• COVID-19 Hygiene tips: the laundry (5)

    In this series of blogs I am providing practical tips on how to follow Government advice and reduce risks.

    To protect ourselves, we need to keep remembering about the routes of transmission – either direct transmission from droplets or via hand contact sites to our eyes, nose and mouth.

    If there are others in the house who are ill, then keeping protected is very hard, but we can still try.

    Q. What about laundry?

    Contaminated laundry could be a risk to others in the household.

    • Even if no-one has symptoms yet, it pays to carry out the simplest action to keep safe – put a full laundry basket into quarantine for 72 hours (don’t add to it whilst it is in quarantine).
    • Don’t shake clothes or linen prior to putting in the washing machine. If there are any viruses in the laundry it could make them airborne.
    • Alternatively if you want your washing in a hurry, then wash at 60 degrees minimum if your clothes will stand it (otherwise I suggest you wait).
    • For white bedlinen and towels, I put them on a 90 degree wash anyway
    • Wash your hands after putting washing in the machine.
    • Disinfect the machine door handle after putting the washing in.
    • Use a separate basket for dirty and for clean linen.
    • Always wash your hands after handling dirty laundry and before handling clean items.

    If someone has symptoms, but is not too ill:

    • Ask them to put their bed linen and towels into a bag and leave their fresh bed linen outside their room for them to collect and put on the bed.
    • Take the bag and put it somewhere safe for 72 hours, then deal with it normally.
    • Wash your hands after handling anything that has come from the sick room, and disinfect any surfaces that have been touched along the way.
    • For more details about laundry and scientific reviews, go to IFH

    More tips to follow.


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  • Colin says:Reply
    29th March 2020 at 9:43 am

    Very useful but PLEASE change the colour of your text, it is almost impossible to read.
    I could not see that I had to enter my email address !!!!!!

    • Dr Lisa Ackerley says:Reply
      29th March 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Hi I agree it is not ideal – I am working on it but all IT people are so busy! I am just trying to spend my time getting the messages out and can’t find time to change the set up of the web site and daren’t break it!! Keep safe, and sorry about the text again

  • Marion Dawes says:Reply
    29th March 2020 at 10:54 am

    All the family clothes can only be washed in low temperatures. I usually use Dettol laundry cleanser or Zoflora in the wash,p; sometimes with a little white vinegar in the final rinse.

    Due to sensitive skin, I do not use a bleach based washing machine detergents,

    I have used this approach fir three plus years.

    Both products Advertise they kill 99.9% bacteria and virus. where possible the washing dried on an outside line. Is this sufficient? What more can I do?

    • Dr Lisa Ackerley says:Reply
      29th March 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Hi in the current situation, if you leave the laundry for 72 hours if you suspect some of it may be contaminated with coronavirus, then you can wash as normal. Otherwise you are doing fine! keep safe, Lisa

  • Rosanne Wiatrolik says:Reply
    29th March 2020 at 8:03 pm

    They suggest deep cleaning the environment of the home but don’t say with what and how to do this with the shortage of products available in the next part of the question?

    • Dr Lisa Ackerley says:Reply
      29th March 2020 at 9:33 pm

      Hello, have a look at my second blog in the series https://thehygienedoctor.co.uk/2020/03/21/covid-19-coronavirus-hygiene-tips-2/ which explains how to clean when you can’t get your normal anti microbial sanitisers. You really need to focus mainly on the hand touch points rather than go into a deep cleaning frenzy. Think about things such as the door knobs, remote control, kettle handle for example. To reduce risks, make sure everyone washes their hands when they get in, and disinfect anything that may have been touched on the way to the basin. This reduces contamination in the home. Also disinfect anything coming in with the occupants and make sure bags, rucksacks etc are not put on surfaces, but are kept on the floor. The handles may need disinfecting too. All the best, Lisa