normal dettol in washing machine

Can You Use Normal Dettol in the Washing Machine?

Never has it been more important to kill bacteria and viruses. Due to that, you may be wondering how best to sanitise your clothes and whether you can you use normal Dettol in the washing machine.

There is no doubt that Dettol is a world leader when it comes to disinfection products, whether that is liquid, sprays, soaps, or wipes, therefore it makes sense to think it could be the solution. 

Here we’ll answer all your key questions while giving you other bits of crucial information that you may need. 

Let’s take a deeper look at how to use Dettol.

Can You Use Normal Dettol to Clean Your Clothes?

Firstly, let’s clarify what we mean by “normal Dettol” as the company makes a huge range of different products. 

Here we’re talking about Dettol Liquid which is an antiseptic that is marketed for first aid, medical and personal hygiene uses. We’ll look at some other Dettol products a little later.

On the question of whether you can use Dettol Liquid to clean your clothes, the answer is yes. 

All you need to do is add a cap full of the liquid into your laundry detergent. It will then work to sanitize your clothes, even at low temperatures. 


Why Use Dettol in Laundry?

Dettol in Laundry

Bacteria are killed rapidly at temperatures of 65°C and above. The standard hot wash for washing machines is 60°C, which will still kill most bacteria over a long period but there are a few problems with this.

Firstly, there are many fabrics out there that can’t be washed above 30/40°C. Secondly, washing at 60°C uses up a lot of energy and is simply not needed for your daily washing cycle. Instead of washing your clothes at a high temperature, you can drop in a little bit of Dettol instead. 

This allows you to wash at your regular cycle but you’ll have peace of mind that the clothes coming out are going to be free of bacteria. It’s a better solution than high temperatures, as you can never be sure you’re killing all bacteria and viruses, even on a hot wash. 


Should I Use Normal Dettol in my Washing Machine?

normal dettol and dettol laundry cleanser

You may be expecting the answer here to be yes but we actually wouldn’t recommend it. 

The reason is that while it can be quite a good life hack, there is a better and more suitable solution out there, even from Dettol. 

Dettol has created a Laundry Cleanser that works in a similar way to Dettol Liquid but is more suitable for a washing machine. You also get clearer instructions on how it should be used and how much of it you need. 

But you don’t need to stick with Dettol. There is a wide range of laundry cleansers that will work to sanitize your washing, even at very low temperatures. They all work in a similar way, with many adding a pleasant scent to your washing load. 


Best Alternative to Laundry Cleanser

white vinegar and bleach as laundry cleanser alternative

If you don’t have any Dettol and don’t want to buy laundry cleanser, then there are a few other options. 

White vinegar – This acts as a natural sanitiser due to its natural acidity. White vinegar is a useful household cleaner for several reasons so it’s always a good idea to have some in your cupboards. 

Bleach – You need to be very careful with bleach and choose one which is safe to use with coloured clothing. Unless you want an effective stain remover, we’d suggest using other methods to sanitise your clothes. 


Do I Need to Sanitise My Clothes? 

It’s very unlikely that you’d get ill from washed clothes but it is possible and many people don’t want to take the risk. 

If you’re wondering whether or not you need to sanitize your clothes on every wash, then the answer is no but it’s your choice.

There are times when sanitizing clothes makes sense. This might include a time when you know you’ve come into contact with someone that has a virus or bacterial infection. In this case, you may want to wash your clothes right away.

Another example is if you or your child has been sick and you need to wash bedding, clothes etc. 

Also, it’s a good idea to sanitize your clothes if you’ve been sweating a lot as this becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. 



So, can you use normal Dettol in the washing machine? The answer is yes you can. 

A better solution, however, is to use a dedicated laundry cleanser which is more suitable for use with washing machines. 

That way you can use exactly how much you need and have peace of mind you’ll be left with clean clothes which are free from bacteria and viruses.