Monday, June 1, 2020

Is thrifting safe in the age of covid 19

During this pandemic of covid19, many norms that Americans enjoyed have forever changed such as thrift shopping. Covid 19 has changed how we shop, interact and go out to locations now like it never has before.  I remember three years ago, how free Americans were to travel without the threat of the pandemic looming over them. Society has changed and this transformation can remain with us for years to come.   

We have to ask the question is it safe to buy thrift preowned items at the age of covid 19.  Covid 19 is spread two ways by air and by touch. If you go shopping at the thrift as long as you remember to wash your hands before and after visiting a thrift store.  You should have no issues when shopping for thrift items.  Use hand sanitizer if there is no bathroom at a location.  
 In my opinion, I think it can be safe if we follow the strict cleansing regimen for many of the thrift items that can be washed and disinfected with bleach.

There are some items that are preowned that might be excluded such as shoes, and undergarments if they can't be washed well.

1.  Some items that can be found at the thrift are clothing such as jeans, blouses, skirts, dresses, pant suits, and any other clothing.  These items should be laundered according to the directions on the label and should use a detergent that includes Clorox to safely launder the clothes.

2. Handbags if they are leather should be wiped down with a Lysol wipe gently just to disinfect.  Use a leather cleaner to clean the leather.  If cloth handbags they can be washed in the washing machine.

3. Toys can be washed if plastic or rubber by using a liquid detergent. Or bleach with hot water.  If it is a plush toy it could be washed in the washing machine unless the condition is not good enough to launder by machine.

4. Furniture is the easiest and safest item to thrift during covid 19 because all you have to do is wipe it down with disinfectant and water and then use furniture cleaner.  Furniture is usually refinished or upcycled usually to fit the buyer's decor.

5. Housewares such as vintage plates, mugs, casserole dishes, and Tupperware. These items can be washed with liquid detergent and hot water.  Use Bar Keeper on the heavily greasy dishes to clean.

6. Vintage textiles such as blankets, quilts, and tablecloths can be easily laundered following label instructions on textiles.

7. Home improvement supplies and handheld manual tools can be cleaned easily with bleach. Power tools can be cleaned with a damp cloth and some king Pine.  

8. Small kitchen appliances if tested at the thrift store can be purchased and then cleaned with hot water and liquid detergents like dawn or joy. If there is heavy grease try a degreaser like Bar Keeper.

9. Finally, electronics as long as they are tested in the store and cleaned by using a mild detergent and a damp cloth on the outside covers of the electronics. You don't want to submerge in water just a gentle cleaning with a cloth.

I think thrift stores may even clean some of these items before selling them in this age of covid 19 if they want people to feel safe purchasing these items.  In case they don't follow these cleaning regimens at the thrift. You make sure to wash the items before coming into your home.  Remember to use a mask and gloves when you go thrifting and wash your hands afterward. Stay safe while thrifting.

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