How to Sanitize Your Laundry

If you want to sanitize your laundry, you have a host of options.

Sanitizing Your Laundry

Sanitize towels, bedding and clothing after an illness. Use a number of sanitizing tactics to freshen and thoroughly clean your laundry, as not all laundry can be washed the same way.

Separate your laundry correctly. Wash towels separately. Wash sheets and other bedding separately. If clothing has been exposed to bacteria or used by someone who is ill, wash it separately.

Wash clothing in hot water. Hot water kills germs and cleans more thoroughly than warm or cold water. Most washing machine hot settings includes a cold water rinse. Do not wash fabric, such as 100 percent cotton, that can shrink in hot water.

Add bleach to laundry you want sanitized. Bleach and hot water will completely sanitize your wash. Follow bleach bottle instructions. Do not use bleach on colored items.

Use tea tree oil in every load of laundry. Tea tree oil is safe for all of your laundry needs. According to the Website Tea Tree Oil Uses, tea tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-infection properties. Tea tree oil will disinfect your laundry and leave it smelling fresh.

Sanitize your laundry with grapefruit seed extract. According to the Website Pure Liquid Gold, grapefruit seed extract can kill staph, strep, salmonella, and other common household bacteria and parasites. While you can add grapefruit seed extract at the beginning of the wash cycle, hospitals add it during the final rinse for ultimate effectiveness.

Things You Will Need

  • Bleach
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract


  • Purchase tea tree oil and grapefruit seed oil at most local natural grocers.


  • Bleach can linger in your machine and stain other laundry.

About the Author

Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.