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De-Germing your Washing Machine

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Old 10-22-2009, 08:14 AM   #1
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Default De-Germing your Washing Machine

This is interesting - on the CBS Morning News Show they've been talking about germs and H1N1 and such...today was checking to see how germy your washing machine is! They suggested every 3 to 4 washes, run an empty load with 1 cup of bleach and COLD water (fresh bleach; not the scented kinds; make sure it says 'kills germs' on label) Apparently there can be, well, your regular household germs, but also the coliform germs (from underwear??)

and of course kitchen sponges just soak up and store germs, but you have to wash your pots and pans of course, so take a container of bleach water and drop your sponge(s) in it for a bit, that disinfects them. And they're relatively cheap enough to ditch after a bit anyway.

Keeping germs under control is especially important for those with young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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I don't think I would like my electric bill very much if I ran an empty load every few washes but maybe once a week would be ok.

I believe you can also stick sponges in the microwave for 60 secs and that kills any bacteria on them.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Learn something new every day...sort of. I have always done that with my washers, not every 3rd or 4th load but about 1-3 times a month and with hot water...why cold I wonder? And I never use sponges!
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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I just realized yesterday that I've been using the same sponge for a while now and probably should at least disinfect it, if not toss it. Most of my dishes go in the dishwasher, so sponges aren't usually on my mind.

I would love to disinfect the washer in my apartment building, but I'm not really up for spending $2 to do a load of water and bleach. Hardly anyone uses it (due to the price) but that probably means it just sits there growing who-knows-what in between washes.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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I always bleach my sponges a few times before I toss them. When I had a dishwasher, I ran them through every week or so (on the top rack). I do my washer occasionally.....

I heard another thing that makes a lot of sense. If someone in your house gets the flu (or really any kind of viral illness as well) that keeps them in bed, you should wash their sheets/pillowcases every day so they don't reinfect themselves, or someone who sleeps with them. Makes good sense to me.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterRat View Post
I heard another thing that makes a lot of sense. If someone in your house gets the flu (or really any kind of viral illness as well) that keeps them in bed, you should wash their sheets/pillowcases every day so they don't reinfect themselves, or someone who sleeps with them. Makes good sense to me.
You can't reinfect yourself with the same virus. Your body develops antibodies to that virus and can't get sick from it again, only a new strain of it. This is only for viruses. Bacteria can reinfect you over and over again.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:04 PM   #7
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hm, I wonder if one could wipe down the interior surfaces of the washing machine with a bleach solution, instead of running a load? maybe that would at least eliminate some germs.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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Well....in the drywall business we come across mold issues all the time...we just mix water and bleach 50/50 and spray it on the problem...seems to work fine...

I bet we could just do that inside the washer...?
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:37 PM   #9
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I replace my tooth brushes every 3 or 4 months... or rotate them into the housecleaning basket for grout etc...
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
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me too...
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:50 AM   #11
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wouldn't you kill the germs when you put your clothes into the dryer? it does get pretty hot in there...
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizziep View Post
wouldn't you kill the germs when you put your clothes into the dryer? it does get pretty hot in there...
I had always thought that also! but the scientist interviewed said the dryer does not get hot enough. He did say what temperature it would have to be but I forget what that was
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