Easy Disinfecting Tips for Laundry: Stay Germ-Free

Last Updated on June 18, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Are you worried about bacterial contamination in your laundry? Learn these easy and simple tips to disinfect it at home!

Having clean laundry is more than just washing it. It may look neat, resplendent, and ironed, but is it disinfected? We can see dirty clothes with the naked eye, but seeing viruses and bacteria is next to impossible. Therefore, to kill those bacterial germs, we need to sanitize.

Sanitization has been a big part of our life since the pandemic. Similar to sanitizing our hands, phones, and keys to fight the virus, we need to sanitize our clothes, towels, and socks, too. Bacteria and viruses can live in our laundry for days. Today’s blog is all about teaching you some easy steps to disinfect your laundry.

disinfecting tips for laundry

Tips to Have Sanitized Laundry

cleaning the washing machine

1. Add More Detergent in Hard Water

The high mineral content in hard water tends to neutralize the detergent’s cleaning power. If your home’s plumbing system has hard water, then you should add twice as much detergent as you would otherwise. If you don’t have enough detergent, germs are not being effectively killed.

Alternatively, you can install a water softener in your plumbing system to deal with the hard water situation. It will neutralize the minerals that come through the pipes. Moreover, you can install a water filter near your washing machine to combat hard water. You can also get all of these commercial laundry parts online.

2. Choose a Detergent with Bleach

Bleach is an excellent sanitizer. A recent study at the University of Arizona concluded that bleach can kill 99.99 percent of germs in one wash cycle. Therefore washing your clothes with a detergent with bleach will help without much hassle. Just soak, scrub, and wash the clothes.

However, do read the label on your clothing! If the label says not to bleach, then you should not, or else the item could be ruined.

3. Use Hot Water

Hotwater helps to get rid of 99.99 percent of virus-causing bacteria found in the laundry. If you don’t want to wash in hot water, you can soak your laundry in hot water mixed with detergent for a few minutes, rinse it off, and wash. You don’t have to add bleach in this case.

Additionally, hot water also helps to combat hard water issues. Heating water diminishes the extreme mineral content.

However, hot water can be detrimental for some clothing. Soft linens, fur, and velvet should not be washed in hot water, as it will strip their texture. Also, hot water fades out tie-dyed clothing. In this case, use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Know the requirements of your laundry before using hot water.

4. Liquid Detergents are Better than Powder

Liquid detergents are fast to dissolve and mix completely with water. Powders don’t dissolve completely in cold water, leaving residue at the bottom. This tip is especially applicable if you are handwashing your laundry.

5. Dry the Laundry Completely

Anything damp or wet is a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it is very important to dry your laundry entirely before you fold it. If you don’t have a dryer, then hang it under the sun in your backyard. The wind and sunlight will make it dry and crisp within a few hours.

6. Disinfect the Laundry Basket

What’s the point of going to all the trouble of disinfecting laundry and then putting it right back in the same basket? All your hard work will go to waste. The basket still has germs from the dirty laundry!

Most people make the mistake of not sanitizing the laundry basket. You can either use any household alcohol-based sanitizers or use 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite to disinfect the laundry basket.

When to Sanitize Your Clothes?

Keeping the current pandemic in mind, any article of clothing that has been worn outside should be sanitized before you wear it again. If possible, sanitize it as soon as you come home so that the virus does not spread. Also, if you have been to a public place or have taken public transportation, or visited a hospital, then you are at high risk of getting the infection. Therefore, sanitizing your clothes becomes as vital as sanitizing your hands.

You can sanitize the other laundry in your home, such as towels, bedsheets, and cushion covers occasionally unless someone who has been ill or infected comes into your house. 

Tips to Wash and Disinfect Clothes in the Washing Machine

disinfect clothes in washing machine

Before you wash your clothes in the washing machine, you need to sanitize your washing machine as well. Disinfecting the washing machine is as important as disinfecting the air inside your house. Also, after washing the laundry, keep the washing machine door open for ventilation, or else the dampness will retain germs. Here are some tips for disinfecting laundry in a washing machine:

  • Hold the laundry at a distance before putting it in. You don’t want to come into contact with germs.
  • Don’t shake the laundry before cleaning, as it will spread the virus in the air.
  • Select the warmest water setting available, between 60-90 degrees Celsius, for disinfecting clothes.
  • Wash the clothes in at least two cycles, one with the detergent and another in plain water.
  • Wear gloves while handling dirty laundry to keep yourself safe.
  • Dry the clothes in the dryer if you have one.

Related: 7 Washing Machine Brands To Avoid

Final Thought

Did you notice that you don’t need special equipment or sanitizers to disinfect laundry but just need some techniques to add to your basic routine? This is how you can disinfect laundry like a pro! Whether you are hand washing or machine washing, the basic rules are the same. Sanitization has become a vital routine in everyone’s life, and it should include laundry too.