Are some things too dirty to put in the washing machine?

Page 1 of 2  

Are some things just too dirty to wash? I'm talking basically about rags that I use for scrubbing the sink drain, toilet bowl, and other rather dirty areas. Can these be washed and re-used, or are they rendered too dirty by use to even consider placing them into the washing machine for re-use? I know rags are cheap and I don't mind buying new ones, but I consider myself environmentally consicious, and if I can re-use them rather than toss them away, I'd prefer to do that. I'm just worried that the next time I use my washing machine for my clothes, that it would have baceteria or something inside of it from washing the dirty things in it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I wash cleaning rags all the time. If you're concerned, you can add some Lysol to your load (or bleach if it won't harm the rags). You should always check the inside of your washer before putting nicer clothing in, if you've washed something questionable.
Nan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the reply. That's the answer I was hoping to hear. I wasn't sure though, because I've never heard of anybody washing, for example, cloth diapers in their home washing machine. I assumed this was for hygienic reasons. Maybe I'm wrong.
I have a bottle of bleach, so I don't mind using that to disinfect the load. How much should I use, and how would the bleach harm the rags, aside from whitening them?
Are there any things that should not be put in the washer? I'm not talking about having anything unusual around the house, just everyday household things that would not be wise to put into the machine for contaminating it?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Strange... when I used cloth diapers I washed them in my washer all the time.

That's pretty much the extent of damage, other than weakening the fibers and causing holes after a while. But then, if they're *rags* that wouldn't matter :-) I'd use no more than a cup of bleach for a full load, as well as wash in hot water.

Not anything I can think of, other than anything that's gotten gasoline on it. That can be combustible.
Nan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pardon me, Nan. That's just my lack of knowledge about cloth diapers showing through. I was under the impression that cloth diapers were usually provided as a service by a diaper cleaning company that would pick up and drop them off. I guess I just assumed that it was because people couldn't wash them at home. Why the heck don't more people use cloth diapers then? Wouldn't it be much cheaper than buying disposables, and way better for the environment than dumping tons of disposables into the trash every day?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yeah, there are diaper services for people that don't want to wash their own, or don't have the facilities. Someone that lives in an apartment complex may not be allowed to use the common washing machines for diapers, or hauling them back and forth can be a hassle.
Not to get into a "what's better for the environment" debate, but comparisons of disposables and using energy/water/resources to wash cloth diapers are in closer running neck and neck than a lot of people realize. Besides, disposables are just way more convenient for a lot of people. Nan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.cleaning on Tue, 19 Apr 2005 05:08:06 +0900 "Cacique"

No, they don't want to, because it's too much effort. They'd rather spend money to have someone else do it.

Even if the costs are close, and I'm sure Nan is right, most people wouldn't care if it was as you say instead. They spend loads of extra money on lots of things, then complain about the high cost of living. They'll not pay their Visa bill sooner than disconnect their TV Cable.
My mother washed my diapers in the machine. In fact that may have been the driving force for buying a washing machine, which were not so common then.
After I stopped using them, she used my diapers as dish towels, for drying the dishes. I had enough that she didn't wear out the last one until I was about 45 years old.

For the same reason it is so combustible, gasoline evaporates very fast. Even if soaking wet, I think stretched out, clothes would be dry in a half-hour. Maybe you know something more, though.

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

hm.
peggo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.cleaning on Fri, 29 Apr 2005 20:50:06 -0500 "peggo"

You don't believe soap and water works? So when people wash their cloth diapers and put them on their baby again, they're putting dirty diapers back on their baby?

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I DO believe in the power of clean. IdoIdoIdo. There's just something about touching the rag that held your baby shit to the plate that holds your food, grosses me out. That's just me. I'm slightly OCD. Wash my hands a lot and all...... My mom used old cloth diapers for dust rags. They work good cause they don't leave lots of lint. We used to do our windows with em too. Anyway, it's better to let your dishes air dry.

peggo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peggo wrote:

Not just you Peggo. How many of us would use worn out knickers, regardless of how well soaked and scrubbed to wash our faces with or as a dishcloth/tea towel. It is not the done thing, not in any house I know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mrs Bonk wrote:

I'll bet the Saudis are disgusted with the photo of Abdulla holding Dubya's *left* hand. Even if a man says he has washed his hands with soap, that sort of thing isn't done at any house I know!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you only knew how much and the kind of bacteria on your computer mouse! I too use diapers to dust fine furniture, although I'm more concerned about washing out the chemical in "EndDust" rather than the long time ago when the diaper was soiled.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:

That's all very well Phish dear but it's mostly the thought and I always think it's a different sort of "dirt" that one finds about the house and on the hands though I have to agree with Choreboy's point. Talking about the germs on a computer mouse, I don't use one but I'd be interested in finding out how a touchpad or a stylus fare.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

hm. I believe our long lost poster MR Bentos posted about using worn out knickers to wash his face. This could be just one of those Usenet myths. hehe. peggo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peggo wrote:

That would be before my time dear. I did look into some of his posts and I couldn't see any likeness between mine and his except the obvious English manner of speech. I thought him to be rather a pompous sort of person but one never knows, in RL he may be totally different. Perhaps he'll return one day and entertain you, it is very obvious to me that he's sorely missed by some and was very special to the group and especially to you Peggo.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Really? You mean some folks thought YOU were MR Bentos? Well I never. I see no likeness at all. You are right about the sorely missed part. He sure could push my buttons. sigh.
peggo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
peggo wrote:

Didn't he change his name to Ranger?
Choreboy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

slightly OCD or not, it's not something I would do, either. Cloth diapers are inexpensive enough to buy a few specifically for drying towels. I love them as dusting cloths, though.
Nan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The only things you probably shouldn't wash in your washer are items that are caked with grease - the kind of grease that you might find on heavy machinery. That sort of grease probably would simply coat the machine and ruin subsequent loads. In other words, if something is covered with soil that isn't easily water soluble with some added detergent, then you shouldn't wash it. Another class of soiled items that probably shouldn't be washed would be items that are saturated with highly flammable liquids like gasoline. That is just a common sense, safety precaution.
People seem to have the idea that bacteria are very hard to kill. In fact, most bacteria are easily killed with hot water and soap. Adding a little bleach also helps. Hot water and detergent will kill most pathogens like tuberculosis, HIV, staph, strep, herpes,and most viruses that cause colds and other communicable diseases Normal washing and drying will also kill fungus. The only class of pathogens that aren't likely to be killed in a washer are spore-forming pathogens like hepatitis B.
Feel free to wash rags and diapers in your washer. If washing machines were a vector for disease, then there would be mass epidemics. How careful do you think people are at coin laundries?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.