Does Laundry Detergent Kill Bacteria?

It’s never ideal for getting sick, but it happens to everyone occasionally. In bacterial and viral infections, the best way to recover is to drink plenty of fluids, take medication, and rest. If you can’t sanitize your laundry, then you may get sick again. But the question is, does laundry detergent kill bacteria or not?

We tend to think that when we put our laundry in the washing machine or dryer, it will become 100% clean. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that laundry detergent alone will eliminate harmful bacteria. However, it’s easy and inexpensive to disinfect your laundry to not take much effort on your part. 

Scientists have speculated that after washing our clothes, germs can linger behind, leaving washing machines to serve as breeding grounds for bacteria. This blog will discuss how to disinfect these bacteria and what type of laundry detergent kills bacteria. 

Does Laundry Detergent Kill Bacteria?

You can use vinegar and water to get rid of bacteria and germs. But it is essential to be aware of your clothing’s limitations and balance these two factors to get the best possible wash (high temperatures can adversely affect biodegradable detergents). For example, washing wooly jumpers at 80 degrees will shrink them, and other fabrics may melt, so always check your labels before washing.

  • Using hot water(60 degrees is the best choice will make many detergents more effective at tackling bacteria hosting oils and grime. In addition, it is recommended to use oxygen bleach whenever possible.
  • If you need to deep clean your food, you can soak your laundry in a mixture of bleach and water for approximately 30 minutes. 
  • If you use a laundry product, make sure you read the label to ensure your clothing safety.
  • Finally, disinfect clothes, tumble-dry items as much as possible to destroy any remaining bacteria. It is very efficient to let clothes dry naturally when the weather permits, and the sun is a great germ killer.
  • Be sure that you would check the care label before washing your clothes and follow its instructions.

Laundry Disinfectants

Several types of products and compounds can be used to disinfect laundry.

#1 Phenolic Disinfectant

You can use phenolic disinfectants on white and colored fabrics in hot and cold water, such as Lysol Laundry Sanitizer. Furthermore, most grocery stores and supermarkets carry these cleaners. However, if you plan to use phenolic disinfectants in both the wash and rinse cycles, you should use warm water for rinse training. 

#2 Quaternary Disinfectants

Usually, only a few products are widely available, and quaternary disinfectants are highly effective in warm and cold water. The additional importance of adding these products at the end of a wash cycle is because many of them can damage fabrics if they are exposed for too long.

#3 Pine Oil Disinfectant

With pine oil, you can clean both colored and white fabrics. It is effective both in hot and warm water. If you choose to use Pine-Sol or Spruce n Span Pine, ensure that 80% of the oil is in your product.

#4 Liquid Chlorine Disinfectant

Liquid chlorine, or chlorine bleach, can be applied at each temperature, but you must only use it on white fabrics. There is a widely available brand of chlorine bleach, known as Clorox, which can be purchased in virtually any grocery store.

Please read all product instructions carefully before using any of these products. Also, be sure to use the recommended amount of the product.

How to Stop Spreading Bacteria in Your Washing Machine?

If you want to avoid germs lingering on your clean clothes after your clothes are washed, you need to clean your washing machine.

Pour Bleach or Vinegar into an Empty Cycle

It would be best if you run a weekly empty cycle with bleach or vinegar. You will avoid germs from growing in your washer drum by doing this. Maintaining the machine’s cleanliness requires that you do this regularly.

Air out the Washing Machine Drum

Make sure that your machine has enough time to air out after every wash to prevent mold growth.

Wipe Down Rubber Ring with Anti Bacterial Cleaner

It would help if you used an antibacterial cleaner to clean the rubber or plastic ring around the door regularly.

Clean Out the Line Filter

You should need to clean out the line filter at least once a week.

How to Sanitize Laundry?

So how do you disinfect laundry, and does laundry detergent kill bacteria? It is easy, but one thing is to remember that after cleaning the laundry, you may notice what type of clothes you should disinfect. It is essential to follow your clothing label’s cleaning instructions regarding white fabrics and colored fabrics. 

Disinfecting White Clothes

It is relatively easy to disinfect white clothing because it is resistant to chlorine bleach and high temperatures. To disinfect white fabrics;

  • Use hot water that is 140 degrees to wash your clothes.
  • You can use a preferred brand of laundry detergent to clean the white materials. 
  • Then you can use any disinfectant (such as phenolic disinfectant, quaternary disinfectant, pine oil disinfectant, and liquid chlorine disinfectant) to sanitize your fabric.
  • For at least 45 minutes, dry your clothes in the dryer on high heat.

Disinfecting Colored Clothes

It’s best to clean clothes with hot water, but don’t use high heat when using colored fabrics. In addition, you cannot use traditional bleach on colors. Because of this, you need to think of alternative methods for killing germs that live on your clothes. In this article, we’ll discuss how to disinfect colored garments.

  • You should clean your clothes at the warmest temperature recommended on the label. 
  • You can use a preferred brand of laundry detergent to clean the colored garments.
  • After that, you can use any of the disinfectants (just as liquid chlorine disinfectant, pine oil disinfectant, quaternary disinfectant, and phenolic disinfectant) to sanitize your colored fabrics. 
  • Then, you should dry the clothes in the sunlight for at least 45 minutes. 

When you get sick, it is crucial to clean your clothes separately to prevent spreading diseases with your family. And also, sanitize your laundry. 

Sum Up – Does Laundry Detergent Kill Bacteria?

To prevent cross-contamination, it is also a good idea to sort laundry. Pathogens, such as bacteria that cause illness, can be found more commonly on underwear, towels, and face cloths. Approximately 100 million E. coli can be found in a load of underwear, which can cross-contaminate the next load of laundry. Don’t wash items such as these in bulk to decrease bacteria levels in your wash, and do regular machine disinfection. So does laundry detergent kills bacteria, and what type of detergent can we use to disinfect our laundry? All you need is in this article.

Read Also: What Temperature Kills Bacteria in a Washing Machine?

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