Author Topic: What kills fungal spores in clothes?  (Read 8429 times)

Offline momto4girls

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What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« on: November 09, 2007, 08:36:49 AM »
I have just now discovered that my husband might have a fungal infection under his armpits.  With doing a lot of research I found out that regular laundry does NOT kill the fungal spores in the clothes.  Making the infection flare up over and over again.

What do I add to the laundry to kill the fungal spores in the clothes?

Offline DHW

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 11:31:13 AM »
Herbalmom, where are you? 

I second the GSE, although I would make a strong solution (like 120 drops to a gallon of water) and soak overnite.  Drying in the sun is helpful, too.

Offline herbalmom

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 03:56:58 PM »
I just saw this. I haven't been on much lately with organizing the new house & unpacking.

I would use one of 2 things: 60 drops of Nutibiotic's grapefruit seed extract (GSE) in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on heavy to totally saturate the fabric, let sit for a few mins to kill the fungus & wash. I would run the clothes through 2 full cycles of the washer (second cycle with water only or water with 1-2 cups vinegar in the wash cycle) to be sure it's fully rinsed. If you use Beeyoutiful's GSE keep in mind that it's twice as strong as Nutibiotic's & adjust the amount used. This is the same spray I recommended he use under his arms in this post:

I have the same problem right now. Because of the arm injury I have I can't raise my arm so my underarm never fully dries out & doesn't air out. I have a yeast/fungus rash there- I can tell it's yeast/fungus by the smell. I also apparently got some on my fingers & managed to transfer some of it to my ear lobe & face.  :P :-\

The way I treat it (& my DS's athlete's foot when it acts up) is to use 2 drops of NUTRIBIOTIC'S grapefruit seed extract (GSE) to each ounce of water & just pat it on. (we use a spray bottle to apply to feet) On feet we let it dry on, on my underarm & face I let it sit for a few mins then rinse it off.

Sometimes it does sting at first but GSE knocks the yeast/fungus right out. With DS's feet, 1 application usually knocks it out (& believe me, when his athlete's foot acts up the smell is HORRIBLE  :P) 1 application & the smell is GONE & it doesn't come back anytime soon.  ;D With my underarm, the GSE knocks it out for a few days but then it comes back. The reason it comes back under my arm is because I still can't raise my arm so it never fully dries out, NOT because the GSE doesn't work- your DH can raise his arm so his underarm won't stay damp.

GSE can also be taken internally to kill yeast. Here is a link for a usage chart for Nutribiotic's (standard health food store brand) GSE:

Nutribiotic GSE Usage Chart

Keep in mind that if you use use Beeyoutiful's GSE it is TWICE as strong as Nutribiotic's so BE SURE TO ADJUST THE DOSAGE. HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

The other thing you could use is the spray mixture I have posted on several threads. The ess oils would also help with the funky smell the clothes probably have. Here is what I posted on the my towels smell like mildew thread. Adding a cup of borax to each load would help as well:

For heavy odor or mildew stained towels I have used this recipe that I have posted on other threads:

To make a spray mix: 1 part ess. oil; 3 parts vodka; 1 part liquid soap (we use Bio-kleen degreaser or 7th Generation dish soap- neither one bothers us) this makes a CONCENTRATE, be sure to dilute it before you use it. It will separate but just shake before you use it. To use mix 3 tbsp concentrate with one qt. water. Shake before each use.

Herbalmom, where did you come up with that concoction?

Experimenting. I had read that Vodka will emulsify ess. oils in water & Sol U Mel from Melaleuca is just alcohol, tea tree oil, & green soap & I wanted to make something like it that didn't cost something like .75 for a capful that is only 1 teas. I tried making it w/just Vodka but it didn't stay mixed very well so I added the liquid soap & that helped. You still have to shake it b/c it separates but it stays mixed MUCH better w/soap in it. I buy the Vodka in 1/2 gal for $10 just for making this & I just mix the concentrate in an empty Vodka bottle. If you do this, MAKE SURE that no one will accidentally drink it, some ess. oils & liquid soaps are clear, just like Vodka. Watch what kind of bottle you put it in, I once put a tea tree concentrate in a soft plastic bottle & it caused the outside of the bottle to bubble after a while.

You can use different ess. oils depending on what you have & what you want to do w/it. Made with Tea Tree oil it will get mildew stains out of clothes (shed leaked  :P) & as a laundry pre spot for really greasy clothes. Tea Tree tends to be over harvested, don't use it if you can use something else. I buy the 4oz bottles of NOW brand for this. Made with eucalyptus it works as a insect repellent , with eucalyptus or citrus it works for cleaning & as a laundry pre spot, I like to add a some peppermint oil when I make it w/eucalyptus for cleaning, it takes the harsh edge off the smell of the eucalyptus.

HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

HTH Blessings ~herbalmom

WARNING This came up long after I posted this but based on this I realized that I should include a warning with my posts about the ess oil/vodka cleaner

YIKES!!!!! As in your painted ceiling? What ANY ess oil can do if it dries on/into paint is to REMOVE THE PAINT.  :o :o :o Ess oils are SOLVENTS- some much stronger solvents than others (citrus, tea tree, eucalyptus, oregano, thyme, clove, etc are the strongest) but ANY ess oil can remove paint, wood finishes, etc if strong enough or if it sits long enough.

We have even used the water/vodka/ess oil mixture to loosen old floor tile that had a petroleum based adhesive under it & I use it to get oil, other auto fluids & road grime out etc out of DH's work clothes all the time. There is also at least one commercial brand of paint thinner that's made from citrus ess oil. 

Ess oils can dissolve plastics, rubber, etc as well. 

I've posted before & it's commonly warned both on the 'net & in books about ess oils that they can damage paint, wood finishes, plastics, rubber, etc so it never occurred to me that someone might use it to spray on a painted surface & let dry.  :o :o

IAfter the cleaning, I sprayed with the vodka/ess. oil/soap mixture and let dry.  We'll see what happens.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 08:06:55 PM by herbalmom »

Offline SC

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2007, 05:02:15 AM »
15 seconds in boiling water does the trick nicely  ;)
I'm no doctor . . .             I'm not even a Post hole Digger! ;)

Offline herbalmom

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2007, 03:22:46 PM »
15 seconds in boiling water does the trick nicely  ;)

Doesn't it shrink the clothes? I have posted before about how I either wash clothes in hot water or put them into boiling water to purposely shrink them when they are too big for someone- which method I use depends on how much I want them to shrink. I agree that it would kill the fungus but I would be worried that it would also shrink the clothes. Blessings ~herbalmom


Offline SC

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 06:31:10 PM »
15 seconds in boiling water does the trick nicely  ;)

Doesn't it shrink the clothes? I have posted before about how I either wash clothes in hot water or put them into boiling water to purposely shrink them when they are too big for someone- which method I use depends on how much I want them to shrink. I agree that it would kill the fungus but I would be worried that it would also shrink the clothes. Blessings ~herbalmom
:D :D LOL! I guess it would depend upon the fabric.
Most of our clothing is cotton or natural fibers -- especially that which would be next to the skin (undergarments, socks) -- so I wasn't thinking about other types of garments.  :-\ ???
I seldom acquire clothing that is 'shrinkable' as it takes more time for washing/cleaning.
In our household, the biggest concern would be color fastness, but that could be helped by adding salt to the water. I'll have to defer to you regarding the other. :)
I'm no doctor . . .             I'm not even a Post hole Digger! ;)

Offline herbalmom

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2007, 08:35:10 PM »
15 seconds in boiling water does the trick nicely  ;)
Doesn't it shrink the clothes? I have posted before about how I either wash clothes in hot water or put them into boiling water to purposely shrink them when they are too big for someone- which method I use depends on how much I want them to shrink. I agree that it would kill the fungus but I would be worried that it would also shrink the clothes. Blessings ~herbalmom
:D :D LOL! I guess it would depend upon the fabric.
Most of our clothing is cotton or natural fibers -- especially that which would be next to the skin (undergarments, socks) -- so I wasn't thinking about other types of garments.  :-\ ???
I seldom acquire clothing that is 'shrinkable' as it takes more time for washing/cleaning.
In our household, the biggest concern would be color fastness, but that could be helped by adding salt to the water. I'll have to defer to you regarding the other. :)

We use all natural fibers also & it's the nat fibers that I'm worried would shrink the most. At the place we just moved out of maintenance had the water heater set at 140  :o (way too hot but we couldn't do anything about it) which is no where near boiling & I accidentally shrank lots of 100% cotton clothes esp socks, undergarments, etc just by washing them in hot.  :-\ :( Maybe 15 seconds in boiling water wouldn't be long enough to shrink them though if the were imed. put into cold water to cool, I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud here. Blessings ~herbalmom

Offline SC

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 02:35:45 AM »
Well, I'm stumped then.  ???
Maybe it's because we get our things second hand and/or I wash fabrics before sewing to make sure they don't shrink after sewing. OR it could be because we haven't managed to produce any children with hips  ;).
I'm no doctor . . .             I'm not even a Post hole Digger! ;)

Offline herbalmom

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Re: What kills fungal spores in clothes?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 07:53:23 AM »
Well, I'm stumped then.  ???
Maybe it's because we get our things second hand and/or I wash fabrics before sewing to make sure they don't shrink after sewing. OR it could be because we haven't managed to produce any children with hips  ;).

We get most of our clothes second hand as well. They will still shrink if the water is hot enough.

I know what you mean about boys with no hips, when my oldest DS was younger his jeans could have easily slid right off of him  :o because he had a flat tush & small (even for a boy) hips. Thankfully when he went through puberty he filled out & now his pants don't fall off.  :D Sure makes buying pants for him easier.

Back to the subject, I just thought of something else that would probably work. Years ago they did a study where for 6 months the cleaning solution used in a hospital for moping the floors, etc was 1/2 cup of borax to each gallon of hot water. It killed the bacteria, etc & all the testing showed that it was a good disinfectant & the tests that hospitals run to check for bacteria counts, etc all came back good. Borax is a good antifungal as well. You could soak the clothes in a bucket of warm water with say 3/4 of a cup (more borax since the water isn't as hot) to each gal of water for maybe 15 mins then throw them in the washer, spin out the borax water & wash your normal way.  HTH Blessings ~herbalmom