Research shows laundering kills Covid-19 – but effective soiled/clean segregation is essential

As the hospitality industry comes to terms with the latest advice on hygiene and Covid-19, the TSA (Textile Service Association) has updated its Hygienically Clean Linen campaign.  The TSA represents commercial laundries serving hospitality and the campaign is being run in association with UKHospitality.  The two associations have established joint guidelines designed to help hotels, restaurants and other sites that use a laundry service, or have an onsite laundry, to understand the latest advice and regulations.

The campaign also includes marketing materials that will help operators allay any concerns that their guests and customers may have concerning the hygiene of textiles such as bed linen and towels.

A key addition to the campaign resources is related to research undertaken by De Montfort University (DMU), and supported by TSA, which looked into Covid-19’s survival rates on textiles and how the laundry process affected them.  It found that Covid-19 can survive on cotton for up to 12 hours and on polyester for up to 72 hours.  The good news is that Covid-19 is killed in all washing processes above 40°C with agitation and detergent.  However, a key consideration has to be cross contamination – it’s essential that dirty and clean linens are segregated effectively, to avoid any possible infection transfer.

“TSA safety guidelines manage cross-contamination, and all commercial laundries will segregate soiled and clean linen,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “If you are operating an onsite laundry it is essential to set up segregation and cross-contamination procedures.

“Soiled to clean contamination is the highest risk area – it’s where critical control points are vital.”

Key to the successful reopening of the hospitality sector is making customers feel safe and secure.  That’s why the Hygienically Clean campaign includes the Rest Assured Scheme, which includes marketing material that TSA laundries can give to hospitality operators to display, verifying that their linens and towels have been hygienically processed..  There are different versions of the literature for different sectors, such as hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities.

“We want to help the hospitality industry re-open and understand some guests may have been worried about the hygiene of the bedroom linens and towelling,” says Stevens.  “The Hygienically Clean campaign underlines and explains the research and the procedures we have implemented.  In simple terms, the key message to consumers is, “It’s safe to go and enjoy the hospitality services we have all missed for so long.  You can sleep well!”

The Hygienically Clean guidance and documents are available to download from the Covid Resources section.  For marketing materials, hospitality operators should talk to their laundry service supplier. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 


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