As 2020 sets in, almost every place in the world has been affected by the pandemic, and every cities and state are asking their residents to follow home quarantine and practice safety to avoid spreading the virus. Our everyday life has changed dramatically, even doing the simplest household chores like grocery shopping and laundry.
Laundry is not a problem for those who have a washer and dryer at home, but how about those who don’t? That’s when public health experts guide how people can use laundromats or send out laundry for cleaning.
Is there a possibility to get infected from clothing?
It is common to ask whether there is a possibility that we can get infected from the clothes we wear. Clothing should not be the most significant health concern, but hygiene is. Experts emphasized the importance of proper hygiene practices during the pandemic, as it is the best preventive measure. Thus, alongside with frequent hand washing, we have to clean our clothes hygienically.
The coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, which can be prevented through social distancing. However, as it is unnoticeable, the virus may land on surfaces, including your clothes, for days. If you touch these materials, there is a possible risk of infection, although relatively low.
Thus, we should make it a habit to change our outside clothes with inside clothes once you enter your house. Most especially if you are from work or you used public transportation. You can never tell whether you have contracted the virus or not, and there’s a great possibility that you might bring the virus at home.
How to do laundry today?
If you are lucky to have a washing and dryer machine at your home, you will have few worries when it comes to doing your laundry. Experts recommend using the warmest appropriate setting for washing your dirty clothes, and high temperature when drying the clothes thoroughly. It is best to avoid wearing delicate clothes when they might not withstand the high temperatures.
When you are about to launder, do not shake your clothes; it will disperse the virus through the air. Always disinfect the things you used after doing the laundry. If you are curious about the frequency of washing your clothes, ask yourself– what are you most concerned about the clothes? Do you work on the front line? If so, then washing your clothes is more urgent than those who are primarily staying at home.
But, how about those who have no access to washing and drying facilities in their home?
Some apartment complexes have a communal laundry room. They sent out instructions to their residents on how they can use the laundry room and machines. Moreover, apartment complexes are recommended to establish a schedule among their residents for launder to avoid having more than two people in the room and maintain a safe distance.
If there’s no shared space at your apartment complex, then maybe laundromats or laundry services are the best options you got.
Is going to laundromats safe?
You can only say laundromats are safe when you take precautions as you go out. Wear a mask, observe social distancing, and do not touch your face. You can also bring a disinfectant as you touch several surfaces outside, and handwashing may not be feasible.
Before you head out to launder, ensure that you have already sorted at your dirty clothes at home to minimize contacting the laundromat’s surfaces. Do not head out if it is the peak hours; the laundromat may be jampacked with other customers. It is best to call ahead the laundromat to check whether their place is busy or ask them what specific time they have few customers.
Once you are inside the laundry shop, stay at least six feet away from others, or you can drop off your dirty clothes and have their staff take care of them for you. Do not forget to sanitize your hands after dropping off your dirty clothes. It is inevitable not to touch several surfaces inside the laundromat. Also, it is best to wait outside the shop or in your car in between the loads.
If you wonder how often you should head out for laundry, it would be practical only to have it bi-weekly or once a week to minimize contact outside.
Other Laundry Services
If you feel it is unsafe to go out to launder clothes, you can venture with some other services. There are laundromats that offer wash and fold, dry cleaning, and laundry pickup and delivery services. In these services, you outsource the task to the experts.
According to Liox, a laundry service company, it is best to outsource your dirty clothes to companies that offer laundry pickup and delivery. You do not have to go outside, drop off your laundry, and wait for it to get done. Instead, you only have to call and request a service appointment to the laundry company. It is better to send your laundry out to a wash-and-fold service or dry cleaning than a laundromat because you limit contact with other people.
Moreover, you have the responsibility to protect the workers as they will handle your dirty clothes. If someone in your household is sick, do not send out your dirty laundry immediately. Instead, put it in a plastic bag and let it sit for a couple of days before you decide to send it out. Do not spread the virus.
So, if you do not have the washer and dryer at your house and you feel unsafe going to the laundromat, call reliable laundry services near your place.
Doing laundry is an essential task. We are required to be habitually hygienic not only during the pandemic but at all times– and doing laundry is part of it. Whether you are laundering at home, in a shared laundry room in your apartment complex, at a laundromat, or hiring a laundry service, you have to follow safety precautions. When going to laundromats to wash your clothes, always bring a hand sanitizer, wear a mask, and practice social distancing to be safe.