The Occasion Where Being Frugal can be Harmful


Everybody knows they need to clean their toilet regularly, but how many clean their washing machine as often. Research suggests that less than 20% of people give their machine a good scrubbing every month. I was reading an article from “Help With The Washing” that revealed a number of disturbing facts. Washing machines can actually have more germs and bacteria than toilets! What’s making the issue worse is people believing that cold water is enough to clean clothes, that’s being frugal for you. Whilst this is true, it is not enough to disinfect clothes!

How Bacteria Enter The Washing Machine

Bacteria enter the washing machine in 3 different ways. Through dirty clothes, bed linen and the water that enters the machine.

How Dangerous Is It?

There are some really nasty germs with equally scary names such as E.coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

To illustrate how serious the problem is, 100 washing machines were swabbed in a test and 10% were shown to have signs of E-Coli!

You probably know some of the others on the above list, and Staphylococcus aureus is also known as “Staph Infection”. Staph is usually isn’t serious and causes skin irritation and boils. In severe cases, it can result in blood and bone infections.

Why Are Bacteria Choosing Washing Machines As Homes?

Bacteria is on the rise for a few reasons, most notably people believing it’s OK to wash clothes in cold water. While cold water can clean clothes, it can’t disinfect them. For this, the wash has to be at least 60 degrees and your washing powder should also contain bleach.

Another problem is that many modern washing machines have a lot of plastics in which bacteria just love to call home!

How Can I Keep My Machine Bacteria-Free?

Washing machine manufacturers recommend cleaning your machine at least once-a-month. You can also run a “Maintenance Wash” – basically a cycle on high-heat without any clothes in. For many people, the bacteria won’t be a problem but those at risk include infants, allergy-sufferers and the elderly. These risks can be cut to a minimum with a bit of elbow grease, choosing a washing detergent with bleach and washing clothes at higher temperatures. And remember the words “E.Coli” the next time you somebody recommends cold water for your laundry!

What are your thoughts on being frugal when it comes to washing?

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