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llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - Printable Version

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llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - maki2 - 07-03-2019

Many of us on the road will be using coin operated laundry machines. I was just reading an article about the germiest public places that was posted on the website. They rate laundry-mats as one of the top of the list for germy. That does make a lot of sense when you consider everyone is bring in and washing dirty clothes including their underwear.

The inside of the washing machines have lots of bacteria in them unless the person before you used a ton of bleach in their wash and super hot water. Cold and warm water washing with regular laundry detergents removes a lot of the dirt but they do not kill all the bacteria that came from your own clothes or from the load washed by the last person to use the machine.

Even at home base I was having a problem during hot weather with my clothes that were just washed going rapidly bad smelling if they sat for even a short time before they got into the drier. It turned out the biggest cause of that was that the machine did not fully drain all the  water when the cycles were done so bacteria was staying in the machine and then getting recycled into the next load. I have resolved that issue by always adding a cup of white vinegar to each wash load and also putting a splash of vinegar into the machine after a load was done. It was not as if I could redesign the machine or buy a new one to replace it. Use white vinegar for your laundry, don't use apple cider, it has a lower PH and might also cause stains.

Some persons have complained about their clothes getting mildew while in storage and becoming musty. A preventative measure to take for that issue is to use Borax Washing Powder additive when you wash your clothes that need to go into storage. Borax kills mildew (mold) and it helps prevent its growth as well. They put borax into that blown in insulation products to prevent it from growing mold. It is also an ingredient in the newer, less toxic wood preservatives for the same reason. You can use vinegar as well as Borax laundry additive.

You do need to wash out and sanitize your laundry bags or dirty clothes bins as well especially if you are going to be loading your clean clothes back into them!

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - Gr8ful - 07-04-2019

Your cell phone is nastier than a toilet seat, heare's the link

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - KetoKyz - 07-04-2019

(07-03-2019, 10:45 PM)maki2 Wrote:  Many of us on the road will be using coin operated laundry machines. . . .

I had wondered about bringing "Clorox" wipes to wipe down the inside of the machine when visiting a laundry mat. I use vinegar at home now occasionally, and my homemade laundry detergent has borax. I'm hoping to continue using my own laundry detergent---but I do need to rethink the storage container and just how I'm going to make it (usually only once a year).

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - MrNoodly - 07-04-2019

Yet during my seven years on the road, using laundromats regularly, I've rarely been ill -- far less than back in my "normal" life. I suspect that's because I spend way less time around the prime germ spreaders: people, especially kids.

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - eDJ_ - 07-04-2019

I use laundromats from time to time but along with my laundry soap and fabric softener sheets for the dryer I carry a bottle of white vinegar to add to the wash water.  Generally 1/4 to 1/2 Cup if it is a large load.  I even do this at home as it helps keep the washer clean of soap scum.

There are a couple of books titled "The Vinegar Book 1 & 2" where I picked up this tip  

The Vinegar Book

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - SheepDog - 07-04-2019

There are nasty places no doubt! There are also places that with care on your part you can likely leave with clean clothes!

I tend to choose places with a bit of care. I also tend visually examine and then smell test the washer before I use it. Maybe strange, but it’s saved me a few times!

I don’t use their dryers as often (My circumstances), but choose dryers the same way!

My clothes aren’t stacked, set on or folded on their tables! They go basket to machine and back to the basket.

My clothes also never sit after they’re finished! I set a timer (I go walking!) and am back by the machine (Usually before it stops!) within a minute of it stopping!

There are lots of bad ways of getting this done, but if you do your part you can have good results!


RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - WanderingRose - 07-04-2019

I’ve been traveling and using public laundromats all over the country for 17 years, and have not been ill nor apparently contracted any clothing borne anything because of this.

Some are nicer than others, but almost all have done the job.

I use a homemade laundry detergent that contains Borax, as well, and insure my clothing is completely dry before storing, but don’t do anything else to prevent possible germs from the washers and dryers transferring themselves onto my clothing and then to me.

I don’t think this is necessary, tho certainly harmless if one wishes to do it.

Rather than our clothing causing us problems from laundromats, I think a bigger concern is the usual from touching any oft-used surface and then not washing hands.

Reasonable precautions should keep one safe.

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - B and C - 07-04-2019

On personal machines that get intermittent use, leaving the lid open to let the innards dry is good. Public machines get enough use that mold is not normally an issue. I do the sniff test before using a machine though. Sometimes people wash their oily rags in them and you can usually smell it.

I use some vinegar and baking soda along with the normal detergent when washing loads either at home or on the road. As long as the folding tables look clean, I use them. I have cramped quarters and folding things inside the van is not easy. If the tables are a little dirty, I will use one of my baby wipes on them first.

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - Gypsy Freedom - 07-04-2019

interesting thoughts, definately a lot of places to meet up with the iky nasties out in the world

i also try and work towards supporting a healthy and robust immune system to fight off these pesky critters i dont manage to avoid. cause in order to avoid all the iky nasties i would have to live like john travolta in the boy in the bubble. and we all know how that ended...

RE: llaundromats rated as highly germy locations - eDJ_ - 07-05-2019

At one time Dryers commonly had a light bulb in them.  What most folks didn't know was that they were a special kind of light bulb that emitted OZONE as a purifying function for the dryer.  But they made an odd smell that women seemed to notice more than men. (keener sense of smell)  Eventually those special bulbs burnt out and got replaced with a regular bulb....most folks thinking the light was just for making it easier to see the clothing.  

I think that today a lot of commercial dryers have them but they are now long tubes inside where you can't see them.

[Image: GE%20G4S11.jpg]

These "germicidal tube lights" are used still today in a variety of commercial equipment.  You just don't see them.

This may be part of the reason laundromats still endure today.

[Image: 2-5-5001.jpg]