As we all weather the unprecedented storm that is the coronavirus, we have a lot of questions about how we should or shouldn’t be conducting ourselves. Of course, we all know about proper handwashing techniques and the importance of social distancing, but how do we ensure that our clothes are properly taken care of? How do you disinfect your clothing of the coronavirus?
Even though we’re all working from home we still have to put on clothes to walk outside to either exercise or get groceries. And with that comes the chance of potential exposure to the coronavirus. According to a report from NPR, there hasn’t been dedicated research about the impact of the virus on clothing. However, it has been proven that COVID-19 can linger on cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours after contamination. Cardboard and cotton are both porous materials, so there’s a not-insignificant chance the virus could also sit on your clothing for the same amount of time. However, that porousness is also beneficial, as it actually helps to trap the virus and keep it from going elsewhere.
So how do you sanitize clothing after potential exposure to the coronavirus? Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s a very simple way to sanitize your clothing: wash them and wash them well. Sending your clothing through a normal wash, complete with detergent, will get rid of the virus if it is indeed attached. In fact, the CDC website says that it’s perfectly safe to wash an infected person’s clothes with your own laundry. That means there’s no need to over wash your clothes; rather, just wash them if you’ve been out and about or were around someone that didn’t practice social distancing well.
However, if you’re dealing with someone who already has COVID-19 or who thinks they may have the virus, the CDC does recommend wearing protective gloves when handling that person’s dirty laundry. Additionally, if you’re going to a dedicated laundromat, be sure to also wear latex gloves if you can find some. And, as always, wash your hands!
There are products specifically designed to sanitize your clothing. Unfortunately, the most popular laundry sanitizer from Lysol has been intermittently sold out for weeks, and it’s increasingly hard to find.
If you want to disinfect clothing, your regular laundry habits should do the trick. That being said, here are some good product recommendations to ensure your washing experience during this time goes as smoothly as possible.
Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach
A common household cleaning product is actually an extremely effective virus killer: bleach. This cleaning agent can disinfect surfaces and clothing of influenza, viruses and mold. Of course, bleach can also have a killer side effect on your colorful clothes. Unfortunately, like popular brands of laundry sanitizers, popular laundry bleaches like Clorox are really hard to come by right now. If you’re looking for laundry bleach to disinfect your clothing of the coronavirus, try this oxygen bleach from Charlie’s Soap instead. Oxygen bleach is much better for color fabrics and isn’t as harsh as chlorine bleach. It’s a hypoallergenic laundry bleach that will effectively clean and disinfect clothing.
Tide Pods 3-in-1
Tide’s single-load pods are great if you don’t want to worry about touching a container of detergent over and over again. Rather, you can just open the container and reach in to grab a pod whenever you need it, or even place a handful into a Ziploc bag. This 81-count package should last you a long time and can be sent to you from Amazon, saving you a trip out to the store.
Defunkify Liquid Detergent
Defunkify’s liquid detergent is made from ingredients approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program. The organic chemicals inside are not only environmentally safe but effective at fully cleaning and purifying your clothing. This detergent also gets rid of that general ‘funk’ that can come with washing your clothes — hence the ‘defunk’ portion of its namesake. And, above everything else, it’ll ensure your clothes are clean and safe to wear.
Lysol Laundry Sanitizer (Out of Stock)
We first wrote about Lysol Laundry Sanitizer in August 2019, and we’ve seen a lot of interest in this product recently, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, as the most well-known product for disinfecting clothing, this product is usually sold out. There are occasionally products in stock at Amazon and other retailers, so if you find it for sale, order it quickly before supplies run out again.