Amid COVID-19 times, here are some tips to disinfect your clothes

Disinfecting clothes is important as they can be the biggest carriers of droplets or germs, leading to transmission of infections.

Damp clothes can become a breeding ground for germs, so drying them in a drier or out in the sun, is necessary (Representative Image: iStock)

Maintaining personal hygiene in these unprecedented times is of utmost importance, as we are surrounded by germs everywhere. Clothes can become the biggest carrier of droplets when one is exposed to an external environment. On surfaces, in air, or on the floor, the likelihood of germs is high, especially amidst the increasing number of coronavirus patients.

Every time a person sneezes, coughs, or spits, the transmission of droplets can lead to severe consequences. However, taking necessary precautions such as disinfection of clothes by implementing safe washing practices will result in keeping infections at bay. A Whirlpool India spokesperson mentioned some simple tips on keeping clothes germ and allergen free, listed as follows:

1. Washing clothes with hot water
Hot water helps in removing germs from clothes. Washing clothes in hot water at temperatures ranging between 55-60 degrees, not only cleans better, but also helps clothes get rid of becoming potential hosts for bacteria.

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Washing machines having in-built heaters are beneficial and are equipped to give a customized care for clothes with the help of various multiple hot water modes such as warm, hot, allergen free, etc. In case of manual washing, clothes should be dipped in a tub of hot water before applying detergents. The hot water helps in killing bacteria and also makes the fabric of clothes softer. This helps the clothes in absorbing the detergent easily.

2. Washing clothes with chemical disinfectants
If the material of the clothes is not resistant to high temperatures, chemical disinfectants can be applied.  For this method, soak and disinfect the clothes with chlorine containing bleach. Turn the clothes inside out to decrease the chances of abrasion.
The Whirlpool India spokesperson told The Federal that using laundry detergent and bleach with the help of a dispenser will be helpful for this process. The spokesperson stated that chlorine bleach should never be poured directly onto clothes in a sink or washer because it can completely remove the colour and dissolve the fibres. The bleach should be added to an automatic dispenser or into the washer, before adding the load of the laundry.


3. Regular cleaning of washers
It is imperative to clean the washers occasionally as germs, bacteria, and dirt gets accumulated at the bottom of the machine leading to a foul odour. Latest washing machines are pre-programmed to automatically clean off the impurities left on inner walls of the tub at the time of spinning, during every wash cycle. If not, always operate the washing machine with a washing machine cleaner to remove any contaminants, after every few washes.

4. Drying clothes in washing machine dryer
Washer dryers are designed to eliminate moisture from wet clothes which is of utmost importance, as damp clothes can become a breeding ground for bacteria or germs.  So, one must ensure to run a dry cycle of clothes in the washing machine to aid an efficient cleaning.Some new washing machines have multiple levels of drying options to cater to different fabric types. In case of manual washing, clothes should be twisted off to release extra water, and hung out in an external dry area (balcony/backyard) over a clothesline.


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5. Steam cleaning of clothes
Steam cleaning clothes, though not a popular option in middle-class households, can help in efficient removal of bacteria from clothes. Steam cleaning provides a gentle finish to the clothes and acts as a trusted sanitiser. Steam cleaning is mostly done by dry cleaners, however, some washing machines are now available with SteamCare technology.

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