Expert warns that this popular scented disinfectant hack could be damaging your washing machine

It's one of our favourite hacks, but we're now thinking twice
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  • Nothing will get a washing machine drum smelling as clean and fresh as a capful of scented disinfectant. However, according to a washing machine manufacturer, this common scented disinfectant washing machine hack could actually be damaging your washing machine.

    How to clean a washing machine is an easy question to answer when armed with a scented disinfectant. In fact, it is one of our favourite uses for scented disinfectants.

    Simply pour two capfuls of it into the washing machine, pop it on a hot wash and just like that your washing machine and home will smell incredible. However, washing machine manufacturer Hisense warns that putting any scented disinfectants in the washing machine could cause pipes to rust, and rust specks on your clothes.

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    Can you put scented disinfectant in the washing machine?

    ‘We wouldn’t recommend using a scented disinfectant in your wash, because it may cause oxidation and rusting of the pipes,’ explains Liam Cookson, Product Marketing Manager at Hisense UK.

    ‘This, in turn, could lead to discolouration of clothing – which none of us wants to see when we take the load out the machine!’

    Instead, Liam recommends using a disinfectant that has been developed for washing machines.

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    Image credit: Jon Day

    ‘Certain disinfectant brands have already launched specific cleaning products for your washer to ensure it smells fresh but doesn’t impact your clothing – as a tip, make sure the product you’re buying has been developed specifically for use in your appliance before using it,’ he adds.

    Dr Kyle Grant, CEO & co-founder of the sustainable, on-demand laundry service Oxwash agrees that scented disinfectants should be avoided when cleaning the washing machine. This isn’t just due to the impact on the washing machine mechanics, but because it could cause skin sensitivity if not rinsed properly.

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘I would recommend not using a scented disinfectant,’ Dr Grant says. ‘The synthetic scents added often trigger allergic reactions or skin irritations if not properly rinsed before the following cycle.’

    Instead, of trying any washing machine hacks Dr Grant recommends using a Chloroxylenol based disinfectant such as unscented Dettol Antiseptic or simply white vinegar and baking soda. Then run the machine on a 30 to 40-degree cycle on a synthetics setting.

    We will definitely be thinking twice before throwing a capful of scented disinfectant in our washing machine again.

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