Can You Use Normal Dettol In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you can use Dettol Liquid to clean your clothes. Normal Dettol, better known as Dettol Liquid, is an antiseptic that can be used in various ways, including cleaning cuts and wounds or for personal hygiene, such as disinfecting skin and surfaces. 

While you can add normal Dettol to the washing machine, it’s better to use a dedicated laundry cleanser as it’s more appropriate for washing machines. 

In this article, you’ll learn why using Dettol in your laundry routine can make a difference, how to use it properly, and what alternatives you might consider. Keep reading to find out how to ensure your clothes are truly clean and safe.

Why Should You Add Dettol To Your Laundry Routine?

laundry room with pile of clothes

Our clothes and the water we use to wash them can bring bacteria into the washing machine. These bacteria can stick to the plastic inside the machine and multiply, creating biofilms. 

Washing machines usually use 60°C for hot washes, which kills most bacteria after some time but a lot of fabrics can’t handle over 30/40°C. Washing at 60°C also uses lots of energy and isn’t necessary for daily washes.

Normal laundry detergents can clean dirt and stains, but sometimes they fail to eliminate bacteria. To ensure bacteria are removed, it’s usually recommended to use laundry sanitisers or wash at hot temperatures.

A small amount of Dettol added to your normal wash can keep your clothes free of bacteria without the extra heat, giving you a reliable alternative to just a hot wash, which can’t always eliminate all bacteria and viruses. It will sanitise your clothes, even if you wash them at low temperatures.

How To Use Dettol In Laundry To Sanitise Clothes

A person putting clothes into a washing machine
Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser, Sanitiser Additive, Fresh Cotton Fragrance, Multipack of 4 x 1.5 L, Total of 6L
  • KILLS 99.9 Percent BACTERIA AT 20C: Dettol laundry cleanser liquid disinfectant is proven to work in rinse cycle temperatures as low as 15C saving energy and money whilst preventing colour fading and leaking
  • 50 WASHES: Two capfuls per wash in the fabric softener drawer of the washing machine saving you. Bulk multipack of Dettol antibacterial laundry cleanser. Dettol Laundry Cleanser is designed to be added to your laundry, along with your regular detergent

Dettol offers a Laundry Cleanser that works similarly to a normal Dettol but is better suited for washing machines, complete with detailed usage and dosage instructions. 

When using Dettol Laundry Sanitiser, the quantity depends on your washing machine. It’s best to refer to the product label for specific instructions but here are some basic guidelines to follow:

Front-Loading Washing Machine

When using Dettol Laundry Sanitiser, if you have a front-loading machine, pour 25mL into the fabric softener dispenser. It activates during the final rinse, giving your clothes a thorough clean. 

Top-Loading Washing Machine

For a top-loading machine, you’ll need 60mL of Dettol Laundry Sanitiser. Pour it into the washing machine drum during the final rinse cycle.

Without a Dispenser

If your washing machine doesn’t have a dispenser for fabric softener, just do your usual wash and add Dettol Laundry Sanitiser during the final deep rinse.


To use Dettol while handwashing, after the usual wash and rinse, pour 60mL of Dettol Laundry Sanitiser into every 8 litres of water for the last rinse. Allow the clothes to soak for 10 minutes. An extra rinse is optional. Then, dry the clothes as you normally would.

What Are The Best Alternatives To Normal Dettol For Laundry?

distilled white vinegar washing machine

White vinegar serves as a natural disinfectant because of its acidic nature. It’s a handy item to keep in your home for cleaning. It’s often used for several cleaning chores at home, like eliminating odours, cleaning windows, and removing carpet and fabric stains.

Bleach is also an option, though it’s important to be careful with the product and choose one that is compatible with coloured clothing. For anything less than tough stains, other cleaning techniques to sanitise your clothes could be more suitable.

Additionally, there are various laundry sanitisers available that can effectively clean your clothes at low temperatures. Most of these products work in the same manner and add a fresh fragrance to your wash.

Do I Need to Sanitise My Clothes Every Time?

Occasionally, sanitising your clothes is the right thing to do. Particularly if you’ve been near someone with a virus or bacterial infection, you may want to wash your clothes straight away. Plus, after sweating heavily, sanitising your clothes helps prevent the growth of bacteria.

If you’re unsure if you need to sanitise your clothes every time you wash them, you really don’t have to, although it’s up to you. 

SEE ALSO: Will Vinegar Kill Bacteria On Clothes?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put normal Dettol in the washing machine?

Yes, you can put normal Dettol, also known as Dettol Liquid, in the washing machine. However, it’s better to use a dedicated laundry cleanser for this purpose.

Which Dettol liquid is used for washing clothes?

The Dettol liquid used for washing clothes is Dettol Laundry Cleanser, which is specially formulated for use in washing machines.

Do you use Dettol laundry cleanser instead of fabric softener?

Yes, you use Dettol Laundry Cleanser instead of fabric softener. It goes into the fabric softener dispenser or directly into the drum during the rinse cycle. It serves as an alternative to fabric softener, ensuring both sanitisation and a fresh smell.

What is the benefit of washing with Dettol?

The benefit of washing with Dettol is that it sanitises your clothes, eliminating bacteria and viruses even at low temperatures, ensuring your clothes are truly clean and safe.

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