The new normal of keeping clean

According to MoH’s guidelines, lots of cleaning and washing exercise is essential for all to combat the Covid-19 virus

by AZALEA AZUAR/ pic by BERNAMA

DURING the earlier part of the Movement Control Order, the Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a rather specific guideline for anyone who has to go out for grocery shopping.

Upon returning home from shopping, the mask must be removed and placed in a plastic bag before it is thrown into the trash can. One also must not immediately interact with any household members before taking a shower.

Clothes should be removed and soaked in soapy water before washing them. Even the washing time for hands must be at least 20 seconds (equivalent to singing the happy birthday song twice).

If there’s no washing basin nearby, one should keep the hands sanitised at all times.

All the cleaning and washing might sound a tad tedious, but the exercise is essential for us to combat the Covid-19 virus.

Unfortunately, the virus is able to survive for several hours, or even days, depending on the surface it lands on.

For instance, it can survive on metallic surfaces for five days, four days on wood, two to three days on plastics and stainless steel, and perhaps only a few hours on cardboard.

Still, keeping constantly clean not only gets rid of the virus, but also other bacteria, dirt or allergens that could affect your health.

To stay healthy, one must also regularly wash the pyjamas, bedsheets, tablecloths, towels and other fabrics at home.

It’s a lot of work if you have to keep sending your clothes to the laundry centres, which is yet another tedious adventure.

Now, don’t you think having the right washing machine could make the job easier?

Washing Fabrics

We might not be able to see it, but fabric collects microscopic bacteria, germs, dust and other allergens. Fabric also attracts dust mites and they feed on the dead human skin cells found in dust.

The microscopic pests might not be parasites, but they can create a harmful allergen from their fecal pellets and body fragments.

Those with asthma and are allergic to dust may have serious health problems if they are exposed to dust mites for long periods.

These allergens can cause allergic rhinitis which is an immune system response ranging from mild to severe.

That is why it is important to remove such allergens from the fabrics at home, which not only alleviate allergies and asthma, but also improve the wellbeing of you and your family.

For example, LG’s washing machines have a steam wash that effectively removes 99.9% allergens, and are equipped with a steam capability of 60°C heating, so you can say goodbye to your allergies.

Water Temperature

Drinking hot water will not protect you from Covid-19, that’s for sure. While you can use temperatures of 70°C and above to kill the virus on your food by cooking it, it’s definitely a bad idea to drink it as it is hot enough to scald your tongue and skin. Normal people can only drink hot water with temperatures between 48°C to 60°C, if you should wonder.

However, it is good to wash our clothes at high temperatures to get rid of germs and bacteria.

It is recommended to use the warmest possible water setting or steam function within the washing machines.

Most front loaders by major brands like LG, Electrolux, Panasonic and Samsung allow users to wash their dirty laundry using different temperatures.

If you set your washer between 50°C and 60°C for a 30-minute cycle, you’d effectively remove common household allergens.

Before you put your clothes into the washing machine, it is advised to always read the garment’s care label for specific washing to prevent damage to clothes.

Change Clothing

Don’t crash on the bed with your party clothes.

After a long day of going out, we might feel exhausted and it’s only natural for us to crash on the bed. Take a mental note to not go straight to bed and immediately take off your clothes and shower.

Just remember that fabrics collect the tiniest specs of particles and substances that are invisible to the naked eye.

Although you’ve only gone out for a few minutes to catch some fresh air, your clothes might trap pollens, dust mites, germs, bacteria and other allergens which you would bring into your home.

This creates the possibility of dispersing unwanted bacteria, germs, dusts and other allergens onto the surfaces of your home, as well as in the air.

After all, while scientists all around the world are striving to develop a vaccine for Covid 19, the least we could do is keep clean.