There is still so much that is unknown about the coronavirus. But what is evident is that we all need to take extra precautions. Washing our hands well and social distancing are paramount in staying clear from this virus. However, there is still so much that is uncertain. One question that has been circulating concerns how easily the virus is transmitted by touching surfaces and then touching our faces.
According to the CDC, “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” Keep in mind that the CDC also states that the coronavirus is usually transmitted through respiratory droplets rather than through objects. Unfortunately, since the facts regarding the coronavirus are still unfolding it is best to err on the side of caution.
Another study from the National Institutes of Health states that the virus is detectable for up to 4 hours on copper surfaces, 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel in which case remember to wash down all surfaces like someone just dumped a load of habanero sauce on them. As for deliveries in cardboard boxes, it is recommended that you leave boxes outside for 24 hours before you open them.
But what about clothing? Viral droplets that land on your clothes might still be active until they dry out. Nylons, polyesters and other synthetics do not allow the droplets to dry out as fast as natural fibers. This means all of your activewear needs special attention.
It is recommended that you wash your clothing in hot water, and place them in a hot dryer in order to kill the virus. You will certainly kill the virus but you will also destroy your workout wear. The problem is not so much the poly fibers, it is the lycra or spandex that is ruined when exposed to heat. And it is the lycra or spandex that holds your leggings together.
If you are concerned about the possibility of catching the virus from your clothing, by all means crank up the water temperature in the wash cycle and press the “fry” button on the dryer. But there is another way. Instead, wash your clothing in a warm setting and tumble dry for a few minutes. Your clothing will still be damp when you remove it. From here simply air dry, and don’t wear them for a couple of days.
You can follow these steps with your regular clothing like t-shirts and cotton trousers as well unless they are made for more delicate treatment. For hand washable pieces, follow the care instructions and then allow these more precious pieces 3 days to rest before you wear them again.
Eat well, laugh a lot, and be safe!