If you have an active herpes infection, you may inadvertently transmit the virus to others who contact your dirty clothing or used, damp towels. You can also spread the infection to other areas of your body. Fortunately, the herpes virus can be killed via laundering clothing and other materials. Laundering clothing, towels, wash cloths and other items that have come into contact with you is very important during an outbreak.
Place a load of clothing and washable items in your washing machine. According to Chicago Help, you don't need to separate the contaminated clothes from other clothes as washing will destroy the virus.
Add laundry detergent and household bleach to the clothes, if the items are white and can handle bleach. For colored material, you'll be safer using a quaternary disinfectant in the wash, according to the New Mexico State University Extension. One example of a quaternary disinfectant is Lysol.
Wash the clothing on the hot water setting. When the load is finished, dry the laundry in a clothes dryer on the highest heat setting, or outdoors in direct sunlight. All of the virus should be already dead after washing, but you can take this extra step of drying in high heat or sunlight for extra peace of mind.