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How To Disinfect Clothes in an HE Washer

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By lh01

My Laundry Question

Is it safe to use Pinesol in my new He washer? I need to disinfect non-whites all the time, and with the tiny amount of water flushing across my clothes, I am afraid that germs are not diluted enough to get rid of them in some loads (such as diapers.) Also, with these new washers, I am in doubt about how hot the "hot" cycle really gets, as I have read that many manufacturers purposely dumb-down the hot cycle to cold on these "energy efficient" machines. I do not have the kind of machine that has a "steam" "deep clean" or "disinfect" cycle. (Could not afford the extra $200 for that option....If not PineSol-- Vinegar?

Share a Little Background Info

I bleach a lot of whites due to leaky underpads and diapers, but I also have resulting contaminated clothing, as a constant concern in my house for an adult with disabilities. I just need to know-- with these new He washers, if you don't have a steam or deep clean cycle, what products will work to disinfect NON-WHITES and not be too harsh on the machine and also be compatible with He laundry soaps. Is PineSol ok to use, or should I use vinegar, Lysol or another commercial product?

Lessons Learned

  • Maybe I should have bought the more expensive machine or stuck with the old-fashioned full fill washer with hot cycle.*

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

Cottons, mostly

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

Pinesol and Lysol are excellent disinfectants for colored clothes. However, due to the manufacture's warranty on most high-efficiency machines, using anything other than he detergent can void the warranty if they cause problems in your machine. If you do decide to use Pinesol, you can pretreat soiled areas and then wash. Be sure to use original Pinesol which has the lowest chance of over-sudsing.

My other suggestion is to soak the soiled items in a Pinesol and water solution before washing - like a diaper pail. Then wash in the hottest water you can; don't overload the machine and dry the items on high heat. This is your safest way to handle bacteria laden laundry.

Good luck!

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