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Coronavirus on Clothing: How to Properly Do Your Laundry

By March 30, 2020 April 14th, 2020 No Comments

What if we told you that coronavirus can live on your clothing? Pretty shocking, right?

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, while coronavirus is usually transmitted through respiratory droplets, it is also resilient and may remain viable on surfaces made from a variety of materials including clothing.

It is still not clear how long the virus can survive on clothing and fabrics. But the fact that your clothing can hold respiratory droplets is enough to trigger alarm signals. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has even said that viruses can remain active for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard and 4 hours on copper. Buttons and zippers – on clothes are often made of these materials.

So given this predicament, how should you do your laundry to eliminate as many germs as possible during this time?  We have the below essential guide to help you keep your laundry clean, safe and coronavirus-free.

Washing Tip #1 – Wash on a hot water setting [Where ever possible]:

As you probably know by now, heat and humidity can affect the survival of viruses and germs. Hence, in order to do your best to eliminate a virus and germs, it’s best to use your hot water setting every time you’re washing your laundry*. *Disclaimer: Always check the recommended water temperature for your pieces of clothing and follow those directions. Whenever possible, use the hottest setting.

Giving your laundry extra time and heat in the dryer also helps in drying out the droplets, which eventually inactivates the virus**. **Again: Always check the recommended dryer/temperature advice for your pieces of clothing and follow those directions. 

Washing Tip #2 – Separate laundry items that have come in contact with germs:

Wash your laundry as you normally would with a few exceptions of some laundry item that needs to be washed separately such as:

Towels – Shared towels are a breeding ground for germs and viruses so they should be washed often at a high temperature of around 60 degrees Celsius. If there someone in your household is at risk or self-isolating, make sure that they’re using their own separate towel/s.

Sportswear – This type of clothing comes in contact with bodily fluids, which contain a great number of germs. To protect yourself from a higher risk of attracting germs, avoid wearing sportswear more than once between washes.

Baby clothes – Baby clothes are prone to vomit and other body fluids – which are both high risk when it comes to a breading ground for germ. Wash baby clothes separately from your other laundry to avoid spreading germs to your entire family.

Washing Tip #3 – Change clothes after going outside and wash contaminated clothes:

Have you been to an area with more than a few people recently? Maybe the supermarket, the hospital or maybe you are an essential worker and are still required to go to work?

If you are in one of these categories, it’s best to immediately change your clothes when returning home – to minimise the possible spread of any potential contamination lingering on your clothes. Immediately put your clothing in the washer, especially clothing pieces that come into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and handrails [or people].

You don’t necessarily have to strip down in your garage but the best habit to practise is to store clothes in a separate bag ready to wash in a separate load of washing.

But if nobody in your household has gone outside and is not showing any symptoms, you can wash your laundry as you usually do – or as usually recommended.

Washing Tip #4 – If possible, avoid going to the Laundromat:

As not everyone has access to a washing machine, Laundromats provide an option for easily doing your laundry.

Generally, it’s still safe to visit a laundromat. At present there is a list as long as your arm with the recommended precautions to be taken – such as: wearing gloves, washing your hands, sanitising, not touching your face and disinfecting / wiping the surfaces of the machine you use. Another primary concern lies with social distancing and having to potentially interact with contaminated surfaces and people while going to the Laundromat. If you don’t have access to laundry facilities, you can consider hand washing your laundry [as long as you get the right temperature setting]. But if your only option for laundry is out of a shared laundry machine, rest assured any virus should be eliminated at 60+ degree Celsius temperature. However, always make sure you practise social distancing and take all the recommended precautions.

Washing Tip #4 – Use a premium laundry powder concentrate:

Laundry powder can’t kill the virus – but it can help rem0ve the virus from your clothes. During the wash cycle, the agitation from the washing machine will help scrub the virus off while the detergent will remove germs, dirt, impurities and traces of droplets.

With this in mind, it makes sense to choose a premium laundry powder concentrate that has the power to remove stubborn dirt and even viruses and does not cause excessive suds.

EUCA Laundry Products to try:

EUCA Concentrated Laundry Liquid – a premium quality laundry liquid with fast-acting premium concentrate, it is ideal for hot water, and is 100% soluble.

EUCA Premium Laundry Powder Concentrate Detergent – exceptionally concentrated so you less per measure, it has no added fillers, is ideal for hot water, and HE washing machine safe.

Bonus tips

  • When doing your laundry, wear disposable gloves and dispose of them properly after each use.
  • Use reusable gloves only when cleaning and disinfecting the house.
  • If no gloves are available in your household, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly when handling dirty laundry and after.
  • Avoid shaking your laundry basket or hamper as this will possibly spread the virus through your indoor air.
  • Don’t forget to dry your washed laundry in the dryer with high heat [if it is safe as per the cleaning directions on the clothing tag]
  • Make sure your laundry basket or hamper is also clean, sanitised and disinfected.

But wait, which type of clothing in your laundry do you reckon is more susceptible to coronavirus?

According to Robert Amler at New York Medical College, the duration of how long the virus stays on clothing depends on the kind of fabric. Some fabric clothing is more porous than others so when they catch the virus, the virus dries and breaks apart. On the other hand, germs and viruses tend to stay longer in polyester and spandex-like materials than in cotton-based fabrics. For leathers and similar materials, it is suggested that the virus can be wiped clean with a disinfectant spray.

Conclusion

In the age of coronavirus, it’s easy to get stressed out and be consumed by anxiety. We hope we have provided a bit of comfort and peace of mind with our laundry guide above – to keep your clothes as clean and as safe as your homes.

At EUCA, we are happy to provide you with laundry products that not only deliver in cleaning power – but also in helping the environment. Our products are 100% Australian owned and made with natural products sourced and manufactured locally. All of our products are packed and shipped directly from our warehouse in Altona, Melbourne.

Explore our selection of laundry products in the comfort of your home here and have them safely delivered to your doorsteps.

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