COVID-19 and Clothing: What You Should Know

How Long Can the Virus Live on Clothing?

There are no scientific findings yet on how long COVID-19 can live on fabric. However, fabrics and textiles are generally porous, as is cardboard, which the virus can live on for up to 24 hours. Fortunately, porous surfaces, such as a shirt or pants, trap viruses more easily than hard surfaces, such as a door handle or counter top. Once a virus ends up on a porous surface, it gets stuck and is difficult to transfer to another surface.

What Extra Steps Should I Take to Wash my Clothes?

If you encounter someone you suspect has the virus or are taking care of someone with the virus, there are simple ways you can properly clean your clothes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 second with soap and water after disposing of gloves.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry. It will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
  • It is best to wash laundry with the warmest appropriate water setting, and be sure to dry items completely.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers with EPA-approved household disinfectants. It is best to use a disposable bag liner or one that can be washed in the laundry.

Planet Aid Wants You to Stay Safe and Healthy

It is vital at this time that you follow the CDC's guidelines when it comes to protecting yourself from the virus. In addition, follow your local government's orders as it pertains to staying inside.

Planet Aid is accepting textile donations from a only select number of areas due to the impact of COVID-19. For an updated list of the areas we are operating in and to find the closest bin to you, please visit