Minimising viral spread via the laundry process

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, MAG Laundry Equipment managing director Mark Dennis outlines the best practice for killing viruses through the laundering process, re-programming machines for heightened thermal control and general servicing recommendations to help see care homes through turbulent times

We find ourselves in unprecedented times where preventing the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has become a social responsibility for businesses and individuals alike. The crisis has shone a light on the unwavering work undertaken by care and nursing homes across the UK. Protecting the elderly and most vulnerable in our society has never been more important. Now more than ever, our awareness needs to be heightened around how to modify routine, daily tasks, to ensure we are working and living in a way that is thoughtful to others around us. A well-maintained laundry room is one of the main areas of a care home where infection and virus control can be minimised.

Within the household or even a commercial laundry room, you may not think twice about shaking dirty laundry to separate it before putting it into the washing machine.

Simply avoiding this can help to protect residents within a care home, by minimising the possibility of dispersing potential viruses that are present on clothing through the air.1

Similarly, it is important not to separate laundry on the floor but sort it immediately into designated trollies of clean and dirty items. That also has the benefit of saving a job when it comes to sorting colours, as specific trollies are helpful for managing

the washing of different loads. The way in which staff act in the laundry room also needs to be closely managed to ensure the strictest level of hygiene is upheld at all times. It has always been best practice to wash hands regularly when entering and leaving the laundry room but within the current climate, and under government advice, hand washing should be undertaken frequently with warm water and soap. Hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds. In addition, food and drink

Within the household or even a commercial laundry room, you may not think twice about shaking dirty laundry to separate it before putting it into the washing machine


should not be consumed within a dedicated laundry space. MAG Laundry Equipment would also recommend wearing protective clothing in the laundry room such as safety gloves, glasses, aprons and slip-resistant footwear. This equipment protects care home staff when they are handling dirty laundry that could be contaminated with unwanted bacteria or viruses. That is especially important now as the most stringent health and safety measures need to be taken on board within a residential care home setting. With regard to general cleaning, the best way to minimise contamination is through expert-approved cleaners such as detergents and bleach, which MAG Laundry Equipment can recommend, ensuring viruses that live on surfaces are eliminated. General practice within a care home should be to clean surfaces such as door handles, remote controls and handrails frequently. • May 2020

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