Washing our clothes makes them sterile

This is how you get bacteria and viruses out of your laundry safely

What the manufacturers promise and what the dishwashers can really do

Corona viruses can actually linger on various materials for a long time. Even on laundry, although there are hardly any reliable studies on this. Nobody knows exactly whether and how long the viruses will stay in your dirty things and thus pose a danger to others. Hygiene washers should ensure safety here. Most of them have to be added to the laundry in the last rinse, so they usually remain in your freshly washed clothes. In the washing machine, their active ingredients ensure that bacteria, fungi and viruses are successfully killed. This also works with most products without any problems. However: The promise applies to 99 percent. You can't check that at home. And the one remaining percent is always a back door for the manufacturer.

Who the dishwashers can harm

Consumer advice centers advise against the use of such hygienic washers. For them, dishwashers are one of those detergents that you don't really need. On the one hand, the ingredients in wastewater damage rivers and seas. On the other hand, the antibacterial substances can permanently damage the human skin flora, i.e. our protective film made of fat and moisture. This is especially true for sensitive children's skin and sensitive skin areas in adults. So if you use sanitary rinse, watch out for unusual skin reactions. In case of doubt, dermatologist Dr. Ina Schultze:

If you have permanent redness or itching that you cannot get away yourself, then you should introduce yourself to us.

Not to forget: The mentioned one percent of all surviving germs can develop resistance to antibacterial agents. This can go so far that antibiotics no longer work.

How to use the dishwashers correctly

If you still use a hygiene rinse, our expert advises:

The substances usually do not disappear without leaving any residue during normal wash cycles. I therefore always recommend setting one or two extra rinses on the washing machine if you use such a product. Then things should really be harmless.

Dr. Ina Schultze

If you or a family member actually need special hygiene treatment for your laundry, you should clarify with a doctor if in doubt.

How to get your laundry clean without a hygienic rinse

The magic word is washing powder. In contrast to liquid detergents, they always contain bleach and it is safe against germs and bacteria. Normally, a wash program of up to 40 degrees Celsius is sufficient. However, if you or a family member has an illness or you want it to be germ-free right now, then the laundry should be washed separately and with powder at at least 60 degrees. Then it is best to dry the laundry in the sun, the UV rays fight germs and bacteria again thoroughly. So, advises the Federal Center for Health Education, you can get your laundry really clean without a hygienic rinse. A 90 degree wash is not necessary. The best thing to do right now is to avoid using fabric softener, as it tends to keep bacteria in the laundry.

How to gently cleanse and care for your skin

In addition to contaminated laundry, the currently required hand washing is also a problem for the skin.

Of course, they also attack the protective fat and acid mantle of the skin. That is why it is important to take care of the skin with a cream after washing. It doesn't have to be thick, just enough to create a protective film.

Right now, many actually shower too often and too hot. That stresses the skin. It then absolutely needs lipid-replenishing care, especially with children. Warning: shower gels with a cream component or a moisturizing effect do not really help you. Extra care is better. And our expert also has a clear favorite when it comes to washing or disinfecting:

From my point of view, it is better for people with frequent contact, i.e. nurses, doctors and salespeople, to disinfect their hands rather than wash them. Good disinfectants have lipid replenishing substances, which do not affect the skin as much in the long term.

How to keep your washing machine clean

To keep your laundry clean, you also need a clean washing machine. Otherwise it will smell and germinate quickly on the door rubber, washing powder compartment or fluff filter. The germs can really get stuck in the machine. Therefore, you should run the machine at 60 degrees at least once a week. Machine cleaning with a special cleaner is recommended twice a year.