Did you know that at St Mary’s Hospice shops we steam clean all of the clothes before they are put out into the shop, even new with tags garments? This means that they are firstly wrinkle free (though sometimes the linen is a challenge!…ponders why there is always a rail full of linen items when it is my turn to steam… ) but more importantly in these very-hygiene conscious times, clothes are freshened by the steam, and it can help to reduce any bacteria lurking. We also steam clean bedding , fabric and anything else that can be steamed without ruining it.
Ok so NOBODY wants to think about “nasties” on our clothes, but by steaming at least we can rest assured that they are as fresh as can be without physically laundering everything. As an aside, we don’t wash the clothes as we don’t have a machine in any of the shops BUT if an item is worth the extra effort then our managers have been known to take them home and put through the wash there…..Giggles at other-halves face when you bring bin bags full of washing home and they look aghast thinking the bags are your ACTUAL purchases from that day… (Not that I would EVER buy that much
I totally would )
As an extra step in our virus-busting measures we are going to quarantine all donations for 72 hours to make sure there are no germs on them , before we touch them. We will wash bric-a-brac in soap and water , and anything that can’t be washed will be anti-bac wiped wherever possible i.e book covers .
If you have chance to wash donated clothes before you bring them then we appreciate that very much , oh yes we do , donation-happiness is a bag that wafts that freshly laundered scent. And it makes the back room smell nice when it is steamed. On that subject we are proud that our charity shops don’t smell like charity shops. Believe me, our volunteers have noses like fine-tuned bloodhounds and can sniff out any pongs at twenty paces. That’s two metres , in social distancing , right? (it is actual 15.24 metres , yep I googled it , but y’know, poetic license and all that).
We will be spring cleaning our shops before they reopen, and once we are open all surfaces will be regularly sanitised. We will be as clean and shiny as a new pin. Delightfully named “sneeze screens” are being installed around the till areas in each shop, and hand sanitiser units are near the door for customers to use on entry and exit. We will also have social distancing reminders and a measured area to queue if we are busy. Who am I kidding of COURSE we will be busy- nobody has had their guilt-free retail therapy in MONTHS!
As a final thought, we will do everything in our power to keep our shops as safe as is possible, we have risk assessments coming out of our ears. We want you to feel confident that you can browse, donate or volunteer in an environment where it is safe to do so.
We look forward very much to letting you all loose amongst the lovely things soon. N.B in a responsible and socially distanced manner of course 🙂