Research on healthcare clothing laundering continues to shed light on the risk of spreading COVID-19 from uniforms onto other surfaces. Healthcare businesses can use the latest information to address the most effective way to handle healthcare clothing laundering, to protect workers, patients, and their families.
The latest research, conducted by Dr. Laird from DMU, further expands our understanding of transmission risks, first highlighted in Dr. Laird’s study, completed in 2020.
We now know that the coronavirus can survive for up to 72 hours of some textiles. On polyester textiles, the virus can survive for three days, while on 100% cotton uniforms, the virus can survive for 24 hours, and on poly cotton, up to six hours. During this time, the virus can be transferred to other surfaces, in the healthcare establishment, canteens, the worker’s car, or at home.
Furthermore, the research shows that domestic washing machines do not thoroughly remove the virus, which can survive, even when water with a temperature of 60C is used. This means that traces of coronavirus can be spread even after washing in a domestic washing machine.
Advice On Washing A Healthcare Uniform
The government’s current advice recommends cleaning through a commercial laundry service, but this is not law or compulsory. The government’s advice is based on reviews conducted in 2007, long before the outbreak of Covid-19.
The research shows that commercial operations are better equipped for healthcare clothing laundering, where water over 67C and detergents are used to destroy all traces of the virus.
The contagion risks are higher in home settings, where there are no designated soiled and clean areas. Washing machines often do not reach the temperature the wash is set to, so even when good intentions are in place, it is too easy to spread the Covid-19 virus.
Dr. Katie Laird, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at DMU, said that “Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk for transmission of the virus. If nurses and healthcare workers take their healthcare clothing home, they could be leaving traces of the virus on other surfaces.”
It is now clear that an industrial workwear laundry service is the best way to launder uniforms.
Our Laundry Service
Our healthcare clothing laundering service provides a safe solution that controls the process from end-to-end. Lindstrom’s service includes collecting, washing to industrial hygienic standards, and re-delivery to supply healthcare workers with a constant supply of COVID-free uniforms.
To discuss arranging healthcare clothing laundering for your hospital or healthcare facility, please contact the team at Lindstrom today. Our laundry service is bespoke and flexible, adapting to the rise and fall in demand you may experience.