We have all been so focused on germs and disinfection lately, for good reason! It has been eye-opening to learn all the little ways we can spread viruses and illnesses. Today, I’ve got a few weird and surprising tips for beefing up your home’s defenses against germs!

You already know how important it is to wash your hands, disinfect hard surfaces like kitchen counters, bathrooms, and door handles … and keep everyday items like your phones and remote controls clean! But I want to talk about something else that’s VERY IMPORTANT to help battle germs and bacteria.

It has to do with your LAUNDRY! (And these tips are important even after this pandemic is a distant memory.)I’ve also got a bonus tip about your toothbrush that was so interesting I had to share.

Your Washing Machine & Dryer

  • If your washer has a sanitize or steam setting, use it (along with detergent!) to help kill germs. Use bleach when appropriate.
  • Drying your laundry on the hot cycle for 45 minutes can also help kill some germs and viruses.
  • Make sure you use the warmest water your fabric can tolerate.
  • Run an empty load through your washer 1x a week with 1 cup of bleach (check your manual for more info) … because some germs can actually survive a wash cycle.


Even though we’re usually fresh and clean from the shower when we use our towels, it’s worth noting these tips.

  • If only 1 person uses a towel, wash it 1x a week. That being said, if someone is sick, wash it after EACH use.
  • Hang towels to dry (i.e., don’t reuse them after they’ve been sitting on the floor).
  • Wash your kitchen towels separately from your bathroom towels (and also from your underwear).
  • Replace hand towels after a couple of days – or every time you have guests!


True story: the best nights of sleep are when you have fresh, crisp and clean sheets!

  • Avoid shaking out your bedding, towels, blankets BEFORE you wash them, because this will cut down the amount of dust and germs sent into the air.
  • Wash your bed linens at least once a week in hot water. Wash your bedding separately from your other laundry. If someone is sick, wash bedding even more often.
  • Bonus tip: Keep food out of the bedrooms, because crumbs attract bacteria.

Your Toothbrush

These tips come straight from Colgate. They recommend NOT putting your toothbrush in the dishwasher since heating it can damage the brushing edge.

  • Swirl the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds. (Do not soak your toothbrush in mouthwash for more than 15 minutes because it can damage the brush).
  • Dilute 1 tsp of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Swish bristles in the solution before brushing.
  • Soak bristles in vinegar overnight 1x a week.
  • Or, get some denture cleaning tablets and follow the package directions for dissolving. Soak the toothbrush bristles in the solution.

I hope you can get some use out of these tips!

It’s all about staying vigilant to protect our health (and also the health of our family, friends, and community!


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Rob is the owner and founder of Fitness Lifestyle Personal Training.

He has been training for over thirty-three years; seventeen of those years as a personal trainer helping others reach their goals.