A new university study out of the UK has recommended all healthcare uniforms should be washed on site or at industrial laundries instead of in the home.*
With evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted between surfaces for 72 hours, scientists at De Montfort University in the UK have warned that healthcare workers who wash their uniforms at home risk leaving traces of COVID-19 in their car, house or on public transport.
In the study, which examined how coronavirus behaved on three fabrics commonly used in the healthcare industry, researchers found that traces of the virus can remain infectious for up to three days.
Microbiologist Dr Katie Laird concluded that while domestic washing machines were up to the task of removing coronavirus using a combination of agitation, dilution, detergent and heat, they could not eliminate the risk of contaminated uniforms leaving traces of coronavirus on surfaces before they were washed.
“We now know that the virus can survive for three days on some textiles and that it can transfer to other surfaces too,”
said Dr Laird.
“This research has reinforced my recommendation that all healthcare uniforms should be washed on site at hospitals or at an industrial laundry.
“These wash methods are regulated and nurses and healthcare workers do not have to worry about potentially taking the virus home.”
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Learn more about our commitment to commercial laundry infection control here.
*News about the DMU study first came to our attention in Laundry & Cleaning News International magazine.