Washing machines, dryer and other domestic appliance equipment in the house

Will your Washer and Dryer Kill Coronavirus on Your Clothes?

By now, everyone has heard all kinds of recommendations about disinfecting surfaces and hands with certain soaps and cleaners to destroy the coronavirus and ward off COVID-19. Every now and then, a little headline pops up claiming that “extreme heat” or “extreme cold” can kill the virus – but what exactly is “extreme”? Are common washers and dryers able to reach these temps and kill the coronavirus?

The short of it is no; however, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to walk around in dirty clothes in an attempt to make your quarantine laundry soap last longer. Even though clothing that comes out of your washer and dryer won’t necessarily be instantly coronavirus-free, there are still plenty of benefits to be had.

If No one in Your Home has COVID-19

So far, there have been no documented cases of anyone contracting the virus specifically from clothing. Your goal should remain the same as it was before the pandemic: to clean clothing, not necessarily disinfect it. Laundering clothing, masks, bedding, towels, and other fabrics should be done often to reduce viruses, dirt, and bacteria within the fibers. The key word is reduce. If you can reduce the germs, you reduce your risk.

Even though water temperatures in washers and drying temperatures won’t be hot or cold enough to completely destroy coronavirus, your clothing should still be washed and dried at the highest acceptable temperature setting. SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – is sensitive to heat. It’s an important part of the process of doing the best things possible to keep your household as safe as possible. Just like wearing masks, doing laundry on the highest appropriate temperature will not completely guarantee 100% protection, but it will greatly reduce your chances of transmission.

What will kill coronavirus on clothing is using bleach. Of course, this will only be possible with white fabrics!

What If Someone in Your Home is Sick with COVID-19?

If you are doing laundry for someone who has COVID-19, you need to take extra precautions when you wash and dry their clothing. Always handle clothing, bedding, and other items only when wearing gloves. Never shake out the items, even after they are dry, because you’ll spread germs onto surfaces and into the air. Use bleach on white laundry, and again, dry contaminated pieces on the highest possible dryer setting. ALWAYS wash your hands immediately before touching any other surfaces.

For most people under most circumstances, laundering everything in a washer and dryer is sufficient to keep clothing clean enough. Be sure to exercise extra caution when handling the laundry of anyone who is ill, however.


Absolute Appliances serves customers with the best appliance repair in Marin County, including locations like San Francisco, Larkspur, Novato, Mill Valley, and San Rafael. Contact us for repairs on your dishwasher, dryer, oven, washer, refrigerator, stove, freezer, or other appliances that need expert attention!