20 March 2020

COVID-19 and Clothing Sanitation

As we grow more and more aware of precautions we should take in light of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re bombarded with questions on how we should wash and disinfect household items, including clothing.

Social media is saturated with a lot of misleading information at the moment, so we asked a handful of experts (doctors and epidemiologists included) to answer all your questions concerning clothing and the coronavirus. Keep in mind, specific research has yet to be done on how this new coronavirus interacts with clothes. But whether you’re wondering about hand-washing, how to approach the laundromat or what temperature you should really be washing your clothes at, we’ve got some guidance.

How long can the coronavirus live on clothing?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus is usually transmitted through respiratory droplets (from an infected person sneezing or coughing) rather than through fomites, objects and materials that when contaminated can transfer disease. However, the CDC notes that evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, which includes clothing.

Articles of clothing, according to public health specialist Carol Winner, can hold respiratory droplets, as we use them every single day. These particles can dry out over time and inactivate the virus. But this doesn’t mean that it will happen quickly, and she said scientists are still learning more and more about this virus each day.

“We know that the droplet can dry out under some conditions, which may be faster with natural fibers,” Winner told HuffPost. “We’re hearing that heat and humidity can affect viral survival on surfaces, but remember, it’s 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Australia, and Tom Hanks still got it.”

Are certain types of fabrics more susceptible to the virus than others?

Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College and a former CDC chief medical officer, told HuffPost that the duration of the virus depends on the fabric, as some materials are more porous than others.

“Some researchers believe the fibers in porous material catch the virus particles, dry them out and break them apart,” Amler said. “Smooth surfaces like leather and vinyl can be wiped clean.”

Family and emergency Dr. Janette Nesheiwat suggested that polyester, spandex-like material may retain germs longer than breathable cotton-based fabrics, making it important to wash leggings, underwear and dresses carefully.

This original article was found here and not original copy by Quack Rentals:

 

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