Sanitation Cycle vs. The Germ Factory: The Truth About HE Washing Machines

Last week, when the stomach virus struck our house, I was horrified to learn that the “sanitation” cycle on our washer may not actually be sanitizing.

In reading a well-researched post, I learned that through some pretty scientific research that basically, it doesn’t matter what detergent is used. The rotavirus and norovirus, those that cause stomach viruses, aren’t killed by laundry detergent.

She did find that the sanitation cycles helped to reduce the number of bacteria and viruses, but she found that it certainly didn’t “sanitize” them.

She also noted that adding anything other than old fashioned bleach was basically pointless. Color-safe? Splash-proof? Oxy? Bleach that is older than two months?

No help.

The sanitation cycle heat does reduce the amount of germs, but it doesn’t kill them all. In fact, introducing germs into the washer can spread them further to other loads. (OH MY GOD!) It is important to run bleach through the machines, or to spray them both down with virus killing chemicals before putting uncontaminated items into the machines.

In conclusion, the next time that my kid pukes on his clothes, I’ll be throwing them out.

Or maybe we’ll just move. That might be easier.


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