What you need to do with your clothes right now if you’ve been outside recently (n.b. don’t shake them!)
While the majority of us are playing our part in this unprecedented team effort to flatten the curve, there remain a number of people in the UK who appear to be entirely unphased by the severity of Coronavirus.
Despite shops, pubs, clubs, schools and restaurants all having been forced to close, there have been countless groups of people still getting together up and down the country in parks and friends’ homes, going against everything we know about this virus.
But it’s not just those in denial leaving their homes right now, with several of those who have spent the last few weeks self-isolating making the odd mad dash to the local shop for necessities. With waiting lists for online shopping deliveries stretching over a month, can we really blame them?
Whatever the reason you ventured onto the other side of your front door today, did you consider stripping your clothes the minute you walked back into your home? And even if you did, did you just put them straight in your laundry basket?
There’s been a lot of information revealed recently regarding how long the virus survives on certain surfaces, with experts suggesting that it could be up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Unfortunately, there’s been little intel on the virus’s behaviour when it comes into contact with our clothes when, for example, someone coughs near you in the biscuit aisle.
The official length of time the virus can live on fabric is so far still unknown, however many medical experts believe that it is likely to survive less well on soft surfaces. Crucially, that’s not to say that once picked up cloth surfaces won’t hold onto the virus at all.
While we’re not recommending you panic wash every time you walk in your front door – doing several wash loads a day would have terrible repercussions environmentally – there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid the spread of Coronavirus from potential traces on your clothing.
- Place a washable (or disposable) bin liner into the laundry basket rather than simply tossing dirty clothes in.
- If you fail/forget to line your laundry basket, make sure to clean and disinfect the hamper thoroughly.
- Avoid shaking your dirty laundry in order to minimise the possibility of the virus dispersing through the air.
- Wash clothes using the warmest appropriate water setting as per the items’ labels.
- Wear disposable globes if/when handling dirty laundry from a person suspected or confirmed to have Coronavirus. Clean hands immediately after removing the gloves.
- Wash high-risk items separately from other items.