Is 30 Still Dirty?
There isn’t a better smell in the world, according to a Bupa survey of Britons, than a freshly made bed. It’s understandable that when something smells so soothing, soft and fresh that we also believe it is clean – but that might not necessarily be the case.
We’ve long been advised to switch our household washing machines down to 30° saving energy and helping the environment. For the most part, 30° is more than enough to freshen up our clothes and bedding, leaving them with a delicious smell to boot.
But when it comes to items soiled with blood, vomit and other bodily fluids, a quick spin on a low-heat wash isn’t enough to kill the bugs and germs present in these laundry items. If other garments have also been placed in the machine with the soiled items – or are placed in immediately after – chances are these bugs will be transferred to them.
This cycle of contaminated laundry can perpetuate sickness in households and has been coined the ‘sick laundry cycle’, for reasons you can all-too well imagine if your household has even been struck down with a vomiting bug!
An obvious solution is to make sure that when someone is ill, their laundry is washed separately and at a higher temperature (always check the label and fabric content). Sheets, for example, should be cleaned on a 60° wash in order to remove sweat. It’s also worth cleaning your washing machine by running the machine on empty with the hottest cycle possible.
Drying the laundry thoroughly is also important as bugs love nothing more than a slightly damp environment to breed in. Getting laundry dry is always tricky during the colder months (and who likes seeing socks and pants draped over radiators anyway?) Large bulky items, like pillows, duvets and duvet covers, are worth getting dried in an industrial machine so that the warm air can fully circulate and get everything completely bone dry.
But perhaps the best advice we have here at Butlerz is to always read the care label and mix similar items accordingly. Not only will your clothes get washed at the right temperature – preventing damage, colour-runs and shrinking – but it’s less likely that your underwear will make into the same wash cycle as your tea-towels. A comforting thought for everyone…