Infection Prevention & Control for Laundry

Infection Prevention and Control for Laundry
Protection of Laundry Workers and Others Handling Laundry at Insert Facility Name
1. Employees should protect themselves from potential cross contamination from soiled linen by wearing
appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and gowns when handling soiled linen.
Facial protection should only be worn if there is a risk of splashing.
2. Insert Facility Name staff should sanitize their hands whenever gloves are changed or removed.
3. All caregivers and laundry workers should be trained in procedures for handling soiled linens.
4. Laundry workers, as other health care providers, should be offered hepatitis B immunization.
Collection and Handling
1. All soiled linen should be handled using Standard Precautions.
2. Never shake soiled linen. Never place soiled linen on floor.
3. Heavily soiled linen should be rolled or folded to contain the heaviest soil in the center of the bundle
without contaminating your clothing.
4. Large amounts of solid soil, feces or blood clots should be removed from linen prior to being placed into
the washer.
5. PPE such as gloves and gowns should be worn while handling soiled laundry.
6. If hands are visibly soiled after glove removal, wash with soap and water, otherwise use hand sanitizer
such as PURELL® Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer.
Bagging and Containment
1. Soiled linen should be placed in a leak proof bag and placed in a laundry cart/hamper at the site of
2. Bags should be tied securely and not over-filled.
3. When using standard precautions, linen bags do not need to be marked or color coded. All soiled linens
are handled in the same manner.
4. Insert Facility Name Laundry carts or hampers used to collect or transport soiled linen need not be
covered from an infection prevention perspective, but should to contain smells.
5. Carts/hampers should be cleaned daily and/or when contaminated.
6. After laundry is bagged and sealed, remove gloves. If hands are visibly soiled, wash with soap and water,
otherwise hand sanitize with an alcohol-based hand rub, like PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer.
Transport to an off-site healthcare accredited laundry
1. Separate carts should be used for dirty and clean linens.
2. When a laundry chute is used, all soiled linen must be securely bagged and tightly closed.
Infection Prevention and Control for Laundry
Transport to an off-site healthcare accredited laundry (cont’d)
3. Linen transported by cart should be moved in such a way that the risk of cross-contamination is
4. Clean linen should be transported and stored in a manner that prevents its contamination and ensures
its cleanliness.
Washing and Drying
1. Do not overload washers.
2. Large amounts of solid soil, feces or blood clots should be removed from linen prior to being placed into
the washer.
3. State licensing or other Insert Facility Name standards dictate the use of hot or low-temperature water
laundry cycles.
a. If hot-water laundry cycles are used wash with detergent in water >160°F (71°C) for at least 25
b. Alternatively, low temperature washing at <160oF (71oC) is sufficient, provided an appropriately
formulated detergent is used. Adding 50-150 part-per million (ppm) chlorine bleach has been
found to enhance the effectiveness of the laundering process.
4. Use complete wash and rinse cycles.
5. High-temperature machine drying and ironing provide additional significant microbial reduction.
6. Do not leave damp textiles in machines overnight.
The Canadian Committee on Antibiotic Resistance, Infection prevention and control best practices for long term
care, home and community care including health care offices and ambulatory clinics. June 2007; p. 34-35.
*Please refer to the “regulations and guidelines” section under the E-tab in this toolkit for a full list of
referenced articles.
Disclaimer – Remove Before Distributing
This may not be an exhaustive list of infection prevention guidelines. This document was developed using
WHO, CDC, APIC, and SHEA guidelines and recommendations. Your facility can add or delete information to
comply with state and local codes.
Infection Prevention and Control for Laundry