How to Wash a COVID Patient's Clothes and Beddings
December 7, 2020
With hospitals becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, many COVID patients are choosing to isolate themselves at home. Home quarantine is possible if the symptoms are mild and manageable and if the house is big enough for the residents to maintain social distancing.
The patient must have their own bedroom, and ideally, their own bathroom. They should also use separate utensils, dishes, and cups from the rest of the household. These should be washed separately.
Any surface or item touched by the sick person must be disinfected properly, including their dirty clothes, towels, and beddings.
Starcrest Cleaners, a trusted laundry company in Bloomington, shares the guidelines for washing a COVID patient’s laundry, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Handling Dirty Laundry
The CDC says it’s okay to wash the patient’s clothes along with the rest of the household’s, but you do have to be careful when handling these items.
Wear disposable gloves when collecting the patient’s used clothes, towels, and linens. Don’t hug the items close to your body to avoid touching potentially contaminated objects.
The CDC warns against shaking the dirty laundry of a COVID patient. Doing so can disperse the virus in the air, increasing the risk of transmission. Carefully place them in a hamper if you’re not going to wash them right away. Remember to disinfect the hamper each time you empty it. You can also use a cloth hamper that you can easily throw in the wash along with the dirty clothes.
If the garment or bedding has blood, stool, or other bodily fluids, wash them immediately. Wash your hands thoroughly then dispose of the gloves after fixing the laundry.
Washing Clothes, Towels, and Beddings
If you don’t own a washing machine, it’s safe to hand-wash a COVID patient’s clothes. Launder the items according to the care instructions but use the warmest possible temperature for the water. Studies show that temperatures over 75 degrees Celsius kill most viruses, including the coronavirus.
If you’re using a machine, wash the patient’s garments as you normally would. You can also place them in a cloth bag before throwing it in the wash, as an extra precaution.
Dry the clothes thoroughly on a clothesline or in the machine. This ensures that all traces of the virus are eliminated.
If you’re using a shared machine or going to the laundromat, make sure to sort the laundry before heading out. This will cut the time you spend in a shared facility, reducing your exposure. Bring the dirty clothes and linens in a washable bag. This way, you can just throw the entire bag in the wash and not have to take out the items by hand.
Fold the clean garments at home so you won’t have to unnecessarily touch surfaces in the laundry room or laundry shop.
You can also send out the garments to a wash-and-fold service. Ask if the laundry company accepts the clothes and linens of a COVID patient and if yes, what their guidelines are for such cases.
Laundry Pick-Up and Delivery Service in Illinois & Indiana
Starcrest Cleaners understands the value of thorough disinfection and sanitation amid the pandemic. Our laundry services go beyond basic washing and folding. We provide a hassle-free, highly convenient service, making laundry one less thing you have to worry about.
We serve multiple neighborhoods, with branches open seven days a week. Call us today at (877) 722 2209 to find the branch nearest you.