Sterilizing/disinfecting colored laundry

eskimobaby87October 21, 2006

My father recently entered a nursing home, and I have opted to do his laundry rather than letting the nursing home do it for us. Since he is incontinent, and his laundry is often quite soiled, I would like to be able to sterilize or disinfect each load of his laundry. Most of his clothes are darker colors, so I don't want to use bleach. Any suggestions?

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suse17

We use old-fashioned, out-of-style pine oil in addition to detergent. Though I don't much like the smell when it is wet, once dried, the clothes just smell clean and fresh - the disinfectant smell is all gone. We use it on darks all the time, with no ill effect.

One interesting note - when shopping for pine oil products, we learned to check the lable for the percentage of pine oil in the product. Price is not always a good indicator. Some of the better-known national brands have a much lower percentage of pine oil at a much higher price per ounce. We do most of our grocery shopping in Shoprite (central NJ) and found, that at 30%, the Shoprite brand is the highest concentration of pine oil at a price close to the lowest.

We also found (learned it on the Laundry forum) that you can use hot water on most darks. We've not experienced any fading due to the hot water, and it should do a better job of sterilizing.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 9:41PM
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jxbrown

The dryer should be cooking any bacteria that makes it past the detergent in the washing machine.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 5:17PM
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lazy_gardens

Laundry detergent and hot water will kill anything that is pathogenic.

Add 1/2 cup or so of baking soda for deodorizing.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 8:51PM
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quiltglo

Really, just washing in as warm of water as possible and drying will do just fine. My parents ran a boarding home for the aged when I was a teen so we had lots of urine and soiled items. What will help the most is the get the items washed quickly. Otherwise, you may end up with stains.

Gloria

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 11:32PM
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lindac

For those of us who washed cloth diapers for a lot of years, I second the fact that detergent and hot water does a fine job.
If it makes you feel better a soak for a couple of hours in a solution of something like pine sol, a spin out and then a regular wash should take care of anything "noxious".
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 11:23AM
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brutuses

Borax is better for disenfecting than baking soda. Baking soda can bleach and cause colors to change. Learned that the hard way!! What about all fabric bleach by clorox? Also, there is a product called Odor Mute that kills bacterial odors on contact. It's an enzyme killer. It's sold for dogs and cats, but I use it in my wash water when I wash rugs or linens that can't be washed in hot water, but have been soiled by the animals. It's very inexpensive. Come in a powder. I order it on-line at KV Vet supply, but you might be able to find it locally.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 9:30PM
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nwroselady

I do laundry for an elderly person with an incontinence problem and found that a regular wash didn't always take out the odor. What seems to work is using Borax and liquid laundry detergent, and giving the sheets from a couple of hours to overnight to soak before washing.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:51PM
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stir_fryi

After having a baby nine years ago I remember the nurse telling me that urine is sterile and there is no need to use a baby wipe or wash cloth on her bottom when she just peed. My kids peed in lots of outfits when they were being potty trained -- the best thing to do is wash immediately just like you do your other clothes.

#2 is another issue though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:10PM
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fuzzywuzzer

I think Biz is great for taking out stains and odors.
FW

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 11:45AM
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