The Textile Services Association (TSA) has released guidance to highlight laundry infection control best practice.
The guidance covers loading and unloading of washing machines, handling and storing of soiled and clean textiles.
Common areas to focus on include bagging soiled items, separate storage areas for soiled and clean textiles, ensuring that collection and delivery times for laundry are different, and putting in rigorous procedures for sanitising all at risk areas.
The guidance notes that model coronaviruses can survive in water at 60°C for ten minutes, although when combined with the agitation washing machines impart and detergent, no trace of the virus was found at 40°C and above. However, other pathogens like C.difficile, B.cereus, E.faecium and so on will require further thermal disinfection.
Research also shows that the tested strain of coronavirus can remain infectious on polyester fabric for up to 72 hours, and on 100% cotton for 24 hours. It’s also possible for polyester fabric to transfer the virus to other surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Later in the year, in an interactive webinar run by the TSA, industry experts will answer questions on laundry hygiene.