I am looking for a good disinfectant for laundry. I am a massage therapist and want to thoroughly disinfect my linens using non-toxic items.
Can you help?
I use Bleach, but you might call a hospital or nursing home. I can't imagine anything more effective than what they use.
You could try some white vinegar, about 1/2 cup per load. Vinegar is a disinfectant; it can remove wrinkles, static, and odors; and best of all, it is inexpensive.
I get horrible stuff splashed on me every day at work in the hospital, so I'm keenly interested in this subject. It takes much more than vinegar or weak solutions of hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria, particularly some of the tougher bacteria that cause serious diseases.
Chlorine bleach (e.g., Clorox), 3/4 cup per laundry load, is an appropriate disinfectant, but can only be used on whites, not colored. It takes an entire bottle of Lysol to disinfect a laundry load. Pine-Sol makes for a great deodorizer, but is an ineffective germicide in the laundry. Best for colored loads: powdered Tide with Bleach. Currently, it is the only commercial detergent readily available at Walmart that kills bacteria and viruses. Use the hottest water the fabric can tolerate and dry the clothes using a heat dryer. That should handle just about anything you might need to kill.
You might want to try adding Dettol to your laundry. (06/13/2006)
I'm a MA myself and I have a few clients that are sensitive to bleach. I always double wash my loads with the hottest temp setting, and I use a combo of vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda along with whatever detergent I am using (I've made my own homemade mix w/Borax, etc., but it can be kind of time consuming). The main thing to remember is that as long as the client isn't bleeding or leaking on the sheets hot water and some natural ingredient like vinegar works fine. If they've bled or leaked on the sheets, it's better in the long run just to toss them.
You might want to try tea tree oil. There is a lot of research into the use of tea tree essential oil (not the cheapo 100 ml supermarket bottles; a good quality one costs about $7 AUD for 10ml or $14 for 100ml.) You only need a few drops, so this will last you a long time. Tea tree oil is one of the few natural substances that is anti fungal, antiviral, antibacterial antimicrobial, antiseptic, and is trialled in hospitals for slow healing wounds. Google it if you find that hard to believe. (10/03/2007)
I use bleach and laundry detergent when washing and then rinse with vinegar. It's suitable as a softener and disinfectant. (05/10/2008)
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