How to Clean Bed Linens After Strep Throat

Strep throat is a nasty, tenacious infection and it can cause recurring infections throughout an entire season if it is not thoroughly laid to rest in your entire household following the infection. While most homemakers understand how important it is to kill germs by wiping down surfaces, isolating the sick family member from the healthy family members and washing all clothing and linens, many do not realize that hot water may not be enough to counter strep. When you are finally through the strep throat cycle, immediately make sure that you kill it off entirely by treating your bed linens so that the infection cannot return.

Step 1

Wash the bed linens three times. Wash the linens immediately after the symptoms disappear, a week after that and another week after that. Strep throat can be contagious for 21 days, so you must keep killing it the entire time or your child can spread it or catch it again.

Step 2

Remove all bed linens from the bed and room, not just sheets and pillows, but mattress pads, hanging canopies and even curtains if they are right next to your child's bed.

Step 3

Wash the linens on the "heavy soil" cycle in your machine with hot water. This will involve a hot rinse, a hot washing and then another hot rinse in most cases. Use the normal amount of laundry detergent, but add a cup of color-safe bleach to the mix. If you like, you can repeat this washing cycle twice before putting the linens in the dryer.

Step 4

Dry the linens. You can use a machine dryer or you can put them outside in the sunshine. Either way, the germs should be dead and gone.

Step 5

Reuse the "strep linens" until your child has been better for a month. This way you will not potentially spread the infection if your child still has the infection once the symptoms are gone. The hot water will kill the germs each time, and the bleach and laundry detergent will further disinfect them so that you can use them without concern on any bed after cleaning. It is just easier to keep track of them while your child is sick if you use the same ones.