How to Prevent the Spread of Sickness by Disinfecting Your Laundry

Viruses and bacteria spread like wildfire in a household, but you can help prevent the spread by taking a few preventive measures. One such measure is disinfecting the laundry. While the transmission of sickness from handling soiled fabrics is rare, disinfecting the laundry can greatly reduce the risk and help keep other family members healthy. Here’s how to disinfect your laundry. 

Laundry Disinfectant Products

You don’t have to spend a great deal of money to disinfect your family’s laundry. There are three types of fabric disinfectants, all of which are easy to use and safe for any fabric type. 

Pine Oil – Products such as Pine-Sol and Spic-n-Span can be added at the beginning of a wash cycle to disinfect clothing. Make sure the product you use contains at least 80-percent pine oil. 

Phenolic disinfectants like Lysol work great in warm and hot water. They can be added to either the wash or rinse cycle as long as either is warm. 

Chlorine bleach – This disinfectant works in all temperatures of water, but only for white loads as the bleach will stain colored clothing. Not all bleach products are created equal, so be sure the one you choose contains at least 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite to effectively kill bacteria and viruses. 

Disinfecting Laundry to Prevent the Spread of Sickness

Disinfecting laundry to prevent the spread of sickness in your household is easy. You should be using hot water, your regular laundry soap, and a laundry disinfectant in the washer and then transferring the clothing to a high-heat dryer. Here are a few tips for dealing with laundry when someone is sick. 

  • Use white cotton sheets when someone is sick. These are easy to clean and will withstand the harsher chemicals found in laundry disinfectants better than synthetic colorful sheets. 
  • Wear rubber gloves when handling soiled laundry.
  • Wash soiled laundry as soon as possible so stains don’t have time to set in and it doesn’t contaminate other clothing in the hamper. 
  • Clean the washing machine as it can harbor bacteria, especially if you mainly use cold water to wash your clothes. 

How to Remove Sickness Stains from Laundry

Laundry stains are unavoidable when sickness runs rampant through a household. These stains are usually protein in nature, making them difficult to remove. Here’s what you can do.

Step 1 – Remove as much of the stain as possible. Use a butter knife or a spoon to assist in this.

Step 2 – Rinse the back of the stain with cold water.

Step 3 – Soak the stain in a solution of 1-quart warm water, 1-tbsp. ammonia, and a ½ tsp. liquid detergent. Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the stain and blot periodically with an absorbent paper towel. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Avoid using hot water as it will lock the stain into the fabric. 

Step 4 – Rinse and wash the article. Use cold water to rinse the area and treat it with a spot stain remover. Let it sit for about five minutes and then wash as usual using your favorite laundry detergent.