In a recent letter to European Textile Services Association, German microbiologist professor Dr. Lutz Vossebein from Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences warns of the hygiene risks of washing at home. The warning is backed up by several scientific studies.

Washing At Home May Lead to Severe Problems

Soiled textiles can be a vector for infective agents. This could lead to severe problems. The differences between “clean”, “hygienically clean” and “disinfected” are often overlooked: 34% of people “sometimes doubt if they are washing their workwear in the right way” (1). Most people admit to not being “experts” in washing their workwear the safest way at home.

Home Washing Does Not Guarantee “Disinfection”

Hygiene-sensitive environments need a validated disinfecting washing procedure. Consumers are often left to decide on hygiene levels by themselves. It is difficult to “disinfect” textiles in household washing machines. Household washing machines do not always reach the temperatures announced in their programs.

Hygiene Control Management Is Vital

Proper textile care use a disinfecting washing procedure. Textiles are also handled to avoid re-contamination during e.g. transport. This highly controlled environment cannot be reproduced at home.

(1) I.K. Hosein, P.N. Hoffman, S. Ellam, T.-M. Asseez, A. Fakokunde, J. Silles, E. Devereux, D. Kaur, J. Bosanquet. Summertime Bacillus cereus colonization of hospital newborns traced to contaminated laundered linen; The Journal of Hospital Infection; October 2013; Volume 85(2): pp 149-154

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