Not to air any dirty laundry…

The novel coronavirus outbreak that continues to spread across the globe has forced us all to change the way we do many things in our day to day life, and as its been said many times before, and it will be said many times again : there are but few certainties in life besides it being a temporary state of being. However, one of the few constants – there will always be more laundry! 

Many of you, given the fact that you are taking notice of an article on the subject of laundry, are already versed on the subject and probably practice a measure of vigilance with regard to your cleaning and laundering routine. But for those of you with a more casual approach, as well as the laundry strategists who meticulously sort, schedule and have a complete laundry system in place; think of this as a little PSA to think about before your next laundry day. Here are a few  guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, American Red Cross and Harvard Health to stay healthy with better laundry hygiene.

The Laundry List:

  • Surface Matters: Although Harvard Health reports that the virus is more likely to survive on hard surfaces than softer fabrics, doctors still recommend changing clothing and shoes after returning to your home from being out in public. 
  • The Heat is On: The CDC recommends washing your clothing on the warmest setting possible according to laundering instructions, but ideally  a temperature of 167 degrees will kill the flu and other viruses. 
  • The Right Stuff: Choose the appropriate product for the particular load. Whenever possible, use detergent and bleach (for white loads) or peroxide or color-safe bleach for colors to kill germs. Some washing machines  have sanitize or steam settings as well.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry to reduce chances of dispersing virus through the air.
  • Drying Out: Be sure to dry clothing completely on the highest setting possible for at least 45 minutes according to the American Cleaning Institute.
  • If clothing cannot be immediately laundered and you are concerned about exposure, store items in a sealed disposable bag.
  • Consistency is Key: Wash clothes, household linens, including cleaning cloths, on a regular basis. 
  • Glove Up: If possible, wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry, especially if from someone who is ill and discard after each use.
  •  Designate and Dedicate: If you have reusable gloves to disinfect for possible COVID-19 exposure, they should only be used for that purpose and not for any other household purposes. Also, try and contain dirty laundry in one area of the home to avoid cross-contamination. 
  • Practice healthy hand hygiene and be sure to wash hands after removing gloves or any other personal protective gear. 
  • Urgent Care: If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, wash hands immediately afterwards.

*Information from Harvard Health quoted from Today online report.

The American Cleaning Institute online resources :