Bacteria Lurks In These Common Places, But these Tips Can Help

Low-Temperature Responsible For Bacteria Transmission When it comes to finding the possible causes of such widespread bacteria, the temperature setting of your washing machine can be… Trista - November 29, 2019
High temperature kills the bacteria. Pixabay

Low-Temperature Responsible For Bacteria Transmission

When it comes to finding the possible causes of such widespread bacteria, the temperature setting of your washing machine can be one of the significant reasons. There is a specific temperature at which your machine wash clothes. Higher the heat, the lower the bacterial transmission. The high temperature will help in killing the bacteria at the early stage, while the low temperature will give them ample opportunity to thrive inside your machine. It is essential to ensure the temperature of your washing machine to determine whether it is prone to bacterial transmission or not. 

Ordinary household washing machines are functioned at lower temperatures making your laundry prone to bacteria. Generally, they work at 40° C that is ideal for bacteria to grow in your washing machine and later on your clothes. These household detergents can only remove the dirt and stains; they are not capable of disinfectant cleaning. Commercial machines that are used in big industries, hospitals, public laundries, come with high temperature and have disinfectant cleaning. 

They are considered ideal for eradicating the possible bacteria from your washing machine. If you are using your household washing machine, it is advised to avoid cold water washing in order to prevent the bacteria transmission as much as possible. You would not want to contaminate your washing machine. Though the modern washing machines come with the feature of disinfectant cleaning at lower temperatures as well, it is vital to keep checking the temperature. Washing at a lower temperature is also safe for the environment as it saves power and energy. Let’s take a look at the different temperatures at which your washing machine works differently.  

  • 20° C: The most energy-efficient temperature at which you can wash clothes and also contribute to a cleaner environment. 20° C washing reduces running costs but does not work on the bacteria. It is ideal for washing delicate clothes, especially. There are high chances of developing molds in the washing drums while washing at this temperature.
  • 30° C: Best washing temperature for wools, silks ad dyed fabrics, 30° C is also an energy-efficient temperature to wash clothes. A majority of households wash clothes at this temperature. You would need a good detergent to get thorough cleanliness at this temperature.
  • 40° C: A slightly warmer temperature to wash clothes, you can clean all your cotton, acrylic, wool mixes, and polyester blends at this temperature. You cannot clean your delicate fabrics at this temperature.
  • 50° C: An ideal temperature to wash of stubborn stains and keep your clothes safe from bacteria, scientists advise to wash clothes at 20° C or higher temperature to steer clear from the bacteria transmission. 
  • 60° C: The perfect temperature to kill bacteria, viruses, and remove stains, this temperature is ideal for catering to all your washing requirements. 60° C is best suited for washing bedding and towels.

The higher temperature is recommended to kill the bacteria and removing the molds on the washing machine and clothes as well. According to NHS (National Health Survey), the ideal temperature to wash linen, towels, and underwear is 60° C, as it will help in killing all the possible and deadly bacteria. Especially when you are washing soiled clothes that have stubborn dirt and stains, you would need to use high temperature. Hence, it is advised to use public laundry if you need to wash more dirty clothes and avoid the risks of bacteria. 

Can you stop the spread of bacteria in your washing machine? Pixabay

Washing Machine Bacteria

So far, you must have learned how washing machine bacteria are harmful and how they possibly enter your washing machine, now the most important thing is to understand the ways to stop such widespread. There’s no second thought in saying that you need to keep your machine clean to prevent germs and bacteria from lingering in your machine and causing severe health issues. Take a look at the below methods of cleaning the washing machine to avoid the risks of bacterial growth. 

  • For effective and long-lasting cleanliness, you must do a little extra work in your weekly cleaning regime. Run an empty cycle once a week with a cup of vinegar or bleach. This barren run will make your washing machine disinfectant. Follow this method regularly to keep your washing machine free from bacterial accumulation. 
  • Mold growth is another major cause of dirt and bacteria growth in the washing machine. To avoid mold spores from developing in your device, keep your machine door open after the wash, so that it can get ample air supply. The moisture after the wash makes your device more prone to molds. 
  • Rubber or plastic ring of your washing machine door is also the hot spot for bacterial growth. Hence, it is crucial to wash them properly with an anti-bacterial cleaner at regular intervals. Cleaning after every wash is considered beneficial to control bacterial growth.
  • There’s a lint filter in your washing machine that collects all the fabric lint that is shredded from your clothes during the wash. It is essential to empty that filter after every wash as it can develop bacteria and germs from the lint. Empty the screen every time and clean the filter thoroughly at least once a week.  
  • Another brilliant way to keep your machine safe from the contamination is to sort the laundry according to the fabric. Underwear and towels are most likely to have pathogen bacteria that are significant causes of skin disease. Hence, they must be washed separately in order to avoid bacterial growth. It was found that a load of just underwear would have 100 million E.coli, which can further contaminate another laundry as well.
Is detergent strong enough to kill bacteria that is already inside of the washing machine? Pixabay

Can Detergent Kill Bacteria?

Detergent alone cannot impart much effect on the stubborn bacteria, but when combined with hot water, detergent can tackle bacterial growth. There are two factors that you need to consider while using detergent to kill the bacteria, high temperature, and the fabric you are washing. For instance, a wool cloth washed at 80° can make it shrink. Hence it is essential to check the label of your clothes and read the instructions for washing. 

Using hot water with detergent at a temperature of 40°C and more is considered ideal for killing the stubborn bacteria. For better results, you can also add oxygen bleach into it. For a deep clean, soak the clothes in the solution of oxygen bleach and water for half an hour before running it.

The ideal method to complete disinfectant cleaning is by skipping the tumble dry step of washing. Please don’t tumble dry your clothes, instead of spread them in the sun. It is one of the effective methods to eliminate the germs from the clothes. Give your clothes ample exposure to the sunlight, as the UV rays of the sun can kill all the possible bacteria and viruses present in your clothes.

Protect your home from germs. Pexels

Say Goodbye to Germs Today

There’s no doubt in asserting that your home is the safest place to reside. Protecting you from the cold, heat, and rain, your house keeps you from all the possible threats. But have you ever imagines that whether your sweet home is safe from bacteria and germs? Probably not, because though you clean your house, you cannot see the possibly harmful viruses. There are plenty of chances through which bacteria and germs can attack your home. From the kitchen sink to the toilet seat, every tiny corner of your home is brimming with bacteria that can make you severely ill. 

A washing machine is one such item in your home that houses thousands of bacteria. Though with the advent of technology, the latest washing machines come with germ and dirt free technology and auto-clean feature, they cannot get rid of the germs completely. Various studies and research have found that washing machines can become a haven for bacteria. Though it’s your machine that cleans clothes, it is essential to understand that your washing machine needs cleaning too to remain bacteria-free. 

The guide as mentioned above is everything that you would need to know about washing machine bacteria and the ways to steer clear from it. Prioritize your family’s health and make t a mandatory habit to clean your washing machine just like any other item in your house.