How to Disinfect Laundry? 3 Effective Methods

How to Disinfect Laundry

How To Disinfect Your Laundry With Or Without Bleach?

It is essential to disinfect laundry to keep it fresh and clean so the entire household stays healthy. It is extraordinarily effective to soak your cloth diapers, towels, and bedding in bleach before washing or use it in your washing machine’s cycle.

In addition, you may not be able to treat all materials with bleach, and your washer may not allow its application either. You can also disinfect your clothes using hydrogen peroxide and borax, tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, and tea tree oil after they have been exposed to germs or unsanitary conditions.

Let’s discuss how to disinfect laundry with or without bleach.

Why Is It Essential to Disinfect Laundry?

It is vital to sanitize frequently workout clothes, rarely washed throws, pet blankets, face masks, and other items that can harbor bacteria. It’s unnecessary to sanitize your laundry every time, but disinfecting clothes and other items considered at risk can make your home a healthier place.

Sanitizing your laundry can reduce the severity of asthma and allergy symptoms in households with children who suffer from those conditions. A regular machine wash removes plenty of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, but it doesn’t stop them from spreading.

It is very important to sanitize your laundry after handling a sick family member in order to prevent the spread of germs. So, that’s the reason you need to learn how to disinfect laundry.

Sanitize Laundry

Here, I’ve three methods to sanitize your laundry such as:

  • With Bleach
  • Without Bleach
  • With Heat

Let’s dig into the detail!

How to Disinfect Laundry With Bleach?

If you want to sanitize your clothing with bleach, then you must follow the specific steps:

  • To disinfect your laundry with bleach, you should wash at as high a temperature as you can. You can check the care labels on your items to see how hot the water can be, then choose your washing machine setting accordingly.
  • After selecting the water temperature properly, fill the detergent cup with the recommended amount based on your load size.
  • Alternatively, add the detergent in the detergent drawer or directly into the washer’s drum
  •  If you are unsure about how much bleach to add, consult the instructions on the bottle. After pouring bleach into the dispenser, please turn it on.
  • It is possible to add bleach directly to the drum of your washer if it does not have a bleach dispenser.
  • Nevertheless, you should start the cycle first so the drum will fill with water before adding bleach. You shouldn’t put bleach straight into the washer without first diluting it.
  • Make sure the bleach you’re using is the right kind. It is best to use chlorine bleach on white items and all-fabric bleach on colored ones.
  • Place the laundry items into the drum of your washer after adding the detergent and bleach.
  • You may close the lid and allow the cycle to run as usual. To dry your items properly, follow the care instructions on each.

How to Disinfect Laundry Without Bleach?

The temperature range for bacteria is 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why we’re all familiar with the problems caused by not storing food properly or cooking it at the right temperature.

Moreover, this explains why regular washing machines can’t sanitize clothes — the water is too cold to kill bacteria. If your washer has a sanitize cycle, you’re in luck. You can sanitize your laundry without bleach by using the following ways:

  1. With Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning and deodorizer that has practical applications around the house – it can also be used as a powerful laundry disinfectant.

When you sanitize laundry, place one cup of distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle. White vinegar kills bacteria, deodorizes your laundry, softens fabrics, and helps maintain the brightness of colors. After the second rinse, make sure you don’t have any lingering odors.

  1. With Hydrogen Peroxide

The compound hydrogen peroxide is one of the most eco-friendly chemicals you can use. Because it is a naturally occurring element formed from sunlight acting on water, you can use it for various applications, including sanitizing laundry.

Be careful, though, as hydrogen peroxide can bleach some fabrics, so don’t go overboard. Adding one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the cycle of washing your clothes will sanitize them.

Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide has other laundry benefits, including whitening, brightening, and disinfecting.

  1. With Pine Oils

When used in appropriate concentrations, pine oil can serve as an effective cleaner and natural laundry disinfectant. If you want to sanitize laundry with pine oil, it’s essential to use a pine oil product that isn’t pine-scented or low in concentration.

Generally, pine oil is safe to use in your washer for most fabrics, but it is generally not recommended for materials like wool or silk. If you have a full washer, you can add a cup of pine oil right away.

Pine oil residue and odor may need to be removed using a second rinse cycle because pine oil can be vital for scent.

  1. With Essential Oil

Sanitizing laundry with organic essential oils is safe because they contain natural pathogen killers. Essential oils come in undiluted forms that offer powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic properties and smell pretty good.

You should always sanitize with 100 percent natural essential oils, and you should be aware that essential oils can poison pets and irritate the skin at such high concentrations.

Tea tree oil, lavender oil, or thyme oil each have different sanitizing properties, so choose one of those oils instead. Only two teaspoons of tea tree oil can effectively sanitize your laundry, so you should add it to a wash load.

Tea tree oil is more potent than lavender oil, but it’s still antibacterial, and some people find the aroma less offensive. Ten drops of lavender oil added to a full washer will prevent bacteria from growing and leave the washer smelling nice and fresh.

  1. With Borax

If you want to disinfect laundry, you can also use borax along with regular detergent. Ensure that your wash bin is filled with laundry and that the wash cycle is set for warm water.

Incorporate 12 cups of borax in the washing cycle. Activating the cleaning power of the minerals in hot water allows them to dissolve and cover your clothes evenly.

  1. With Sun Light

People might not realize that sunlight also has a natural sanitizing effect. You can also kill surface bacteria by hanging your clothes outside to dry in the sun. You only need about 30 minutes in the sun for an extra boost in disinfection.

In only 30 minutes, sunlight can absorb the moisture remaining in your clothes, and excessive exposure can cause fading, so only leave your laundry in the sun for 30 minutes at a time.

How to Disinfect Laundry With Heat?

If you have a lot of household chores to do, heat will be your best friend. When you need to sanitize your clothes, you can use heat to your advantage. Here are some ways to go about it:

  1. Wash Temperature

Put your clothes in the washer at the hottest temperature possible. Before washing a garment, check the label first, since some clothes shrink or lose color when taken out of the water.

  1. Use Your Dryer

You can kill bacteria that escape the washing machine by using your dryer, especially if you wash your clothes in cold water.

  1. Iron Your Clothes

The heat from an iron will kill pathogens if exposed to them for long periods.

  1. Try A Steamer

You can also try a handheld steamer to sanitize your laundry. All you have to do is wave it over your clothes to kill bacteria and iron out wrinkles.

Does the Dryer Disinfect Laundry?

Traditionally, we hang our clothes to dry on radiators, fans, and sunny days. Unfortunately, our clothes tended to smell damp and musty a lot of the time. Having our beloved tumble dryer has made our clothes so much cleaner! We also love the way they smell.

You can kill pathogens with your dryer because it destroys them. If you tumble dry your laundry for even 30 minutes, your laundry is disinfected thoroughly.

Even though UV radiation disinfects laundry naturally, you can still hang your clothes outside to dry, which will save you energy!

Additional Tips to Sanitize Your Laundry

  • It is possible to place a sanitizing cycle on a washing machine.
  • As apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar has a different pH and may leave stains, you should not use the substitute for white vinegar.
  • It’s essential to remember that not all clothing fibers can tolerate hot temperatures, such as those caused by iron. If you are going outside or to another place, be sure that your clothes can withstand all the chemicals and heat necessary for sanitizing; you know you will need to wash them afterwards.
  • In order to make sure the disinfectants do not damage fabric, test a small area of a garment, such as the inside of the hem.
  • It takes ten minutes for dust mites to die at 140° F. However, coldwater washing with detergent will remove about 90% of dust mite allergens.
  • To prevent germs from getting into the next load of laundry, use a disinfectant wipe to wipe down the washer drum after a load of laundry you want to disinfect.
  • Remove your clothing from hard surfaces, which you can quickly disinfect whenever possible.
  • After you remove your dirty clothes, place them in a laundry bag. In addition to washing the clothes, wash a fabric laundry bag simultaneously (remove the clothes first), or clean a plastic washing bag with disinfectant.

In Conclusion

In the cold and flu season, it’s important to disinfect your laundry now and then. If anyone in your home has been ill, then you can disinfect your clothes by following any of these tips. A family member or friend may avoid contracting the illness by doing this. Don’t skip sanitizing your clothes the next time you do laundry; it’s effortless, easy, and affordable.

Read Also: How to Remove Stains from Clothes?

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.