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I have just been given new black "whites" at work. We are soley responsable for the laundry of these items, and I was surprised to see that my new "whites" are to be washed at 40 degrees. Can anyone recommened a sanitiser that wont "bleach" the colour but will make my uniform safe?

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Soap itself is anti-microbial (even without getting to the 'anti-bacterial' soap obsession), but "Getting Clothes Clean" has a section on "Removing Germs from Clothes" that mentions "Boiling clothes or hanging them in the sunshine were once common ways to get rid of germs. With modern fabrics, fabric finishes, and washing methods, other ways can be used to disinfect the family laundry. ... Quaternary, pine oil, or phenolic disinfectants can be safely used on any washable fabrics." ... but I have no idea how they'd affect color. – Joe Feb 15 '11 at 17:57

You may consider using a small amount of Borax, Pinesol or some other form of pine oil, or even the kitchen-friendly, environmentally friendly vinegar.

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I don't know about yours, but my dryer hits well over 150 degree for an extended period of time during the drying cycle. I would think that would handle the business right there. Throwing some quat in the rinse cycle would guarantee that no germs could survive but you would have to make sure you use enough to reach the requisite concentration.

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quat? Translate, pls? – Marti Feb 15 '11 at 19:42
@Marti: Quat is a disinfectant cleaner made by 3M. It's short for "quaternary". – Aaronut Feb 15 '11 at 23:43

Napisan is awesome. I genrally use it on cloths/tea towels/table linen and it gets stains out/sanitizes them so I'm sure it would work on whites. I have to say I've not used it on black fabric but it says suitable for colors on the box.

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