Washing Clothes

@carolbee (16231)
United States
January 11, 2008 12:35pm CST
I heard on the news this morning that washing clothes in hot water doesn't make them clean until they are put in the dryer. Also, that we should wash our hands after handling washed clothes since they are not clean even though they have been washed. If the label says not to put a garment in the dryer, does this mean we are wearing dirty clothes? Does this also mean that clean clothes are unsanitary if we are also doing a chore such as cooking at the same time? This is crazy. Now I have heard of everything..lol I do wash our clothes in cold water but towels and washcloths in hot water. What's your opinion on this information?
5 people like this
11 responses
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I heard that your best chance to get ecoli is from transfering your underwear from the washing machine to the dryer....that bacteria is not killed until the water or dryer reaches 165 degrees....I wash almost everything in warm water with a cool rinse....so my life is in jeopardy everytime I wash the clothes...I might have to just quit washing clothes! LOL
4 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
11 Jan 08
You are saying what this woman said this morning but she was also referring to all clothing as well. Guess there is some truth to this theory. Thanks for the information response.
2 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
11 Jan 08
Oops, thanks for the informative response. Had confused fingers there for a minute...lol
1 person likes this
@bowtieguy (5924)
• United States
14 Jan 08
My mother used to say that to me when she taught me to wash my clothes. I have always washed my hands after handling laundry since the soap isn't very food safe, since I spend half the day doing laundry I need my hand to be clean for cooking and other household chores.
3 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
14 Jan 08
I haven't heard that laundry is unsafe after washing until recently. Thanks for your response.
2 people like this
• Canada
11 Jan 08
So if you're correct, your washcloths are never clean!! Ewwwwww! I find this logic flawed and I would need some sort of scientific explanation to believe it. (now I sound like Scully from the x-files) Think of chefs who all wear white, they must wash in hot water and then deal with our food... hmmmmm
3 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I, too, thought it was an awfully bizarre comment to make on television this morning. This woman was suppose to be some sort of specialist. Nobody has ever said to me that my clothes look or smell dirty. I disagree with this woman. It's not very logical at all. Water and soap wash our hands so why not the same theory for clothes? lol Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 08
I think it's horse manure. There may be some truth in it as far as removing all bacteria, but if we start to think that way we will never eat, drink or leave our homes.
2 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
13 Jan 08
Sounds like the concern is with the handling of underwear when wet and transferring to the dryer. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
11 Jan 08
Sounds like a bunch of BS to me LOL The clean part, I sort of understand because if you leave clothes wet they will grow mildew. I can understand handling dirty clothes and washing your hand, seems a bit extreme for clean clothes though. I am like you, only towels and whites go in hot water. A lot of our stuff is hung up to dry too.
2 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I hang up alot of clothes to dry because I don't want them to shrink or the label says to line dry. This does sound crazy. Wonder if the soap companies are behind this one....lol Buy more soap to wash the hands type of thing. BS is right on this one. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@pinay81 (1538)
• Philippines
11 Jan 08
its my 1st time to read this but when we i wash clothes specially white i always use bleach liquid to kill some bacteria and to make it more white specially if really dirty except to those clothes with color i just wash it in warm water and dry it with the drier and under the sun maybe it will kills germs because of the heat.thanks for your info
2 people like this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I do use dry bleach occasionally on whites but never on colors. Also forgot to mention the news clip said we are suppose to run a washer full of hot water with bleach after each use. I don't do that and our clothes appear to be clean. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@owlwings (41800)
• Cambridge, England
18 Jan 08
Our machine washes at the quite low temperature of 40 celsius (104 F, if you prefer). The detergent we use is designed to work best at that temperature and it saves some electricity. The reason why you should wash your hands after handling washed clothes is, I think, because detergent is not friendly to one's skin and (in the days of twin tubs) when one had to transfer the clothes from the wash tub to the spin tub, there may still have been a small amount of detergent in the wet clothes. Spinning them dry (well, damp) would get rid of most of this. I believe that it is nonsense that it is the dryer that 'cleans' clothes! Some old wives' tale has got well and truly garbled there! We never had a dryer (and still don't), so clothes were hung on the line on good days and draped over the radiators on wet ones. These days, I think, a little more notice is taken of people who are allergic to washing powder and also washing powder does a better job than it used to. Before the advent of washing machines (and in the country) the weekly wash would, as often as not, be done in the local stream or creek with ordinary household soap. Now, nobody is going to tell me that clothes weren't as clean then as they are now! As a matter of fact, soap and washing powder are very efficient bactericides. The mere fact that they can help make something wet is absolutely lethal to bacteria (and also to small insects like greenfly on your roses). No, if you hang your clothes on the line, they actually dry more naturally in the wind and the sun than they do in the dryer. They will likely smell fresher, too, and be more pleasant to wear than the ones that have 'Summer Breeze' or 'Spring Meadows' added from a bottle!
1 person likes this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Thanks for your very informative response. It's hard to imagine after all my years of washing clothes and cooking dinner at the same time I was doing something that could be potentially dangerous to my family.
@owlwings (41800)
• Cambridge, England
18 Jan 08
Having read the reply above about E. Coli, I can see the point of the warning. E.Coli is normally a harmless bacteria (in fact a beneficial one) which occurs naturally in the gut of most people and helps us digest our food. There are a few strains, however, (including E. coli O157) which may be transferred from animals, especially cattle. This is by far the commonest source of an E. coli infection. It can, of course, also be passed on from an infected person. I think that the point to be aware of is that, unless a member of the family has an E. coli infection, there is exceedingly little risk in handling the family wash. Here are the general precautions you should take to prevent others being infected if you or a member of your household has it (and there will be no doubt when there is an infection). "Pay particular attention to personal hygiene - thoroughly wash hands (using hot water, soap and a nailbrush) after using the toilet and immediately before any handling, preparing or serving of food. Do not share towels. Supervise children in their hand-washing after using the toilet and before eating food. Take particular care if you have to attend to elderly relatives suffering from diarrhoea associated with an E. coli infection. Wash soiled clothing and bed linen in a domestic washing machine on a ‘hot cycle’. Flush as much faecal matter as possible down the toilet. To reduce contamination, soak clothing and linen in a household disinfectant before washing. Wear disposable plastic or rubber gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Cleaning the toilet For as long as people are unwell: · wipe the toilet seat with disinfectant after each use, · wash and disinfect other items like bedpans or potties after each use, · use a cloth soaked in disinfectant to wipe the toilet seat, flush handle, washbasin taps, and door handle two or three times a day, · clean the toilet bowl using a toilet brush and disinfectant. Rinse the brush by flushing the toilet, and replace in its holder, · keep any rubber gloves used for cleaning the toilet for this use only, · flush the toilet with the seat and lid down. Laundry · keep dirty laundry from anyone with food poisoning separate, · if possible remove any heavy soiling into the toilet before washing, · wash soiled clothing and bedding separately on as hot a washing programme as possible without exceeding fabric care instructions. (This was copied from a PDF Factsheet produced by South Oxfordshire District Council. There are many similar factsheets available. I chose this one because it was the first I found that made more than a passing mention to clothes washing.) Soap and handwash (also the bactericidal hand gels) are recommended as being adequate for handwashing. Using a dryer may give some protection but, of course, only if the fabric is capable of withstanding the temperature. Pesronally, I would pre-soak any soiled clothing or linen in a disinfectant before washing.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
18 Jan 08
Thank you sooo much for this post! I now know just what I can say to hubby as an argument for a housekeeper. I will say something like, "For the safety of you and the children, I need a housekeeper. For instance, each time I do laundry, I am at a risk of contaminating my hands with e-coli and then cooking dinner for the three of you." Yup, I'll use this for part of my rationale! On a more serious note, after reading the responses, it does make sense. I do not use hot water for my routine washing, and I'm sure cold water and soap doesn't likely kill e-coli. Guess I'll definitely start washing my hands well after doing laundry!
1 person likes this
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
18 Jan 08
I like your way of thinking...lol Very clever. I do have a cleaning lady who comes twice a month but I don't let her do the laundry. I can't let her wash the clothes after having her hands in my toilet. Just the thought.....ewwwww! Let me know if your idea works by talking with your husband and explaining why you need a housekeeper. Thanks for your interesting response.
@writersedge (22577)
• United States
14 Jan 08
Then my clothes aren't clean all summer since I dry them on a clothesline. Strange, they seem dirty before and clean afterward. Especially body ordor before and none afterward and mine are sent-free, perfume free, etc.
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
14 Jan 08
It's hard for me to understand the theory because my clothes seem clean after they are washed. Nobody around me complains.......lol Not everything I wear is put in the dryer per the label. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
19 Jan 08
I think this information is very strange. It does not seem reasonable to me, and I do not trust it. Weird, huh?
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
19 Jan 08
It was on tv earlier this week. A lady was a specialist in that area. Not sure I really believe her as it doesn't seem very logical. Thanks for responding.
@tiffiny (872)
• United States
18 Jan 08
I have never heard of this. I thought that if you washed things in hot water the heat and tempurater kills all the bad things becuase they need a certain climate to live. Like the germs do. So this is news to me. I wash in cold water as it saves energy and such but if you dump soap in doesn't that end the argument. Lol Just weird
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
18 Jan 08
I also wash clothes in cold water but towels and washcloths in hot. This whole theory is new to me and now makes me wonder if the clothes I don't put in the dryer are clean and germ free. Thanks for responding.