Here’s a fact: our clothing is one of our first lines of defense against harmful and environmental elements. This is the reason why they get dirty, and of course, why we wash them. However, did you know that washing your clothes is not the same as disinfecting them? If we’re not careful, we can even spread harmful microorganisms from one piece of clothing to the entire wardrobe of the whole family. After all, there are germs that can survive, even hot wash cycles and detergent.
This is the reason why it’s critical to disinfect your laundry, especially if there’s someone sick in the family. This will help prevent the spread of germs in the clothes that we wear every single day. In this article, we are going to teach you the art of disinfecting laundry and more.
Why Disinfect Washing Machine
Let’s start with the seat of your laundry’s power, and also the breeding ground of germs, your washing machine.
How Dirty is Your Washing Machine?
Well, research suggests that there are different microorganisms present in your clothing, like E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and more, and if you wash them in your washing machine, this will transfer the germs into the wash water, and by extension, to your washing machine. Over time, these germs can accumulate inside your washing machine, creating a nasty breeding ground of harmful organisms that can make your family sick.
How Often do You Need to Clean the Washing Machine?
Ideally, you should do so once a month, but we recommend doing it immediately after washing the clothes of a sick person. It will help to separate his laundry too and wash it in a different cycle from the others.
Scrub the Interior Components
Anyway, now that you are aware that your washing machine is teeming with germs, the next thing to do is to sanitize it. This will not only remove odor from the washing machine but cleaning your washing machine will also make sure that its capacity to clean your clothes is fully optimized. Let’s start our process of disinfecting laundry by cleaning your machine’s interior components.
Disinfecting the Drum and the Door Seal of the Washing Machine with Disinfecting Wipes
You can do so by giving the drum and the door seal of your machine a good wiping. Use disinfecting wipes to do so. For stains and marks that can’t be wiped off, you can use a clean toothbrush dipped in a vinegar solution. Throw this brush away after use to avoid cross-contamination.
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Cleaning the Parts That Can Not Be Reached
Make sure to wipe down all the surfaces that you can reach. The question now, though, is how to clean the parts that you can’t reach with your brush and wipes?
Use the Disinfecting Solution to Clean the Inside of the Washing Machine
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sanitize your washing machine using a disinfecting solution:
- Fill your washer. You’d want it to fill up to the highest water level of the machine and at the hottest water setting.
- Pour the disinfecting solution. There are cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for disinfecting laundry. However, if you can’t find one at the moment and you need to disinfect your washing machine immediately, then you can also choose between using bleach or vinegar. The choice depends on you and the make of your washing machine. If you think that there are components of your washing machine that can be damaged with the harsh chemicals like bleach, then vinegar is a good, more natural, yet equally efficient choice.
- Set your washing machine to its longest wash cycle. Cover it and allow your washing machine to soak for an hour to let the disinfecting solution to do its magic.
- Clean the other components. If you haven’t done so, this is the perfect time to clean the other components of your washing machine with your wipes and toothbrush, like its dials and lid top.
- Drain your washing machine. But we’re not done yet.
It’s time to give your washing machine a second wash cycle. Again, fill your washer with the highest water level and hottest water setting.
- Add a cup of baking soda. This time, though, instead of your disinfecting or vinegar solution, you’re going to run this cycle with a cup of baking soda. This will help neutralize your cleaning solution and remove any residue that might be left behind by your cleaning solution.
- Drain your washing machine. After doing so, you might want to leave the lid off to allow your tub to dry.
Once dry, give it one last wipe down with your disinfecting wipes. Congratulations! You are now sure that your washing machine interiors are squeaky clean.
Clean the Exterior of the Washer
You might think, though, that this is enough. After all, it is the interior of your washing machine that comes in direct contact with your clothes. However, do not be mistaken. Leaving your washing machine exteriors dirty will expose you and your freshly laundered clothes to cross-contamination. Hence, you must also clean the exterior of your washer. Here’s how:
- Prepare your cleaning solution. This can be the same disinfecting solution that you have used to wash the interiors of your machine earlier but diluted in water as the product label suggests. Again, you can make a DIY cleaning solution of half-part vinegar and half-part water.
- Use a new sponge. You can also use a clean rag, but we prefer using a sponge since we can be made sure that it’s clean straight of its package. Either way, use your chosen cleaning tool to give the exterior of your washing machine a good wipe down from the top down.
- Empty the lint trap. Don’t forget to use your damp cloth or sponge to remove any particles surrounding its frame.
- Wash any removable parts. You can do so using warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent in your sink. Don’t contaminate the freshly cleaned machine interiors.
- Don’t forget to clean the surrounding areas of your washing machine. Vacuum and mop your laundry room. In fact, you can even move on to disinfect the floors if you want to.
As an extra tip: Your laundry baskets and bins are needed to be sanitized every month as well. We suggest scheduling your sanitation routine in your cleaning calendar so that you won’t forget.
To Sum It Up…
Here are some of the important points we have discussed in the article:
- Your washing machine is dirty. Our clothes are dirty and since our washer is always exposed to our soiled clothing, it is only natural that some germs may lurk in there without us even noticing.
- It is important to sanitize your washing machine once a month. And even if it hasn’t been a month yet, it is important to do so after washing the clothes of a sick family member in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Your washing machine is composed of two parts and both of them need to be cleaned thoroughly. This is your machine’s interior and exterior.
- You can use a variety of cleaning tools to disinfect your washing machine. This includes disinfecting wipes, disinfecting solutions, and even homemade cleaning formulas using ingredients known for their sanitizing nature like vinegar and baking soda.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can make sure that you will not only know the way of disinfecting laundry machines, but you’re also wearing clean and safe clothes each day. Stay healthy!