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Laundry FAQs with Dettol

Here we answer all your laundry- related questions. From how to clean a washing machine, to how to disinfect clothes when washing, Dettol has your laundry covered.

How does bacteria get in to the washing machine?

Bacteria can enter the washing machine from our clothes or linen as well as the water that enters the machine for washing. Due to the plastic parts of modern washing machines, bacteria can grow and form biofilms that stick to the machine. After washing, if the clothing is thoroughly dried the level of bacteria can be reduced, but if the clothing remains damp it’s a good environment for bacterial growth – leading to that damp laundry smell.

What temperature kills bacteria in washing machines?

To kill bacteria that find their way into your washing machine, you should wash laundry at a temperature of 60°C or higher. However, due to the efforts to reduce energy costs and benefit the environment, home laundering now tends to be carried out at 30-40°C. When washing at a low temperature, you can help disinfect your clothing or linens by adding a laundry sanitiser to your wash and cleaning your washing machine by running a cycle without clothes and using a specially-designed washing machine cleaner. Refer to your washing machine manual for how often and what cycle is recommended for your machine. Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner can be used every 2 months to give washing machines a 5-in-1 clean, removing 99.9% of germs^, bad odours, limescale and dirt while leaving a lasting freshness in your machine.

^Germs tested: E. coli, E. hirea and P. aeruginosa.

What’s the best way to clean a washing machine?

You can clean your washing machine with the following easy steps:

  1. Clean the detergent drawer, door and seal with washing machine cleaner. If using Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner, dilute one tablespoon (15ml) in 200ml of water and use gloves and a sponge to wipe these areas clean.
  2. Clean the machine. Follow the instructions on your washing machine cleaner’s pack. If using Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner simply pour the remaining liquid from the bottle into the detergent drawer. Do not use detergent. Run the washing machine at 60°C without any laundry.
  3. Older machines that have never been cleaned may require a second treatment.
  4. Do not mix with bleach or any other household products when using washing machine cleaners.

Does detergent kill bacteria when you wash your clothes?

Regular laundry detergents are designed to get rid of dirt and stains, but may not always get rid of bacteria. Adding a specially developed laundry sanitiser, such as Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Sanitiser (Fresh Cotton), takes your wash to the next level of cleanliness. With a Fresh Cotton fragrance, Dettol Anti-Bacterial Laundry Sanitiser removes 99.9% of germs* in cold water (from 20°C). It delivers up to 12 hours of odour-free freshness on washed wet clothing left in the washing machine.

*Germs tested: E. coli and S. aureus.

How do I disinfect clothes while in the washing machine?

To disinfect clothes while in the washing machine add a laundry disinfectant to your wash.

For a front loading machine simply add 2 capfuls of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Sanitiser (Fresh Cotton) to the fabric softener drawer.
For a top loading machine add 3.5 capfuls of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Sanitiser (Fresh Cotton) to the fabric softener drawer. For a washing machine without a fabric softener dispenser, wash as usual and only add sanitiser in the final deep rinse cycle of your machine.

If handwashing clothes, after washing add 1–2.5 capfuls of water for 20 minutes, rinse (if desired) and dry as normal.

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