Does Ironing Clothes Kill Germs?

We all iron to give our clothes a crease-free and neat appearance. However, most people don’t know that ironing clothes can help kill germs and bacteria that may be lurking on the fabric.

The heat from the iron can reach temperatures above 60°C, which is hot enough to kill over 99% of bacteria, including thermophilic bacteria and staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria are commonly found on dirty clothes and can cause bad smells and even infections.

In addition to ironing, steaming clothes is another effective way to get rid of germs and unwanted odours. Steam irons and garment steamers can produce high temperatures that can also kill bacteria on clothes. This method is especially helpful for delicate garments that cannot withstand the heat of an iron.

As with any household chore, it is important to check the clothing label for any specific instructions to avoid damaging the fabric. Some fabrics may be too sensitive to withstand the heat from an iron or steamer, so it’s important to follow the instructions provided. It’s also important to note that while ironing and steaming can help to get rid of germs, it may not be as effective as washing clothes in hot water or taking them to a dry cleaning service that uses toxic chemicals for a deeper cleaning.

In conclusion, ironing clothes can effectively kill germs and bacteria on clothing, especially for smaller loads of laundry or while on the go. However, it’s important to remember to follow clothing labels and consider other options for a more thorough cleaning.

Types of Bacteria

Bacteria can be found almost everywhere, including on our skin, in the air we breathe, and on the surfaces we touch. Some types of bacteria can harm our health and cause infections, while others are beneficial and can help support our immune system. When it comes to our clothing, there are several types of bacteria that can linger on dirty clothes and cause bad smells or even infections. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common types of bacteria that can be found on clothes, and how ironing and steaming can help to eliminate them.

Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus Aureus is a type of bacteria that is commonly found on the skin. Although it usually does not cause any harm, it can lead to bacterial infections if it enters a person’s body through a cut or wound. This type of bacteria can also cause more serious infections, particularly in people who have weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of a Staphylococcus Aureus infection can include redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the infection. In some cases, a fever may also develop. These infections can lead to more serious complications, such as sepsis or pneumonia if left untreated.

One lesser-known way that Staphylococcus Aureus can spread is through clothing contamination. This type of bacteria can be found on clothing, particularly if it has been in contact with an infected person’s skin. If a person comes into contact with this contaminated clothing, they may become infected themselves.

To prevent the spread of Staphylococcus Aureus through clothing, it is recommended that people wash their clothes regularly with hot water and laundry detergent. Clothing that has come into contact with an infected person’s skin should be washed separately from other clothing items. Additionally, personal items such as towels and washcloths should not be shared with others.

It is important to note that while ironing clothes may remove wrinkles and creases, it does not necessarily kill Staphylococcus Aureus or other harmful bacteria that may be present on the clothing. The best way to ensure that clothing is free from harmful bacteria is to wash it with hot water and laundry detergent.

In summary, while Staphylococcus Aureus is a common type of skin bacteria, it can also cause bacterial infections if it enters a person’s body through a cut or wound. Symptoms of these infections include redness, swelling, and pain. To prevent the spread of this type of bacteria, it is important to regularly wash clothing with hot water and laundry detergent and avoid sharing personal items with others.

Thermophilic Bacteria

Thermophilic bacteria is an important topic when discussing the effectiveness of ironing clothes in killing germs. This is because thermophilic bacteria is a type of bacteria that can survive and thrive in extremely hot temperatures, making it resistant to traditional methods of sterilization.

Thermophilic bacteria is characterized as being heat tolerant, meaning it can live in temperatures ranging from 45 to 80 degrees Celsius. Even if you use the hottest iron setting, it may not be sufficient to kill this type of bacteria on clothing.

Some common examples of thermophilic bacteria that can be found in clothes include Bacillus and Geobacillus. These bacteria can cause bad smells and contribute to body odor.

To identify if your clothes have thermophilic bacteria, look out for signs of bad smells or body odor, especially if your clothes have been exposed to heat or moisture. Additionally, if you have noticed that your clothes are not as fresh as they used to be, it may be a sign that there is bacteria present.

In conclusion, while ironing clothes may remove wrinkles, it may not necessarily kill thermophilic bacteria or other harmful bacteria that may be present on clothes. It is important to wash clothes regularly with hot water and laundry detergent to ensure that they are free from harmful bacteria.

Ironing and Killing Germs

Ironing clothes is a common household chore that helps to make our clothing look neat and wrinkle-free. However, many of us may wonder if ironing clothes also helps to kill germs and bacteria. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether ironing clothes can effectively eliminate harmful germs and bacteria and provide insights into how best to keep clothes clean and fresh.

Hot Water Kills Germs

Does Hot Water Really Kill Germs on Clothes?

When washing your clothes, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure your garments are thoroughly clean and free of germs and bacteria. One of the crucial factors is using hot water during the washing process.

While washing clothes in cold water may seem easy and energy-efficient, it is not enough to kill germs and bacteria effectively. Instead, cold water can leave a residue of germs and bacteria in the washing machine after the wash cycle, creating an unhealthy environment.

For this reason, it is essential to wash your clothes in hot water. Hot water helps to eliminate germs and bacteria efficiently, allowing you to maintain a clean and hygienic home environment. Additionally, using hot water can also help remove tough stains and dirt from clothes better than cold water.

However, keeping your washing machine clean when using hot water in your wash cycle is crucial. Over time, a washing machine can accumulate residue, germs, and bacteria, leading to unpleasant odors and even mold growth. Running a hot water cycle in an empty machine with a cup of vinegar or bleach can help to keep your washing machine clean and germ-free.

In summary, hot water is critical in ensuring that your clothes are free from germs and bacteria. Using hot water during the washing process is highly beneficial to remove stains and dirt from your clothes efficiently. Remember to keep your washing machine clean to prevent any accumulation of germs and bacteria, and enjoy fresh and hygienic garments every time.

Steam Ironing Can Help Kill Germs

While washing your clothes in hot water is an essential step to removing germs and bacteria, it’s not enough to ensure that your clothing is entirely germ-free. This is where a steam iron can come in handy. Unlike traditional ironing, steam ironing involves the use of hot temperatures and steam to sterilize clothing and eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses.

When it comes to killing germs with a steam iron, temperature and steam output are key factors in achieving maximum effectiveness. The ideal temperature for steam ironing clothes to kill germs is around 212 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of steam output is also crucial since a higher output will allow the steam to penetrate deeper into the fibres of the clothing fabric, ensuring all bacteria and viruses are eliminated.

Steam ironing is effective in killing various types of harmful bacteria, including thermophilic bacteria found in sweat and body odour. It can also eliminate staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria commonly found on skin and in nasal passages, that can cause infections if it enters the bloodstream. In addition, steam ironing can also help neutralize viruses present on clothing, including those that cause the common cold and flu.

The process of steam ironing clothing is relatively straightforward. First, ensure the garment’s material is suitable for steam ironing by checking the clothing label or manufacturer’s instructions. Then, fill the iron with water and allow it to heat up. Once it reaches the appropriate temperature, press the steam button and run the iron over the garment. Ensure that the iron is moving slowly, allowing the heat and steam to penetrate every part of the garment thoroughly.

Steam ironing clothing offers several benefits over traditional ironing methods, primarily in terms of hygiene. Steam ironing can effectively sterilize delicate garments, such as baby clothes and upholstered furniture. It can also eliminate bad smells caused by odor-causing bacteria on clothing, ensuring your clothing remains fresh even after a long day. Additionally, steam ironing can help remove wrinkles from clothing, making it look neat and crease-free, all while sterilizing it in the process.

In conclusion, steam ironing can effectively kill germs on clothing, eliminating harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause infections and illness. Using high temperatures and steam output, steam ironing offers a more hygienic way to sanitize garments than traditional ironing methods.

Clothing Irons and Garment Steamers for Killing Germs

When it comes to effectively killing germs on clothing, there are two primary tools at your disposal: clothing irons and garment steamers. While both use heat and steam to disinfect your clothes, they offer different benefits depending on your needs.

Clothing irons come in a variety of models that can be highly effective in killing germs on your clothes. Traditional steam irons release steam as their primary function, with some models also using high heat to help kill bacteria. By running the iron over your clothes, you can ensure that the high temperatures and steam penetrate deeply into the fabric, eliminating any germs present. Clothing irons are especially useful for items like dress shirts or pants, where a crisp crease is desired alongside thorough disinfection.

On the other hand, Garment steamers use a combination of high heat and steam to disinfect clothes without pressing or ironing. This makes them particularly useful for delicate or heavily embellished garments, where the direct heat of an iron could cause damage. Garment steamers also tend to be gentler on the fabric than traditional clothing irons, making them better suited for use on delicate materials like silk or cashmere. By directing steam over your clothing, you can ensure that no germs remain, while also helping to remove wrinkles and freshening up your clothes in the process.

Both clothing irons and garment steamers offer unique benefits when it comes to disinfecting your clothing. While clothing irons are ideal for achieving a crisp, crease-free appearance alongside thorough disinfection, garment steamers are better suited to delicate materials and heavily embellished garments. Regardless of the tool you choose, make sure to take advantage of both high heat and steam release to ensure thorough disinfection of your clothes. With regular use, you can help keep your clothes free from harmful germs and enjoy a fresher, cleaner wardrobe.

Other Ways to Remove Germs from Clothing and Fabric

While clothing irons and garment steamers are effective ways to remove germs from clothing and fabrics, they may not be suitable for every item or situation. Additionally, some people may simply prefer to use alternative methods for disinfecting their clothing. In this article, we’ll explore some other options for removing germs from clothing and fabric, ranging from simple household solutions to more specialized products and services.

Dry Cleaners and Toxic Chemicals

Dry Cleaners and Toxic Chemicals: Risks and Alternatives

Dry cleaning is a common household chore for many people. However, most are not aware of the hidden risks associated with this seemingly safe practice. The chemicals used in dry cleaning can have harmful effects on health and the environment. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of dry cleaners and explore some alternative methods.

Chemicals in the Dry Cleaning Process

Dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene (perc) to clean clothes. Perc is highly effective in removing grease, oil and stains but is also a toxic chemical. It is classified as a carcinogen, which means it is a substance that has the potential to cause cancer. Exposure to perc can lead to health problems such as dizziness, headache, nausea, and skin irritation.

Besides perc, other harmful chemicals used in dry cleaning include hydrocarbon and silicon-based solvents. These solvents pose similar health risks, and are not biodegradable, leading to environmental pollution.

Alternatives to Dry Cleaning

Thankfully, several alternative methods to dry cleaning can be used to avoid exposure to these harmful chemicals. One such method is steam cleaning, which uses high-temperature steam to clean clothes. The heat kills off viruses and bacteria on the fabric, leaving clothes clean and fresh. Another option worth exploring is hand washing, a traditional method of cleaning clothes using water and a gentle detergent. Certain delicate garments such as silk and cashmere should be hand washed, as they can get damaged in a washing machine or dryer.

Benefits of Alternative Methods

Using alternative methods to dry cleaning can help reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. Steam cleaning, for example, is safer and more eco-friendly than dry cleaning. It is also possible to steam clean upholstered furniture, carpets and curtains, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals. Hand washing clothes can be time-consuming, but it is a great option for those who want to avoid exposing their family and the environment to harmful chemicals.


Dry cleaning using toxic chemicals such as perc can have long-term impacts on health and the environment. Exploring alternative methods, such as steam cleaning and hand washing, is important to reduce exposure to these harmful chemicals. Not only do these methods offer benefits, such as eliminating the risk of toxic exposure, but they also extend the lifespan of your clothing and help protect the environment.

Laundry Detergents and Household Chores

Laundry Detergents and Household Chores: A Key Role in Removing Germs from Clothes

Washing clothes is necessary to maintain body hygiene and prevent the spread of germs. However, tossing clothes into the washing machine with any detergent is not enough to eliminate germs completely. That’s where laundry detergents and household chores come into play in removing germs from clothes.

Laundry detergents play a significant role in removing germs from clothes. When purchasing laundry detergents, it is crucial to look for ones that specifically mention antibacterial or germ-killing properties. These detergents contain active ingredients that target and eliminate harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses present in clothes. Washing clothes in hot water with an antibacterial detergent can go a long way in ensuring that most germs are eliminated from the fabric.

However, it’s not just about the type of detergent used. The washing process also plays a vital role in removing germs. Washing clothes in cold water is not effective against most germs in clothes, so it is best to use hot water whenever possible. The high temperature helps to kill germs and remove dirt effectively. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid overloading the machine with clothes so that each garment can receive maximum exposure to the detergent.

While laundry detergent helps remove germs from clothes, it is also essential to pay attention to household chores associated with washing clothes. Dirty clothes come into contact with various surfaces, such as laundry baskets and hampers. Therefore, it is recommended to routinely wipe these surfaces with a disinfectant to prevent the spread of germs. Also, vacuuming and dusting regularly helps to remove dust and other debris that can harbor germs.

In conclusion, laundry detergents and household chores play a crucial role in removing germs from clothes. It is vital to use detergents that specifically target germs, wash clothes in hot water, avoid overloading the machine, wipe down surfaces associated with dirty clothes, and maintain a clean environment. By practicing good laundry habits and household chores, you can help prevent the spread of germs and keep your clothes fresh and clean.

Using Labels on Clothing to Avoid Harmful Chemicals

When it comes to selecting garments for your wardrobe, it’s not just about the style and fit. It’s also important to pay attention to the labels on clothing to avoid the use of harmful chemicals that may impact your health. Here’s why labels on clothing matter when it comes to avoiding harmful chemicals:

Look for Labels that Indicate Natural Materials

One of the easiest ways to avoid harmful chemicals in clothing is to look for labels that indicate the use of natural materials. Materials such as cotton, wool, or silk are typically safer options than synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, which may be treated with chemicals such as formaldehyde or flame retardants. These types of fabrics may also trigger allergies or skin irritations, so it’s essential to read labels carefully before making a purchase.

Say Yes to Eco-Friendly or Organic Labels

Another way to avoid harmful chemicals in clothing is to look for labels that indicate the use of eco-friendly or organic materials. Eco-friendly materials are often made from recycled materials and require fewer chemicals during production. Organic materials, on the other hand, are grown without the use of harmful chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. By choosing clothing with eco-friendly or organic labels, you can ensure that you contribute to the environment as a conscious consumer.


In summary, when it comes to avoiding harmful chemicals in clothing, it’s essential to read the labels carefully. Look for labels that indicate the use of natural materials such as cotton, wool, or silk instead of synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon. You can also opt for clothing with eco-friendly or organic labels to contribute to the environment. By following these tips, you can make informed decisions when adding garments to your wardrobe and reduce the risk of exposing yourself to harmful chemicals.


In conclusion, using natural and eco-friendly materials, along with ironing, is an effective way to kill germs in clothes. Natural materials like cotton, wool, and silk are safer than synthetic ones that might have been treated with harmful chemicals during production. Additionally, ironing clothes at high temperatures and following best practices when handling dirty laundry can eliminate harmful bacteria from clothes and prevent the spread of diseases.

Maintaining hygiene is crucial, and following best practices to eliminate germs effectively is essential. This includes separating dirty clothes, washing in hot water with quality laundry detergents, and using professional dry cleaning and ironing services when necessary. Sealing the clothes correctly in plastic containers or sealed bags can also prevent insects from infesting them.

It’s necessary to take care of our clothing to ensure our health and safety. By following the best practices that include washing, drying, ironing, and storing clothes correctly, we can eliminate harmful germs and diseases from our clothes, ultimately keeping ourselves and the people around us healthy.