Now more than ever, hygiene and sanitation are crucial to our health and our family’s well-being. Most of us are taking this pandemic seriously and doing our best to stay home, cleaning and sanitizing as much as we can. But there’s one thing that may be going under the radar, and that’s disinfecting our laundry. Washing our clothes in hot water kills bacteria, but did you know bacteria can survive in cold water? Here are a few tips to keep your clothes and laundry more sanitary.
Vinegar is known to be a natural disinfectant. Using vinegar as a presoak can make a substantial difference, not only by disinfecting, but also in taking away tough odors. It can also act as a preservative by protecting colors from bleeding. To do this properly, add a ½ cup distilled white vinegar to your washer’s detergent dispenser and run the load as a prewash cycle. Or you can add the vinegar to a bucket of water and let your clothes soak for 30 minutes before washing them in the washer.
Use laundry disinfectants
Using a laundry disinfectant like Lysol’s Laundry Sanitizer can help kill bacteria that survives in articles of clothing that can’t be washed in hot water. This liquid sanitizer can be used with most fabrics and is easy to use. All you need is 2 cups added to your rinse cycle dispenser or your fabric softener compartment. To sanitize, leave the sanitizer on your rinse cycle for exactly 16 minutes, per Lysol’s instructions.
Don’t wait until laundry day
Storing clothes in your hamper that have been out in public is risky business. Viruses can live on surfaces from a few hours up to several days. If you’re practicing social distancing like most of us, the only reason you’re leaving the house is for necessities such as a trip to the grocery store. If you have a habit of leaning against the cart handle, shopping with your baby shopping cart cover, or bringing your reusable bags, everything you wore and brought to the store with you should be tossed in the washer as soon as you get home.
If you’ve been storing clothes in your hamper, make sure to empty it out and wipe your hamper down with a disinfectant. If viruses have come in contact with your clothes, it makes sense that they would linger in your hamper when tossed in there.
Deep Clean Your Washing Machine
While this epidemic is going on, taking some extra precautions to deep clean your washing machine will help in removing buildup due to dirt, mildew and germs, making your washing machine one of the most sanitary places in your home. The best part about this deep cleaning step is that there is a tablet that can do the hard work for you. Simply toss an OdorCrush washing machine cleaner into your washer and it will deep clean it when you run a normal cycle on hot.
You can never be too careful or too extreme when it comes to taking extra steps to stay healthy, especially when you have a newborn or toddler at home. In reality, we should be practicing laundry sanitation throughout the year, but especially during flu and cold seasons.