Add Mouthwash To A Load Of Laundry To Help Kill Germs

You might be surprised by all the germs lurking in your laundry, but they're there and they're disgusting. While there are plenty of ways to kill germs in laundry, DIY Life points out that antiseptic mouthwash is an effective option you probably already have at home.

Photo by Mike Fisher

All you really need is a cup of mouthwash to do the trick. That's one cup, as in 250mL. Your washing machine is a bit bigger than your mouth, so it needs a bit more to work with. Just make sure the mouthwash you choose is 1) antiseptic and 2) doesn't contain artificial colours that will stain your clothing (most won't, but you should test first). Once you've chose your brand, just toss it in with the detergent and your clothing will be bacteria-free.

Antiseptic Mouthwash - Unusual Uses [DIY Life]


    That's a fairly expensive tip - given mouthwash generally sells for about $10 per litre (generally more). Wouldn't bleach be better?

      True dat, about the expense, however bleach is a fickle bitch to get right, just a little too much and you got a permanent reminder!! :{

    I agree - crazy tip considering the price of the mouthwash pictured. I also thought that the mouthwash killed the germs by way of coating them in the solution containing trace amounts of ethanol and benzoic acid - I can't see this happening in a wash where you're diluting the 250mL (read $2.50) in 7-10L H2O.

    Bleach is fine if you're washing whites but might mess your colours up a bit.

    A tip I use for the dishwasher is to run a cycle with some disinfectant surface cleaner - perhaps this could be the same for the washing machine.

    For those clothes and those power bills that can take it - run your machine at over 70*C and that will ensure the most common bacteria will not get through the wash.

    Interesting factoid; before listerine was re-purposed as the cure for the previously unknown condition "halitosis", it was sold as floor cleaner.

    Wouldn't it have the same effect as antibacterial soap? Most bacteria wouldn't survive the temperatures or environment in an active washing machine anyway, and by using an antibacterial product you're only increasing chances of making the bacteria more resilient, however unlikely that may be.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant! Just hang your clothes out on a line. A dryer is nowhere near as effective at killing the germs.

    Haven't we learnt anything about microbiological (and antibiotic) resistance? Let the microbes we can tolerate live amongst us. Start fighting them and you increase their resistance over time.

    Surely, if you're worried just pre-soak in a bucket of disinfectant. A few ml to a litre is all you need for hospital grade disinfecting.

    1. It's highly questionable whether there is any value in sterilizing your wash, unless you are sharing the laundry with someone with typhoid.

    2. They may survive the wash, but it's unlikely any of the bacteria would survive drying, even with an electric dryer.

    3. If you must disinfect, why not use a common household disinfectant like Dettol. That's what it's designed for.

      Actually I find putting a cheap disinfectant helps stop my towels from getting smelly, as they have a want to do on occasion!! :{

    I use Antibacterial hand wash to clean things like bicycle riding gloves and things that get sweaty.

    Detol and Canesten both sell laundry disinfectant products..

    Hot water and detergent will kill almost all bacteria, at least more than highly diluted listerine.

    Is this same study made by the people who said rinsing with mouth wash was as effective as flossing (in case you are wondering that study was funded by the makers of a certain mouthwash)

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