Laundries and Dry Cleaners are classified as essential industries during a pandemic as hygiene is paramount as a virus spreads throughout the population. COVID-19 is a new virus, and at present, nobody is sure how long it can survive on fabrics. There is a great deal of research currently being carried out, but we have learned from previous pandemics that there are some basic principles everyone should adhere to:
Proper hygiene includes not only washing hands and surfaces, but also fabrics such as bedding.
In terms of general hygiene, bedding and towels should be washed weekly. If you have had any symptoms of the virus, make sure to change all bedding and towels as soon as the symptoms have disappeared to ensure no virus particles remain.
We know that soap and water remove the virus from our hands; likewise, detergent should kill any virus on fabric.
If you are living with someone in quarantine, you should wear gloves when handling dirty laundry and, as advised by the Centre for Disease Control, try not to shake the laundry when handling it as it will allow virus particles to travel in the air for some time.
Coughing in bed can mean virus particles can get into your pillow and duvet, so having them washed if you have shown symptoms of Coronavirus is essential, especially if someone else uses the same bedding later.
In terms of other fabrics, as the virus is carried in droplets in the air, it can settle on any surface, so if you or someone else in your house has had symptoms, you may want to consider having cushions and cushion covers cleaned as well as bedspreads.
It may also be prudent to clean any clothing worn while the symptoms were showing. Dry cleaning uses the chemical perc, and it is highly likely this will kill any virus. Once again, ensure you wear gloves if you are handling any clothes belonging to those that have shown symptoms of the virus and do not shake items as this can make virus particles briefly airborne.
Stay clean, stay home and stay safe!