Moving to a winter closet - Shira Bar organizes Shelly Tsering's closet (Shira Bar, NOW)
Winter is already in full swing and that means the coats, gloves, stocking hats and scarves have come out of the closet and are back in use.
But it is very important that you know - they can make you sick!
The reason is that even though they come into contact with a lot of external factors that are sometimes contaminated, and even though we wear them every day, most of us do not wash our gloves and stocking caps on a daily basis and many of us do it, maybe, once a year.
If you belong to the 38 percent of people who wash their coat once a year or the 28 percent who wash their scarf, stocking cap or sweater just as often, Dr. Thomas Russo, who specializes in infectious diseases, has important news for you.
"We regularly wash our clothes, but much less frequently our coats and scarves," said Dr. Russo and reassured: "At the end of the day, there aren't many infectious diseases that are transmitted through our clothes.
Yes, there is a chance of getting infected with bacteria from the clothes, but the probability is very low.
" "Bacteria and viruses don't last months in your closets," added Dr. Jamila Youssef, "Bacteria survive there for two weeks at most. The virus that causes corona can last a few days , so he doesn't last long either."
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So what happens if we don't wash the coats after we walk around with them outside?
Dr. Russo claims that these clothes can be infected with bacteria, viruses and can cause diseases related to the intestines. But to cause disease "the bacteria must penetrate your digestive system", he claims, "they must pass from the clothes to the hands and then from the hands to the mouth when we touch it.
If it's a respiratory bacteria, it should come into contact with the hands and then with the eyes and mouth."
Dr. Irfan Hafiz explained that "most transmission of bacteria is caused by contact and the transfer of fluids from person to person, so inanimate objects do not usually cause infection."
How often do you wash your coat? (Photo: Reuven Castro)
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So how often should outerwear such as coats, scarves, hats and gloves be washed anyway?
The fact that the chance of contracting bacteria through these clothes is low, does not mean that they are not difficult to wash.
Jamila Yusuf recommends washing these winter clothing items between three and five times during the season, while gloves need to be washed more because they come into contact with objects such as elevator buttons, doors, train stations and things like that that come into contact with a lot of people.
We wear gloves this time of year to protect ourselves from the cold and they are meant to act as a layer of protection, but do they really make us sick during cold and flu season?
The flushinghospital website explained that while gloves play a very important role in maintaining body heat, they can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria if they are not washed regularly.
When you think about it, we use our gloves when we open doors, hold escalator rails, and ride the bus - all of these are potential breeding grounds for viruses.
After we touch these things, we may use our gloved hands to scratch our nose or cover our mouth when we cough.
Some of us may even use gloves to wipe our nose when no tissue is available.
It is estimated that certain viruses such as the flu virus can live on our gloves for two to three days, while stomach viruses such as rotavirus and norovirus can remain active on gloves for up to a month.
How to wash gloves?
A woman with gloves (Photo: Giphy)
Some experts recommend washing the gloves at least once a week, and the less strict gardeners agree that during the winter months, the gloves should be washed at least three to five times.
However, if you wear the gloves in high-touch areas—a store, for example—you'll want to wash them more often.
Just like coats, wool and leather gloves may require more special care while machine washable fabrics can be washed (obviously according to the instructions on the tags), preferably in a laundry net.
Instead of using the washing machine, you can also soak the gloves in a sink or bowl with warm water and detergent for a gentle wash.
After five minutes, rinse them gently with cool water.
Instead of wrinkling and wringing them, which can affect their shape, gently squeeze out the water and then lay them flat to air dry.
How to wash scarves?
Wrapping a child in a scarf (Photo: Giphy)
Scarves not only do a great job of keeping your body warm, they do a pretty good job of collecting and retaining body oils and sweat.
While scarves do not need to be washed after each wear, they should be washed from time to time.
Depending on the length of the winter, it is recommended to wash the scarves five to seven times during the season.
Since scarves often touch our faces, washing them more often never hurts, especially after you walk around in public places.
When cleaning the scarves in a washing machine, place them in a designated mesh bag for washing and rinse them at a cool temperature to prevent damage.
Cashmere scarves should be hand washed with a few drops of dish soap or mild detergent and cold water to maintain the luxurious feel.
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How to wash hats?
A woman with a wool hat (Photo: Giphy)
Winter hats (whether stocking or wool hats) are often exposed to sweat, make-up and hair care products.
Like gloves, laundry experts recommend washing winter hats three to five times a season.
However, depending on what goes through the hat, you may want to consider washing them more frequently.
If you're coming back from a rainy day or you've been skiing it won't hurt to wash the hat before wearing it next time.
Most winter hats can withstand washing in a washing machine, but be sure to check the tags for special washing instructions.
It's important to remember that washing winter coats, scarves and gloves can not only keep dirt and germs away, it can also help extend their use so you can wear them for many winters.
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