There are many misconceptions and false rumors circulating about the coronavirus, especially about what links it to our wardrobe. Can clothes carry the virus? We will explain everything to you.
The current pandemic situation leads to many fantasies and assumptions about how the virus can be transmitted. Door handles, handshakes, breathing the same air… Paranoia mixed with good intentions and we suddenly became suspicious of everything around us. What about our clothes? Are they vectors of disease? We dissect the rumors that circulate for you.
OUR CLOTHING MAY CARRY CORONAVIRUS
True. Although there are still few studies on this subject, we can indeed say that our clothes can carry Covid-19. If respiratory droplets (from an infected and contagious person) fall on a fabric, the clothing may be a surface harboring the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports, however, that it is very difficult to accurately estimate the lifespan of the virus on clothing. Depending on the type of fabric and the material, it would take between several hours and several days.
Specifically, the virus is said to have a tendency to cling longer and longer on porous and damp surfaces. The lifespan of the virus on this surface depends on the level of humidity, temperature, etc. For these reasons, care must be taken to clean your clothes regularly, as they can carry the virus for a longer or shorter time.
NATURAL TISSUES ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO CARRY THE VIRUS
False. Again, studies of the virus vary widely, so the ability of the virus to cling to textiles depends on many factors. On the Huffington Post, Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College, explains: “Some researchers believe that fibers in porous materials catch virus particles, dry them out and separate them, said Robert Amler. . Smooth surfaces like leather and vinyl can be cleaned ”. Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, for example, suggested that materials like polyester retain germs more easily than cotton, which breathes.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE CONTAMINATED BY CLOTHING
Partly true. We must not fall into psychosis, but we must all the same adopt the right gestures not to put ourselves in danger. Most of the time, the virus is spread from human to human, through respiratory droplets, when a person coughs or sneezes. However, it is likely to be contaminated through a “soiled” surface. Indeed, if a person touches an object carrying the virus and then touches their face without having washed their hands in the meantime, there is a risk of contamination. To ensure your safety, remember that nothing beats essential barrier actions such as washing your hands with soap and hot water several times a day.
WASHING YOUR CLOTHES IN ALCOHOL IS AN EFFECTIVE SOLUTION AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
False. If we spend our time brushing our hands with hydro-alcoholic solutions, we have to be very careful about what we are going to apply to our laundry. Indeed, applying alcohol or chlorine to tissues will not kill the coronavirus, although it seems to be an effective solution. This practice could even be very dangerous as the WHO points out: “The spraying of these substances can be harmful to the clothes or the mucous membranes”. However, these products can be useful for disinfecting surfaces.
STRONG HEAT NEUTRALIZES THE VIRUS ON THE FABRIC
True. If you suspect you may have come in contact with the virus, there are simple solutions to disinfect your laundry and kill the virus. The High Council of Public Health (France) recommends washing the clothes of a confirmed contaminated person “in a washing machine with usual detergent and a cycle at 60 degrees minimum for 30 minutes at least”.
Indeed, virologists affirm that the “Covid-19 loses its infectious potential from an exposure to 56 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes or at 65 degrees for five to ten minutes ”.