises to “launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting” and dry them completely. The CDC also recommends not to shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus Disease
The best and most effective way to avoid contracting coronavirus is to practice social distancing and good personal hygiene. If you’re not doing anything important outside, stay at home, wash your hands regularly, and occupy your time by doing something productive.
For your laundry needs, Starcrest Cleaners is open and provides excellent—and completely safe—laundry and dry cleaning services in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Nebraska. We pick up and deliver your clothes, so you don’t have to go outside and risk exposure.
Contact us today for any questions or clarifications.