As businesses around them close their doors or are being told to shut down, our local laundromats are staying open to provide an essential service to communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a safe place to wash and dry our clothes—a necessity that millions of people need—our laundromats and building laundries are helping us maintain the highest levels of cleanliness and hygiene needed to prevent the spread of this outbreak.
Please make sure you are assisting this effort by taking these simple measures when using a laundromat or building laundry:
- Use the facility when it is not crowded to practice social distancing. Do not go if you are sick and leave if someone appears to have flu-like symptoms.
- Do not shake your laundry before loading it into a machine to prevent the possibility of the virus spreading through the air. While the virus typically lives longer on hard surfaces (countertops, handles), it can live on clothing materials for hours or even days.
- Wash your clothes in warm water if possible. Use the warmest appropriate level.
- Bleach is an effective way to kill the virus, but be sure it won’t harm your clothes. Washing your clothes on high heat (above 100 degrees) and making sure they are in the dryer for at least 45 minutes is also effective.
- Clean your laundry basket with disinfectant before and after doing your laundry. Using a bag liner and washing the liner regularly is also recommended.
- To avoid the possibility of spreading/catching the virus, wear disposable gloves when touching the machines or the folding surfaces.
- If there is an attendant on duty or you can maintain visual contact, wait in your car while your clothes are in the washer and dryer.
- Make sure the folding surface you are using has been wiped down with a disinfectant before and after use.
As a best-case scenario, see if your local laundromat has a wash and dry service to limit your exposure. Even better, see if it offers delivery (only, of course, if you can verify the safety measures being used in the handling of your clothes).
Our essential workers, like those in laundromats, are there for you to make sure this new way of living is as least disruptive as possible. Please do your part to keep them safe.