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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandmother is worried about my diapers, washer and other laundry being infected with E. Coli. I can't find anything on this in the archives or on other websites. What are your thoughts, mamas?
 

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Well, if washing your hands in soap and hot water kills bacteria and germs, why wouldn't washing diapers in hot water kill them too? It's only logical! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
My dad worried about stuff like that too though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> My washing machine has never gotten dirty looking...and I wipe down the area under the lid but not *in* the machine regularly because it gets dirty with lint and spilled soap and whatever else. I've never heard of anyone getting sick from laundry before!<br><br>
Oh and according to those bacteria tests you see on TV, like where they show you how filthy cell phones and door handles are, you also have e-coli in your underwear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, we wash our hands with antibacterial soap, but I don't use anything antibacterial in my diaper washing or regular laundry. Also, I don't think E. Coli looks dirty, it's microscopic, so the washer would look clean, but be dirty, right?? Do any mamas disinfect their laundry?
 

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I dont disinfect my laundry but I use kitchen rags to clean up raw meat juice then wash on hot & throw threw the drier & never been sick I think just like cooking the high temps kill anything. I wouldnt/dont worry about it.
 

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E coli can be in underwear and we all wash underwear in the washer. What did your Grandma do when she had babes in diapers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
maggiemae, my grandmother used cd on two of her three kids, and she says there was some blue liquid she put in the wash that helped neutralize urine somehow, and it disinfected.<br><br>
She is also a nanny, and I asked her what she would do today with a toddler's underwear that got poop on it, and she said she'd throw it away! But if she did have to wash it, she would bleach it.<br><br>
I read some on the cloth diaper whisperer today, and they suggest bleaching as often as every 10 days, not to kill e.coli type germs, but to prevent diaper rash.
 

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As far as I know you don't have to use antibac soap to get rid of germs...soap is mostly to wash them away (you don't want to KILL too many of them because that's how super bugs are born) So, hot water and soap plus a hot dryer should be fine...<br><br>
Honestly, micro amounts of e-coli are everywhere as it is so I wouldn't worry about it.<br><br>
I am curious about this "magic blue liquid" though...
 

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E coli is pretty common. If you had a hazmat team investigate grammy, she probabaly would be surprized to find it all over her bathroom (even toothbrushes, Check out Mythbusters). There are worse things then Ecoli that with live with every day.<br><br>
Just don't lick the diapers or washing machine and you will all be OK.
 

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There was a episode of Good Eats where he used a clothes washer as a salad spinner. I figured we probably aught to skip that since we CD but never gave a moments thought to long term ecoli effects.
 

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I don't know about all of you, but the 2 weeks I had to use disposible diapers, I had probably as much poop on my sons clothes as I do when he uses his cloth diapers. So unless I throw out every single outfit he has, we are always going to get some fecal matter in the washer.<br><br>
I do sometimes wash the prefolds with bleach and I also do a load of whites every other day and use bleach, so I try to plan it for after the diapers.
 

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There ya go! If you're worried about e coli in the washer, just run a bleach cycle! That seems like an actually reasonable idea. I'm going to say that I do it the next time I hear family complain about how disgusting it is that I wash my clothes in the same washer that I clean diapers in<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I alwalys was told/read that if you were not using bleach in your wash that the clothes were never bacteria free. the bacteria is actually killed in the DRYER, high heat kills it. Another reason I wash my hands after flipping over the laundry
 

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Well I kind of assumed that the sanitize cycle on the wash was sanitizing the diapers. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I think I'd rather do that than put bleach in with them. I dry on extra low heat so I don't dry out the fabric so much and make it really stiff.
 

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All I know is that I cloth diapered three kids with no bleach and mostly line dried. We are an unusually healthy home (not much sickness).<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Ok, we actually talked about laundry and bacteria/viruses in the last micro class I had-and I worked in a micro lab for a year-so those are my credentials for commenting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Though I am no expert-I'm a physiologist.<br><br>
Ok, so pretty much everyone's washing machine contains coliform bacteria-many of them E. coli in particular. Don't forget all the goodies like rotavirus, Hep A, salmonella, and some others that are super-common in laundry. In fact, if you wash underwear in a load, the microbes can hang out for at least another load and get in the next one.<br><br>
So, yes pretty much all of that is killed in a normal dry cycle (doesn't have to be on high, but I don't know about low) except salmonella. Salmonella can survive at much higher temps (something like 130F)-so it's worse if you have spilled raw chicken on yourself and then wash your clothes. And the highest risk (if any, really) is when the clothes are wet and you're moving them from washer to dryer or whatever. Just wash your hands after.<br><br>
What I would do if you're worried about it is to throw some white vinegar in your rinse loads or in a separate rinse cycle after every few loads of laundry. Although, TBH, you'd need to do it after every load because E. coli is in all your laundry. (You don't even want to think about the kitchen). It's just impossible to keep them away. I wouldn't bleach, though, but that's because it's such a terrible environmental pollutant. Or just pop them in the dryer-once your clothes are fully dry it's pretty much impossible to catch e. coli because it really doesn't do well when dried out--add in the heat from the dryer and you're good to go.<br><br>
So, if you're worried about e. coli in laundry:<br>
Wash hands or use gloves when transferring wet clothes<br>
Use vinegar in the rinse (destroys most bacteria)<br>
Dry your clothes thoroughly (sunning on the clothesline should work almost as well as the dryer)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, Ambystoma, that's great information!<br><br>
I have a question, though. If I dry all my clothes on hot, does that mean there isn't any e.coli, or other nasty germs, on my clean clothes, since it's all been killed in the dryer?
 

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I think if I were wrapping sandwiches in cloth diapers I might be concerned.<br><br>
Actually what Ambystoma said is very accurate. Whatever is left on the diapers after a wash is killed in the dryer. I do disinfect my washer occasionally with vinegar, and on very rare occsions, bleach and water.
 

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I'm not really worried about it. I wash my diapers in hot water and I use Tide (but have used other detergents in the past). I would not balk at throwing a dirty kitchen rag in the wash with my clothes, although I do not throw clothes dirty with chemicals in with the clothes.<br><br>
I am curious what your grandmother used to wash her diapers when she was diapering her babes - or did she have a diaper service?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LDSmomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14752695"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow, Ambystoma, that's great information!<br><br>
I have a question, though. If I dry all my clothes on hot, does that mean there isn't any e.coli, or other nasty germs, on my clean clothes, since it's all been killed in the dryer?</div>
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My understanding is that the dryer will kill pretty much any bacteria, yeast, etc.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ledzepplon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14755348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My understanding is that the dryer will kill pretty much any bacteria, yeast, etc.</div>
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Yep, pretty much. I mean, salmonella can still be hanging out (if you've been juggling chicken or rubbing turtles all over your clothes) but most everything is completely killed or reduced in # so much that it is too few to cause infection.<br><br>
And yeah, I like what Vancouver Mommy said-because even if bacteria was on the dipes, you'd have to practically eat one to have a problem once they're dry. Now wet, I can see being a little gunshy about.
 
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