How does Coronavirus affect your clothes and laundry?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will know the severe impact that the coronavirus has had around the world. Globally, as of today, there has been nearly 165,000 confirmed cases, 1400 of which has been within the UK. So far, there has been just over 6000 confirmed deaths worldwide. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirming the virus to be a pandemic, it’s raised the question amongst our customers on how the Coronavirus affects your clothes and laundry?
Here at 1 Stop Wash, we’re taking extra precautions with our cleaning methods to limit the risk of disease. We’ve had numerous customers approach us asking what to do in terms of their clothes and laundry, in general, to keep them safe during these challenging times. Therefore, we compiled a simple list of procedures/action points you should follow get you through this time and follow habitually once the outbreak settles down too:
1) 30 oC is not high enough to kill bacteria in your clothes!
At a time of there being a pandemic, it is vital that you begin washing your clothes at higher temperatures than usual. The usual body temperature of a human is 37oC, this a optimum temperature for bacteria & germs to thrive at. Therefore, cleaning clothes at 30oC is not high enough to kill these germs & bacteria – we therefore recommend to carry out cleaning at 60oC. This temperature ensures the killing of bacteria & germs.
Even for our own unit, we have been forced to change the temperature at which we conduct our wash & fold service at. Unless we suspect a garment will be damaged at such a high temperature (we recommend dry cleaning for these items as its steamed at 80oC), we’re temporarily using a temperature of 60oC for our wash & fold service. Although we’re an environmentally friendly company that favours cleaning at lower temperatures, we took this action to get us through the period of the virus where the safety of our customers & employees matter the most to us.
2. Drying & Pressing increases the chance of bacteria & germs dying in your clothes!
We recommend everyone to as precaution, load all washed clothes into further drying in a tumble dryer or to get them pressed. Ironing uses a temperature of nearly 100oC, no bacteria or germ can survive at this temperature.
3. Clean your clothes more often!
Although the WHO hasn’t confirmed whether the disease can live on surfaces, there are some preliminary reports coming out that suggest that the virus can stay on surfaces such as clothes for a few hrs or even up to a week.
A study carried out by Havard Health has suggested that it is more likely to last on hard surfaces compared to delicate ones such as clothes.
With that being said, Doctors still think it’s a great idea to change your clothes as soon as you come from outside. If you are leaving the house, you spend time coming in contact with park benches, bus/tube seats, bump into one another, etc., so it is wise to remove your clothes and shoes (use home slippers) as soon as you come home. Be sure to wash your dirty clothes more frequently during this time and also regularly clean your laundry hamper too.
4. Change your bedsheets often even after the virus!
We’re always shocked to find the lack of awareness of how important it is to change your bedsheets often, with the increased risk of the virus, it is now more important to frequently clean your bed linen at a high temperature of 60 oC to kill any bacteria & germs.
In general, you should change your bedsheets every week as you sleep with your own dirt, sweat, body oils, skin cells as well as dust mites. With the increased risk of the virus, if you are leaving the home often, we recommend cleaning & changing sheets twice a week to be more safe. In general, you should clean at 60 oC to kill all bacteria and germs, this should be the case regardless of the risk of the virus.
5. Disinfect your laundry machine once a week
The importance of keeping your laundry machine clean has heightened since the outbreak of the virus. Linked to point 3), as the machine is having to deal with germs that have come from outside doing activities such as travelling on tube & bumping into people in general, it is now more important than ever to keep your machines disinfected once you conduct your cleaning.
This is another one of the points just like point 4) that you should generally follow even when the virus has played it-self out, people don’t realise the amount of germs and microbes that can build within your machine if you don’t sterilise It often using the right detergents. We recommend adding just a cup of vinegar and cleaning the machine at 60 oC. This should be enough to kill the build up of bacteria & germs.
6. Use gloves to conduct cleaning – especially for ill people!
If you’re living with an individual that is ill and showing symptoms of the flu which is shown below, then it is important to carry out any laundry using a mask and gloves to avoid any breathing in of germs and microbes. It is imperative that you clean their items as quick as possible and don’t allow their clothes to build in the laundry basket.
We hope this article helped in answering how does coronavirus effect your clothes and laundry, we’ve jampacked action points you can take immediately to keep safe during this outbreak. It is a time where you will have to take extra care and caution in ensuring the health of yourself and your loved ones. We wish you the best health and if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org