List of Laundry Disinfectants When You Want Something Not So Harsh

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Squeaky is all about the borderline genius hacks and ideas that keep literally every inch of your space pristine.

When most people think of disinfecting their laundry (or even their washing machines after a sickness), many turn to the powers of bleach. However, there are less harsh, natural disinfectants that can be used to clean and sanitize your laundry. Here are our tops ones to try.

Distilled White Vinegar Laundry Disinfectant

pouring white vinegar into a measuring cup

Vinegar is known to be an amazing antibacterial cleaner that can be used to clean countertops, sinks, and even floors, but it's also a great solution for sterilizing and cleaning laundry. Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to your wash cycle to help remove bacteria and odor-causing bacteria from your clothing and linens. It can also be used as a fabric softener. And, you can run your washing machine on hot with a cup of vinegar to sanitize your washing machine and remove odors like mildew or mustiness. (Not to mention, it is also great when you want to get the whitest towels naturally.)

Hydrogen Peroxide Laundry Disinfectant

Hand painting gold sticker label sheets for cleaning bottles next to pencils

Hydrogen peroxide is often thought of as a wound cleaner that you probably have in your first aid kit, but it can also be used to kill bacteria in your laundry. To banish bacteria, add one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your regular wash cycle. You can also make an amazing stain remover by mixing one cup of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of dish liquid. And for an extra bonus: Hydrogen peroxide is an amazing alternative to bleach for whitening whites.

*NOTE: *Before using hydrogen peroxide in your laundry, be sure to test spot fabrics.

Pine Oil Laundry Disinfectant

When your hear the words pine oil, you probably think of pine scented floor cleaner like Pine Sol. Pine oil can also be used to kill bacteria in laundry, especially after sickness. To kill bacteria, add one cup of Pine Sol or other pine oil cleaner to your wash. To remove the smell, you can run an extra rinse cycle.

NOTE: Do not use pine oil on silk or wool items.

Borax Laundry Disinfectant

Borax, or sodium borate, can be used in addition to your laundry detergent as an amazing anti-fungal and disinfectant. It can be found in the detergent section of most stores and can also be used to make homemade laundry detergent.


Jessica owns two blogs, Mom 4 Real and Pour Me a Cocktail. She has been sharing easy cleaning tips, recipes and ideas with her readers for over 7 years. She has been featured on the Rachel Ray Show, TODAY Parenting, MSN, Country Woman Magazine and more.

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