Bottom Line: Consumer Reports reveals best ways to do laundry during coronavirus pandemic

Bottom Line: How to do laundry when someone is sick

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - The coronavirus pandemic has upended every aspect of our lives, including something as routine as doing laundry. How do you handle the laundry of someone with COVID-19, and are laundromats safe these days?

Consumer Reports suggests some simple steps to protect yourself while doing laundry in the age of the coronavirus.

It’s unknown how long the coronavirus can survive on clothes, but researchers think it’s possible for it to remain infectious for hours or even days. Therefore, any clothes that may have been exposed to the coronavirus should be treated as contaminated and kept in a separate laundry bin.

When it’s time to do the laundry, use disposable gloves and throw them away immediately after you finish, then wash your hands. If you don’t have gloves, you can do the laundry without them but be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward, too.

You can wash the laundry of someone with COVID-19 the way you’d wash a regular load. The experts say that no special detergent or bleach is needed, but that you should use the warmest water setting for the items being washed. And be sure to dry them completely.

After you put the laundry in the washer, disinfect all the surfaces in your laundry room that may have been contaminated, like doorknobs and the door pull on the washing machine.

If you’re using a shared laundry facility in an apartment building or a laundromat, disinfect handles and surfaces before you touch the machines. And most important, keep at least 6 feet away from other people. Your chances of getting the virus from someone else is much higher than getting it from a surface.

And a final reminder: When you get home, be sure to give your hands a thorough 20-second wash with soap and water before and after you handle the laundry.

These tips are also important to follow if you’re living with someone who works in a hospital or another place where he or she may be exposed to the virus.

By Consumer Reports | April 8, 2020 at 8:32 AM CDT - Updated April 8 at 8:32 AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, a simple task like grocery shopping has become stressful for many people.

If you opt for reusable cloth or plastic bags, it’s more important than ever to keep them clean. Consumer Reports tells you the right way to clean and sanitize them.

How you should clean your bags depends on whether they’re fabric or plastic. First, you should pick the right bag for what will go inside.

You can put packaged raw meat and poultry in the disposable plastic bags that are still available at grocery stores before you place them in your reusable bag. Keeping either type clean and germ-free is quick and easy.

For fabric bags, you can just toss them in the washing machine. For the reusable plastic bags, wipe them down with a disinfecting wipe or spray, or wash them in warm, soapy water.

You’ll want to do this after each use and especially after bringing meat home. Fabric bags can be put in the dryer after washing, but air-dry reusable plastic bags before using them again.

CR recommends rotating your reusable bags to help them last longer.

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