Washing away germs is no joke. Let me tell you, I rescheduled and canceled lunch plans with my sister twice in one week. Why? Because, one by one, 5 of the 6 members of her family fell prey to some plague; a new family member every day. My friend’s husband came in the other day while we were talking, she had to stop for a second and tell him, “Oh yeah, one of the kids threw up on our bed. I need to wash those sheets.” It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The weather doesn’t know whether it’s winter or spring and everyone’s walking around sniffling or calling in sick.
If you want to go to war for your family’s health this season, let me suggest a new battleground for you. Hang a sign above your washing machine ‘the bug stops here. Stop circulating it from one family member to another and throw that pajama top that was used as tissue in your machine right now!
Washing Away Germs Requires Special Attention
Just remember killing off germs can be a different battle than scrubbing out wine stains, so here’s ammunition for your battle.
When you’re trying to kill germs in your laundry, always make sure to use your hottest water temperature setting. Scald those little dudes and cook them out of the fibers of your fabrics before they have a chance to multiply! And while you’re at it, don’t be in a hurry! I know when you’ve got three beds stripped and your kids are out of clean pajamas there’s a real temptation to pick the quick cycle, but steady your hand there, calm down and shoot straight for the heavy wash or the longest cycle your machine has.
Honestly, maybe your machine’s not quite up to the challenge. If that’s the case, run your laundry over to a SPOT laundromat where our machines have the option of an extra wash and an extra rinse. (OK, time out for a shameless plug. I’m sorry, but what parent with sick kids wants to load them up to go to the laundromat? Did you know that you don’t have to? You know what. You don’t even have to do the laundry. SPOT has a pickup service that, honestly, on a week when you’re just trying to keep liquids in people, is well worth it!)
All Bleach Not Created Equal
Alright, so what to put into the machine? Reach to the back of the shelf to the bottle of stuff that you’re scared to use. Come on, this is war, remember. You can do this! Grab the bleach! Honestly, if possible use chlorine bleach and don’t add detergent too. Just add the bleach and walk away. Remember the goal here? Kill the germs? Well, bleach is your ally. Band together with your hot water and wage war.
OK, the last step, you’re almost there. Throw those clean clothes in the dryer and…turn up the heat! Are you seeing a pattern here? Let’s be real though. I feel like so often my battle is won or lost with the dryer. Either I let the clothes sit in the washer too long until they sour or, to save energy, I’ll dry them on low heat and then let them sit in the dryer only to find they’re still wet and smelly and I have to start all over again which is a waste of so much energy; the dryers and mine. So, crank up the heat and get those things good and dry. Mildew will breed in dampness so make sure they’re completely dry before folding and storing
Alright, you did it!! Good job, soldier! Now find some k-ration or a cookie and a cup of coffee before the next battle.