Most household washing machines offer standard settings that are not enough to sanitize attires, according to Beko Philippines assistant general manager Dyeun Zapanta. Together with ineffective laundry methods, viruses could then spread in the washer, latch onto fabrics and eventually target family members, contributing to the cases of colds and flu.
“The flu season is almost upon us and we must take preventive measures to ensure that family members stay healthy under our unpredictable weather,” Zapanta explained. “Aside from regular hand washing and the wearing of protective face masks, families can also keep illnesses away by effectively sanitizing their dirty laundry pieces, which are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and viruses.”
Zapanta advises families to focus on procedures that effectively remove germs and other viruses in dirty laundry piles and use the advantages of efficient washers to safeguard the entire household against all forms of sickness. Beko Philippines shared some important steps in tackling soiled laundry to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and flu viruses in the household, especially during the rainy season:
1. Presoak dirty clothes.
During the days when family members get sick, separate their clothes from the rest of the laundry pile to stop the spread of viruses. Then, decontaminate the attires by presoaking them in a solution of hot water and laundry bleach overnight and remind the household of the importance of grouping clothes to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria and germs.
2. Wash clothes in hot water.
Even with the presoaking process, harmful bacteria and germs may still cling onto clothes. Wash them away in 40°C of hot water and effective antibacterial laundry detergent. While a cool setting of 30°C to 37°C saves water and energy, as well as dealing with most germs, it is not sufficient in removing flu-causing viruses.
3. Use dryers.
The presoak treatment and regular wash cycle with hot water should have eliminated most colds and flu viruses. However, ensure that none have remained by spinning clothes in a hot tumble dry cycle for at least half an hour and, ironing them afterward and most likely, the dryer will be used with clouds blocking out natural sunlight.
4. Disinfect washers.
Know that washers can also host harmful bacteria on its surfaces and drain line after washing loads of dirty clothes. Strip off the buildup of germs in the machine by running a regular cycle of bleach and water at least once a month.