Cleaning and disinfection have become hot topics of debate in the wake of COVID-19, with a new emphasis on hygiene as an important way in which to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Remember that cleaning and disinfection are not the same:
- Cleaning is the process of removing dust, dirt, and staining from the surface of a fabric or vinyl to maintain its appearance and prolong its life.
- Disinfection is intended to kill germs – micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi – which can cause infection and spread disease.
- Some methods, notably using soap and water, bleach or steam – are effective at both cleaning and disinfecting, but certain methods can only be carried out on specific fibre types.
When panic spreads during a pandemic, it’s good to keep in mind that so far evidence suggests that textiles are not seen as a major carrier of the virus, as it does not survive as well on soft surfaces, such as fabrics, as it does on frequently touched hard surfaces such as plastics, laminates, metal and glass. On textiles, viruses can get trapped and therefore have reduced likelihood of spreading.
And by far the best way to help stop personal infection – picked up from an infected surface – is through improved hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly using soap and warm water.
While textiles aren’t the biggest risk factor, we can minimise any risk further through cleaning and disinfection protocols and even look to soap and water as one of the solutions.