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Here’s How To Properly Disinfect Your Luggage After Travel

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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If you find yourself returning home after travel these days to hunker down for what sounds like a few months of social distancing, you may be anxious about unpacking your luggage.

Health experts continue to stress that your hands are the most important thing to keep clean and washing them when you land as well as when you walk through your front door is an essential measure to take.

RELATED: Trump Administration Considers Domestic Travel Ban Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Paul Pottinger, a UW Medicine infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle, told msn.com that anything you’ve touched during your journey from the airport to your home “may for some time be a potential threat to your health”. This includes the handles on the suitcase you pick up off the baggage claim carousel, the door on the taxi or the Uber that takes you home, and the door handles you grab as you enter your house or apartment, to name a few.

Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy | Getty Images

“The virus is currently thought to be viable, from droplets, for hours to days on various surfaces,” says Dr. Amy Faith Ho, an Associate Medical Director and emergency physician in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. “Guidance is changing constantly as new data arises, so the CDC website can be a helpful and accurate resource.”

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Based on this, it is a good idea to disinfect frequently touched gear as soon as you return home. Consider wiping down things like your cell phone, passport, glasses cases, and any other personal items you take on the plane. Soap and water will do the trick as well as disinfectant wipes. Take a moment to wipe down the wheels on your roller suitcase that have passed over dirty streets and carpets, and wash all your clothes, including your coat and items you wore in the airport.

Although these are especially important practices to add to your routine now, they are also good habits to instill any time of year to guard yourself against other viruses that can get you sick during travel.  

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