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Sanitizing Your Laundry During a Pandemic

COVID has everyone wondering if they need to change their laundry routine. There are as many opinions as people, but thankfully we have enough facts to guide us through these bizarre times. Okay, we have enough to guide us through laundry, but you guys are on your own with the rest of the craziness.

What do we know, and who told us? The CDC recommends that when you do the laundry of an ill person, you glove up and don’t shake the clothes before you put them in the washer (CDC, 2020). Why wear gloves? Because we are less likely to touch our face when we wear gloves. When we take the gloves off and immediately wash our hands, it’s double protection and that feels pretty good right now. But what about snapping those jeans in the air before we put them in the washer? That’s a big no-no regardless of the pandemic. When you shake dirty clothes, you send who-knows-what into the air and then potentially breathe it in. You never want to aerosolize germs, allergens, or anything else from your dirty clothing. Let the water and detergent do their job and send all that nastiness down the drain. 

What else does the CDC recommend? You may have heard that you need to wash your clothes at 140-degree. That’s fine if your doing medical-grade laundry, but that high temperature will ruin most of your clothes, and it’s not great on the internal parts of your washing machine either. Let’s look at what the CDC actually says about home laundry for people that have COVID. “Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.” (CDC, 2020). So just wash my clothes? Yes, just wash your clothes and use the warmest temperature recommended on the label. You’ll be healthier and your clothes will smell better, too. It’s a win-win.

Do you have more questions? Go ahead and ask and I’ll be sure to respond. Until next time, do your laundry and stay healthy.

Center for Disease Control. (2020, September 8). Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html

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