Can dry-cleaning clothes kill COVID-19?

 



Never could anyone imagine a pandemic being upon us, much less the effects that one has witnessed since its emergence. People have inculcated habits and adopted lifestyles that they couldn’t have fathomed in the pre-COVID era. 

 

Some of these habits are wearing a mask, frequently sanitising hands and surfaces and maintaining social distancing every time they step out of their homes. Although these are habits that were in existence in the pre-COVID era, their importance was only understood during the pandemic. 

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus can stay on a hard surface from 3 hours to 3 days depending upon the surface. So one may have been sanitising their hands and surfaces around
them, but what about laundry and dry cleaning?

How have you been handling dry-cleaning at home? If you are wondering if your laundry and dry-cleaning habits need to be changed, then the answer is “Yes”. 

You may be faced with the below questions while choosing to dry clean at home. 

How to know what clothes to dry clean? 




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First, determine if you and your family members are homebound or step out for work and other chores. 


If it is the former, you need not worry for your clothes may not have contacted germs pertaining to the virus. In this scenario, simply laundering everything in a washing machine and drying it in a dryer will keep your clothes relatively clean.


However, if it is the latter, you must launder your clothes well and immediately after stepping home from an outside visit. 


Should you dry clean all of your clothes? 

Do not dry clean all of your clothes in fear of contracting the virus. Instead, stick to those that have been instructed to be dry-cleaned as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The rest you can launder as usual. 


To completely decontaminate your pile of laundry, dry your clothes at a high temperature for a long time and then iron them at the highest possible heat.


You need not separate your laundry into those worn at home and those worn outside, as the process for laundering both are the same. 


How to dry-clean clothes at home? 

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the SARS-CoV-2 is known to be sensitive to heat. So, they advise laundering clothes at the warmest possible water setting in your washing machine. Or, using hot water if washing clothes with your hands. The high-water temperature kills germs that may have been stuck to your clothes fabric. 



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Sanitisation instructions to be followed by the launderer 

Once you put the clothes to wash, remember to wash and sanitise your hands as a preventive measure thoroughly. The reason one needs to be careful while laundering is that Coronavirus travels through respiratory droplets, so the clothes may have contacted germs given out by coughs and sneezes in the public.

Even while handling dry cleaning at home, wash and disinfect your laundry bag and hamper besides your hands. You can also consider storing laundry in disposable bags.


Conclusion 

The dry-cleaning process includes the usage of high heat at all steps, ensuring that germs of any kind of the virus are killed. It is advisable to launder and dry clean clothes at home and not be given outside for the same. Unless the clothes for dry-cleaning do not belong to a COVID positive individual, you do not need to panic or worry. Happy dry-cleaning!



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