Confessions and Questions from a Germophobe

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Fear The Spear

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So, I'm looking at moving into this studio. I'm living under "tough economic times" as you'll see from the following descriptions ..... It's a converted apartment, as part of a large house, which has several of these similar units converted within the structure. All in all, there's about 10 people living in these indivdual "studios" with their own private entrance.

But here is my concern. When the landlord showed me the washing machine (which, oddly is situated literally outside the house, against the side of the building, it has a sign above the washer addressed to all 10 or tenants who share this laundry machine. It says something along the lines of "Due to the fact that there is NO hot water supplied for this washer, everyone MUST use Clorox Bleach, or Non-Chlorine Bleach, to prevent the transfer of communicable diseases"

Besides having to wash in only cold water, there is no electric dryer, so we have to hang dry the clothes. With no electric dryer, that also eliminates another germ/disease kiling component of the laundry process.

So, me being a germophobic, it has me somewhat concerned. Someone even told me that bleach does not kill all germs, and may in fact, create new germs. So, who is being the bigger germophghobic - me, or the landlord ? Googling this, has yielded contradictory results, so I wanted others' opinions based on their experience and expertise.

Even if someone else using the community laundry fails to use bleach in their load, am I safe from any and all types of transferred diseases/illness/germs/bacteria/viruses, etc, as long as I use bleach, even though it's cold water, and no electric dryer ?

If not, are there any other precautions to take ? Any other options that are more effective than bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide, etc ?

Thanks
 

Nobody

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As a fellow germophobe, I sympathize with you. The problem is, there is NOTHING that will kill all of the germs/viruses/diseases/etc. You could wash in boiling water with hydrochloric acid and dry it on the sun, and things will still survive. It's the nature of the beast, unfortunately.

All of that being said, air drying your laundry is actually less risky than machine drying it. When you machine dry, you always run the risk of dead disease carrying insects or rodents in your dryer vent line. You also have all of the dead skin and every other form of filth in the lint trap. The way I see it, if you air dry, it comes in contact with the same thing you're breathing. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't breath through my dryer vent hose :laugh:

As far as bleach or peroxide working better, I have never known anyone to wash their clothes in peroxide, so I couldn't answer that with anything of substance.

Look at it this way - we were exposed to all sorts of crazy crap as kids, and we turned out fine. The disease and germs on those doorknobs, banisters and washer handle will kill you a lot quicker than anything you'd pick up sharing the machine.
 

Boone

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The chances of getting an infection, ANY kind of infection, from clothing is miniscule. Short of putting HIV+ blood-soaked clothing on and licking the sleeves as you don it, you don't have much to worry about (and even then, I like your chances). I'm not a microbiologist, but bleach will kill most bacteria - I'd worry more about the impact on my clothes :)

Bottom line, you can always do the laundromat thing. But I think you're worrying over nothing. That's why they call you a 'phobe' :)
 

Elephant

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Dude, as a single guy who lived in a small place in Tallahassee, I weighed my laundry options and discovered that dropping off my laundry every other week was only mildly more expensive than actually doing the laundry myself at a laundromat. Not to mention the girl who did my laundry and I became good friends. ;)

If I were in your situation, I would definitely be doing my laundry elsewhere!
 

China

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What does not kill you makes you stronger. But the same can be said for the germs. :D



I wouldn't sweat it, and I have a BS in microbiology.
 

Special K

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I think you'll survive.

I used to be a germaphobe too...then I started traveling to and living in developing countries, and didn't die. :D

Just use bleach, or non-chlorine bleach, when you wash your clothes and you'll be fine.

Also, if it lends any credence to my thoughts, I work in public health :)
 

Lanky Livingston

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The best sterilization on the planet is fresh air and sunshine; Nature's Lysol. You'll be fine; just make sure you check the washer before you use it (people leave strange stuff in public washing machines).
 

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Thanks guys and ladies.
I actually feel like I made progress toward recovery from this condition, thanks to your support :)
No problem. I'd high five you, but I don't know where your hands have been :laugh:

Do you also wash your hands 20+ times a day like I do? Some people tease me about it, but I almost never get sick, so screw em :D
 

Fear The Spear

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No problem. I'd high five you, but I don't know where your hands have been :laugh:

Do you also wash your hands 20+ times a day like I do? Some people tease me about it, but I almost never get sick, so screw em :D
More than 20 times. And that doesn't even include the 20+ times I use hand santizer alone. So I bet I got you beat ! HA.

Although too much hand sanitizer can actually have numerous detrimental effects, I hear.
 

Nobody

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More than 20 times. And that doesn't even include the 20+ times I use hand santizer alone. So I bet I got you beat ! HA.

Although too much hand sanitizer can actually have numerous detrimental effects, I hear.
I actually quit using hand sanitizer for two reasons. I started having issues with it severely chapping my skin, and I heard numerous reports that using it too much makes it useless, because the germs build an immunity to it. Pure Ivory soap is the way to go. Or Microbial glycerin soap. I don't think there's a single thing I do all day that doesn't result in me washing my hands immediately afterwards, or sometimes in the middle if it's taking too long lol. And I NEVER touch my face. It horrifies me to see people touching doorknobs and stuff then rubbing their hands all over their face :puke:
 

Special K

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More than 20 times. And that doesn't even include the 20+ times I use hand santizer alone. So I bet I got you beat ! HA.

Although too much hand sanitizer can actually have numerous detrimental effects, I hear.
I don't consider myself a "germaphobe." Just concious of spreading germs. I definitely wash my hands more than 20x a day.

And yes, while hand sanitizer can be good, overuse just leads to buildup on your hands. I feel better washing my hands anyway.
 

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