(12 NEWS) – COVID-19 may be able to survive on clothing for as long as two to three days, according to an expert at the University of Arizona.
“Laundry is really more important than you think. It’s just as important as handwashing after you go to the toilet,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Charles Gerba said laundry can be contaminated with all sorts of things from bodily fluids to food debris, all of which can be a source for germs.
“Respiratory viruses like cold, flu can survive a couple of days. Some viruses that cause the stomach flu can survive actually for weeks.”
COVID-19 can also survive on laundry.
“Yeah it’s believed it might survive as long as two or three days on clothing,” said Dr. Gerba.
To prevent spreading these illnesses, Doctor Gerba said professional clothing should come off right when you get home from work and separated from everyday clothing. When it comes to washing, using typical detergent and cold water should do the job unless someone is sick.
“You should rather develop a strategy: really high quality detergent, one with enzymes, warm water, wash your hands when you’re laundering and disinfect any surfaces you might have sorted the laundry before you washed it.”
You also might want to run sanitizer through your washer after doing the laundry and disinfect the hamper.
“It’s really more loaded with more germs than most people think,” said Dr. Gerba.