The survival of the COVID-19 virus on various surfaces has been a topic of significant interest and concern. When it comes to fabric, the lifespan of the virus depends on several factors, including the type of fabric and environmental conditions.
Studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can remain viable on different types of fabrics for varying durations. Generally, the virus can survive for a few hours up to several days on fabric surfaces.
However, it’s important to note that the risk of transmission through the fabric is relatively low compared to direct person-to-person contact.
Nevertheless, practicing good hygiene, such as regular washing and disinfection of frequently touched fabrics, remains crucial in preventing the spread of the virus.
How Long Does Covid Live On Fabric?
The exact survival time of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, on fabric can vary depending on various factors such as the type of fabric, environmental conditions, and the initial viral load. However, research suggests that the virus can survive on different types of surfaces, including fabrics, for varying lengths of time.
According to a study published in The Lancet Microbe, SARS-CoV-2 can remain viable on polyester fabric for up to 72 hours, while it may survive on cotton fabric for up to 24 hours. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus can be detected on fabric surfaces for up to 2 days (48 hours). These studies provide a general idea of the potential survival time of the virus on fabrics.
It’s important to note that the virus’s ability to infect a person decreases over time as it begins to degrade and become less viable. The risk of transmission from fabric surfaces is generally considered to be lower compared to direct person-to-person contact or exposure to respiratory droplets.
To minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19 through fabric surfaces, it is recommended to follow these guidelines:
- Wash clothes regularly: Laundering fabric items, such as clothing and linens, with detergent and hot water can help inactivate the virus. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying.
- Maintain good personal hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after handling fabric items, especially if they are in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or people.
- Avoid shaking fabric items: Shaking or flapping fabric items can potentially release viral particles into the air, so it’s best to minimize such actions.
- Practice respiratory hygiene: If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow. Avoid coughing or sneezing directly onto fabric surfaces.
- Physical distancing: Maintain a safe distance from others and avoid close contact when possible to reduce the risk of respiratory droplets contaminating fabric surfaces.
Remember that these guidelines are based on the available scientific knowledge up until my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.
It’s always recommended to stay updated with information from trusted health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest guidance on COVID-19.
How To Wash Clothes To Protect Against Covid?
To protect against COVID-19 while washing clothes, follow these guidelines:
- Wear protective gear: Before handling dirty laundry, put on disposable gloves and a mask to minimize any potential exposure.
- Sort laundry: Sort your clothes as usual, separating whites from colors and delicates from heavy fabrics. This will allow you to use appropriate washing cycles and temperatures.
- Use detergent and hot water: Wash your clothes with a regular laundry detergent and use the warmest water setting that’s safe for the fabric. Hot water helps kill most germs, including the coronavirus.
- Don’t overload the machine: Avoid overcrowding the washing machine to ensure thorough cleaning and rinsing. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load size and water level.
- Dry clothes completely: After washing, remove clothes promptly from the machine and transfer them to the dryer or hang them to air dry. If using a dryer, use the highest heat setting suitable for the fabric.
- Clean and disinfect laundry baskets: Wipe down laundry baskets or hampers with a disinfecting solution regularly to eliminate any potential virus particles.
- Clean your hands: After handling dirty laundry, remove your gloves, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces: Wipe down surfaces in the laundry area, such as the machine’s control panel and countertops, with a disinfectant after handling dirty laundry.
- Avoid shaking dirty laundry: Shaking dirty laundry can release virus particles into the air. Instead, fold or roll the laundry into a bundle and place it in the machine.
- Clean the washing machine: Regularly clean and disinfect the washing machine by running an empty cycle with hot water and detergent. Wipe down the machine’s exterior surfaces as well.
Remember to stay updated with guidelines from health authorities as recommendations may change over time.
The lifespan of the COVID-19 virus on fabric can range from a few hours to several days. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the risk of transmission through the fabric is relatively low compared to direct person-to-person contact.
The virus’s viability on fabric surfaces is influenced by various factors, including the type of fabric and environmental conditions. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, it is recommended to practice good hygiene, such as regular washing and disinfection of frequently touched fabrics.
Additionally, following guidelines provided by health authorities, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, remains crucial in preventing the transmission of the virus, regardless of its survival on fabric surfaces.