Does Dry Cleaning Kill COVID On Clothes?

It feels like COVID-19 has turned our normal lifestyles upside down. We’re eating in, staying physically away from our friends and family, working from home…and dry cleaning all of our clothes? Several dry cleaners around the nation are beginning to tout dry cleaning as a sanitizing method for clothing that may have been exposed to pathogens related to the novel coronavirus. 


Dry Cleaning in Little Rock: Does It Kill Coronavirus?

The short answer is: Yes. 


The Arkansas Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) both state that the high level of heat used in stealing, pressing, and ironing during the dry cleaning process is actually a pretty reliable method for killing germs. 


So Should I Dry Clean All My Clothes?

The short answer is: No.


You should definitely still be dry cleaning all of your clothes labeled “Dry Clean Only” to prevent permanent damage to them. But before you bring all of your laundry down to the nearest dry cleaner and spend a bundle on pressing your underwear, you should know that washing your clothes the regular way is also an effective way to kill viruses like COVID-19. 


If you don’t have a washing machine in your home, then you may want to consider outsourcing your laundry. Laundromats are not exactly social-distancing friendly, and drive-thru dry cleaning is much safer. Many dry cleaning services offer laundry services as well – some with no contact pickup and delivery services.  


How Long Does the Coronavirus Live On Clothing?

The COVID-19 virus has been shown to live for significantly less time on fibers than on hard surfaces like glass and plastic. But there is still research going on to determine how long the virus can live in fabric and clothing specifically. 


According to the CDC, COVID-19 is rarely spread through surface contact – it is much more likely that if you catch the virus, it will be from an infected person. COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets (droplets that spray from the human mouth when sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing). 


While you likely won’t catch the virus from infected clothing, it’s still a good idea to only wear your clothes once before washing – especially if you’re going into public places like the grocery store. Droplets can live indoors for hours and while masks can help protect you from contracting the virus, it’s still considered a best practice to change your clothes when you come home. 


What If Someone In My House Has Coronavirus?

Having trace elements of a weakened form of the virus from grocery shopping is much different than handling the clothes and bed linens of someone who’s sick. They just wore those clothes or used those bed linens. You could easily come into contact with bodily fluids or fresh droplets. 


If you have someone infected with COVID-19 in your home, your laundry routine will need to change. The CDC recommends the use of disposable gloves and a mask when handling laundry from someone who is ill with the virus. And be sure to throw the gloves away immediately after you handle the laundry or you risk tracking the virus with you wherever you go next.


To minimize dispersing the virus into the air, do not shake dirty laundry. Wash your items using the warmest setting possible and dry the items completely. Heat is what kills the virus (but be careful not to shrink your clothes!). It is safe to wash dirty laundry together – you don’t have to separate the ill person’s laundry from the rest of the house – unless it gives you peace of mind to do so. Then go ahead! Self-care is important. 


Laundry Services and Dry Cleaning in Little Rock

If you don’t have access to a washer and dryer, or if you are just too busy to get the laundry done on top of working and cooking and cleaning and life, contact Hangers Cleaners online or at 501-227-8500. 

We offer wet cleaning, laundry services, and dry cleaning in Little Rock – and free delivery and pickup! And your first two months are 50% off! We offer no-contact pickup and delivery of your laundry and we always take special precautions while we work with your clothing and linens.