How to clean your clothes at the laundromat during COVID-19 crisis and stay safe

By now, social distancing has you discouraged from doing anything apart from your normal day-to-day. In an effort ramped up late last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all non-essential businesses in New York to close shop to stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

It’s important to know that there are places you can still visit (but stand six-feet apart) like convenience stores and supermarkets, but how exactly do you do laundry during the coronavirus outbreak? Good news, laundromats are still open for business as its one of the essential businesses that’ll remain open during the pandemic, and for those who are less fortunate to not have a washer and dryer inside their apartment, it’s important to take the right steps when washing your clothes at a laundromat.

Peter Stern, Senior VP of New York City’s largest Laundromat chain Clean Rite Center, offered some tips to Ladders on how people can approach their laundry during social distancing, including advice on how to combat COVID-19.

Stern advised cleaning your clothes as frequently as possible. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control said that there’s evidence pointing toward coronavirus remaining for hours to days on clothing. Stern recommending washing your clothes in hot water that is over 160 degrees and using detergent and bleach while washing. In addition, make sure your clothes are thoroughly dry and avoid wearing articles of clothing multiple times without washing.

He also said to make sure you’re cleaning your sheets, comforters, and towels frequently, which makes sense since those are often used most frequently.

How to approach the laundromat during COVID-19 outbreak

Just because you’re in a public place doesn’t mean you should forget the basics.

“Practice social distancing,” Stern said inside laundromats. “Load machines and wait outside or in your car.”

Stern said to not place dirty clothes in laundry carts and if you do place your clothes in a cart, make sure they are in a disposable plastic bag beforehand. He also suggested washing and drying your laundry bag and to wash your hands after handling dirty clothes and before taking out clean clothes, which the CDC echoed.

Handwashing? Next!

While some could fear about going to public places, Stern said handwashing of clothing, bedding, and other accessories is not recommended during the time of the coronavirus.

“If you are uncomfortable going to the laundromat to clean your clothes, consider using a drop-off or delivery service,” he said.