Ultra Violet Light: Sun drying allows the UV rays of
the sun to irradiate germs. The efficacy of sun drying isn't
reported that I know of, and the ability to sun dry is limited by
weather conditions and homeowner associations. The homeowner
associations need to get a green makeover, but there is not much
you can do in a rainy season. In the winter, line drying
is still an option if you are willing to brave the cold.
Items will dry, UV rays are actually stronger. Another option may be to sun in a window or
dashboard of your car. Realize that this type of sunning will
take longer and less UV rays will be penetrating the glass.
UV Rays of the sun work effectively against viruses, bacteria,
germs, mold, dust mites and flea eggs. UV rays are
ineffective against killing yeast. A new product has
recently been introduced to mimic the suns UV rays called the
CleanWave UV-C Sanitizing Light Wand. Essentially it is a wand
that can be waved over surfaces for cleaning.
Hot Water: Laundry that may be contaminated is
most often advised to wash with detergent in hot water of 135-145
degrees Fahrenheit some sources recommend 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot washing may be best followed up by drying on a hot dryer
setting. Yeast will effectively be killed at temperatures above
122 degrees Farenheit. You may need to turn your water
heater up prior to laundry, if so be careful to restore the
temperature to safe levels after washing.
Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach): is one of the
most common forms for disinfecting laundry. With all the
varieties of bleach on the market today be sure to check the label
for the one that kills germs. Not all are rated for germ
killing. Diapers should be washed free of any poo before
chlorine bleach is used since feces can inactivate its
disinfectant properties. Chlorine Bleach is effective
against fungi (yeast), bacteria and algae but not spores.
Chlorine bleach is considered most effective when used with cold
water. Chlorine bleach can harm stainless steel washer drums
so check with your washers manufacturer before use if you have a
stainless steel washing drum.
Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Percarbonate): is effective against
bacteria and fungal yeast, and can be used at lower temperatures
but is considered " more
effective when used in hot water 130 degrees."(2)
Concentrations for effective disinfecting are not documented.
Some of these products are loaded with other additives. We
suggest you read your labels well and find one without fillers
and fragrance and that has a high percentage of Sodium
Percarbonate. Seventh Generation makes a product that
Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide:
effective against viruses, vegetative bacteria, fungi and
bacterial spores. Concentrations for effectiveness are not
Pine Oil Cleaners: I can't
seem to find much information on using this with laundry except
that it can be done and it is considered a disinfectant.
Our mothers and grandmothers could have used it in our wet
diaper pails instead of chlorine bleach. One thing that
does pop up on it is its ability to aggravate asthma.
Ammonia: Compromised by use in
hard water. Is not effective against some viruses, fungi,
and bacterial spores.
Natural Enzymes: Useful as stain
removers and are very selective to the type of stains per the type
of enzyme. Research in this area is still new but here is
what I have gathered protease enzymes would be used against
bacteria. Both protease enzymes and cellulases enzymes would be
needed for combating yeast. The use of enzymes alone may not
be enough to sufficiently eliminate either bacteria or yeast in
laundering. (Protease is the same group of enzymes though that
attack protein and could cause skin issues if left in the
Vinegar: Effective as a mild
antibacterial agent for hard surface cleaning, but is not
effective against fungus such as yeast. It can also dissolve
mineral deposits from hard surfaces. Curiously
vinegar can be used as a yeast enhancer in baking bread and it
seems to reason that it could actually promote a faster yeast
growth in laundry. As far as bacteria vinegar seems to perform
is an easy article. (There are old school suggestions for using vinegar against yeast by putting vinegar in the final
rinse cycle and then drying in the high heat of the dryer.
The concept behind this is that the vinegar would attack the
outer sheath of the yeast and make it more susceptible to death
from the dryer heat. I couldn't find any research that
would support this process though.)
Apple Cider Vinegar: Effective as a
mild antibacterial agent for hard surface cleaning, but is not
effective against fungus such as yeast. Curiously vinegar can be
used as a yeast enhancer in baking bread and it seems to reason
that it could actually promote a faster yeast growth in laundry.
Seed Extract: Seems to be a good choice when dealing with a
yeast infection and should be effective against bacteria as
is an easy read article along with directions for use when
dealing with yeast.
Tea Tree Oil: Is
considered antibacterial and antifungal. Care should be used for
proper use since high concentrations can harm the skin.
When purchasing do choose a good grade with ingredients listed
at least 35% Terpinen 4-ol and less than 10% Cineole. Again I
can't find an easy to read article describing the how of using
tea tree oil for disinfecting laundry. For use topically
you should mix the essential oil with at least two
tablespoons of oil like olive or coconut before applying.
Of course their is the concern regarding potential estrogenic
effects from the Tea tree oil. So do some research if this is
the route you want to go. I know some people have used
this in the wash. I wonder about its efficacy when used in
a large tub of water. Also it has been reported to cause
issues with the modern synthetic diapers.
Colloidal Silver: is not tested by
the FDA but claims exist that it will prevent the growth of
bacteria, fungus and viruses. Its suggested usage is in the final
rinse water. Again how much would be needed in the final
rinse for effectively disinfecting diapers is not known.