Best temperature to wash bedding and ‘kill 99.9% of bacteria’

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With the cost of water and electricity at an all-time high, millions of households are wondering whether they can wash bedding and towels on a lower temperature and still get hygienically clean results. spoke to several laundry experts who shared their advice, and one suggested using a laundry cleanser to ensure “99.9% of bacteria is killed”. 

It was Katie Connors who wondered whether 60 degrees Celsius was “the best wash to put bed clothes and sheets on”. 

Her comment on the Facebook group, Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips gained lots of replies with varying advice. 

Katie M Evans said: “I use 60 for bedding and towels. 30 for everything else.” Judith Oxlade agreed: “I put mine on 60 so they get really clean and it kills bacteria.” Paula chimed: “Always do 60 for bedding & towels.” 

Diane Hudson, on the other hand, chose a lower temperature: “I do mine at 40 and use anti-bacterial cleaners in with the softener l every week.” 

Kathy Stapleton seconded this: “With the detergents we have now 30 is fine.” Terri Jones said: “Due to the new washing powders available it is perfectly okay to wash bedding and such on 30.” 

Rita suggested adding natural cleaning products to the wash to ensure a hygenic clean: “I use Soda crystals and white vinegar alternately in every wash, at 30 don’t have a problem.” 

Several brands have created laundry cleansers that can be added to a wash to kill bacteria at a lower temperature. previously spoke to Astonish, who have a Protect + Care Laundry Cleanser that “is a biodegradable additive that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria on your fabrics and inside the drum, even at low temperatures, giving you a hygienically clean wash”. 

The product is “ideal for towels, children’s clothes, sportswear, underwear, socks, bedding and more, with an allergen free fragrance”.

To use, simply add four capfuls to the fabric softner drawer of the washing machine and wash as normal using your usual laundry detergent. 

You can also use it to soak items, simply add two capfuls to 2.5l of water. Fully disperse the items, and soak for 10 minutes. 

Smol, on the other hand, suggest alterting the temperature of a wash depending on whether bio or non-bio products are being used. 

Kathleen Bell, a susatainable cleaning expert at smol told “smol’s concentrated bio laundry capsules are best used in mid to low-temperature washes (ideally between 30-40 degrees). 

“The detergent contains enzymes that help break down common stains, such as food stains, sweat stains, grass stains and grease. 

“These enzymes are really effective at breaking down these hard to remove stains, and lifting them from your clothes. 

“smol’s non-bio laundry capsules do not contain the same enzymes but are still effective at killing germs and bacteria whilst remaining super gentle and delicate. For non-bio washes, you may need to use a higher temperature setting to aid with the cleaning process.”

In terms of how often you should be washing your bed sheets, Ryan Thaker, Marketing Executive at MattressNextDay told “The general guideline is that those sheets and pillowcases should be stripped off and you should change your bedding at least once a week. 

“If your sheets feel damp and ‘clammy’ after a night’s sleep, it’s well worth putting them through a wash and dry so that they’re fresh for the next night.

If you’re going through menopause and hot flushes or night sweats are part of your hormonal torment, popping fresh sheets on can make you feel better,” Ryan added. 

“Some medical conditions require that your bed is as clean as it can be with no bacteria or dust to trigger allergies. If you suffer from a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, or a respiratory condition like asthma, they may be aggravated by dust or bacteria. Therefore, you should wash your sheets as often as possible.” 

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