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Sanitizing Washing Machine?

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My father was admitted to an aged care facility recently and I pick his washing up every other day, some of which is soiled. I soak the soiled things and then put everything in my front loader. I am worried about cross contamination/infection. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about what I could do to prevent this as I use the machine for my own washing, it needs to be something simple and inexpensive. Thanks in advance.

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Sharyl from Adelaide, Australia

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August 24, 20080 found this helpful

run it through with hotest water and 1 cup clorox and just a bit of detergent with highest water level that will kill any germs inside the basin or in the drainage tubes. do this each time each time after you know you washed items prior that were soiled.
laundramats are the worst places for germs due to soiled clothing baby clothes diapers etc. This was on the cBS news some years ago and they told this same method for sanitizing any machine after soiled items were washed it in. Clorox kills any germs.

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August 24, 20080 found this helpful

i can tell you first hand i NEVER ever would go to a lundry mat unless i was desperate my best friend and her family owned one and she confided in me that since they had a dry cleaning and laundromat they would get t eh funeral homes nearby with bags of sheets and things that were used for embalming and what not but she had to do this late at night after the laundromat closed i was shocked!1 i couldnt believe it i was like grossss!! shes like well someone washes it and they use these because they are bigger and more cost effective to do a bigger load after that when something happened to my washer/ dryer i used family members and i offered to help with the bill if need be!! buy detergent whatever ughhhh!!!!

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August 24, 20080 found this helpful

I use a bucket of hot water with a cup of white vinegar and wash the entire washing machine by hand being sure to get in every crevice and then throw the wash cloth I used and run the wash on hot with clorox bleach. Once finished I take an addition bucket of bleach water and wash thoroughly again then do a load of towels like normal.

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I'm a bit anal. I'm sure that it wouldn't take that much effort to kill all the germs but I'm a bit fanatical. If you have an allergy to bleach the vinegar works great...you could also use hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol or mr. clean or some other wash that kills 99.9% of germs. Most germs however do die in HOT water.

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Anonymous
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

After washing your fathers clothing, run the machine with nothing in it except for a cup of bleach. That will kill anything harmful. You can even use cold water with bleach.

Also you don't have to run the washer on a heavy large load setting, just do normal wash. When the machine has no clothing in it, it will splash the water around very well.

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks to everyone for your input - The Bleach seems to be the way to go so I'll try that instead of the disinfectant which I was using and had doubts about.

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Thanks again everyone

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

Clorox must be a 1:10 solution to kill all bacteria, according to the licensing agencies for surface disinfectants. It works well in cold water but gets evaporated into the air more with hot water. I just wish there was some way to collect and reuse the water, I'm on your page with the need to sanitize but I'm seeing also the amount of water and solutions being discussed here. Remember the cloth diaper days when there was a presoak pail? that of course after swishing them through the toilet.

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By Mary B. (Guest Post)
December 22, 20080 found this helpful

I have heard hot water does not kill germs.

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