Why is it important to disinfect your washing machine? According to a study published in the July 2007 edition of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, toilet seats and door handles may be cleaner than your empty washing machine. Disinfecting the machine on a regular basis is even more critical if you wash clothes in cold water. (You can read more about the research here)
Here are a few steps you can take to sanitize your machine.
Daily: Wipe your machine down daily with simple soap and water to keep it clean and free from dust and debris. Clean the outside of the machine as well as the lid. Be sure to wipe around all rubber parts as well.
Weekly: Running either a front load or top loading washing machine on the Full/Hot Water/Long Cycle setting with 1 ounce of bleach and 1 tablespoon of borax washing soda both cleans and disinfects it thoroughly.
Washing Tip: Home washing machines, which are likely used for such items as throw rugs and heavily soiled outer clothing benefit from adding borax washing soda to the bleach-cleaning load. Washing soda added to detergent with each load of laundry also prevents the build-up of grime in and around the washing tub, reducing the need for frequent tub cleaning.
Washing Tip: Washing machine cleaning is essential during the cold and flu season to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Households with young children, particularly those with babies, are susceptible to continually re-infecting family members unless such appliances as washing machines are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
“Cleaning and Sanitizing the Home.” Colorado State University Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <www.fshn.cahs.colostate.edu/extension/files/CleaningandSanitizingLeaflet.pdf>
“Purex Compatibility with High Efficiency Machines .” Purex Laundry Detergents, Softeners, and Boosters. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <http://www.purex.com/laundry-help/high-efficiency-washing>.
“Clean laundry? Think again .” Arizona Daily Wildcat . University of Arizona, n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/ 009/11/clean_laundry_think_again