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Washing machine: Another unknown hot spot

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Parents.com: "The washing machine is another unknown hot spot, says Gerba, because fecal matter from underwear (belonging to both kids and adults -- even those who practice good hygiene) spreads to other clothes. So although your laundry may seem clean, some germs may still remain on your clothes. Rotavirus, for example, will survive on soiled underwear in a normal wash cycle, which is typically only 12 minutes long and often uses cold water. It will even survive in the dryer for 30 minutes. The best bet: Use bleach and hot water, when possible. Either clean underwear separately or with other washables that can be bleached to make a load. Bleach substitute for colored underwear is better than nothing, says Gerba, but it won't kill as many germs. Neither will hot water alone because the temperature isn't usually hot enough. Always wash your hands after you transfer wet laundry to the dryer and put the dryer on 45 minutes to help kill more germs."


The Truth About Germs: Where Germs Hide

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