Keeping Your Laundry Room Safe From Norovirus

Norovirus or the stomach flu delivers discomfort to people worldwide. Each year 22 million people become infected by the norovirus just in the United States. Norovirus is the most common type of gastroenteritis. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Virus symptoms include painful stomach cramping, throwing up or diarrhea. Norovirus transmission occurs by person-to-person contact, via contaminated food or water and by touching infected surfaces such as those in the laundry room.

Norovirus is highly contagious. If you, a family member or a roommate contact norovirus it is very important to sanitize and disinfect your entire household. This must include disinfecting laundry properly to avoid re-infection.The Public Health Agency of Canada warns that the virus can persist for days on surfaces. On hard surfaces the virus can thrive for up to 12 hours, and on carpet an astonishing 12 days.

Important Safe Laundry Tips When Dealing With Norovirus

Clothing or linens that been soiled with feces or vomit should immediately be cleaned. To lessen norovirus contamination risks, disposable gloves should be used while handling the dirty laundry. Carefully remove and dispose quickly of excess waste prior to placing laundry in the machine. Take precautions to keep the infected laundry separate from everyday laundry. Norvirus can easily become airborne. Avoid shaking the laundry or conducting any unnecessary movement of the soiled items.

Use a washer setting that will provide the maximum number of cycles. Do not overload the washing machine with laundry. Articles of laundry should be able to freely move within the wash cycle without undue bunching. When laundry care instructions allow utilize the warmest water setting possible. Hot water is best. Norovirus is most effectively killed by heat and products containing chlorine bleach, in particular particularly sodium hypochlorite. Along with laundry detergent, utilize chlorine-based-bleach per usage directions and advised care label instructions. Color-safe-bleaches ,which typically contain hydrogen peroxide, will not kill the norovirus. Laundry must be fully dried, and not damp to kill the virus. Avoid hang-drying.  Use the hottest dryer setting that your laundry will tolerate.

Any surfaces that the soiled laundry or the person handling the laundry has touched should be cleaned by using bleach or a bleach-based household cleaner. This means disinfecting all impacted: hampers,laundry baskets, laundry room floor, folding surfaces, counter-tops, tops of washer and dryer, laundry room door handles and light switches. The CDC suggests a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water. As an added precaution after washing the soiled laundry, an empty hot water wash cycle with bleach should be run to clear any norovirus remnants in your washing machine.

After touching contaminated laundry hands should be thoroughly washed with hot water and soap. Hands should also be washed after loading wet laundry from the washing machine to the clothes dryer. Proper hand washing involves using hot water and soap. Hands should be scrubbed and rinsed for a full thirty seconds.  Attention should be paid to fingernails. Additionally jewelry, rings and bracelets, should be removed and cleaned. Alcohol based gels will lessen norovirus, but usage is not as effective as vigorous hand washing.

Hopefully, you and your family will avoid having to ever experience a bout with the norovirus. Vigilant hand washing both at home and in public is a good preventative first step. However if you or a member of your household has the misfortune of catching the norovirus avoiding re-contamination, such as via soiled laundry, is key to restoring health. For further information on norovirus, including the new Australian 2012 strain of norovirus, you can visit the Center For Disease Control.

Also Read Our Article on Preventing Germs And Bacteria in The Laundry Room for more Safe Laundry Tips.

The Ultimate Natural Clean: PureWash Ionic Laundry Purifier Review

Are you interested in saving money, getting your clothes super clean and avoiding harsh laundry detergents and chemical agents?  If so, we have a product that home your laundry room needs.  An incredible cleaning machine that will quickly pay for itself as you enjoy naturally clean laundry.  Let us introduce you to the PureWash Ionic Laundry Purifier a perfect safe laundry tip.

GreenTech Environmental LLC  brings to your home laundry room a cleaning concept previously only available to large institutions such as hospitals and hotels. The Purewash Ionic Laundry Purifier harnesses the natural power of ozone to wash dirt, grime, bacteria  and odors effortlessly from your laundry.  Working in tandem with your home washing machine, the pureWash delivers enhanced oxygen and Photo Catalytic Oxidizers to your cold laundry water.

Three Ways To Save Money

The PureWash Eco-Friendly Laundry System allows you to achieve a maximum clean utilizing only cold washes.  You can say goodbye to high energy bills caused by hot water wash settings. An Amazon reviewer successfully achieved a $30 savings on his energy bill in the first month of usage.

Drying time is further reduced because of reduced detergent residue. One reviewer conservatively placed this at 20%. Again, this results in increased energy savings and a quick return on your initial purchase investment.

The third set of savings is realized in ridding your shopping list of expensive laundry detergents, costly fabric softeners, bleaches and other cleaning materials. Imagine the savings.

The ultimate savings comes in protecting the environment from harmful chemicals and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. An investment in our future.

Health Benefits of Super Clean Laundry

Standard washing machine cycles often fail to remove all laundry detergent residue.  This sticky residue traps dirt and grime leaving your clothes unclean. This same residue can also be transferred to your skin, your largest organ, allowing entry into your body of harmful and irritating chemicals. Leading to skin rashes, respiratory complaints and other ailments.

The pureWash offers a clean load of laundry each time you wash. The pureWash Laundry Purifier goes rids your clothes of toxic detergent residue from day one.  Reviewers reported a visible and smellable “flushing” of old detergent residue in the first few cycles of pureWash usage. Each subsequent use of the pureWash resulted in cleaner and brighter laundry.

The pureWash also santizes your laundry without the use of bleach or hot water.  Bacteria and viruses are effectively killed via ionic purification. An added plus not only during cold and flu season, but all during the year.  Safe and clean laundry keeps your family healthy.

Easy Installation

Although the pureWash is a mini-marvel no advanced engineering degree is needed for assembly. The review team posted positive marks for well published instructions. Assembly was simple taking 30 minutes or less.

Once pureWash is installed it requires no further attention and you may operate you washing machine normally. It will automatically turn on for the wash and rinse cycles. The viewing window lets you know that it is hard at work releasing cleansing oxidized bubbles.

Quality Product

GreenTech Environmental offers a commendable three year limited warranty on the pureWash eco-friendly laundry system. Purewash utilizes state-of-the-art engineering that  is virtually maintenance free. The company also operates a competent customer service department at the ready to respond to inquiries and concerns.

Two models of the pureWash are available for purchase. If you have a front loading washer or top loading high-efficiency washing machine you will require the low flow pureWash model. All other top loader washers are suitable for the high-flow pureWash model.

Discover how good it feels to be truly green and clean today. Order your pureWash Eco-Friendly Laundry System today.

The pureWash Professional-Grade Ionic Laundry Purifier (Standard-Efficiency Washers) is a fantastic Safe Laundry Tip.

 

 

Germy Laundry Can Make You Sick

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You have just finished the laundry. But, are you confident that your laundry is truly clean?

According to Dr. Charles Gerba, “America’s Germ Guru”, the laundry room is full of dangerous germs.  Gerba, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona, has tested some American laundry rooms.  Randomly swabbing the inside of washing machines, Gerba wanted to know how effective washing machines were at ACTUALLY cleaning germ-laden laundry. Was it a safe bet that soapy solutions, rinses and agitation were truly enough to conquer germs, bacteria and viruses?

The answer was a startling NO. Over 60% of the tested washing machines were positive for coliform bacteria —a sign of fecal contamination. Staph, was present in 20% of the machines. Underwear, sponges and dish cloths were identified as the primary source of contamination.

The second part of Gerba’s dirty laundry experiment involved the direct observation of how E.Coli, Salmonella and Mycobacterium Fortuitium would survive in a typical warm water wash setting and an average drying cycle.

Gerba’s results demonstrated that a warm wash cycle did NOT rinse away these germs. The laundered items and the washer basin were still infected by dangerous pathogens. More troubling was that subsequently laundered loads, also, showed signs of contamination.

Housekeeping manuals have long taught that a hot dryer cycle kill germs remaining after the wash cycle. However, Gerba demonstrated that as mainly myth. A hot dryer cycle did kill E.Coli remnants but Salmonella and the Mycobacterium Fortuitium remained. A 43 minute cotton setting and a 23 minute permanent press dryer setting was used — simulating two popular dryer options.

This study shows how unrealistic cold water washes are for certain laundry applications.  Remember, the results were observed in warm water settings — cold water would be even less effective in killing germs. There have been increased environmental campaigns to get consumers to utilize cold water settings to preserve energy needs.  This works on the garden-variety-dirty-laundry, but is dangerous and unhealthy to apply to all laundry needs.  Underwear, towels, bed linens, cloth diapers, kitchen towels, cleaning rags and pet items all can harbor unhealthy bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Family members with colds or the influenza virus can contaminate clothing and linens.  (For washing laundry infected by Norovirus read this article, here).

We commit to the chore of laundry, because we desire clothing and linens that are fresh and sanitary. Laundered items that still harbor germs pose a health threat. This danger is most pronounced to those with compromised immune systems, the pregnant, babies, and the elderly.

Here are practical safe laundry tips to reducing germs in laundered clothing and laundry appliances.

Hand Washing

Gerba wants consumers to avoid cross contamination in the laundry room. After sorting soiled laundry, loading dirty laundry into the washing machine, and removing washed laundry from the washer into the dryer —- your hands should be washed.

Underwear

The last load that you launder should be a solo load of underwear.  Do not mix underwear in with other laundry items to reduce the transmission of E-Coli and other fecal bacteria. Gerba told Fox News “If you wash a load of undergarments, you transfer about 500 million E. coli bacteria to the machine.” He recommends using a hot water setting with color safe bleach to achieve a true healthy clean.

Towels, Bed Sheets and Kitchen Linens

Bath towels, bed linens and kitchen cloths all can harbor an assortment of germs so wash them frequently.  These items should be washed in hot water and sanitized with a color-safe bleach — as label instructions warrant.  Wash each of these groups of items separately. They should be fully dried before they are folded and put away.  A complete hot dryer setting or full sun exposure when line drying will reduce residual germ proliferation.

Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine needs to be routinely maintained.  See our article on How to Clean A Washing Machine.  Gerba recommends running an empty load with standard bleach once a month to rid washer of germs — calling the practice ” mouthwash for the machine”.

We hope these Safe Laundry Tips keep you and your family protected from laundry room germs. More information about germs in the laundry room can be found here .