Washing clothes at 30C won’t kill coronavirus – 5 tips to banish the bug

There are certain steps you should take to make sure you are washing your clothes properly amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

While washing your hands remains the most effective method, there are other steps we can all take to reduce the risk of the deadly bug spreading further.

Public Health England also advises everyone catches their coughs and sneezes in a tissue, and washes their hands before eating any food, after getting to work or arriving back at home.

Meanwhile, sales of anti-bacterial hand gels have gone through the roof, leaving shelves empty.

But now, one expert said it’s important to remember your clothes and towels can be a hot-bed for germs, especially if they’re used by more than one person.

This is why it’s key you wash your clothes more than you usually would and take extra steps to stop bacteria from multiplying.

Despite this, experts are warning that washing these items at ‘the much revered 30 degree wash’ won’t necessarily be enough to kill the virus.


Here, Laundryheap CEO Deyan Dimitrov shares his top tips on how to wash your clothes to ensure you banish Covid-19.

The Hotter the Better

The higher the temperature you wash your clothes in – the more likely you are to kill of any signs of Covid-19.

Deyan says: “Our core body temperature runs at an average of 37C, and provides the ideal conditions for bacteria and viruses to thrive.

“This means if you’re looking to fight off the dreaded coronavirus, the much revered 30C wash might not always pack the punch needed.

“Most viruses won’t survive in temperatures over 60C, so you could opt for this setting items that are particularly germ ridden and washed less often, like tea towels, bedding, bath towels, gloves, scarves, and children’s clothing.

However, if you’re concerned about your environmental impact, it is recommended to wash clothes far more often instead.

Take the Extra Steps

There are some extra steps you can take to maximise your chances of fending off coronavirus when you’re washing your clothes.

Deyan notes: “Extreme heat and freezing temperatures can stop bacteria from multiplying, so if you’re doing laundry, take the extra steps and throw your washed items into the tumble drier for 20 minutes for some added heat and germ killing action.

“Equally, if you’re looking for the motivation to iron, this is it! Iron temperatures can reach over 100C – not much can survive that.

“For those items that are too delicate for a very hot wash, consider dry cleaning for a thorough clean.”

Clean Machines

Washing machines may be our saviours when it comes to cleaning clothes, but they should also be disinfected themselves.

Washing machines are criminally neglected from our cleaning agendas,” Deyan says.

“But once you realise just how much dirt and grime these machines can harbour, you won’t be taking the risk again.

“Avoid contaminating your clothes with the machine itself by pouring a cup of white vinegar directly into the drum and starting a hot wash cycle of at least 60C.

“Try this every month to avoid any build up of soap, mould and bacteria.”

Get the Formula Right

You may think using extra detergent will result in extra cleaning power, but doing so can be counter-productive.

Deyan says: “Too much detergent will create extra soap suds which will cling to your laundry and trap dirt there, rather than lift it away.

“Similarly, an excess of suds will only create further build-up of soap scum in your machine.

“Instead, opt for the recommended dosage, and when it comes to fabric softener, try giving white vinegar a go instead of chemical alternatives.

“It’s naturally antibacterial and works wonders at softening and freshening up clothes. Just add ½ a cup to the washing machine drawer during the rinse cycle.

“The smell will dissipate in the machine but you can add some essential oils if you’re after added fragrance.”


Disinfect Effectively

If you’re sharing a house with someone who is poorly it is key you make sure everything is cleaned after them.

When someone in the home has been poorly, be sure to disinfect quickly and effectively,” Deyan advises.

Handle all bedding and clothing with rubber gloves and wash straight away – never leave to sit in a hamper!

“Wash with a laundry-safe disinfectant at the highest setting available, or according to the instruction label.”

The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds to sing twice and is said to be the perfect number to clean your hands to thoroughly.

We aren’t all laundry professionals, but by looking to those who are, we can glean some great tips to help us get the best results in our home laundries.

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