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Although BS EN 14065 provides an effective framework for disinfection certification, the laundries are given a fair deal of independence in relation to the methodologies they can employ to verify disinfection. This leads to a problem in undertaking microbiological work on textiles and disinfection as there are no agreed standard test methods. Furthermore, the bioburden results can significantly vary depending on the chosen method of testng. The TSA Board considered significant advantages of developing ‘the’ test method that measures bacterial “kill” with best possible results and practicality. If backed by good research capabilities, this can bring to light the effectiveness of industrial process over a domestic process.

We are working closely with several National Associations – TRSA (the American Association) and ETSA (the European Association) are primary funding partners and actively help the Project Group lead this research. We have a strong Project Group that leads the proejct and an engaging Observer Group who recieve frequent proejct updates.


Work Package 1
Work Package 2
Work Package 2 100%
Work Package 3
WP3 25%
Work Package 4
WP3 0%
Work Package 5 (Scheduled completion - January 2022)
WP3 0%

The DMU team have now completed the Covid-19 research. The main findings below. The summary is that a wash programme with decent detergents at not too high temperatures can get rid of Coronavirus in textiles. With temperature alone, they could not find traces of the virus at 67°C for 10 minutes. In light of these conclusions, it is important that we get the opportunity to ensure that industrial processes are much more equipped to manage risks in handling soiled linen and cross contamination. The Project Group is currently developing a brief for DMU to include in the final report which is now being fast tracked through a peer-review process.

  1. The aim of this project was to investigate stability of model human coronavirus HCoV-OC43 on different textile fibre types and determine their persistence on textiles during domestic and industrial laundering processes.
  2. In all investigations, the quantity of infectious virus was determined by titrating on susceptible mammalian cells, as opposed to determining the presence of viral nucleic acid which does not distinguish between infectious and non-infectious virus.
  3. HCoV-OC43 remained infectious on polyester for at least 72 hours, cotton for 24 hours and polycotton for 6 hours.
  4. HCoV-OC43 in particular can persist on polyester and transfer to other surfaces for 72 hours, suggesting that textiles may be a fomite transmission risk within the healthcare and domestic environments.
  5. Model coronaviruses can remain infectious in water at low temperatures (≤40°C) and after laundering in a domestic washing machine at ambient temperature in the presence of interfering substances (artificial salvia). However, they are sensitive to thermal disinfection temperatures (67-75°C) in water and are removed from textiles by the dilution and agitation (ambient temperature) of industrial laundering processes.
  6. Stability of HCoV-OC43 was tested at 1) 50°C & 60°C in water, 2) Full wash cycles. No traces of the virus at 67°C for 10 minutes.

19th January 2021 –Observer Group Webinar (2:00 pm)

Covid-19 Project Progress (Currently undergoing peer-review process)

Primary Funding Partners

TSA_logo (TM)
TSA Friends Logo-TRSA

National Associations Partners


German Association

Finnish Association

Norwegian Association


Swiss Association

Belgian Association