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How to do your laundry during the COVID-19 pandemic

A regular hot water wash will take care of most regular scenarios. Here’s a few extra tips, for example if you come into contact with coronavirus:


Maybe an easy option is not to wear the clothes again/use washed linen/bedding for a week or so. As the WHO has indicated that studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.

If one is patient and has the ability to store items after normal washing practices, time may provide the necessary protection against clothing, bedding or such like contaminated with the virus.


No worries then… my laundry sits in the hamper for at least a week before it’s washed :joy:

Still, it’d be interesting to know if the “laundry sanitiser” products available do what they claim. I keep a commercial sodium percarbonate based powder bleaching “sanitiser” on hand for when yuckier bodily-fluid producing type viruses come through the house (usually during cruise ship season…) but there are others available on the supermarket shelf that use ingredients like benzalkonium chloride and other surfactants. I’d be interested in Choice having a close look at these to see if they live up to their claims under typical use.

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I’d have thought hanging the washing to dry in the sun would suffice, seeing as the virus is killed very quickly in direct sunlight.

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Suggest you best review this.

'there is no evidence that sun light kills the newcoronavirus


The WHO page you linked me to doesn’t have a date on it and new information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus is emerging all the time. Saying ‘there’s no evidence’ isn’t the same as saying ‘evidence shows there isn’t…’ It could just mean there hasn’t been adequate research done.

I read about the effect of direct sunlight in a news report on ABC News Online a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t find it by searching on the website as it’s so full of coronavirus articles these days.

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It could have been one like this…

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Fair enough, and it seems to be all the way back from 2019 as implied by the folder directory it is in.

Whether sunlight works well or not appears to be (from more recent reports) whether the reference is to non-porous or porous surfaces.

They generally state the UV in sunlight hastens the death of the virus on non-porous surfaces, but laundry is fabric (eg porous) The difference is likely in direct exposure; porous surfaces have ‘nooks and crannies’ for the virus to hide, hence not so much direct sunlight over 100% of its surface.


“…when exposed to sunlight, it lost half its strength in 90 seconds…”
Yes, that’s the research I read about. It seems from this article that WHO don’t support it.

The WHO response is consistent with every thing else we know about other Viruses. If it was as simple as sunlight being the solution we’d not have the common cold or flu to worry about either.

Being cautious interpreting the research would seem prudent. It might sound reassuring that after 90 seconds the virus looses half its strength, in a test similar to a cough or sneeze (Research which is still to be peer reviewed).

That 90 seconds is still a long time when walking down an open street in full sunlight. It’s of little value if you are in shade, typical of many busy urban areas. And zero value indoors. The virus is still at 50% or even more virulent.

The current health recommendations are for isolation and for protective PPE in high risk situations. If anything the observations support strategies based on separation, (space and time) as the best way to minimise ongoing infection.

There are so many ways the virus being such a tiny thing can be hidden. At Approx 125 nano metres across, around 100million of the little Covid-19 might fit on the head of a pin. Just in one layer. Every surface is another opportunity to hide. Even in the etched or stamped makers mark on the household stainless steel cutlery.

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