Thread Number: 28318
Sanitizing Laundry Without Chlorine Bleach
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Post# 433129   5/4/2010 at 20:16 (2,911 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I've been wondering the last few days what methods can help sanitize laundry without using chlorine bleach.

Overall, I am not paranoid about germs. With a lot of laundry, I figure if it comes clean, it's probably good enough. But some things I am concerned about. Hand towels, for example--I want my hands cleaner after being washed and dried than before washing! Plus there is the first wash for new thrift shop finds--who knows where the item was a month ago?

Chlorine bleach is the obvious answer, but--as we all know--it's not a choice for colors.

So I'm left wondering what to do for colored items. Raise water temperature? At the temperatures where sanitizing apparently takes place would also be hard on colors.

Add something to the wash water? That seems viable--but it leaves me wondering what. So far, I've heard claims that oxygen bleach (OxiClean type and liquid jug), ammonia, PineSol, and vinegar might work. Others claim these won't work. And some of these might potentially be harmful. Some say oxygen bleach could fade colors, and vinegar could harm the washer.

Using the dryer is another possible option, since I've heard that can help.

Of course, I could replace everything--like towels--I'm concerned about with a white equivalent that could tolerate chlorine bleach. I'm tempted, although I like my current collection of towels--almost all are actually made in the US, rather than Pakistan or India or China like most (all?) new towels.

Post# 433132 , Reply# 1   5/4/2010 at 20:33 (2,911 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I think a lot of it has more to do with CYA than reality. If you have good towels made in USA they are probably colorfast and can be washed in hot water. That's what I do with mine. I don't notice any more fading that if I washed them in warm or cold water -- they all look a bit worse after 7 years. I can see things that are not colorfast taking a turn for the worse if you use hot water, but if they are colorfast, they should be pretty fine at 140F/60C, which in America we call Hot. Maybe it's not a good idea to boil them, but most people don't want to do that.

I've never done it, but know people who disinfect their colorfast clothes by being very careful with the chlorine bleach -- they measure very carefully the lowest recommended amount, bleach for just 3 minutes or so, then rinse very very well, including a vinegar rinse to neutralize the bleach.

And I've heard of people using the old brown bottle Lysol, but good grief, the smell alone probably sends the germs running away before the disinfectant hits the wash water... ;-)

Post# 433151 , Reply# 2   5/4/2010 at 22:17 (2,911 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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If you dry clothes thoroughly in a dryer, you have little to be concerned with.

But since you's a relatively new product (at least for the home consumer): a sanitizing fabric softener!


Post# 433155 , Reply# 3   5/4/2010 at 22:47 (2,911 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
One aspect of sanitizing

wash without chlorine is volume.

If the machine is NOT overloaded, disinfecting can happen without chlorine. If the items can move FREELY in the wash water, be it vertically positioned, or horizontally positioned, they can come out sanitary.

If I have a doubtful wash load, I run a prewash with detergent and lots of water, a long wash with detergent and lots of water, and hit the "extra rinse" button.

Reliable testing has proved it.


Post# 433160 , Reply# 4   5/4/2010 at 23:40 (2,911 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Quat Sanitizer

I have used this upon occasion on items that have come in contact with dirty water (drain backup), or have developed a sour smell. Soak for 10-15 mins. Can't remember for sure, but think I used one oz. per gallon of water.

Post# 433161 , Reply# 5   5/4/2010 at 23:49 (2,911 days old) by vintagesearch ()        

i use lysol or mistolin in measured amounts extra rinse and air dry i have had no problems or odors....

Post# 433168 , Reply# 6   5/5/2010 at 00:48 (2,911 days old) by favorit ()        

Paulo is right, most of the colorfast garments (undies,socks, towels, sheets, towels, bathrobes ...) can be washed @ 140°F with proper detergents without optical brighteners.

IMHO Asko manuals give a nice advice : they say that every garment that comes in contact with skin has to be washed @ 140°F at least

I have several Ikea Baven towels (nice and soft, but obviously not meant to be world best quality) that are routinely washed @ 140°F. Colors don't fade at all, after some years they look like brand new, even red ones !


Post# 433175 , Reply# 7   5/5/2010 at 01:02 (2,911 days old) by favorit ()        
and when hot is not allowed .....

... one can add Napisan to the main wash detergent :

Powder and tabs are sodium percarbonate, liquid is oxygen bleach based on peroxyde.


Post# 433210 , Reply# 8   5/5/2010 at 03:22 (2,911 days old) by sudsman ()        
As one has already pointed out

Proper loading of the washer is cruical with colored work. Items must move freely . Even the slighest over load as small as 1Lb can increase the culture test to alarming rates. While a machine underloaded by even 10 % test were almost perfect when washed at no lower than 135 and was so at 140. Keep in mind that almost all mfgs. overrate the capacity of their machines by almost 10% anyway. The best rule of thumb is to allow 6 to 6.25 lbs of work for each cubic foot of machine capacity. IE; a 2.7 cu ft machine should be loaded to about 16 lbs a 3 cu ft capacity would be 18 lbs. Also it was found that lcb in small amounts 1 to 2 oz did not harm colors at all in fact it brightened them up . On smaller loads 1 oz was enough to bring a load of colored thermals (pink) to a sanitized range. But a stated before was also found that after tumble drying at as low as 140 and and most all home dryer exceed that, the load was rendered sterile anyway. Also after test of work hung in the sun for as little as 15 mins it was noted the same. Uv rays are VERY much powerful that most realize. Also we found that work processed on the flatwork ironer was also rendered sterile even when processed at a very high speed of 80 to 100 feet per min. When speed was raised to the point the work was damp and not fully dry then is was also noted all the bacteria was not killed . However no one is going to accept wet or damp work. And in our plant the folder will not fold damp work anyway it just by passes it to the rear of the folder, to be reironed So use common sense and you will have no problems.In conclusion it should also be noted that when tested the small amount of bacteria that was left on some of the loads that did not come out fully santized was not anything that would have made one sick. All "bad" had been killed.

Post# 433217 , Reply# 9   5/5/2010 at 05:57 (2,911 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Thank you.

I suspect an awful lot of people whose washers look like something out of a swamp inside are only not suffering from more problems because of the sun and the clothes dryer.

When rebuilding the WestySlantFront two years ago, we found that that wonderful thermostatically driven "timer" tripped when the clothes were not below 145 and not above 152F.

Guess they knew what they were doing back then. I wonder how warm modern automatic dryers leave the clothes?

Post# 433222 , Reply# 10   5/5/2010 at 06:44 (2,911 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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One reason early housekeeping manuals advised against coloured bed and bath linens was such things couldn't be "boil washed" and or subjected to chlorine bleach. So welcome to their world.

Activated oxygen bleach such as the new Tide series will do some santising, as well sodium percarbonate or perborte (oxygen bleach), but am here to tell you that such chemicals with even warm but surely with hot water will probably change the colour of all but the most colourfast items over time. My vintage Cannon terrycloth bath times in regular use are much lighter shade of blue than the surplus stock that hasn't been used nor laundered yet. Since my washing routine includes either Persil or another detergent along with a good dose of oxygen bleach, that is the only answer.

Truthfully, proper laundering but more so machine drying will render your bath linens sanitised enough. You could always iron your kitchen towels (a mangle is great for this), which would kill off any remaining germs.

Quite honestly unless someone in your home as come down with or been exposed to a serious infectious disease, the above is really all that is required.

Lysol is a phenol disinfectant, and that substance is highly toxic. I should want to rinse many, many times after using it for laundry to rid textiles not only of the scent, but any lingering traces of chemicals.

Quats are a good sanitiser or disinfectant, however are best used in the rinse cycle. Commercial laundry chemical supplies have been selling sanitising "fabric softeners" for years. They are mainly used for cloth diapers, towels and bath linens in commercial use (health spas, health clubs, diaper services, etc). If you have connections in Germany,Persil now has a version, sadly it is not sold outside of the EU.

Post# 433228 , Reply# 11   5/5/2010 at 07:09 (2,911 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Thanks for all the answers to date!

One thing I'm wondering about is whether the oxygen-type bleaches have to be "activated." I'm under the (perhaps incorrect) impression that activated oxygen bleaches are relatively rare in the US market.

I am not worried about "perfect" color protection. Some fading seems inevitable. I just don't want it to dramatically occur in one wash!

As for machine loading, I'm hoping I've been OK to date, although I'm thinking I'll try more precise calculations. (Thankfully, I think I actually have the washer's owner's manual which gives load sizes!) Historically, I've been careful not overload--which may be why I survived 10 years with Shredmore with few problems.

Post# 433235 , Reply# 12   5/5/2010 at 07:37 (2,911 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Yes, Laundress, we do have it here. The list of warnings is also impressive. I think Henkel have quite properly decided that it is too risky to sell in markets with too high levels of illiteracy or where the volume of water used for washing would mandate very high levels.

I send or bring tons of the stuff (well, kilos) every year to family, my honey and friends in the 'States. They all, however, actually read.

Persil over here always warns in their advertising that "Vollwaschmittel" means it will bleach the (expletive deleted) out of your colors now-a-days. Back in the old days, we all learned that it was OK to use a Vollwaschmittel at 40C because the oxygen bleach wasn't activated. Now that you can get it going below 30C, a lot of people had to relearn.

I pre-soaked a load of filthy jeans overnight (motorcycle chain dirty) in Megaperls, using the 40C soak and agitate in my machine. When they came out of the wash the next day, they were enormously lighter. The grease and dirt was gone, though.

Are you familiar with our "Sagrotan" here in Europe?

Post# 433243 , Reply# 13   5/5/2010 at 07:59 (2,911 days old) by Bernina (Chicago)        
Please don't use phenol if you have pets

It's especially toxic to cats.

Post# 433249 , Reply# 14   5/5/2010 at 08:25 (2,911 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Cats and pregnant women

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Thanks for the heads up!

Post# 433278 , Reply# 15   5/5/2010 at 10:09 (2,911 days old) by dirtybuck (Springfield, MO)        

Does anyone remember a product from the mid-80's, Lysol Sanitizer (it came out about the same time as Liquid Tide's debut)? It was added to the wash cycle to disinfect and sanitize laundry. I think it was just dry bleach. Unfortunately, the product didn't have a very long life with consumers, and it was discontinued after a year or so.

Post# 433301 , Reply# 16   5/5/2010 at 11:47 (2,911 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I have a rock hard box of Lysol Sanitizer sitting in the closet somewhere. Always liked the product.

Post# 434060 , Reply# 17   5/9/2010 at 07:28 (2,907 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Slightly Better Smelling Than Lysol

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But a phenol disenfectant none the less is Amphyl, and it can be used for sanitising laundry.

Most any commercial cleaning supply or such store sells Amphyl, you can also often find it online, including fleaBay.


Post# 434140 , Reply# 18   5/9/2010 at 15:42 (2,906 days old) by mrx ()        
Dettol (but *not* the old-fashioned version)

For sanitising laundry I use Dettol Lavender & Orange Oil.

In a front loader, the way I do it is as follows:

Set Machine on a normal wash with the pre-wash option turned on.

Put normal powder detergent into the main wash (II) dispenser drawer.
Put fabric softener (conditioner) into the conditioner dispenser.

Pour 160ml of Dettol lavender and orange oil into the prewash dispenser while starting the wash.

The machine does a short heated wash with Dettol, killing the bugs.

Then spins and does a main wash + rinses and spin as normal.

I have found it an excellent solution when dealing with pet bedding or clothes which have come home from hospital when my grandmother was in.

Dettol is effective against a whole range of bugs, including MSRA.

I'm sure there are similar products on the market in the United States and elsewhere.

Important note:

Cats are very sensitive to certain disinfectant products. They can actually die if exposed to certain disinfectant products, particularly phenols as they are unable to eliminate them from their bodies.

They may also lick these chemicals off their paws or fur etc.

If you are disinfecting pet bedding, you should ensure it's very thoroughly rinsed before you allow the pet to use it again.

Do not use phenol-based disinfectants *AT ALL* if you have cats.

This is why I always put the disinfectant into the prewash rather than the final rinse (which is what the makers of Dettol recommend).

Post# 434141 , Reply# 19   5/9/2010 at 15:44 (2,906 days old) by mrx ()        

The old fashioned original formula Dettol, i.e. the one that smells like hospitals and turns water milky white is absolutely not suitable for use in a washing machine. It will make your machine smell horrible for months after use and should never be used for doing laundry.

This is also the one that is not recommended around cats.


Post# 434143 , Reply# 20   5/9/2010 at 15:59 (2,906 days old) by mrx ()        

Comparison of ingredients:

Lavender Liquid Dettol :

Propylene Glycol
Isopropyl alcohol
Benzalkonium Chloride
Disodium EDTA
Hexyl Cinnamal
Benzyl Salicylate

The version that is used for cleaning wounds etc is NOT the one to use!

Antiseptic "Classic" version:

Active substance
Chloroxylenol 4.8% w/v
Excipients: Castor Oil Soap 14.0 – 15.2% v/v

Pine oil,
Isopropyl alcohol,
Castor oil soap

Full details below:


Post# 434151 , Reply# 21   5/9/2010 at 16:27 (2,906 days old) by aquarius1984 (Ripley, Derbyshire)        

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I was always taught one has to remove soil BEFORE disinfecting. The soils will cancel out the disinfectant before it has chance to do its job.

Wash in detergent first with complete sets of rinses then a quick wash in disinfectant.

You also say about not using the original one in the machine for the lingering smell. I actually rather like the smell of it. Often buy some to pour into my bathwater especially in the summer months after a hard days gardening or doing jobs.

So what if the scent lingers, if you like it it wont bother or harm you to use it in the machine on things its safe for.

Saying that im also keen on Wrights Coal Tar soap and use that often enough. Just because you dont like the smell dosnt mean others dont.

Post# 434162 , Reply# 22   5/9/2010 at 17:30 (2,906 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Benzalkonium Chloride

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Is a quat compound similar to what is in Miele Hygiene and other laundry rinses/fabric softeners that claim to sanitise wash.

Quats are preferred over phenol for laundry because they do not have that carbolic scent, which is the hallmark of phenol. Indeed quats do not have a scent at all, which makes them good for laundry products because they do not bring anything to the party that might conflict with another perfume.

Quats are also used to preserve a wide variety of consumer products from shampoos to body washes to face creams, and so forth from spoiling.

Post# 434187 , Reply# 23   5/9/2010 at 20:02 (2,906 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

The Standard Dettol bottle here suggests adding to rinse water to disinfect, I havent found the smell to linger, I'll occaisionally add a couple of capfulls.

The smell doesnt bother me, I had half a capful to my shaving water each day and wash my face in the stuff.

Post# 434245 , Reply# 24   5/10/2010 at 01:35 (2,906 days old) by mrx ()        

The soils won't cancel the effect of the disinfectant. It kills bacteria and viruses regardless of the soil on the laundry.

It has no role in cleaning stains / removing dirt. You just end up with sterilised stains and dirt before the machine starts washing properly.

I cannot stand the smell of phenol type disinfectants. It's possible the aussi version of classic dettol might be different? Does it turn water milky White?

Honestly, if you used dettol classic or worse, Jayes Fluid, in my house I would have to move!!

The clear versions of dettol are fine though and they can also be used to destinkify a smelly / neglected washing machine!

Post# 434250 , Reply# 25   5/10/2010 at 02:05 (2,906 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Launderess is absolutely correct in this matter

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It is a classic of laboratory policy, never mind medical procedures or even the banal task of diaper pails that you:

1) Remove as much of the large debris and dirt and ick first.
2) Clean oils, fats and anything sticky as best possible next.
3) Sanitize or reduce microbial load to the greatest extent possible last.

Otherwise, the microbes might not be reached by the disinfectant. They might have time and environmental trigger to encapsulate themselves, spore, etc.

It's just good science.

On a related topic, I wash my wooden kitchen utensils in the dishwasher (cue the usual discussion). Stuff too big, gets rubbed with salt.
Stuff which will fit, at all, gets zapped for 30 seconds in the microwave because even LCB only sanitizes wooden boards down a few tenths of a millimetre. The microwave will zap the beasts all the way down - and a good chop on a board or savage cut with a bread knife will go down further than the LCB can reach.

Now, of course, I suppose if one had a sufficiently strong ionizing source (as in sealed, sterile medical supplies) one could say it's fine to leave the soil....

Post# 434286 , Reply# 26   5/10/2010 at 08:08 (2,906 days old) by mrx ()        

Putting something in the microwave for 30 seconds won't kill bugs. All the microwave will do is slightly warm the surface of the item. You would have to heat it to quite high temperatures ... approaching 100C to make sure that it was sterilized.

You are not irradiating the item by microwaving it in the sense that all the microwaves will do is warm it up. Microwaves don't kill bacteria or anything else. The heat they create does.

If you exposed it to an ionizing radiation source e.g. gamma or x-rays of high enough intensity, it would clean it, but eh, not many households have that kind of equipment (Thankfully!)

The reality of life is that we live in a world completely covered in bacteria and viruses. You can take reasonable precautions to ensure that food preparation surfaces etc are clean, but there is really no reason to go over-board with sterilizing surfaces, particularly using anti-bacterials.

The majority of laundry can simply be washed and it will be perfectly safe.

Normal detergents will reduce the amount of bacteria on the clothes to a level that they will not cause any problems, they won't kill it completely, but in general you don't need to.

It's generally considered a bad idea to over-sterelize the environment that you live in. You need some of those bugs and your immune system needs to practice killing them too.

If you unbalance bacteria on your skin e.g. by exposing it to regular doses of anti-bacterials on clothes, you can actually cause skin problems by killing some of the bacteria and upsetting the skin's normal eco-system.

In general, I would only use those kinds of products where absolutely necessary e.g. clothes coming out of a hospital environment where MSRA or other infectious disease might be present or if my washing machine has become gunked-up. Although, that's a relative rarity if you're using your machine frequently, run the odd hot wash and use a proper quantity of detergent.

Post# 434296 , Reply# 27   5/10/2010 at 08:40 (2,906 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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For what it's worth, here's the list of ingredients of Persil's anti-bacteria rinse additive.


Post# 434316 , Reply# 28   5/10/2010 at 10:38 (2,906 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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I did not say that microwaves were ionizing.
I actually do know the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
I can also explain the difference between stochastic and deterministic relationships.

Here is a rather well written note on the subject with link.
Oh, I was wrong about one thing - it os 30 seconds or so for a sponge and 10 minutes for wooden boards.

If you're serious about getting things clean, read this:


The good news is that kitchen germs can usually be removed by some method of cleansing. On metal surfaces, Zottola says, detergent dissolves the food and microbial material. A good rubbing then forcibly evicts most of the squatters. A follow-up, sanitizing rinse--such as a solution of dilute bleach (hypochlorous acid)--will annihilate even the most tenacious hangers-on, he's found. To deter recolonization, the cleansed surfaces must stay dry.

Wood requires a different sterilization regime, Zottola points out, because its organic building blocks will react with bleach, rendering the disinfectant unavailable for killing germs. As a result, cooks have had to be satisfied with just bathing their wooden cutting boards.

In the January 1994 Journal of Food Protection, Cliver and his colleagues showed that it is possible, using soap and water, to hand scrub microbes from the surface of new or used wooden cutting boards and from new plastic ones. Plastic boards that bore the knife scars of use, however, proved resistant to decontamination by hand washing.

Bacteria below the surface of a wooden board are untouched by hand scrubbing and can remain alive at least several hours. Even though at that location they can't contaminate other foods that may contact the board, it remains prudent to kill them, says Cliver, now at UC-Davis.

In a pair of papers to be published in the Journal of Food Protection, Cliver and Paul K. Park report success in annihilating E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus with microwave heating. They contaminated wooden cutting boards with 1 billion colony-forming units per 25 square centimeters of surface and then cooked the boards on high heat in an 800-watt home microwave oven.

After 10 minutes, a medium-sized board emerged bone dry--and free of live microbes both on and below the surface. Wetting the board speeded the killing, suggesting that the microbes probably boiled to death.

The microwave can also disinfect other kitchen items. Sterilizing dry cellulose sponges took a mere 30 seconds, while wet sponges took 1 minute. Cotton dishrags required 30 seconds when dry but 3 minutes when wet.

No amount of microwaving disinfected plastic boards. That's not surprising, Cliver notes, since their surfaces never achieved cell-killing temperatures. However, studies by others have shown that the normal cycle in a dishwasher can sterilize even well-used plastic boards.

Whether you use wood or plastic cutting boards becomes unimportant at home if you are into cleaning and sanitizing--as all cooks should be, Batt argues.

Many people, however, aren't. A study published last year by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration found that 26 percent of U.S. consumers don't bother to clean cutting boards after using them for raw meat or chicken.



Post# 434352 , Reply# 29   5/10/2010 at 13:45 (2,905 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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Ten minutes in the microwave? Wouldn't that be hard on the microwave? Our manual says to not use the oven without something in it and I don't consider a dry piece of wood to be something that can effectively absorb the radiation - like a glass of water, for example. Someone I know - no it wasn't me ;) - put a cup of hair removal wax into the microwave and, since the wax didn't really absorb the radiation, the whole oven got really! warm after only five minutes at 800 watts. Wouldn't a dry chopping board cause a similar reaction?

Post# 434355 , Reply# 30   5/10/2010 at 14:04 (2,905 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Hi Alexander,

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Fast alles, welches wir "glauben" über Mikrowellenherde zu "wissen" basiert entweder auf längst überholte oder schlicht falsche Annahmen.

Es ist genügend "Last" im Holz vorhanden, auf jeden Fall, da ich es seit Jahren mache und - bis her - sind weder meine deutsche noch meine Amerikanische (auch nicht aus dem Jahre 1972) kaputt gegangen.

Fette und Wasser sind es, hauptsächlich, welche durch Mikrowellen schwingen und Reibungshitze erzeugen. Dies fürht schnell dazu, dass die Eiweißmoleküle klümpen und, das war's denn für die Baziloosen, wie meine Uhrgroßtante sie nannten.

Post# 434410 , Reply# 31   5/10/2010 at 16:51 (2,905 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi MrX, our Dettol does indeed turn the water milky white.

Packaging is identical to the UK.

I associate the smell with clean and figure the formula has been around long enough to be proven safe for use, unlike all the triclosan based stuff that has flooded onto the market in the last few years.

Occaisionally when Michaels tinea flares up, I'll add Caneston anti Fungal/Bacteria Rinse additive, but otherwise I'm not that fussed as a rule.

Post# 434565 , Reply# 32   5/11/2010 at 06:19 (2,905 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Is a quat substance, that not only acts as a biocide, but softens textiles and reduces static cling as well.

Many fabric softeners are made from quats regardless of any claims regarding sanitation. So in theory there may be some reduction in bacteria from use.


Post# 434569 , Reply# 33   5/11/2010 at 06:31 (2,905 days old) by mrx ()        
Sanitization of utensils

The very best approach to this is hot water and detergent and lots of it.

Washing your dishes and utensils in a dishwasher that heats its own water should do the trick quite nicely.

Good combination of oxygen bleach, detergent, powerful enzymes that attack proteins and scalding water run for a considerable amount of time.

Post# 434571 , Reply# 34   5/11/2010 at 06:34 (2,905 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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Thanks, Keven. Now I'll only need to find a microwave large enough to fit a chopping board in there... ;-)

Post# 973681 , Reply# 35   12/14/2017 at 17:47 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Holy thread revival Batman!

Quick question - if one was to use pine oil, or white vinegar, what quantity or concentration would be appropriate to use? My primary machine these days is a 2005 Miele W2240. For large loads, I tend to fill it on the Delicates or even Separate Rinse cycle to get a high water level, but if I'm just doing underwear, a normal Cottons cycle fill (with Water Plus selected, of course) seems to suffice. I usually use the 95c cycle for anything needing disinfecting.

Right, the foul necromancer is off for a midnight curry!

Post# 973709 , Reply# 36   12/14/2017 at 23:00 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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First one would need to find a pine cleaning product that is registered as a disinfectant. That is the thing contains enough pine oil to actually do the job.

Having said this cannot recommend using a pine disinfectant in the wash. Your laundry will have that whiff for days, as will the machine.

If you *must* use a sanitizer in wash one recommends going with Dettol, Persil or any of the other quat based sanitizers for laundry. If expense is an issue become pally with someone who can order the stuff from commercial laundry suppliers.

Post# 973714 , Reply# 37   12/14/2017 at 23:42 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Can one not just use a bit of pure undiluted pine oil in the wash?

What about vinegar?

Post# 973722 , Reply# 38   12/15/2017 at 04:54 by johnrk (BP TX)        
I'm Having Good Luck

with the Lysol laundry disinfectant placed in the fabric softener cup on my SQ432. I only need it when doing pet stuff, use white vinegar there otherwise.

And please avoid any pine oil products if you have a cat; they're toxic to cats.

Post# 973813 , Reply# 39   12/15/2017 at 14:30 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

I do have two cats, but surely if one keeps the pine oil away from them, there'd be no problem?

I'd really appreciate advice on dosage quantities.

Post# 973814 , Reply# 40   12/15/2017 at 14:32 by johnrk (BP TX)        
Check the Web

or with your vet. I've avoided it for decades; it's nothing new.

Post# 973842 , Reply# 41   12/15/2017 at 17:31 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

John, I'm using the Lysol Disinfec but I'm not sure I see and thing different in load. Are you noticing any results?

Post# 973854 , Reply# 42   12/15/2017 at 18:07 by johnrk (BP TX)        

What difference would you expect? I'm not getting it. I use it because I just want anything my kitty picks up on is fur to get washed away. And that includes his grooming his fur. I don't use that Lysol disinfectant unless there's a reason to.

I'm pleased because it really doesn't leave any perceptible odor. I don't like strong laundry odors; to me, that's why I wear deodorant and occasionally, cologne.

So no, it doesn't get anything cleaner if that's what you're wondering. But then, I use Borax 95% of the time at least along with, lately, one of those Persils. And I'm using 6 of those wool dryer balls bought on Amazon with A&H dryer sheets.

Post# 973857 , Reply# 43   12/15/2017 at 18:13 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

John that is interesting, mine has a very noticeable smell, nice but strong and that's with going for a second rinse. My original ? related to the fact that I don't notice any difference in load w or wo beside the smell.

Post# 973859 , Reply# 44   12/15/2017 at 18:23 by johnrk (BP TX)        
It's Not Like Febreze

It's there to sanitize, not add scent. You may be using more than me, I put it to the bottom line on the agitator cup for fabric softener on this SQ 432.

Post# 973872 , Reply# 45   12/15/2017 at 19:36 by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Just do what my. Grandmother did

Washcloths dishtowels and my diapers were boiled then washed she kept a pail just for boiling she rinsed everything then boiled it because she was not having germs in her frigidaire. Lol

Post# 973873 , Reply# 46   12/15/2017 at 19:42 by johnrk (BP TX)        
If Only Boiling

disinfected anything. Unfortunately, it doesn't. If it did we wouldn't have had autoclaves in my hospital work...

Post# 973954 , Reply# 47   12/16/2017 at 08:37 by Imperial70 (******)        

hmmmm, boiling doesn't disinfect anything. hmmmmmm.

Post# 973955 , Reply# 48   12/16/2017 at 08:42 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
I think it's better to say that boiling laundry sanatizes things. Disinfecting is a higher standard.

Post# 973966 , Reply# 49   12/16/2017 at 09:10 by johnrk (BP TX)        

Why do you hide where you live? It couldn't be that awful.

As for boiling, my suggestion is that when you need a surgical procedure in the future, that you tell the surgeon and the surgical crew that they don't need to use any of that silly autoclave heat or chemical disinfecting--that boiling will do just fine for you.

And, of course, be sure and let the USDA know that all of us who can meats and vegetables don't really need the high heat that pressure canning provides. No, we should just boil everything, that those nasty botulism spores don't like Americans (I'm assuming you live in the US, though I don't know why).

True, if you can't do anything else with water, you're instructed to boil it as a precaution. However, that doesn't disinfect.

But that, of course, is your risk, and hmmmmm, one you seem ready to take. Hmmmm...

Post# 973987 , Reply# 50   12/16/2017 at 10:49 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

There's quite a few of us who allow some Tennessee windage to our places of domicile, real names, etc. Once burned, twice shy. It's probably best to accept that.

One of the things I learned from a dear friend who was an emergency room doctor in Munich for many years:

1) Antisepsis is a goal to be sought, but never achieved.

2) You remove the gross dirt first, then you go for the pathogens.


She is one of the very few Germans I know who believes in chlorine based disinfectants.  She doesn't for one second think 40º washing (that's degrees science, not the weird stuff the Americans use) is adequate for a family with seven children and she tumble drys underclothes, bedclothes, towels, Waschlappen, etc. at high heat.


Big fan of Sagrotan, too - and the US equivalent to that is Lysol. Also a big fan of letting little kids play in the dirt.


Personally, I will continue to run the dishwasher on the NSF approved 'sanitize' cycle (it's not really, but it's all about knocking the microbe load down as low as possible), using chlorine bleach and high tumble heat. I get rid of the gross dirt with TSP (the horror of it all, and, gosh, that STTP most are using? Guess what it turned into a while back...) and real hot water, not the 40º stuff US manufacturers want us to call 'hot' today.

Post# 974015 , Reply# 51   12/16/2017 at 12:15 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

high dryer heat helps sanitize.

Post# 974126 , Reply# 52   12/16/2017 at 21:43 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Anyone who has studied bacteriology or microbiology and or perhaps any of the health professions (physician, nurse, etc...) already knows but will pass along (again); there is a difference between sanitization, sterilization and disinfecting.

Hospital linens for beds and bathing ordinarily are sanitized via the laundering process. Things meant for the operating room and or need to be nearly free of pathogens head over to CSS (Central Sterile Supply) or wherever and will be further treated by autoclaving in order to render them sterile.

When it comes to cleaning if you read the directions for nearly all registered disinfectants they give two versions. One is to clean and perhaps sanitize. The other is for disinfection. Latter most always involves first cleaning the surface of gross filth, then applying a solution at proper strength and allow to remain in contact for a period of time.

Studies going back to the early part of last century proved laundering in hot water (and soap back then), drying and ironing rendered most laundry sanitized enough for all general purposes. Dropping ironing and adding tumble drying at high heat can replace ironing. It is the heat one wants in the end....

Simple act of washing laundry between chemicals, pH and multiple changes of water either deactivates germs and or sends them down the drain. They still may be alive at that point but that isn't the issue, it is removal from textiles we are after.

In situations where something more is required, such as the wash from a person infected with a contagious disease, something more can be done. Things like use of different chemicals and or higher wash/drying temperatures.

Post# 974155 , Reply# 53   12/17/2017 at 00:55 by Imperial70 (******)        

Laundress, You are the voice of reason and clarification. Thank you.

Post# 974478 , Reply# 54   12/18/2017 at 16:30 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

So - any advice on usage of vinegar or other natural sanitising (if not disinfecting) chemicals?

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