Cleaning your home is a liberating feeling, and with the COVID-19 outbreak, knowing that items are disinfected and sanitized thoroughly will bring you even more peace of mind. There are two tools in your home that can greatly help in the fight against germs and bacteria. Your washing machine and your dishwasher are two common items you can use for sanitation, and Alpha Appliance Services explains how below.

Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Although many people assume disinfecting and sanitizing mean the same thing, there is a difference between them. Sanitizing cleans the surface dirt off of clothing or other items. It also brings the level of bacteria and germs to a level that is safe for your health. Disinfection is actually killing 99% to 100% of the germs, but the surface is not always free of dirt. Sanitizing makes your surfaces clean while disinfecting only kills the germs that are living on the surface.

In most cases, when we disinfect, we will use harsh chemicals formulated to eliminate harmful germs, which are perfect for surfaces and areas like the bathroom. For regular cleaning, most people simply sanitize, which is good for fabrics and toys. It is always a good idea to sanitize and disinfect areas that are touched often during flu season or the COVID-19 outbreak.

How to Sanitize Using Your Dishwasher

Not all dishwashers sanitize with every wash. Some dishwashers do not even have a sanitize setting. Those that offer that feature must have the option selected at the start of the wash cycle. This cycle lowers the surface germ concentration by increasing the temperature of the water used in the wash cycle. For a cycle to be considered as sanitized, it must reach a water temperature of at least 150°F.

What Can You Sanitize in Your Dishwasher?

You may be wondering how to safely sanitize items in the dishwasher. After all, there is no point is placing things in a high heat setting that will cause them to melt. Items that can be placed in a sanitize setting are below.

  • Bathroom fixtures – You can place rubber bath mats, toothbrush holders, exfoliates, and shower scrubs in the dishwasher once a week for sanitizing.
  • Children’s Toys – Your kid’s plastic, wooden, and metal toys can be placed on the top rack for cleaning while teethers and binkies can be placed in the utensil basket.
  • Kitchen tools – You can place ceramics, silicone, metal, sponges, and scrubbing brushes in this setting. They should always be placed on the top rack for safety. You can include the microwave plate and refrigerator drawers in the bottom rack
  • Animal Accessories – Any toys crafted from hard rubber and plastic can be placed on the top rack. Collars and leashes that are not made of leather and food bowls can go on the bottom rack.

How to Sanitize Using Your Washing Machine

Most washer units have a sanitize setting, but not all. This cycle is a high heat cycle used to banish bacteria and germs. In a washer, the temperature must reach at least 165°F to be considered a sanitizing cycle. This setting uses more energy per load, so most people will not run it each cycle. Instead, it should be used for linens, towels, cloth diapers, and fabrics worn at the hospital.

How We Can Help

Understanding how to use your washer and dishwasher to sanitize items in your home is a great way to gain peace of mind. For regular use, these cycles can also help cut down on the spread of germs and other harmful bacteria. If your appliance malfunctions, Alpha Appliance Services is on call and available to help. For more information on our Richmond Hill appliance repair services, give us a call at (416) 577-5354 today.