In order to save energy, thereby saving ourselves a few pounds, as well as being a bit kinder on the planet, I've taken to doing all our laundry on a cool wash. I know we're certainly not the only ones to do this - in fact, in a survey by Dettol recently, 96% of the mums who took part in the research say they regularly wash all their family laundry at 40°C - but the problem is, these lower temperatures aren't hot enough to kill all the nasty bugs that may be lurking, particularly if you have a baby in the house and have lots of poo-stained clothes or regurgitated milk going through the wash. When the kids came down with a nasty tummy bug last week, I went back to using a very hot wash to be on the safe side and zap all the hidden nasties.
I wasn't sure if this was a necessary step but it turns out, I wasn't being overly cautious. Dettol carried out some lab tests on baby blankets and their results were alarming. They explain : "It’s notoriously difficult to prize children away from their precious ‘blankies’ but research now reveals baby blankets could be harbouring nasty germs, even after they have been washed. Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol - on washed blankets donated by volunteer Mums - show that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash. In-fact, a third of the washed blankets harboured coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces."
Washing laundry at a low temperature encourages a ‘bacterial soup’ inside our washing machines, with germs transferring between contaminated and uncontaminated items. Many modern fabrics can't withstand really high temperatures though, so Dettol have come up with a solution - their laundry cleanser, which zaps all the nasty germs even at low temperatures. It's reassuring to add some to the wash, especially if someone's been ill or I'm washing the floor cloths. Dettol also have a triple-action solution for the weekly wash :
Banish blankie bacteria with the 3-step ‘More Than Clean Laundry Regime’:
1. Add a laundry disinfectant when washing below 60°C. Dettol’s Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria even at 30°C.
2. Avoid cross-contamination when someone in your family is ill by washing their clothes and bedding separately and keep underwear out of washes with tea-towels and kitchen cloths.
3. Clean your machine by running a 90°C cycle once a month, wiping down seals and the detergent drawer with an anti-bacterial surface cleanser and leave the door open after each wash to keep it fresh and reduce mould growth.
Dettol’s Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser (RRP £4.59, all major supermarkets) kills 99.9% of bacteria when you wash below 60°C. It is dermatologically tested and can be used on children’s clothes and bedding. Just add 2 capfuls to the fabric softener drawer of your washing machine.
Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.
Other blogposts you may be interested in :