1. Check your washing machine for a ‘sanitize’ cycle option
Some washing machines come with a wash cycle specifically for the sanitizing of laundry. This isn’t the same as a regular wash cycle. A sanitizing cycle uses extra-hot water to effectively eliminate most of the bacteria found on our clothes and other household fabrics. If your washing machine is without a sanitizing option, don’t worry - we’ve got plenty of other tips for you!
It’s important to note that sanitizing cycles aren’t designed for regular/everyday use as they can be quite harsh on fabrics due to the high temperatures.
2. Wash at 140*F or above
If your washing machine is without a ‘sanitize’ cycle option, select 140*F or above for the temperature of your wash cycle. Simply put, heat is one of the best ways to kill bacteria and viruses. So, doing soiled or exposed laundry on a hot wash is a good idea!
Again, not all fabrics respond well to high temperatures, so it’s important to save the hot washes for sanitizing washes over everyday washes.
3. Add bleach
Bleach not only keeps your whites looking their best, but it also has the potential to render viruses inactive and get rid of bacteria. A lot of laundry detergents already come containing bleaching agents (color-safe ones), so it’s worth checking the label on your current laundry detergent before making a switch.
If you are going to use a bleach concentrate, it’s essential that you follow the instructions for use provided on the bottle to avoid any unanticipated laundry disasters.
4. Let your laundry dry thoroughly
The damp is a breeding ground for bacteria and a spreading ground for viruses. As such, you want to ensure your laundry gets a thorough dry after washing. At Wash Warrior, we’re a fan of fresh air and sunshine, so usually recommend line drying. While sun rays and fresh air do have some germ-killing abilities, a dryer with its very hot air can do a better job when it comes to keeping bacteria and viruses out of your home.
5. Decontaminate your washing machine
Washing machines are one of the most utilized household appliances across the US and the world! They have a very important role in our homes - cleaning out clothes. But often, the cleanliness of the washing machine itself goes unthought of. Washing machines, being wet and dark places with lots of nooks and crannies, are also the perfect environments for bacteria and viruses to fester. So, ensuring your washing machine is germ-free is key in ensuring the same for the clothes you’re washing in it.