By now you’re probably aware that it’s imperative to wash your hands often during the COVID-19 pandemic. But you may also be wondering, “How long does coronavirus live on clothing?” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that coronavirus may remain on fabric and clothing for hours or days.
How to Wash Clothing Exposed to Coronavirus
Use Hot Water to Wash Clothes
Carol Winner, a public health specialist, suggests washing clothing in hot water to help kill the virus. Use the hot water setting when cleaning items that may be contaminated. Heat from your dryer may also help kill the virus.
Winner does not suggest boil clothing, as this could ruin the fabric. If you do not have access to a washing machine, hand wash your clothing in water that is at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use Detergents with a Bleach Compound
If possible, use a laundry detergent that contains a bleach compound to help kill the coronavirus. Bleach is a harsh environment in which viruses do not fare well.
Read labels carefully to ensure your clothing doesn’t require special detergents. Choose detergents with color-safe bleach when necessary.
Wash Clothing Often
Don’t let your laundry pile up, especially if you are required to leave your home. As an added precaution, remove your clothing as soon as possible after coming home from work or the grocery store. Place exposed clothing in the washing machine or a separate hamper before allowing it to touch other surfaces.
If a person in your household has contracted coronavirus, it is best to wash their clothing separately. Find out more about best practices for doing laundry during the coronavirus at HuffPost.com.