The outbreak of COVID-19 is forcing people around the world to change their daily routines and habits. We’re all washing our hands more frequently, trying our best to not touch our face, and disinfecting everything we possibly can. One of the other tasks that requires some adjusting to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is how we do our laundry. The following best practices are some simple things you can implement into your laundry routine to minimize the spread of viruses or bacteria in your home.
According to the CDC, it is best to use disposable gloves when handling dirty clothes or linens, especially if they were worn or used by a person who is ill. After handling dirty laundry, dispose of the gloves and wash your hands. When you remove your gloves, make sure you avoid any contact between the outside of the gloves and your skin. You can use the CDC’s glove removal guide for reference. If you’re using reusable gloves, make sure these are only used for cleaning and disinfecting areas for COVID-19, and consider washing them between use. If you don’t have any gloves, be sure to wash and sanitize your hands after handling any dirty laundry.
Wash Items in Hot Water
While it is still unclear how effective heat is against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, viruses typically do not survive as long in hotter temperatures. Therefore, it’s best to wash your clothes and linens in the hottest possible water. Check the directions on the labels to know what temperature levels your clothes or linens can handle in the wash. According to the CDC, it is safe to wash laundry from an ill person with other people’s clothes.
Use the Proper Amount of Soap
You would think that using more soap would mean cleaner clothes, right? That’s actually not the case when it comes to using laundry detergent. If you use too much soap, it can cause dirt to get trapped in your clothes. Double check the directions on the bottle of detergent to ensure you’re using the recommended amount of soap for each load of laundry.
Don’t Shake Your Dirty Laundry
Shaking dirty laundry can spread germs and disperse viruses throughout the air. So, if you have the urge to shake out those dirty sweatpants, you might want to hold off for now.
Disinfect Your Hamper
It’s also important to regularly disinfect your dirty clothes hamper. For helpful tips on this, you can reference our post on the difference between disinfecting and cleaning. Consider using either a disposable bag liner or one that can be washed and reused.
With most of us staying in close quarters with family members, it’s important to do everything we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. By implementing these simple tips into your regular laundry routine, you can keep your clothes clean and your family safe.