We All Know About Hand-Washing, But What About Our Clothes?

We All Know About Hand-Washing, But What About Our Clothes?

We All Know About Hand-Washing, But What About Our Clothes?

Can Coronavirus Remain Active On Clothes? This and other questions answered

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to significantly affect the lives of people across the globe. With all major events cancelled or postponed, travel restricted, employees working remotely, the Covid-19 has altered our lives in ways we never thought was imaginable. Face Masks, Hand Sanitizers, Hand Washes and Social Distancing have become the order of the day!

Hygiene has become ever more important and it is important we practice strict hygiene rituals if we are to overcome this pandemic that has fallen upon us. If you’re trying to stay safe and healthy during the Covid-19 outbreak, you’re probably doing more chores and more laundry now than you did two months ago.

We are still grappling with a lot of unknowns when it comes to this highly contagious virus. A lot remains unknown, especially when it comes to some of our daily mainstays like clothes.

Can the coronavirus be active on clothes? If yes, for how long? Can laundering kill the virus? How often should I wash my clothes? What about shoes? Here is what the experts say:

Can Coronavirus Remain Active On Clothes? If Yes, For How Long?

Various studies have reported the virus being active on various surfaces for varied amounts of time; sometimes hours to sometimes even days. Lot of the information is still unclear as to how long can the virus survive on various surfaces.  Harvard Health says the disease is more likely to survive on a hard surface than a soft surface like fabric. How long the virus can survive on clothes is still unclear.

It is, however, better to be safe when it comes to even clothes. Saralyn Mark, American Medical Women’s Association leader and Senior Medical Advisor to HHS, tells Bustle it’s best to practice good clothing hygiene. “If one is living with a person who is vulnerable — age, pre-existing conditions — it may be worthwhile to change clothing once inside your home and wash items.” Remember, soap kills the virus.

Can Coronavirus Survive The Laundry?

Can Coronavirus Survive The Laundry?

There is conflicting information on whether the virus can be destroyed at a certain temperature or if it can survive a wash process. To be safe do wash your garments with soap, as soap is known to disintegrate the virus (same logic as using a handwash). The high heat inside the dryer also might be effective. You may also want to dry your clothes on high heat and for a little longer than usual. If you do not have a dryer, try to use a hot water wash.

How Often Should I Do My Laundry?

Even though the likelihood transmission via clothes is low, it’s better to practice good clothing hygiene. Wash as soon as possible. If you have been outside, for essentials or for groceries, wash your clothes as soon as you return home. If it is impractical to wash every-time you go outside, it is important you change your clothes as soon as you return home and keep the ones you were wearing immediately in a separate laundry bag.

Also, it is important that the clothes are washed completely with soap and water. Just cleaning the surface of the garment is not enough. If possible, leave the clothing soaked in detergent for some time before putting them to be washed (especially if you have visited a hospital).

Can Coronavirus Live On Shoes?

Can Coronavirus Live On Shoes?

You need not be worried about transmitting the virus through your shoes. Dr. Joseph Allen, professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of Healthy Buildings, says, “The general public shouldn’t be worried about tracking the virus in on the bottom of their shoes,”.

However, it is a good practice to take off your shoes at the entrance when you return home and then sanitize your hands before entering the house. It’s advisable to leave your work clothes and shoes outside when you get home.

Please note that these are suggestions/ answers we have collated from various sources and are not medical-grade.  Should you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your home, the thoroughness of the measures needs to be stepped up accordingly. 

Stay Safe and Take Care!



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