6 Mistakes In Washing And Drying Clothes That Make You Sick

There are some common mistakes that people make while washing and drying clothes that can make you sick and cause skin infections. Read on.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: May 28, 2021 20:28 IST
6 Mistakes In Washing And Drying Clothes That Make You Sick

Most of the people wash their laundry atleast once a week. And, there are a number of common mistakes that a lot of people make while washing or drying  clothes, from using too much detergent to drying clothes inside the house. And, these flaws can have a direct negative impact on your skin and health as well. You can even talk to a cleaning expert regarding the same. Bacterial growth can be caused due to careless washing and drying, which can lead to conditions such as dermatitis or Urinary tract infection. Read the article further to know about the mistakes in washing and drying clothes along with experts talking about their impact on your skin and health. 

Mistakes in washing and drying clothes that can make you sick 

While, some of the washing and drying mistakes can ruin clothes, others can have an impact your home, skin and even health. So, here are 6 such common mistakes that can make you sick: 

1. Using too much detergent

too much detergent

Detergents should be used in optimum amounts. Excess use of detergent can leave stains and residues on clothes, and it also leaves an odour. The remains can also cause irritation on the skin, if not taken care it can lead to infections and bumps on the skin too. Too much detergent is not just bad for your skin and clothes, but it also harms your washing machine and it causes more wear and tear in the motor of your machine. 

2. Not drying clothes properly

Sometimes, when the clothes are not thoroughly dry, it can cause certain yeast infections and fungal growth in clothes. It can also give a very foul odor in cupboards. It can also give rise to termites in the case of a wooden wardrobe. It can also be a breeding ground for other harmful bacteria. 

Also read: How Often Should You Change and Wash Your Bed Sheets

3. Not washing infected person's clothes in hot water

One must take care that they should wash an infected person's laundry in an entirely another lot. You must use hot water to kill the pathogens in those clothes because it can becomes a point of contamination even for people who do not come in direct contact of the patient. A sick person's clothes should be washed more often and they must be stored in a closed laundry bag. 

4. Not understanding difference between cleaning and disinfecting

We should both clean and sanitize the clothes. Detergents are only meant to remove stains and dirt from the clothes. And, bacterias can still breed in those clothes. You must should a fabric disinfectant after using detergents to keep the germs away. 

5. Drying clothes indoors

It is the most common mistake that people dry their clothes indoors. You should dry clothes in direct sunlight, but you must also take care to remove the clothes from the sun as soon as they are dry to protect their colour. Sunlight majorly helps to kill bacteria and it also helps you to get rid of damp smell from clothes. 

6. Clothes not properly stored before washing 

Dirty clothes stay collected for days and not properly stored before washing can lead to infection spread. Moreover,  washing your hands after handling dirty laundry is also a common mistake that people are not aware about. Clothes can have all sorts of bacteria, virus before you have tossed them in the washing machine/ bucket. Remember to wash your hands before and after washing your clothes. 

Also read: 6 Ways to prevent clothing allergies

How do these mistakes affect your skin?

Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dermatologist Dr. Nivedita Dadu, Dermatology clinic, to know about the effects of mistakes you make while washing and drying clothes on the skin. She said, "Things that are confined to the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) get affected due to such mistakes in washing and drying the clothes. Severe skin infections can also be caused but black fungus is a very deep systemic fungal infection, so it does not cause the fungus that is responsible for causing it. It does live on the moisture in the moisture retain objects or clothes of dead decaying matter. It is a completely different entity and a lot of invasion is needed for infection fungus." 


She also said that -

  • These improper drying of the clothes or improper cleaning of the clothes cannot cause black fungus.
  • But, people who have an allergic tendency and a family history of eczema should absolutely avoid these mistakes.
  • Improper clothes cleaning cannot lead to fungal infections, but it can cause the growing of fungus due to moisture retention in clothes.
  • Sun is very important for disinfection of clothes and they should not be dried indoors, as it can lead to dermatitis. 

How do these mistakes affect your health? 

Wearing wet clothes can cause urinary tract infection (UTI). The moisture gets trapped which increases the spread of bacteria. Therefore, it is important to dry the clothes indoors before wearing them. Dry washing indoors can also be a risk for people with asthma and weakened immune system. Some breeding conditions for mould spores can lead to fatal lung infections. 

So, these were some common mistakes that people make while washing or drying clothes, and how it affects our skin and health answered by experts. You should take care of the above listed things and try not making these mistakes while doing your laundry, to keep you and your family healthy. 

PRO TIP: If you want to avoid bacteria growth in your wardrobe, then make sure to use the washing machine with nothing but bleach and hot water on a regular basis try to clean the interior whenever possible. 

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