Sterilizing/disinfecting colored laundry

eskimobaby87October 21, 2006

Hi! I posted this on the "cleaning" forum as well, but wanted to check to see if anyone here has advice about sterilizing or disinfecting laundry which is soiled with (sorry to be so graphic here) urine/feces. My father was recently admitted to the nursing home and I opted for doing his laundry at home rather than having the nursing home do it. He is totally incontinent and wears a diaper, but occasionally he has some accidents which soil his clothing. I would like to sterilize or disinfect his laundry, but most of it is darker colored clothing so I don't want to bleach it. Any suggestions?

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When I was caring for my mil, I used Lysol. It has a strong smell, but I always felt the clothing was clean and safe to use. I also used very hot water when washing her things-at little hard on clothing, but for cleanliness I felt it was important. It comes in a brown bottle and you can find it in the laundry soap area.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 7:55PM
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You don't need to sterilize or disinfect your father's laundry just because it's been soiled, you just need to give it a good wash. The agitation from the washer is more than enough to ensure that his clothes are clean and ready to be worn again. They won't carry any "germs", before or after they are washed. Using a bleach for colors or pretreating should get out any stains.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Just remember that those are HIS bacteria. They are not anything from another source that will make him sick. Mom47 is correct. There is no need to worry about trying to sterilize his clothing. Soap and hot water will take care of it. It's no worse than baby dresses that accidently get soiled by accidents.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 9:07AM
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Hi and welcome to our family, well i guess i take the easy way out! when things are not that solid i wash them and add vivid (basically a colour safe bleach) or amonia (sorry i'm not in the spell check mood -lol). Also i use bed pads which were send to me by a wonderful person on this site (yes, i still owe you a quilt!) or blue pads -blue plastic with white absorbing stuff (then i went to the puppy dept. at the store and bought puppy training papers) same thing as blue pads only 75% cheaper!!! i also frequent my local Salvation Army - where i can buy sheets for 1.49 or sometimes new still in wrappers for the whole sent for 3.99 or so, then i just throw the solid ones way -- i know throwing away is wasteful, but even though i live on lake superior water is expensive (our water bills are about 80.00 plus a premimum of 90% tax charges, so a load of washing is expensive). if there is an easy way to do it, i will try to find it first! again, welcome! debbie

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Thanks to all of you for your great ideas. What prompted my question was the fact that I had done a load of his clothes which had some feces on them and even though I had washed them twice (I used hot water, Cheer, and Clorox for colors), they still had a bit of an odor. I've never had children, so I'm a little dumb when it comes to knowing how to care for someone with similar needs. I was concerned that there was something I was not doing to clean his clothes properly. Debbie, thanks so much for the information about the pads/sheets. I am thinking about bringing my Dad home from the nursing home because I think I can give him better care, so tips like yours are extremely helpful. Thanks again and thanks for the friendly welcome! Mary

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:07PM
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Rinse as much feces off as much as you can before you put the clothes in the washer. If it looks as if it has dried on, soak the clothes for a few hours and run them through the rinse cycle. Then, do the usual wash. If you still detect an odor, then, perhaps you are putting too many items in the washer at once, or not using enough soap. I suspect it's that you are putting too many in. It's an easy mistake! It doesn't take but one or two extra items before you have enough in there that they can't move around.

A good rule to go by when loading a washer is to just drop them in until the clothes reach the load line, WITHOUT packing them down any. There's that BIG temptation to add just one more pair of pants or another couple of towels. I've done it, and I've regretted it too.

Think long and hard about bringing your father home. You may be able to give him better care in some areas, but they can give him better care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If he needs it, you will have to supply it and sometimes it's almost impossible for one person to do.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:43PM
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Be sure you are using hot, hot water. You could also add washing soda to each load. Use vinegar in the rinse.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:13PM
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well i hit it lucky this weekend! i got brand new packages of 36 depends for 5.99 a package! here they sell for 22.99 at most retail stores, so of course i snapped them up! i also got 2 queen size fitted sheets in lite blue for 2.99 each. also i noticed some plastic back quilted crib pads while walking to the book area, for 99 cents and new at that i figured what can i loose, i figure that the plastic side could go on the bottom and quilted fabric part on the top. so i figure it's worth the try!
i really,really agree with Aggie, think long and hard about bringing your dad home with you. as i have said, like a broken record, i live down the street from a long term care hospital, this was where Al was supposed to move to, but i decided no he will come home and not to a hospital. there are some days that i wish i never got out of bed! it's a hard,hard road, i think i am one of the babies here,(age wise) and i am so tired All the time. and when relatives say i'll help out, the novelty will be over in afew weeks, and like me, you will probably be doing it alone. don't get me wrong, i love Al and my family to death, but sometimes i think just let me have a day just for me.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 10:18AM
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We use a product called "ODO BAN". You can buy it at Sam's Club and it works great.

also, pouring clorox 2 directly on blood will completely remove the stain. I haven't tried it on fecal stains but you might try that (as opposed to adding it to the wash only)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 1:12AM
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Anyone who thinks that laundry does not need to be disinfected is crazy. Just heard ANOTHER survey that said the average laundry pile has more germs and bacteria in than the average toilet!

Your OWN germs?! Yes, they are and can still get you sick....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 1:00PM
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With my experience with care home laundry I would take it to the laundry. No way I would put my clothes in with those or even in the same machine. You can always test by ironing. I brought some of my husband's shirts home to mend and washed them. I didn't think anything of it until I touched an iron to them.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I run an in-home day care. And have learned the best way to get rid of urine odor is to put white vinegar in the wash. I just keep a bottle in the laundry room. I have also heard that washers are notorious for spreading bacteria! It is advised to run a load w/ bleach after each soiled wash.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:33AM
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