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How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Clothes?

Updated On Apr 23, 2021

Ever since the novel coronavirus has engulfed the world, people have become concerned about things that they did not pay much attention to in the pre-covid times. For instance, washing hands frequently, and that too for 20 seconds straight was not something that everybody even thought of practicing to ensure proper hygiene. Now, people from all around the world are putting in their best efforts to wash hands regularly and even use sanitizer if and when required to prevent the Covid-19 infection.

Another thing to take note of while ensuring proper protection against the coronavirus is clothes. Quite often, while taking precautionary measures people forget about their clothes, however, it is extremely important to pay attention to the clothes that one wears, especially in the times of Covid. Why? It is because just like the deadly virus survives on plastic and stainless steel surfaces, from hours to a few days, it can also live on your clothes. While one may not completely prevent the coronavirus from landing on the clothing, the least that can be done is taking proper precautions to prevent clothes from becoming a hub of the virus and infecting one.

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Clothes?

Coronavirus on Clothes - For How Long?

Covid-19 does not live long on clothing in comparison to hard surfaces. What’s even better is that exposing the virus to heat may shorten its life. If experts are to be believed, Covid-19 was detectable on fabric for a period of up to two days as compared to 7 days for plastic and metal. Nonetheless, when it was exposed to high heat, the coronavirus became inactive within 5 minutes.

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It is important to remember that when unknowingly you sit or lean against high-touch surfaces, which may have been exposed to the coronavirus, there may be more chances of your clothes having the virus. So, what can one do to make sure they do not make their abode, a home for the coronavirus?

Coronavirus on Clothes - What to Do?

Experts advise that if one is concerned that their clothes may have been exposed to Covid-19 infection, they can wash their exposed clothing. While you may be unsure of the exposure of the coronavirus to your clothing, it would be still best to do laundry by following the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.

While washing your Covid-19 exposed clothing, follow the below-mentioned tips:

  • Place your clothes and reusable fabric masks in the washing machine after removal.
  • Do not shake out dirty clothes.
  • Make sure you wash your clothes with the warmest water that is allowed for those items.
  • Consider making use of bleach or color-safe bleach, which may help in inactivating the virus, if it is present.
  • Dry your clean clothes in the dryer, rather than air drying.

Following the process, which includes heat, detergent, and stirring during the wash and spin cycles, in addition to the dryer can help in removing or inactivating the virus from your clothing.

How to Wash Clothes if Someone in Your House Has Covid-19?

In case, one of your family members is sick with coronavirus and you have to do laundry for them, make sure you follow these practices:/span>

  • Do not combine the laundry of Covid-19 infected members with the others in the family. Keep the infected laundry separate.
  • Wash the Covid-19 patient’s clothing separately.
  • Disinfect the laundry hamper after removing the dirty clothes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after removing the laundry.
  • Make use of a disinfectant wipe to clean the washing machine, handles, knobs, or buttons if you have touched them after handling dirty laundry, and before you wash your hands.
  • Clean the washing machine from the inside using bleach or a disinfectant wipe, after removing the laundry.

Some Extra Precautions That You Might Want to Take

Here are a few precautions taking which can help you prevent your clothes from getting infected from Covid-19:

  • Keep six feet between yourself and other people.
  • Remember to not lean on high-touch surfaces.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend outside.
  • Carry and use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes whenever you go out and sit at different places.

Final Words

It is important in the Covid times to take every single precaution to prevent the ultimate trouble. Even if it means washing your clothes frequently. So, do remember to wash your clothes after you come back home from outside.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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