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Disinfect Washer After Washing Pet Bedding

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Sharon S

My Laundry Question

I am looking for a laundry disinfectant that will clean contaminated pet bedding. Specifically, outdoors bedding for an outdoor cat (maybe cats) who has/have worms.

I do not want to contaminate my washing machine. Bleach is fine for the cotton items not so for the woolen items.

I have settled on using white vinegar for the woolen items however, I am not confident vinegar serves as a disinfectant for my washer.

Do you have a suggestion?

Thank you,


Share a Little Background Info

Small rice like particles are excreted from the cat while sleeping which are evident on the bedding in the mornings after the cat has left the bed.

I spray the bedding with a pet spray, then take it to the far side of the back yard and shake the bedding. Then I return the bedding to the sleeping area.

I spray my gloves and the ground area where I shook the bedding with the same pet spray and wash my hands thoroughly.

Stains are not my concern.

I am concerned about contaminating the family laundry via the washing machine.

Lessons Learned

  • No...I want assurance that I will not contaminate my washing machine given that I use cold water for my regular laundry.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

Content of the items are each of the following. Cotton, polyester blends or wool.

The items are old bath towels, blankets, robes, sweaters, shirts, sheets and polyester filled pillows.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Let's talk about the pet bedding first. You're right, chlorine bleach is the best disinfectant for the bedding. Since it is not suitable to use on colored or woolen fabrics. The best thing is the hottest water possible to wash the bedding.

I'm sure that your cats need some veterinary care. We have an excellent Guide to Cats, Franny, who can hopefully help you.

To protect your family, after each pet bedding washing, fill the washer with hot water and add 1 cup of chlorine bleach. Allow the washer to go through the complete cycle. This will disinfect your washer and make it safe for your family to use.

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