Your laundry might smell fresh and look nice and clean. However, it won’t do you any good if it isn’t properly disinfected.
You can always turn to professional laundry services to get your weekly washing done. But if someone at home has been sick, you’ll need to know how to disinfect your laundry properly to prevent further bacterial or viral infections.
Use the recommended disinfectant
Disinfection services exist to deep clean your home, especially if someone living in it has been recently ill. It’s a practical solution if you don’t have the time or proper tools to do so as thoroughly as trained cleaners would.
But you can safely disinfect your laundry at home provided you have the proper disinfectant for the fabric types you’ll be washing. So as not to stain, weaken, or ruin the clothes or bedding, make sure to read each item’s care instructions thoroughly.
Manufacturers typically recommend disinfectants that are safe to use for particular fabrics, textures, and colours. Most can be used with warm or hot water, but care must be taken if the disinfectant is extra-strong and should only be used sparingly.
In addition, delicate items have to be washed using a cold water cycle to prevent damage.
Address different types of stains accordingly
When someone is sick or had a little accident at home, clothing or bedding stains should be expected. Should this happen, strip the affected mattress of its bedclothes or wash the stained clothes ASAP so they won’t contaminate other items in your laundry basket.
You should disinfect the stained items depending on the stuff that caused the stains, too. For instance, bloodstains on pillowcases, sheets, or clothes should be treated with hot water straight away because they could become harder to remove the longer they stay on the fabric.
Stains from coloured medicine and ointments can leave both dye and grease residue on the cloth. Avoid rubbing them into the fabric but use a tongue depressor or popsicle stick to pick up as much of the medication as you can before disinfection.
Always dilute chlorine bleach before use
If you are using chlorine-based bleach, always dilute it with water first before adding it to the washing machine. You won’t need to use filtered water for this since chlorine essentially acts as a purifier.
Never pour bleach of any kind directly onto the fabric. This applies to most fabrics, though particularly vulnerable ones include dyed clothing, those made of silk, wool, or spandex, and high-pile fabrics.
To know the proportion of water to bleach, read the care instructions on both the bleach bottle and the fabric’s laundry tag.
Use rubber gloves when handling infected clothes or bedding
Don’t forget to protect your hands when you’re disinfecting your laundry! Take your cue from dental clinics and aesthetic clinics (or any healthcare service, for that matter) and how staff and technicians always wear protective gear when handling patient-related stuff.
So wear rubber gloves when handling infected items of clothing or bedding, especially bedsheets that have urine, vomit, or other bodily stains on them.
You won’t need to use full PPE gear at home. But your hands definitely need protection from strong bleaches and other disinfectant ingredients as well as possible bacterial and viral contaminants.