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How to disinfect clothes

Recently been ill from the flu or other virues? These handy tips on how to disinfect clothes will ensure your clothes are germ-free!


By Cleanipedia Team

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Key Steps:

  1. Always check the care label of your garment for specific washing instructions.

  2. Wash your clothes with a good quality laundry detergent containing bleach.

  3. Follow the instructions recommended on the label of your detergent.

  4. When a member of your family has an infectious illness, wash at higher temperatures, like 60°C, or a temperature setting as high as the garment care label allows.

Whether it’s after being ill from a virus or simply for all round cleanliness in the home, it is important to keep the household free of germs. Knowing how to disinfect clothes can come in very useful.

Using a detergent that contains bleach, is a good way to disinfect clothes, but it might not be suitable for all situations. Follow these steps to make sure you have clean, germ-free clothes:

How to disinfect clothes and underwear:

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  1. Don't overload your washing machine. A smaller load will allow the water and the cleaning products to move more freely around the drum and to work more evenly on the clothing.

  2. Seperate the load. If any clothing is particularly soiled, it is advisable to separate from the standard items to be washed. This is always a good idea, if possible, when it comes to underwear. This will prevent the relatively unsoiled clothes from being exposed to more germs in the process of cleaning.

  3. Read the care labels. On all clothing, it's good to check for any temperature/time limits, or any guidance on bleach or detergents to use.

  4. Use a high temperature wash cycle. We advise 60°C to make sure all bacteria and viruses are eliminated.

  5. Use a laundry detergent containing bleach. Standard laundry detergent containing bleach, can be used in order to wash the clothes. Always read the label on the detergent before using. If you have hard water, slightly more detergent than usual may be needed. If you don’t have a bleach-based laundry detergent, then try a laundry detergent that doesn’t contain bleach alongside a laundry additive like oxygen bleach. (Again, be sure to read the directions on the label first.)

  6. Clean the washing machine. Finally, ensure that the washing machine itself remains free from germs. Find out more information on how to clean a washing machine here.

There you have it: disinfecting your clothes isn’t an epic mission – you can simply use products you have at home already to safely clean your clothes. Give it a go yourself and keep your household healthy!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is accurate at the time of publishing. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it’s possible that some guidance may have changed since publication. While Cleanipedia is trying to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using GOV UK and NHS.

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Originally published