How to clean bedding to help stop the spread of COVID-19
Like any sickness, COVID-19 can leave you or a loved one in recovering in bed for a prolonged period of time. When COVID-19 first emerged, there was limited information on how long the virus could linger on soft surfaces such as bedding. A recent study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, reported that the virus was found on the sheets, duvet cover, pillowcases, and towel of two quarantining students three hours after they tested positive for the virus. Samples were taken from various objects in their rooms and based on the item that were positive, prolonged exposure with an item appeared to lead to higher levels of contamination.
In order to prevent the spread of the disease, it is important to properly clean all bedding including pillows, blankets, and duvets following the manufacturer’s instructions as soon as possible. The CDC recommends that the person handling the dirty laundry wear a mask and disposable gloves and to not shake the dirty laundry, which can release the virus into the air.
All potentially contaminated bedding should be removed and placed in an empty laundry bag, basket or hamper away from other items. The bedding should be washed on the highest water temperature and dried on the highest heat setting allowed by the manufacturer’s instructions. Besides detergent, use bleach (or color-safe bleach), hydrogen peroxide, or Borax to help further sanitize. After loading the laundry into the washing machine, remove your gloves and wash your hands immediately.
While the linens are being laundered, clean and disinfect the laundry basket or hamper with a household disinfectant. Before placing the freshly laundering bedding back on the bed, clean your mattress. Click here (link to How do you clean your mattress if you or someone in your family comes down with COVID-19?) to learn how to properly clean your mattress.
Once your mattress and bed linens are clean and refreshed, you can remake and enjoy your bed with peace of mind.
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