During these challenging times, we need to be extra careful with our daily cleaning habits. The good news is that clothes are not thought to be high-risk in comparison to other surfaces that are thought to directly threaten our health if contaminated with the virus, however it’s a sensible idea to change the way we used to wash our clothes in order to be 100% safe.
Here are some tips to help keep your laundry virus free.
• Most viruses cannot survive temperatures above 60 degrees celsius hence it is suggested that washing towels, bedlinen, pyjamas and most cotton clothing at this temperature is best throughout the pandemic. Remember to be aware that some fabrics in direct sunlight after being washed at such a high temperature may wear out and disintegrate more quickly.
• The virus is thought to dissolve in soapy water so adding detergent to your wash is a good idea although do not exceed the recommended dosage of detergent. Excess soap sticks to clothes and promotes moisture retention. The clothes must be 100% dry prior to bringing them back inside the home tube hung or folded. Bacteria grows and reproduces in moisture-like conditions.
• Don’t be put off by ironing. The high temperatures of the iron will kill the germs and looking on the bright side the arduous task will at least keep you busy during quarantine.
• Disinfect your washing machine as well. There are products you can purchase for this such as Pine-O-Clean’s Antibacterial Washing Machine Cleaner, although being an item in such high demand at the moment it may be difficult to find on the supermarket shelves. You can make your own with 1 cup of white vinegar combined with 1 tablespoon of baking or bicarbonate soda. Vinegar has antibacterial properties.
• To disinfect your washing machine make sure that the machine is completely empty. Pour the antibacterial solution (purchased or homemade) directly into the drum (front-loader washing machines: not in the compartment where you would normally fill with detergent) and run a full cycle on 40 degrees without any laundry or detergent. This process helps remove limescale, hidden dirt and removes 99.9% of bacteria.