MRSA, Staph and other infecting bacteria can live on towels, clothing and can contaminate the inside of washing machines. MRSA laundry contamination provides an easy route for the bacteria to spread from person to person, or to re-contaminate a person who was recently infected. Did you know there are simple and inexpensive ways to reduce MRSA on clothing during washing and drying?
Staph and MRSA on clothing is an extra concern for families, schools, and athletic clubs where more than one person can share the same clothing and washing machine. Surface disinfecting, hand washing and good personal hygiene are all important ways to control an infection and keep it from spreading to others. But taking steps to kill MRSA laundry contamination is an often overlooked part of MRSA infection control.
Natural MRSA laundry detergent benefits
Most common laundry detergents contain harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients that may be weakening your immune system and causing more harm than good. Ingredients like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), plus artificial fragrances, brighteners, dioxane, phosphates and surfactants, are all potentially harmful to your health and the environment. In particular, SLS is found in most detergents, cleaners and personal care products and has been linked to skin irritation as well as organ, reproductive and endocrine toxicity. Phosphates and dioxane end up contaminating lakes, streams and the ocean where they disrupt animal life cycles and cause algae blooms.
Doing your laundry with a more natural detergent is better for your health, your immune system and the environment. The trouble is, detergents are not required to list harmful ingredients on labels. And even if they are listed, some ingredients can have several different names, making it hard to judge the quality of a detergent by simply reading the ingredients.
MRSA laundry practices and tips
The following tips and practices can help you reduce bacteria like Staph and MRSA on clothing. And, using more natural laundry products can also help support your immune system as well as the environment:
- Keep laundry from those with active infections separate from other laundry.
- Store and wash contaminated clothes separately if you have an active infection.
- A high temperature wash cycle and hot dryer setting will help reduce the amount of Staph and MRSA bacteria living on clothing. Be sure your clothing is safe for higher temperature washing and drying.
- Adding several drops of an antibacterial essential oil to your wash water, such as tea tree oil, can help reduce bacteria in the wash water and washing machine.
- Products such as SurfaceAide from Coating Specialists bind to fabric and help repel bacteria for several washes.
- Choose a 100% natural laundry detergent using environmentally-friendly ingredients and enzyme cleaners if possible. For less toxic cleaners (and better immune system support) try to avoid detergents with fragrances, dyes, sulfates, phosphates, brighteners and bleach.
To your best health,