Aline Henman | 

How to Sanitize & Disinfect Laundry with Common Household Items

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Sanitizing laundry detergents are in high demand right now. Products like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer are completely unavailable or low in stock at many retailers. Don’t click “add to cart” on Amazon just yet; you may already have everything you need to sanitize your laundry at home.

Please note, the following tips and products are not EPA-registered disinfectants. If you’re washing the clothing of an ill person, the CDC recommends EPA-registered household cleaners. If you’d rather use a tried-and-trusted product, keep an eye on these coupon pages so you know when a deal becomes available.

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1. Add one-cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to sanitize and deodorize laundry.

woman pouring white vinegar into measuring cup to sanitize laundry

Don’t replace white vinegar with another kind. White vinegar specifically will sanitize and brighten colors.


2. Add one-cup of hydrogen peroxide to the washing machine to disinfect and brighten whites.

hydrogen peroxide held in front of a washing machine, with white clothes being tossed in.

Be careful when using hydrogen peroxide with fabrics that aren’t white. It may cause bleaching.


3. Add one cup of a pine-oil product like Pine-Sol to a hot washing cycle.

I bottle of Pine Sol over the of a top load washing machine.

Pine-oil is heavy duty. You may need to add an extra rinse cycle when using this method.


4. Sanitize laundry by adding 10 drops of quality tea tree or lavender essential oil to each load.

Tea Tree and Lavender essential oil bottles in front of a washing machine.



5. Line dry your laundry in the sun, or lay dried laundry in the sun for 30 minutes per side.

Hands clipping a clothes pin onto a towel on a clothes line.

Sunlight is naturally sanitizing, but don’t leave your clothes outside for too long. Too much sunlight will cause fading.


For more coronavirus information and tips to fight the spread of germs, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) site.

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