How Do You Kill Bacteria on Laundry?

It takes more than a washing machine and detergent to rid your laundry of bacteria. Bleach and hot water are needed to kill the bacteria.

  1. Sort clothes into bins or hampers

    Designate a separate bin for underclothes, towels, colors, sheets and whites.

  2. Kill bacteria with regular bleach

    Determine which loads need regular or color-safe bleach. Begin by washing a load with regular bleach. Do this to ensure you kill any bacteria that may be living in the washer.

  3. Run an empty hot-water load to kill bacteria

    Determine which loads need to be washed in cold or hot water. Run an empty load every four cycles with regular bleach and hot water to kill the bacteria. Do this when you cannot use bleach on certain laundry items.

  4. Follow washing instructions

    Wash and dry each load as outlined on the care tag on the bedding or clothing.

  5. Wash your hands after doing laundry

    Use antibacterial soap to disinfect your hands after handling dirty laundry.

  6. Sort your laundry

    Use bins, hampers or baskets to sort your laundry. Keep the different types of clothing or bedding separate while you are sorting them to prevent the spread of bacteria during your laundry session.