COVID-19: Disinfecting Clothes

As we know that the virus is most likely to spread is through close contact with someone infected. This is the reason why social distancing is very important to be observed. However, laboratory evidence shows that the coronavirus survives on stainless steel and plastic surfaces for hours or days. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. You need to disinfect your surfaces too especially those that are commonly touched.

A similar study has been done, wherein it shows that the virus can last on fabrics. It gives a possibility that coronavirus can stay on clothes for quite a few hours. Even though the chances of getting the virus from contaminated clothes is pretty low, it is still vital to keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. If you’re concerned about your clothes being contaminated while at a public space where social distancing is challenging, right after reaching home, you can lob your clothes into the washing machine. Typical laundry detergents must be enough to wash and sanitize your clothes.

Difference between Disinfecting and Cleaning

Disinfecting and cleaning are completely not the same processes.

  • Disinfection needs the use of chemicals that will kill the germs. Disinfecting textiles and hard surfaces after cleaning them could lessen more the risk of spreading any infections.
  • Cleaning includes removing germs and dirt from surfaces. Although cleaning might lower the risk of spreading infectious agents, it does not kill them.


Here are a few basic guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 while doing laundry.

Doing Laundry At Home

  • When doing your laundry, don’t forget to wear gloves. Right after removing your gloves, wash your hands with soap and warm water. If gloves are not available, avoid touching your face and wash your hands straight away after handling dirty clothing.
  • Wash your clothes with household detergent or laundry soap. You may consider using bleach. However, be sure to read the product guidelines and descriptions to avoid possibly ruining some clothing items. You may also soak your clothes in a solution before washing them.
  • Choose the warmest water setting, if available. It is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the water temperatures could be between 60–90 °C. Conversely, high temperatures might damage or shrink subtle clothing items, so remember to read the care labels.
  • Dry your clothes.
  • You also need to disinfect your laundry baskets with any of your disinfectants or if possible a 0.1% sodium hypochlorite

Doing Laundry At A Laundromat

Not all of us can afford and have a washing machine at home. Nevertheless, those who use laundry services can still follow the guidelines that we have listed above. Furthermore, when doing laundry in a public place, consider the following precautions:

  • Maintain a 2-meter distance from other people.
  • Avoid touching the face and wear disposable gloves.
  • Disinfect the surfaces of the washer and dryer.
  • Fold your laundry at home.
  • At home, before folding the laundry directly wash your hands.
  • Disinfect the laundry basket or consider using disposable laundry bags.