We understand the degree of caution and care that everyone is talking about the coronavirus COVID-19 right now, and we wanted to help answer any of your lingering questions about doing laundry in a shared space. This post will cover the most frequently asked questions we hear, and what you should do to prepare for your next laundry run.
Are Laundromats Safe Right Now?
In short, yes. If you’re healthy, not in a high-risk category, and find yourself short on clothes, it’s okay to go do laundry at a laundromat. You’ll need to take the same precautions that you do everywhere else though: practice social distancing, wash your hands, wear PPE, and don’t touch your face.
For higher-risk groups, items like PPE are a must if you head anywhere, but you can rest assured that most laundromats are taking extra steps to help disinfect and minimize risk. You can always call ahead to make sure you’re going to a laundromat that’s helping you stay safe.
Can Coronavirus Spread Through My Clothes?
This novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, meaning any time you cough, sneeze, or breathe, a bit of it can escape your system (if you’re infected, of course). So for the most part, your clothes shouldn’t be considered a high-risk object for transmission.
Respiratory droplets can get on your clothes though, so it pays to be careful at least. That’s why social distancing is important, and it’s why you shouldn’t neglect laundry at a time like this. Some research estimates that the virus can live up to three days on some surfaces (like a zipper or shirt buttons), so cleaning is still important.
What Etiquette Should I Observe In A Public Laundry Space?
As with everywhere else, you should expect to observe social distancing rules in any laundromat or public laundry space. Most businesses will already have a system in place to help you navigate their area, select and operate a machine, and wait safely for your clothes to finish washing. If you follow these guidelines, you can minimize your risk for transmission and help flatten the curve.
Are Dry Cleaning or Wash and Fold Services Safe?
Services where other people wash your clothes — like Wash and Fold Services or Dry Cleaners — are still safe for the most part, but experts say it’s up to your discretion to use them.
If you want to be completely sure, you may wish to do your laundry yourself, but keep in mind that the chemicals, methods, and protective equipment used by laundry professionals are meant to clean your clothes, eliminate viruses and bacteria, and prevent any transmission. Use it at your discretion, but it’s still safe for now.
Can I Hand-Wash My Clothes?
Yes! For those who don’t have access to laundry facilities, you can opt to hand wash your clothes at home. We’ve put together a guide on how to do that, which you can find here.
Should I Change When I Get Home?
A common worry for many is whether they should have “inside” clothes and “outside” clothes — or clothes they wear around others (when a virus can be transmitted), and a seperate set to change into when you get home.
For the most part, this is a pretty good idea. If you still have to work around other people, it’s highly advised that you do something like this. Keep your clean clothes in a separate area, so when you return home you can change and minimize the risk of transmitting anything in your home.
We hope these help, and we’ll be sure to add any questions and answers to this post as things develop. Stay safe!