I realize I’ve shared my frustration – many times – with our front load washing machine. Part of my regular maintenance routine is to scrub the inside of the washer and the soap dispenser with bleach water. Last week as I was performing my scrubbing ritual and cursing under my breath, my mind began to wonder. I thought about things like – how clean does home washing get my clothes, what kind of funk really lives in here and stays on my ‘clean’ clothes, and how does that leftover stuff impact my family?
According to an article on abc.com, ‘washing machines are teeming with bacteria that find their way onto your clothes – and then onto you.’ The more I read, the more I worried. Of course, once I started I kept reading article after article. Medicaldaily.com addressed something they called ‘The Sick Laundry Cycle.’
After reading these two articles, along with about a half-dozen more, I am going to continue a couple of things I already do and then add a few more. Hopefully we won’t experience the Sick Laundry Cycle in our house. These could be some things you might want to try too. Here they are:
• Dirty clothes carry germs so I will continue the habit of washing my hands after sorting dirty clothes and/or placing dirty clothes into the washing machine.
• Continue the regular bleach water scrubbing routine followed by a basket clean cycle and probably increase the frequency from once a month to twice a month.
• Wash whites in hot water. I know we’ve shared with you the cost savings suggestion of washing your clothes in cooler temperatures, but I have to say that personally, the cost savings isn’t as important to me as killing the bacteria in my washer and on my clothes.
• Wash undergarments in hot water, in a separate load, and as the last load. Both articles mentioned the amount of fecal matter found on supposedly clean undergarments. If you wash undergarments with things like your bath towels, that stuff can find its way onto your towels.
• Start using my clothes line more often. The sun is a germ-killer and also a great natural bleacher. It will be good for the whites, but I will be careful with color clothes.
If you have suggestions on how to stop the Sick Laundry Cycle, please share them below, or on Facebook, Twitter, or G+.