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How clean is your baby’s blanket?

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 28, 2014

Pixie McKenna

Pixie McKenna

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IT’S notoriously difficult to prize children away from their precious ‘blankies’ but research has revealed baby blankets could be harbouring nasty germs– even after they have been washed.

The emotional comfort associated can be ever-lasting, as Kylie Minogue and Lily Allen recently demonstrated by revealing their childhood blankes were there most treasured possessions.

However, laboratory tests, commissioned by Dettol on washed blankets donated by volunteer mums, showed that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash.

In-fact, a third of the washed blankets harboured coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces.

Ninety six per cent of the mums who took part in the research said they regularly washed all their family laundry at 40°C – and that’s part of the problem, according to Dr Pixie McKenna (pictured).

“As a GP and a mum of a young baby I’m interested in these findings,” said Dr McKenna.

“Washing laundry at a low temperature encourages a ‘bacterial soup’ inside our washing machines, with germs transferring between contaminated and uncontaminated items.

“In some cases you need to get washing hygienically clean and to do this you either need high temperatures, which lots of modern fabrics can’t withstand, or some form of laundry disinfectant.”

Banish blankie bacteria with the three-step ‘more than clean laundry regime’:

1. Add a laundry disinfectant when washing below 60°C such as Dettol’s Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser (£4.59 from major supermarkets) which kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria even at 30°C.

2. Avoid cross-contamination when someone in your family is ill by washing their clothes and bedding separately and keep underwear out of washes with tea-towels and kitchen cloths.

3. Clean your machine by running a 90°C cycle once a month, wiping down seals and the detergent drawer with an anti-bacterial surface cleanser and leave the door open after each wash to keep it fresh and reduce mould growth.

For more great washing tips visit www.dettol.co.uk

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