Covid-19 Preventative Measures: Cleaning and Disinfecting Reusable Bags
Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours or days on a variety of surfaces. Cleaning followed by disinfection is recommended by the CDC as a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.
At this time, there is no link between reusable bags and COVID-19. Reusable bags are not considered a significant risk factor in the spread of COVID-19 and as such do not need to be banned from stores.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PLASTIC AND NYLON BAGS
- Clean inside and outside of the bag with soapy water and rinse.
- Spray or wipe down the bags inside and out with diluted bleach solution (see below) or recommended disinfectant.
- Allow bags to air dry completely before storing and using.
- CDC recommends diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and compounds on the EPA-recommended list, found here:
CLEANING CLOTH BAGS
- Wash in warm water with normal laundry detergent. Dry on the warmest setting possible.
- See CDC guidelines on laundry go.ncsu.edu/cdclaundry
- Follow manufacturer's label instructions for application and proper ventilation.
- Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water OR
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Use containers of bleach that have been open no longer than 30 days, as bleach can break down over time
It is always a good practice to clean and disinfect shopping bags after each use, and to pay extra attention to bags used to carry raw animal products.
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March 31, 2020