A winter wardrobe warning

Last Modified: 1/07/2022


We're seeing some of the coldest days in the year so far, and that means bringing out all of the winter accessories, including hats, scarfs and gloves. But are you taking the appropriate steps to keep those warm favorites free from germs?

Winter is here and with it, the runny noses, coughs, sore throats and respiratory infections like the flu. Be honest: Have you ever used your scarf or gloves to wipe your nose or cover a sneeze or cough? 

Cross contamination

Consider what happens next. You'll probably use that runny nose-contaminated glove to clutch a steering wheel, doorknob, transit railing or seat, spreading germs. You might even take the glove off using your teeth, which puts the germs right into your mouth. Perhaps you'll hang your contaminated scarf in the office coat closet or lend it to a chilled child or place unwashed hands into your gloves. All of these scenarios lead to cross contamination.

Make a point to clean your winter accessories

As important as it is to wash your hands regularly, and after germy encounters especially, it’s just as important to wash gloves and scarves. Most germs will survive for 2-3 days on inanimate objects, if not longer. Items don’t need to be discolored or smell bad to be loaded with germs. Leather and suede gloves would most likely need to be dry cleaned, and knit gloves will need special care, so be sure to wash them accordingly.



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