Your regular, run-of-the-mill wash cycle will do just fine at clearing away that ketchup stain or grass smear. But what if you want to ensure the stomach bug from your son’s sheets or the bacteria on a grimy kitchen towel don’t stick around—or contaminate the next load?
That’s where washing machines with sanitization cycles come in handy. They heat the water (or steam) temperature, and the garments in them, to at least 165 degrees to do away with any nasty microorganisms left in your clothing. An added bonus: Sanitization also kills odor-causing bacteria—so that stinky old dog bed may get a second life.
Be sure to look for a seal from NSF International, a consumer health and safety organization. Their seal of approval means that washing machine eliminates 99.9 percent of organisms in a test “sanitization” wash cycle.