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How long can virus live on clothes?

The world deals with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. It left us with questions about disease spread and control. How long bacteria and viruses survive on surfaces, and if one’s hygiene measures are good enough. How long can virus live on clothes? Do we now know everything about how the virus spreads?

Since the first case was reported in China in January 2020, scientists around the world frantically tried to establish the facts about the virus. Successfully, they created a vaccine in order to protect the population. We are being urged to catch our coughs and sneezes, whether that be with a tissue, a hankie or the inside of your arm. Does that really help to prevent disease from spreading? We asked an infectious disease expert to find out.

Does virus live on textiles and clothes, and how long?

Despite thorough investigations, the results so far have proved inconclusive. Infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Maryland, was recently quoted as saying: “I suspect that you can find the viability of the virus for several hours to maybe a day on clothes. It depends largely on the environmental conditions—temperature and humidity impact the growth of the virus.”

But he added that he did not believe clothes were a major carrier of the virus.

This view is echoed by Dr Akash Patel, a GP and Medical Director at MyHealthcareClinic. He said the official length of time the virus can live on fabrics is still unknown. “We are still continuing to find out more about the coronavirus day by day. There is currently not enough research to say with any certainty how long the coronavirus will live on clothing.”

He added: “Preliminary research has suggested the virus can survive longer on harder surfaces, like plastic and metal. This could be from a few hours to several days but no clear research on fabrics like clothing. However, it is likely that the virus will not survive as long on soft surfaces.”

We know towels and clothes can spread germs. Particularly when they are shared items or when infected people touch the products. But can you catch coronavirus from clothes and textiles? The scientific answer so far is that the chances are slim, but it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

Industrial laundries remove pathogens and viruses efficiently

At Lindström, we go to great lengths to ensure the clothes and other textiles supplied in our rental service are not just clean, but hygienically clean. We wash all workwear and other textiles with high hygiene standards separately in their own machines. We use a sufficiently high washing temperature and disinfectant washing chemicals to remove all pathogens for the garments.

Even you would be working on food processing, construction or retail industry, all our uniforms undergo the same rigorous cleaning methods. We ensure your staff starts each and every day with a uniform that is hygienically clean and looks the business. We also use separate packing for cleaned, hygienic workwear when they are delivered to you. This ensures the workwear will not get contaminated while in transportation.

Lindström Group