Spreading Joy, Not Germs

I’ve recently started to finish my second Main Squeeze cardigan, this is a garment that was intended to be a gift for a family member’s upcoming birthday, who lives a distance away. As I add the finishing touches, I can’t help but feel like I must sanitize the garment before having it delivered. Both myself and recipient are in good health, but I still worry since she is in her 70’s. We both live in towns with cases of the coronavirus within the same state, and both our households are practicing self-isolation.

The yarn I used for the sweater Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease, 80% Acrylic 20% Wool. The laundry symbols say the yarn can be washed in temps up to 100F with any solvent, as well as a tumble dry cycle. Surfing the web in search of answers for the proper way to disinfect clothing from viruses recommend very hot water (140F optimal temp), with a disinfectant product and high-heat drying cycle.

Any advice on how to disinfect a knitted garment without damaging the texture/color of the yarn? Am I better off isolating the sweater and postponing sending it for a couple months? If I were to bring up my concerns with my family member, she would likely tell me to take a “chill pill” :sweat_smile: But in reality I would rather be safe than sorry :heart:


The info I’ve seen is that the virus is that it can be sharable up to 3 days on plastic surfaces (hello, acrylic…) and upto 24-48 hour son paper goods (i.e. cardboard/cardstock).

So here is what I suggest as a humble layperson: (assuming you have bags from the pre-'Rona era)…
Clean/block & dry your gift and pack into trash bag (clean on the inside already) before putting into a box or paper shipping envelope.

Assuming both Sender & Receiver are in clean, safe spaces, the exposure risk is low, but would happen in the actual shipping/mailing process. SO…

  1. When the package is received, before opening, the outside of the parcel should be wiped down with a bleach wipe/cloth with bleach water solution first.
  2. Depending on one’s need for an abundance of caution, wipe the outside of the trash bag next before removing the sweater.
  3. Lastly, if shipping took longer than 3 days to get from you to her, the sweater should be fine.

Again, not a medical professional, just working with what data is available to hopefully offer a reasonable solution.



Thank you for your feedback! This is a creative idea that does make me feel a little bit better about sending the gift this week, although I do understand that there will always be some “risk”


I asked the same question in Advice, Please. It’s titled Disinfecting FO. You may be interested in the comments I got.

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As a former, pre-Covid theatrical and dance costumer, I can tell you that theatre staff use a spray bottle with vodka, or vodka and water mix, to both deodorize and disinfect non washable costume items. This often includes things that might otherwise have gone through dry cleaning or careful hand wash, like wool sweaters. Kinda like an alcohol wipe…and if you also leave the sweater to dry for 3 days, then package as previous advice, you are good to go.

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