Transmission of the new coronavirus through clothing is unlikely, but experts agree there are certain circumstances in which immediate laundry is a good idea.
- So far, no cases of transmission of the new coronavirus through clothes and shoes have been reported.
- If you are caring for or frequently in close proximity to a person with COVID-19, frequent laundry is an essential part of preventive hygiene.
- This is especially true for people at risk, such as healthcare workers.
- Most household detergents are quite capable of killing the virus during washing.
Even if you are doing your best to keep yourself safe while in self-isolation, what additional measures will help prevent the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus? Follow these guidelines:
- You are required to leave your home only when necessary to get groceries or go to the pharmacy.
- When you go out, you must strictly adhere to social distancing.
- When you return home, you should wash your hands and disinfect surfaces that are most likely to be contaminated by the coronavirus, such as doorknobs and countertops.
And, nevertheless, despite the fact that you personally observe all the rules of hygiene, you are still worried about the things that you bring home. Are your products safe? Plastic bags? What about the clothes you wear? Shoes?
In order to shop, we are forced to do some inevitable things, including using our clothes and shoes to do so.
Here is what we can say with confidence about the transmission of the new coronavirus through ordinary clothing:
If you take a walk somewhere near your home or stop by the grocery store for a short time, it is very unlikely that you will contract COVID-19 through clothes or shoes. “We do not believe that footwear or clothing is an important source of transmission,” Dr. Vincent Su, MD, a board-certified internist, infectious disease and preventive medicine specialist at AdventHealth in Orlando, told Healthline.
According to Vincent Su, at the moment there have been no cases of transmission of the new coronavirus through clothes and shoes. COVID-19 is an influenza-like respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that is transmitted primarily through droplets. Coughing and sneezing by an infected person and talking to them in close proximity to another person is the most likely mode of direct transmission.
However, we know that the new coronavirus is able to survive outside the human body on various surfaces, which can lead to its transmission by touch. You can also read more about coronavirus prevention on our website.
Depending on the type of surface, experts estimate that the virus can survive on them from several hours to several days.
Predominantly metal and plastic can harbor the virus for up to 2-3 days, clothing is not considered a survival material.
“Our best research in this area has been on influenza and other previously known viruses, but clothing, in general, is not considered a good carrier of viruses,” Dr. Kathleen Jordan, infectious disease specialist and vice president of CommonSpirit Health, told Healthline. Humidity significantly affects the survival of the virus outside the human body. The composition of most fabric materials does not contribute to this. Clothing tends to be more like mesh, and potentially has better air exchange with the environment.
Transmission of the virus through clothing is unlikely, but experts interviewed by Healthline agreed that there are certain circumstances in which immediate washing is a necessary precaution.
When to Take Extra Precautions with Your Clothing
If you are caring for or frequently in close proximity to a person with COVID-19, frequent laundry is an essential part of preventive hygiene. This is especially true for people at risk, such as healthcare workers.
A typical trip to the grocery store shouldn’t require immediate laundry when you get home. However, if you were unable to maintain a safe social distance from others, or worse, someone was coughing or sneezing in your immediate vicinity, washing your clothes immediately upon your return will be essential.
But in general, experts unanimously agree that it is much more important to focus on other measures to protect against coronavirus, such as keeping hands clean at all times and complying with the urgent requirement of doctors not to touch the face, which are extremely important.
We know that social distancing is the most effective means of controlling transmission of the virus. Going to the grocery store is clearly a violation of the usual pattern of social distancing. To take extra precautions, you should of course be mindful of hand hygiene when entering and leaving your home, and keep an eye on anything that people may have touched. All other hygiene measures, in addition to those listed above, are optional.
When you wash your clothes at home, no additional funds are needed to kill the virus. Most household cleaners will do just fine. So, ordinary washing machines with ordinary powder and water are considered quite safe and effective.
Can coronavirus be carried on shoes?
Shoes tend to be inherently much dirtier than clothes. Therefore, it is often a carrier of bacteria and other contaminants.
A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the new coronavirus can be carried on the soles of shoes.
In the course of studying this issue, the researchers took samples from the soles of shoes worn by members of the medical staff in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Wuhan.
They found that half of the samples were positive for the strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
The data led the researchers to speculate that the soles of medical personnel’s shoes may act as a vector for the virus.
However, experts agree that shoes are, in most cases, an unlikely way to transmit the new coronavirus. But this is on condition that we already take care of our shoes as it should be.
However, you can still take extra precautions to prevent contaminants from entering your home by cleaning your shoes and leaving them at the door or in a designated area that is a safe distance from your living area where you can leave your shoes and other outer clothing. This will keep you from spreading the virus throughout your home after a routine trip to the grocery store or pharmacy. “Just make sure you clean it outside the house or apartment and let it dry naturally,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline.
Although people have recently become more concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus through various household items, experts now believe that direct person-to-person transmission is considered the main form of infection. You may be wondering if it is safe to donate blood during COVID-19.
Therefore, the best way to stay healthy is to strictly follow the recommendations of the world’s prevention and hygiene experts. According to experts, there is a minimal chance that the new coronavirus will survive on your clothes or shoes and be transmitted to other people. The bottom line is that transmission occurs from person to person, not from clothing to person, or shoes to person.