The Corona virus has so far been named WHO pandemic virus. This indicates that the problem of Covid-19 or Corona virus is no longer a problem for some countries, but has become a global problem. That is why the WHO recommends everyone to maintain health and hygiene to avoid Covid-19 infection or Corona virus. One way to maintain cleanliness other than by washing hands with soap and water is to regularly wash clothes that have been worn.
Did you know that the Corona virus can last for hours on clothes? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the Corona virus is usually transmitted through liquid droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Material or clothing that is contaminated with the liquid can have great potential to move the disease. The CDC notes that the Corona virus can last for hours on surfaces made of fabric or materials, including clothing.
According to public health specialist Carol Winner, the liquid can dry out over time and deactivate the viruses found there. But this requires a long time. Until now researchers are still studying this.
“We know that droplets can dry out in a number of conditions, which may be faster with natural fibers,” Winner told HuffPost.
“We hear that heat and humidity can affect the viability of the virus on the surface, but remember, temperatures in Australia are 80 degrees (Fahrenheit), and Tom Hanks still gets it,” he added.
Robert Amler, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Practices at New York Medical College and former CDC’s chief medical officer, told HuffPost that the longevity of the corona virus depends on the type of fabric, because some materials are more susceptible than others.
“Spandex materials such as polyester can hold germs longer than cotton-based fabrics, but all types of fabric can be contaminated,” Dr. Janette Neisheiwat
According to him materials such as spandex, polyester can hold germs longer than cotton fabrics so it is important to wash leggings and underwear carefully.
Then how to wash clothes properly to avoid Covid-19 or Corona virus?
1.Wash Using Hot Water
“Extra heat, and time in the dryer, makes sense, because the droplets will dry out, which is likely to deactivate the virus,” Winner said.
Winner suggests washing clothes using hot water to help kill the virus. In addition, you can also give extra time to soak clothes in high water temperatures. But you still have to pay attention to the temperature you use because do not use water with temperatures that are too extreme. According to Dr. Georgine Nanos, wash clothes using the hottest water that is possible to use.
However, please don’t ruin all your clothes by boiling everything, because that will add more stress and anxiety that we don’t need right now, “
2.Choose a detergent with whitening ingredients
Rodney E. Rohde, chairman and professor of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at Texas State University, advises paying attention to detergents used to prevent Corona virus infections.
“I would suggest you wash clothes with detergents that contain bleach compounds,” Rohde told HuffPost. “Viruses don’t work well in this harsh environment,”
3.Wash with a washing machine
Actually according to Nanos if you don’t have access to laundry facilities, then you can wash your own clothes by hand. The most important thing is you use water with temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or around 26.6 degrees Celsius. But Nanos also said that it would be more effective if you could wash clothes using a washing machine. Washing machines will be more effective at killing germs and viruses, even if you mix your clothes with other people’s clothes that are sick.
4.Washing Clothes Routine
Winner suggests washing clothes regularly and don’t wait for your dirty clothes to become a big pile. Washing clothes regularly can help maintain cleanliness and prevent the Corona virus.
“The best, as always, is to wash your clothes regularly,” he said.
This applies to all clothes of any type, including jackets or sweaters. Especially if you use the sleeve or elbow of your jacket to touch frequently used surfaces, such as elevator buttons, handrails, and door handles. To clean it from viruses and germs, you don’t need to add Lysol to wash it, just spray with anti-germic clothing that can be used.
5.Separate the Clothing of the Sick
This is often a question for many people. According to Nesheiwat it will indeed be more effective if you separate the clothes of the sick and those who do not.
“It is always best to wash the clothes of the sick separately,” Nesheiwat said. “Clothes can carry staph, E.coli, flu, etc.,”
In addition, you also have to immediately change your clothes when you get home after a day of activities. This is recommended to reduce the risk of exposure to viruses, one of which is the Corona virus.
“You have to change your clothes and wash them whenever someone else touches them or when you have gathered in a large group,” Amler said.
You also don’t need to be afraid if you want to wash clothes in the shared laundry because they don’t have a washing machine. The most important thing is that you follow the right guidelines, by using gloves and keeping a distance from others. If you don’t have gloves, always wash your hands when and before going to the laundry.
“Yes, it is safe to use [shared washing machines] now because the virus will be killed by washing your clothes at temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 degrees Celsius), according to what we currently understand,”
“The more challenging problems are social distance and contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and people in the laundry. Not the laundry itself,”.