Laundering C. difficile Patient Items

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (2009) state that "Washing of clothing (including staff uniforms), bed linen, etc. – both in healthcare settings using industrial processes and in the home – is also important when someone has C. difficile infection. Careful handling of contaminated clothing is essential in order to prevent the spread of any of the bacteria or its spores
to hands or other items."

Key points from the WHO guidelines to consider for laundering include:
• Always hold laundry away from yourself
• Do not sort through laundry unless absolutely necessary and do not shake it
• Perform hand hygiene after handling laundry
• Use normal detergent to wash the laundry
• Dry laundry either in a tumble dryer or on a washing line
• Iron clothes according to their instructions, using a hot steam iron if possible
• Keep clean the machines or sink areas where laundry has been washed

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, 2009