How to Disinfect Laundry for the Flu and Other Viruses
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears mounting, take these essential steps to help keep viruses like the Coronavirus from infiltrating your home, laundry, and life.
- Self-Quarantine: If you or a family member is sick, self-quarantine and stay confined to one room and bathroom. Viruses like the Coronavirus disseminate when a sick person sneezes, coughs, or even breathes and can infect people nearby. Limit exposure to others and keep the number of rooms you have to disinfect frequently to a minimum.
- Disinfect Hard Surfaces: While the flu virus can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours, it’s been estimated that the Coronavirus may be able to live on surfaces for up to nine days. With this in mind, it’s imperative to disinfect surfaces that a sick person has touched, worn, breathed on, or even walked by. Use a solution of ½ cup of bleach per gallon of water (Commercial antibacterial wipes also do the trick) and use it to wipe down computer keyboards, remote controls, light switches, faucet handles, sinks, tubs and toilets (pay special attention to toilet seats and handles), countertops, etc. Wipe the surface so that it remains visibly wet for four minutes and let it dry. Take precaution not to spread germs––do not re-use clothes or mop heads in other areas. Toss them in the washer with hot water and bleach.
- Disinfect Laundry: Remember to wear rubber gloves when handling soiled laundry. Wash clothing and linens as soon as possible using hot water (at least 104 F) and a high heat machine drying cycle. Remember to read your clothing care label first to ensure the fabric won’t be damaged. If in doubt, contact Prestige Cleaners and speak with one of our qualified clothing care professionals in Scottsdale, Arizona.
After washing bed sheets, towels, and clothing of a sick family member, run an empty cycle of hot water to disinfect the machine. Don’t forget to add bleach to the dispenser wash when doing so.
The following disinfectants are effective for laundry use, if the product’s directions are followed appropriately.
Phenolic Disinfectants (Lysol, OdoBan, & PureGreen24, etc.): Effective in hot water, they can be used on white and colored fabrics.
Pine Oil Disinfectants (Pine-Sol, Lysol Pine Action, Spic-n-Span Pine, etc.): Effective in hot and warm water, they can be used on both white and colored fabrics. To disinfect, the product must contain 80 percent pine oil and be added at the beginning of the wash cycle.
Chlorine Bleach (Clorox, etc.): Bleach is appropriate for white fabrics only. To be effective, there must be a 5.25 percent to 6.15 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite. It should always be diluted with water before adding it to the washer and should never be poured directly on clothing. Read your laundry care label or contact a clothing care professional at one of our seven Scottsdale Prestige Cleaners locations, as bleach is not suitable for use on certain fabrics, including silk, wool, and other fabrics.
- Frequently Wash Your Hands: The CDC lists washing your hands as the most essential way to prevent getting sick. Take heed to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after loading the washer, cleaning, using the bathroom, before eating, and after coming in contact with a sick person.
For more information on how to prevent illness like the Coronavirus disease, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html