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Is it gross/unsanitary to combine kitchen towels with sock & underwear in the washer?


Is it gross/unsanitary to combine kitchen towels with socks & underwear in the washer  

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  1. 1. Is it gross/unsanitary to combine kitchen towels with socks & underwear in the washer

    • Yes
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    • No
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I guess y'all won't be visiting me.;-)

 

I wash towels and and underwear/whites and lights together often. I don't use bleach, and I use a warm water wash/cold rinse.

They get dried in the drier in winter and outside once the weather gets warmer.

 

I wash everything else with cold water.

 

I guess we are gross and unsanitary.

This would describe me.

 

My mil lived with us for about a month a few years back. She HATED that I would take dish towels and rags and throw them in the wash machine until I did my next load of whatever. It made her NUTS! I think I did it even more because I knew it made her crazy! Just kidding... sorta.

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Those of you who are disgusted by the thought of combining, do you have separate hampers so a pair of undies never touches a dish towel?

 

Clothes go in hampers in the bedrooms. Dishtowels collect in a bin in the laundry room (which is the room between the kitchen and the garage, so it's also where shoes and recycling live). There is no reason why my underwear would ever come into contact with dishtowels under normal circumstances--that would take planning.

 

When it's time to wash underwear/socks, I sort a whites load out from the bedroom hamper and wash it. It fills a basket, so I would never need to combine it with anything else in order to make up a full load.

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Guest RecumbentHeart
I've actually thought about this a lot. If your washing machine is not working well enough to clean your underwear in the first place, you shouldn't be putting them back on your body. I mean, wildly icky to do that, especially after they've sat there for a few days in the hamper with the family's dirty socks, kwim? And the same thing applies to those towels - whether for body or dishes. So, I have come to the determination that yes, if your machine, detergent, etc works properly, it is okay. If not, well, then don't and get your machine fixed.

 

I agree.

 

Next to none of you would come to my house though because personally, I wash with cold, never use bleach, always combine such things. The only stuff that gets washed separately in it's own load is the cloth diapers/wipes/sanitary pads.

 

All that being said, our family has less incidents of sickness than any other I know. In fact, hardly any .. and when someone has gotten sick it's been ridiculously minor compared to everyone else I know coming down with the same thing. :001_huh: go figure, huh?

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:iagree:Us too. I didn't know it was controversial.

 

That's how my Mom did laundry, that's how I do it . . . we're all still alive.:D Apparently not as clean as we should be ;) but alive.

 

I didn't know it was either, until my neighbor told me how gross it was to mix underwear with dish towels and such. She washes her sheets separately too.

 

Cindy

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She washes her sheets separately too.

 

But...doesn't everyone? :001_huh:

 

This is pretty funny really because I consider myself a relaxed and cluttered housekeeper. I would never have realized that my laundry habits are picky and germaphobic.

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:confused:

 

Frankly, our underwear is not the poop-encrusted, urine-stained fright which all these posts have me concluding that you poor laundresses are facing. We have only dirty garments in the sense that they were worn for one day, and the fabric acquired perspiration. How are we so lucky ?

 

:confused:

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I guess many of you wouldn't want to come visit me! I throw it all together, wash on cold, and hang them to dry. Am I gross?

 

No judgement from me! I was just wondering based on my neighbor's observation that it was gross to combine my laundry. I usually wash them in the sanitary cycle with no bleach, except maybe once every few months. Today was the day I decided to wash with bleach, so I included it in my post. BTW, DH is a huge germophobe, which is why we wash such clothes in hot water. If it were up to me, I would use warm or cold water to save $.

 

 

Cindy

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:confused:

 

Frankly, our underwear is not the poop-encrusted, urine-stained fright which all these posts have me concluding that you poor laundresses are facing. We have only dirty garments in the sense that they were worn for one day, and the fabric acquired perspiration. How are we so lucky ?

 

:confused:

To me the problem is in combining dishtowels (ew) with my nice undies which are going to be all clean when they're washed, as long as they aren't contaminated by kitchen filth. :tongue_smilie:

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To me the problem is in combining dishtowels (ew) with my nice undies which are going to be all clean when they're washed, as long as they aren't contaminated by kitchen filth. :tongue_smilie:

 

These are separate loads to begin with, because they are of very different fabric types. Towels best are washed on the "sturdy" cycle; women's intimate wear on the gentle cycle. So no problem exists in that case !

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I also wanted to add that it also makes putting away easier to wash seperately. And I too agree that it is not the dishtowels getting dirty from my underwear that I am worried about. It is the underwear getting some of the germs from my dishtowels and rags that I am worried about. I had no idea that was the way it was being viewed.

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On the sanitize cycle I think it's ok. I still don't do it--I wash my underwear/socks on sanitize cycle on their own but we've got lots so it's a full load when I do that load.

On cold (or warm) water--it's not sanitary.

http://www.housekeepingchannel.com/a_801-Airing_Dirty_Laundry_Issues

If e coli is left in the machine and on the clothes in a cold water wash (underwear that looks clean averages 1/10 a gram of feces bacteria on average) I'd rather not be washing it with the towels I dry my dishes and hands with. So it's gross to me especially if it's not followed by a hot dry cycle. But most of us are not going to get sick from it if the family members aren't carrying anything pathogenic. My kiddo got a really nasty parasite. I'm glad I wasn't washing our underwear on cold with our kitchen towels. I think we'd all have it.

Edited by sbgrace
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We have all white socks/underwear/kitchen towels/dishcloths. I toss them all in with detergent, hot water, and bleach. It's the way my mom washed laundry for years and we all survived. It doesn't gross me out. At all.

 

I laundered cloth diapers in our machine for over three years as well (not with the kitchen towels, but in the same machine).

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I said "yes" before I read your OP. However, I'd rather not wash my undergarments in the sanitary cycle as that would be very hard and damaging to them, IMO. For my front-loader that's 90 minutes in very hot water. I only wash my kitchen towels on the sanitary cycle. I don't use bleach on them because it would damage the colors.

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My short answer is--no, I wash all white/lighter clothes together, with Tide and Oxy-Clean, with very warm water, and I usually run the wash cycle through twice. I just don't have time to do laundry any other way.

 

There are all kinds of things that can transfer germs/bacteria from one piece of clothing to the next. For example, how many of us disinfect our laundry baskets between uses? Technically speaking, each load of dirty clothes that is sitting in a laundry basket transfers its germs to the basket.

 

I do the best I can to protect my family from germs, etc. I just do not have time to worry about anything beyond that. :)

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:confused:

 

Frankly, our underwear is not the poop-encrusted, urine-stained fright which all these posts have me concluding that you poor laundresses are facing. We have only dirty garments in the sense that they were worn for one day, and the fabric acquired perspiration. How are we so lucky ?

 

:confused:

 

:lol:

It does make one wonder what is going on with everyone's laundry, doesn't it?

 

 

It happens that our towels and undergarments are washed separately. Not due to the ick factor, but because of the way I sort. I have three hampers: White, Light and Dark.

My dish towels are white (I use bar towels) but nobody here wears white underwear.

So if any of you come to visit, you can be assured that my undies never came into contact with that cloth napkin (also white) that I just put in front of you. :D

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Doesn't faze me at all, but it rarely happens around here because I usually accumulate enough rags/kitchen towels/bathroom towels/pillowcases to make a full hot-water-and-vinegar load on their own. I'm not averse to tossing in a pair of gotchies or two for someone who needs a fresh one no matter what the load is though :D

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"Sanitize cycle" = ? ? ?

 

My washer is 26 years old. This must be some new feature.

 

It is. I got an LG steam washer a couple of years back when my old one died and was surprised to see this cycle as well as a baby cycle. I have no idea what the difference is. Also, the sanitary cycle is almost two hours long. I wash whites every other week because of this.

 

 

Cindy

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Also, the sanitary cycle is almost two hours long. I wash whites every other week because of this.

Cindy

 

I am floored.

 

a cycle that lasts nearly two hours ?! :001_huh:

 

I suspect that less energy would be required to, as in olden days, simply boil the clothing and sheets on the stove (or over an outdoor fire), then hang them out to dry.

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Mostly because it seems like overkill to have to use bleach and the sanitary cycle. It does not seem energy efficient to me, and it also just seems sort of gross even if I know that there is no pathogen to worry about after that treatment.

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All the whites get lumped together with a shot of bleach at my house. If I did kitchen towels and washcloths separately I would waste a ton of water. I would have to let them sit for a week getting nasty before I had enough for a load!

 

Not here, it also grosses me out to reuse them later in the day. I do a load of kitchen towels and cloth napkins every 2 or 3 days.

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All the whites get lumped together with a shot of bleach at my house. If I did kitchen towels and washcloths separately I would waste a ton of water. I would have to let them sit for a week getting nasty before I had enough for a load!

 

:iagree:

 

And I only use cold water unless it's something particularly gross.

 

I do wash my small area rugs/bath mats seperately though. Oh, and dog bedding. Other than that, it gets sorted by reds/whites/darks.

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Yes I do. I have a hamper (actually a laundry basket) in the laundry room for all my dish towels, rags, and tea towels.

 

Ditto. I get uptight when other things end up in there too.

 

I guess I shouldn't be replying as I read. I didn't realize how many points would be raised with this one question.:lol:

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I don't generally combine them, but that's more because underwear/socks/whites tend to go into a different load setting than towels. I tend to wash my towels on 'heavy duty' with hot water and an extra long agitation. In fact--LOL--any undies with potty accidents here usually get thrown in WITH the towels because they get a heavier/longer wash.

 

I don't think it's gross to combine them. We're talking water, soap AND bleach AND a trip through the dryer. Nothing lives through that. Or very little anyway.

 

I sort by colors and wash settings. Not by germ type :D

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I definitely use hot for its germ-killing properties (and I have read articles suggesting to do this)
Because cold water will not sanatize the blood on my underwear, poop on kids, discharge etc. I wash some things on cold, but underwear is on sanitary.

 

Christine

 

Ah, you see we hang our clothes in the sun for the germ killing properties.

 

I've never heard of anyone using bleach in a regular load of washing until reading this thread!

 

Rosie

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I generally throw everything in together, wash on cold and never use bleach. In the summer, I do sort out towels from everything else, because I don't like the feel of sun dried, scratchy towels, but I like to dry everything else outside.

 

I guess we're just gross, but we seem to stay fairly healthy in spite of it.

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I'm sure it's fine, but I think it's gross. I've read they find e-coli on stuff even after a dryer cycle and that grosses me out, so kitchen towels get washed with clothes but not with underwear, nor with bathroom towels.

 

This thread made me think of something related that I thought was super gross. I used to do housekeeping/nanny work in college to make extra $$. One of the families I worked for used the same sponge for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck.

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One of the families I worked for used the same sponge for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck.

 

Yeah, that's pretty gross. I also hate eating out and seeing the workers wash the table and chairs with the same rag. Eww!

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I agree.

 

Next to none of you would come to my house though because personally, I wash with cold, never use bleach, always combine such things. The only stuff that gets washed separately in it's own load is the cloth diapers/wipes/sanitary pads.

 

All that being said, our family has less incidents of sickness than any other I know. In fact, hardly any .. and when someone has gotten sick it's been ridiculously minor compared to everyone else I know coming down with the same thing. :001_huh: go figure, huh?

 

I could have written this!

 

:iagree: with all the above--right down to the separating cloth diapers/wipes/pads (which I don't currently use, but kind of miss...).

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I wasn't thinking of environmental factors. I was wondering why you want to pay to heat water to wash clothes when cold water will wash them! Ah well, I now have a new tip to put on the frugality threads :lol:

 

Rosie

 

Are most water heaters where you are electric? That would be expensive.

 

I wash everything on hot, and we have a natural gas water heater. In the summer, when the furnace does not run, our gas bill is about $40. That's daily laundry, showers, baths etc. for a family of six. I can't imagine a significant savings washing in cold. I do have a front loader though, and I fill it. No partial loads. I've also really clamped down on people washing clean clothes. THAT bugs me to no end...

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If kitchen rags are really nasty, I'll give them a rinse cycle before throwing in the rest of the load. The only thing I've ever deliberately segregated in my wash is a few delicate items (and even most of those I don't bother)and diapers.

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I would and have done it. Cold wash, no bleach, just powder. Non germ phobic person here! What do you honestly think would happen to you even if there were germs? By the time everything is washed, rinsed, washed, rinsed, spun, and hung out to dry, not much is realistically goign to survive.

 

If there is sickness or skin diseases in the family..articles affected get washed in hot water and eucalyptus oil in the rinse water.

 

We all wash in loads per person. I wash all my clothes, leaving our the whites and lights if there are any. If the washer isnt full I will toss in other things to fill it up. I am probably the only person in the family who would do it- dh and the kids wash their own clothes but wouldnt think to add in anything from the general household pile if their loads werent full. Besides, dh IS germ phobic, so dont tell him what I do.

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