how long can bacteria live on clothes

how long can bacteria live on clothes

How Long Can Bacteria Survive On Clothes?

Bacteria are tiny living organisms found almost everywhere on Earth. They are incredibly resilient, making them able to survive for long periods of time on different materials.

Factors Affecting Bacteria Longevity

When it comes to bacteria on clothing, there are a few important factors that can determine their longevity:

  • Material: The material of the clothing item will have an effect on how long bacteria remain present. Natural materials, such as cotton, can hold onto bacteria for extended periods due to their absorbent nature.
  • Conditions: Bacteria can survive longer in moist, warm environments. Therefore, clothes that are cleaned and left to air-dry in a damp room are more prone to harboring bacteria than those that are thoroughly dried outdoors.
  • Type of Bacteria: Certain bacteria can survive on clothing for extended periods than others. A common example of this is Staphylococcus, which is capable of staying on clothing for up to three months.

How Long Does Bacteria Stay On Clothes?

Typically, bacteria can survive on clothing for several hours to days. In some cases, it can even survive for several months depending on the type of bacteria and the conditions in which the clothing is stored.

The best way to prevent bacteria from surviving on clothing is to wash and dry garments immediately after use. Machine washing at a temperature of 60-90℃ (140-194℉) will help to kill off most types of bacteria. Drying the clothes in direct sunlight can also help to inhibit bacterial growth.

To sum up, bacteria can potentially survive on clothing for several hours to days, or even months in some cases, depending on the conditions and type of bacteria present. Washing and drying clothing immediately after use in a hot machine is the best way to ensure bacteria do not remain on the fabric.

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