Neighbor concerned about bacteria in the shared washer. What do I do? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 08:43 AM
 
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I don't think that hot water will kill any germs unless it is boiling hot. I'm surprised she isn't afraid of other people's gross underwear washing in the same washer that she uses. It's her problem, not yours. I would just tell her that you're soaking your diapers in bleach and then not.
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#62 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 10:22 AM
 
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I don't think that hot water will kill any germs unless it is boiling hot.
The reason I mentioned 160 degrees F specifically is because that's the temperature at which e coli is killed.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#63 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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I don't think that hot water will kill any germs unless it is boiling hot.
You don't need to kill all the bacteria, only the species that cause infections in humans (that can live at body temperature) and those are killed at temperatures far cooler than boiling. Bacteria that can survive near boiling temperature find body temperature too cold.
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#64 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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Wow...this thread has really gotten me concerned. We CD (in our own washer) and do not use bleach or hot water. I have gotten in the habit of adding a half cup of vinegar to the 2nd rinse to help get rid of poop smells, but now I'm wondering if that's enough.

A few posts back it was mentioned to add GSE to the wash. Anyone know how much is a good amount? I generally wash 2 dozen dipes at a time.

Wife to Brian , mother to Xander 10/26/05 and new squishy, Claire 9/26/10 .
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#65 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Wow...this thread has really gotten me concerned. We CD (in our own washer) and do not use bleach or hot water. I have gotten in the habit of adding a half cup of vinegar to the 2nd rinse to help get rid of poop smells, but now I'm wondering if that's enough.
Yes, it's enough.

Canadian mom to Boo (Aug '02), Bug (Aug '04) and Bear (Dec '06).
Jesse (July '09)
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#66 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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This thread keeps reminding me of a Myth Busters episode. They were testing the idea that you should put your toothbrush at least a certain distance from the toilet or else you would end up with fecal bacteria on it from fine spray from the toilet. They did a pretty decent experiment with toothbrushes placed all over the studio and found fecal bacteria on all of them. And yet nobody was sick. We are normally exposed to all kinds of bacterial nastiness in small enough amounts that it doesn't really matter. I tend to believe that the scary stuff that some people report finding in washing machines is pretty much harmless because it is in such small quantities.
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#67 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post
This thread keeps reminding me of a Myth Busters episode. They were testing the idea that you should put your toothbrush at least a certain distance from the toilet or else you would end up with fecal bacteria on it from fine spray from the toilet. They did a pretty decent experiment with toothbrushes placed all over the studio and found fecal bacteria on all of them. And yet nobody was sick. We are normally exposed to all kinds of bacterial nastiness in small enough amounts that it doesn't really matter. I tend to believe that the scary stuff that some people report finding in washing machines is pretty much harmless because it is in such small quantities.
Good point. It's easy to let yourself get paranoid, isn't it?

Wife to Brian , mother to Xander 10/26/05 and new squishy, Claire 9/26/10 .
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#68 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 10:02 PM
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I saw a 20/20 type program a few years ago where they mentioned that the average washing machine contains a quarter cup of feces in it at any given time....



a 1/4 of a cup!!!

I always wash underwear and socks in hot water and I always wash them twice.

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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#69 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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We are normally exposed to all kinds of bacterial nastiness in small enough amounts that it doesn't really matter. I tend to believe that the scary stuff that some people report finding in washing machines is pretty much harmless because it is in such small quantities.
I'm in total agreement. A lot of people in the US, in particular, seem to be way too concerned about germs.

I believe that exposure to germs in relatively small quantities is part of what actually keeps us healthy, by providing our immune systems with something useful to do. There have been a number of interesting studies in recent years to back this up.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#70 of 75 Old 12-27-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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makes me think of the beginning and ending of the "war of the worlds" movie. we have built up resistances to the bacteria/ germs/ viruses/ etc. that we come in contact to on the daily basis.

and i still have to say, that the washing machine is probably cleanest AFTER the load of dipes at least i know mine is LOL boiling hot water and vinegar. that next load of clothes gets a nice clean drum to get washed in.
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#71 of 75 Old 12-28-2006, 05:09 AM
 
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I would tell them you've been using bleach, but not use it.
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#72 of 75 Old 12-28-2006, 06:49 AM
 
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Perhaps this study is why the ped believes there is bacteria? http://www.laundry-alternative.com/lurking.htm
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A national study commissioned for the Oakland, Calif.-based Clorox Co., which makes bleach and financed Gerba's laundry study,shows that only 15 percent of all washloads - though half of those with whites use bleach, spokeswoman Sandy Sullivan said.
Iiiiinteresting.

To the OP: That study shows that simply washing your underwear in the washing machine can contaminate that load and the next with e. coli. So this neighbor should use bleach in every load if she is concerned. There is nothing to show that washing cloth diapers increases the risk. People are not dropping left and right with e. coli after doing their laundry, so I'm guessing this is another alarmist study. But it does show that bacteria is present regardless.

Perhaps letting her know this and spraying the washer with lysol will give her a little peace of mind. FTR, no one in my family or building with 48 apartments ever got e. coli from the washer when we used cloth dipes. Nor have they when I have washed *ahem* skid marked undies from my dp.
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#73 of 75 Old 12-28-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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I am really surprised at the number of people who said to tell the neighbor you are using bleach and then don't do it. That is so dishonest. I hope I have better neighbors than that. But then again I value honesty in any relationship. And I have the best neighbor in the entire universe!

Go figure...
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#74 of 75 Old 01-02-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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So, Achintyasamma, what did you end up telling your neighbor?

I think you are really nice for caring about how your neighbor feels (even though we know she shouldn't worry about it! ).

I am thankful I don't have to worry about sharing a washer - whew!
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#75 of 75 Old 01-06-2007, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, Achintyasamma, what did you end up telling your neighbor?

I think you are really nice for caring about how your neighbor feels (even though we know she shouldn't worry about it! ).

I am thankful I don't have to worry about sharing a washer - whew!
We're still negotiating. We're hoping to compromise with us always washing a load of clothes immediately after doing the dipes and wiping the machine with a bleach solution after our second load. My husband will be home today, so one of us will go and talk to them.

And to second another pp, the idea of lying to my neighbor doesn't sit well with me. I have a really good friend in this bldg, and she can't understand why I'm breaking my head over this instead of just telling her that I use bleach, but that's a moral no-no for us.
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