Want to protect yourself and your family members from the coronavirus, especially if someone in your household is currently experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms? Here’s a tip directly from the CDC: Don’t shake out your dirty laundry.
I’m not in the habit of doing this, so I admit it sounds a little strange to me. Is it, like, to remove pet hair or food crumbs or something? (I just send my food crumbs through the wash.) But clearly it’s a thing, because here it is, included in the CDC’s recommendations for households with suspected/confirmed COVID-19:
If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
The CDC also recommends wearing disposable gloves while handling dirty laundry (if no gloves are available, you should wash your hands immediately afterwards), and to wash items on the “warmest appropriate water setting” and then dry them completely.
You should either clean/disinfect your laundry hamper after removing dirty laundry, or put a disposable (or launder-able) bag inside. Essentially, you want to clean anything that might have come in contact with soiled clothing that might have come in contact with the coronavirus: hands, laundry baskets, laundry tables, etc.
On the plus side, you don’t need to do separate laundry loads for sick individuals and well individuals. “Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items,” the CDC advises.
For more information on how to keep your home as clean as possible if someone in your household has potential COVID-19 symptoms, check out the CDC’s full list of resources.
Otherwise, let’s keep social distancing and taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities—because I’m not the only one who’s hoping that someday soon we’ll all be able to shake our laundry again.