Will Washing At 30 Degrees Kill Bacteria? (here’s what you need to know)

The short answer is no, a 30 degree C wash will not kill bacteria. In many scientific studies it has been found that to remove germs and bacteria, clothes need to be washed at 60 degrees C in conjunction with a decent laundry sanitiser.

For the full story, keep reading.

Will A 30 Degree C Wash Kill Bacteria?

A 30 degree C wash will not kill bacteria because the water isn’t hot enough to kill germs or bacteria. Worse still, the bacteria can live on in the machine and affect all subsequent wash loads.

The water temperature needs to be at least 60 degrees C and used in conjunction with a decent laundry sanitiser to remove bacteria and ensure your clothes are germ free.

Many bacteria and germs will be removed at 60 degrees C but not all. Which is why we recommend always using a good laundry sanitiser in your wash even at 60 degrees C.

Can You Wash Clothes At 30 Degrees C And Kill Bacteria?

It is possible to kill bacteria when using a 30 degree C wash cycle. As long as you add a laundry sanitiser in the fabric softener dispenser drawer. 

Just washing clothes at 30 degrees C is not enough to remove germs and bacteria. This is because a 30 degree C wash is almost a cold water wash. To remove germs and bacteria you need a hot wash.

Why Use A 30 Degree C Wash Cycle?

Washing Machine

It’s understandable why you want to use the 30 degree wash cycle…

It’s cheaper to run, better for the environment and kinder to your clothes. 

However, a 30 degree C wash won’t remove stubborn stains or kill germs and bacteria.

How To Kill Bacteria In A 30 Degree C Wash

If you are washing clothes that need to be washed at a low temperature and you want to remove bacteria you will need some help. 

That help is available in the form of laundry sanitisers. Many detergent manufacturers produce an antibacterial laundry sanitiser which can be purchased from all good grocery stores.

These include;

Persil Antibacterial Laundry Sanitiser

Persil Antibacterial Laundry Sanitiser 1.2 L 12 Wash, (Pack of 1)
  • Persil Antibacterial laundry sanitiser kills 99.9 Percent of viruses* and bacteria
  • Our laundry sanitiser washes away the viruses and bacteria you cannot see, leaving your family's clothes fresh and hygienically clean

This santising product kills 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria and is effective even at 20 degrees C.

Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser

No products found.

This product by Dettol also kills 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria and is effective at temperatures as low as 15 degrees C.

BritishBasics – Antibacterial Laundry Sanitiser Cleanser Liquid Additive

BritishBasics - Anti-Bacterial Laundry Sanitiser Cleanser Liquid Additive 1 Litre,Clear
  • British Basics Antibacterial Laundry Sanitiser / Cleanser
  • Eliminates germs from your laundry

This product kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and is effective at low temperatures as well.

It’s worth pointing out that all of the above products will kill viruses and bacteria but will not remove stubborn stains. You will either need to soak heavily stained clothes before washing or use a different wash cycle to remove stains.

How Can I Be Sure My Washing Machine Is Free From Bacteria?

The only way to be certain that your washing machine is free from bacteria is to run a self clean or service wash in your machine. If your machine doesn’t have a self clean or service wash cycle, you will need to run a hot (90 degree C) wash with no laundry. 

It will be beneficial to use a proprietary washing machine cleaner even in a hot wash to be sure of removing all harmful germs and bacteria.

The hot wash or self clean wash can take anywhere between 2 ½ to 4 hours so allow plenty of time. 

Washing machine cleaners include;

Dettol Antibacterial Washing Machine Cleaner 

Dettol Antibacterial Washing Machine Cleaner | Removes Limescale, Odours & Dirt | Lavender Scent 250ml, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
  • Brand: Dettol
  • Dettol Antibacterial Washing Machine Cleaner | Removes Limescale, Odours & Dirt | Lavender Scent 250ml, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)

This product offers the ability to kill 99.9% of all bacteria as well as removing limescale, bad smells and dirt.

Calgon Hygiene Plus Washing Machine Water Softener

Calgon Hygiene Plus Washing Machine Cleaner & Limescale Remover, Water Softener Tablets, Helps to Maintain your Washing Machine, 65 Tablets, Pack of 1
  • Hygienically cleans your machine for a deeper clean
  • Unbeatable protection against limescale and residue and eliminates bad odours

This product also removes bacteria, limescale, bad odours and dirt and can be used whilst washing clothes.

Dr.Beckmann Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner

Sale
Dr.Beckmann Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner, 1 Treatment
16,141 Reviews
Dr.Beckmann Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner, 1 Treatment
  • Removes 99.99% of bacteria, viruses and fungi which can lead to bad and unpleasant odours
  • Hygienically cleans deep inside your washing machine, leaving a fresh lemon fragrance

This product also removes 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria as well as mould and mildew.

How To Help Prevent The Build Up Of Bacteria In A Washing Machine

It’s not possible to have a 100% bacteria free washing machine all of the time. But there are ways to reduce the number of bacteria present in your machine. These include;

  • Running A Cleaning Cycle On Your Washing machine
    It’s important to run a cleaning cycle on your washing machine once a month or every 30 washes to remove harmful bacteria.
  • Keep Dirty Clothes Separated
    Clothes like underwear and socks are likely to carry more bacteria than shirts etc. To help reduce the spread of bacteria these dirty clothes should be kept separately and washed separately too.
  • Use A Laundry Sanitiser
    Even at 60 degrees C, some bacteria can survive. Which is why it is vitally important to use a laundry sanitiser to ensure that all harmful bacteria is removed.
  • Don’t Leave Wet Clothes In The Machine
    Mould and mildew spores thrive in damp places. By leaving wet laundry in your machine, you increase the risk of these spores multiplying.
  • Leave The Washing Machine Door Open When Not In Use
    After all the laundry has been removed from your machine, the door should be left open to allow the drum to dry out. This reduces the likelihood of mould, mildew and bacteria from multiplying.

Can You Kill Bacteria At 20 Degrees C?

A person putting clothes into a washing machine

It is possible to kill bacteria at 20 degrees C but only if you use a laundry sanitiser. The 20 degree C water temperature is not hot enough to kill germs or bacteria which is why you will need to use a laundry sanitiser to be sure all of the bacteria is gone.

Will Detergent Kill Bacteria?

It is possible that some bacteria will be destroyed by laundry detergent, but not enough to be considered safe. If you want to keep your family safe from the harmful effects of bacteria, you will need to use a laundry sanitiser.

SEE ALSO: Clothes Smelling Damp? (here’s how to stop it)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hygienic to wash clothes at 30 degrees?

It is not hygienic to wash clothes at 30 degrees C. The water is not hot enough to remove all of the germs and harmful bacteria at 30 degrees C.

Does a 30 degree wash kill germs?

A 30 degree C wash cycle is not hot enough to kill germs. The water needs to be at least 60 degrees C and even then some bacteria will survive.

Will a 30 degree wash kill Mould?

No, a 30 degree C wash cycle is not hot enough to kill mould spores. Mould spores will die if exposed to 60 degrees C.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *