Before sanitizing clothes, read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. To sanitize your clothes, use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
- Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
- for at least 20 seconds.3
- Wash and dry your clothes at a higher temperature (100 to 135 degrees) for at least 30 minutes to ensure sufficient killing of germs.4
- It’s safe to wash a sick person’s dirty laundry with other people’s items.
- If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.
- Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.
- Wash hands after handling dirty laundry.
Note: According to the CDC, dirty laundry can be washed with other people’s items.
Sanitizing Towels and Bed Sheets
- To wash bleach-safe bed sheets and towels, machine wash in the hottest water recommended using a good detergent and ⅔ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 in a traditional deep-fill washer, or ⅓ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 in a high efficiency clothes washer. Make sure the bleach contacts the load for 10 minutes.1
- Bedding should be washed at least weekly, and towels semi-weekly. Infected family members should not share any laundry with others in the home.
- When handling dirty bed sheets and towels, the following is recommended by the CDC: avoid shaking laundry to minimize dispersing virus into the air, wear gloves, and if possible contain dirty laundry in a hamper lined with a washable laundry bag or plastic bag. Wash hands when finished handling dirty laundry.2
1, 3, 4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html
2. According to Mary Gagliardi, aka “Dr. Laundry,” Clorox’s in-house scientist and cleaning expert.