Laundry is the eternal chore that must always be done. Many of us make mistakes regarding how we handle our laundry, and it can affect our health. For example, TV has lead us to believe that unless our clothes smell “spring fresh,” they are not clean. This affects those of us who are adversely sensitive to fragrances. Even “masking fragrances,” designed to cover unpleasant chemical smells of a product will negatively affect the sensitive person and cause them to have symptoms. Fabric softeners are scented and contain over five chemicals that are neurotoxic and carcinogenic. Reading labels is of extreme importance to avoid harmful exposures. Watch for the words “scent, fragrance, or masking fragrance” anywhere in the label.
The temperature at which clothes become clean during washing has changed over the years. Washing machines now operate at higher temperatures, and in today’s world detergents are formulated with enzymes that become active at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Above 75 degrees they are less effective and, at this heat, blood stains will be set and some fabrics and colors will be damaged. Washing clothes at around 65 degrees will clean them, but it will not sanitize them. Chlorine bleach will sanitize them, but can wipe out the color of a fabric. Nonchlorine bleaches will not bleed colors, but they will not sanitize laundry. Sanitizing may be important if washing baby diapers or the sheets and bedding of a contagious sick person.
In most cases people do not need sanitized laundry. They just need clean clothes. Many people in the US wear an item of clothing only once and then wash it. People are washing clean clothes. If clothing does not have visible stains, hanging it up and airing it out is all that is necessary before wearing it again. Clothing worn when exercising is a different situation as our bodies sweat and detoxify while we exercise. This clothing should never be worn numerous times as rewearing it can cause these toxins to be absorbed.