Laundry protocols

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DebJS
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Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:23 pm

Hi,

My name is Deb and I am new here. I am in my mid-60s and was recently diagnosed with C Diff after being ill for a week. I have a question regarding the use of bleach on clothing and bedsheets. I searched the forum so I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere.

Since my diagnosis, I never had an accident in bed and after I was diagnosed I have been wearing Depends. Prior to the diagnosis, I had one accident and bleached that clothing.

Because I had a lot of diarrhea the first few days after my diagnosis, I am bleaching those sheets, even though it ruins the color. However, since then I have only had one instance of diarrhea. I am wondering, in light of the Depends and the lack of diarrhea, how necessary it is to bleach bedsheets. I have heard that a hot wash and dry are sufficient for items that are not soiled. Same for clothing. Is bleaching everything you wear necessary--even if not soiled?? The C Diff Foundation recommends bleaching everything since that is the only thing that kills spores. What do others do?

Also, last night I was talking to a friend who is a hospitalist in MN. She has a colleague who studies the home environment of people who have recurrent CDI. She said that the second most prevalent place that spores were found in the home was in the vacuum cleaner. Since I walk throughout my house (including the bathroom) which has hardwood floor in socks and them climb into bed, I am creeping out over the idea of spores in the bedsheets. That made me think I should bleach the sheets, my socks, and my bedclothes, even though nothing is soiled. I am trying to counter that with not being overly OCD.

Overall, I am getting a little too OCD about things and freaking out, as do a lot of people diagnosed with this for the first time. Im worried because I can't bleach my wood surfaces, etc. so I am looking for some reasonable voices that can tell me if I am worrying too much or not doing enough.

Thanks for listening!

Deb

MKW
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby MKW » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:38 pm

Hi, I can’t tell you where to draw the line with bleaching and cleaning.
But I can tell you a way of thinking that will help with the OCD thoughts.
Cdiff is hand to mouth. If you or anyone else doesn’t touch their mouth they can’t ingest the spores.
Don’t touch your mouth, eat with clean utensils only, and wash your hands regularly.
When I would get ocd about cleaning I would think about this and it would help my thoughts and worries.
I still use latex gloves when I have a bm and I may forever! :-)

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:16 pm

Thanks. That is actually helpful. Always eating with utensils is a great idea.

AllisS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby AllisS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:09 am

Hi Deb, welcome to the site. Please read the guidelines for all new posters, first entry on intro thread, when you have a chance.

I'm unfamiliar with the C. Diff Foundation, but the advice that "everything" should be bleached is in error. This would only be necessary for soiled items. When I was diagnosed six years ago, the NP at my then-GI doctor's practice told me to "sanitize" my house, even though I'd had no "accidents" in it. I was completely overwhelmed by this advice and had no idea of how to implement it. Luckily, I switched to a C. diff-expert doctor, never to return to the former GI doctor. The "top doc" told me not to bother with any massive effort to disinfect things, that it was unnecessary.

You can take a few simple measures, if it would give you peace of mind. For me, they comprised wiping down non-porous surfaces -- countertops, handles, knobs, TV remote -- with either a home-made bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water) or with Clorox Germicidal Bleach Wipes. (The latter can only be found online; they can be ordered through Amazon or other outlets.)

C. diff is always present in the environment; simply having the illness doesn't unleash a new phenomenon of spores raining down everywhere. Usually people aren't vulnerable to C. diff; it's typically triggered by use of an antibiotic (though not everyone contracts it this way; sometimes the trigger is unknown).

I don't know what to say about the vacuum cleaner, but honestly, I wouldn't bother doing anything about it. It might be prudent, however, to wear slippers or some other shoes that you designate for inside wear only rather than walking around in socks, since floors generally aren't the cleanest surfaces, irregardless of C. diff concerns.

The most important measure against C. diff is to observe thorough hand-washing -- I think the CDC even has graphics illustrating the recommended routine -- especially after bathroom use, upon returning to the house from being out somewhere, and before preparing or eating food.
If your illness was preceded by use of a medication, e.g., an antibiotic, please fill out an FDA Adverse Event Report at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm

roy
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby roy » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:25 am

I cant remember the exact figures but something like 25% of shoes from people who do not have c.diff tested positive for c.diff spores along with 25% of doorsteps!
It's not surprising its found in vacume cleaners!
Its actually a VERY common bacteria that we come into contact with often.
The cleaning regime is meant for hospitals where sick people are the perfect host.
Hospitals should be c.diff free as it's possible to clean away potential pathogens but unfortunately many are not.
Common sense says if something in the home is soiled its bleached or thrown away.
High touch areas are potential risks so clean often.
Other than that, as others have mentioned, the best is common sense not over the top hand washing to break the hand to mouth infection cycle.

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:17 am

Thanks, AllisS. Sorry, I thought I read the guidelines, but obviously missed something. I will go back and introduce myself.

Hearing your doctor's opinion is extremely helpful. I ordered germicide wipes from Amazon and have been using those to wipe down the high touch surfaces. There is nothing I can really do about the horizontal surfaces on furniture or the hardwood floors (as far as I can tell. Also, there is no way to know absolutely everything I touched in the week before I was diagnosed, so I am going to keep doing my best.

It's good to know not everything needs to be bleached. That was my thinking, as well.

Roy, interesting stats on shoes and C Diff. I never knew that! As with any bacteria, it sounds like good hand washing is the key.

Thanks again. These perspectives are extremely helpful.

AllisS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby AllisS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:40 pm

We ask everyone to read the guidelines; it wasn't meant to suggest that you'd done anything wrong.

There's really no need whatsoever to try and disinfect every horizontal surface in your house, or the floors, or anything that you might have touched. I would strongly suggest that you try and divert your energy away from this effort and just concentrate on your recovery. I tend to be obsessive, myself, so it's not that I'm unsympathetic. But because I can relate to obsessive thinking I know how futile and psychically draining it is.
If your illness was preceded by use of a medication, e.g., an antibiotic, please fill out an FDA Adverse Event Report at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:17 pm

Thanks so much, AllisS. I can't tell you how much this helps,. I knew I was veering into OCD territory and that is why I was looking for some reasonable voices. I'm not yet out of the woods psychologically, but I am beginning to let things go and realize the bacteria isn't going to be totally killed off. That helps.

roy
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby roy » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:45 pm

Your right about hand washing being the best defense against all bacteria.
Another bit of useless info.
Airport toilets are fairly clean but how many of the trays that you put your things in at security test positive for potentialy harmfull faecal bacteria?
Answer.
ALL of them!

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:53 pm

There was just an article about that in the NYT. Those trays are disgusting!

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:52 am

Another question. I'm finishing the my antibiotics today (hopefully one round will do it, but I know that often isn't the case I haven't had diarrhea since Friday, but I am continuing to washing my clothes (not sheets) daily in hot water. Is that necessary if not having diarrhea? What do others do? I am wearing Depends, so washing underwear is not a issue at this point, but I am washing everything else in hot water daily and thinking this might be overkill.

Ajs
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby Ajs » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:17 pm

Maybe someone else will chime in soon, but I feel like you can go back to washing as you normally would. I did wash my underwear separately for a couple weeks past the diarrhea, but that was it. The best thing you can do now is keep those hands washed with regular soap (not antibacterial) and keep them away from your mouth. Hopefully you’re on the road to recovery!!

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:01 pm

Thank you. That was my thinking. The clothes aren't soiled and I haven't had any diarrhea in a week (fingers crossed).

Very relieved to hear you say wash hands with regular soap! I was using Ivory bar soap but was told I should move to a liquid soap. I can't use propylene glycol (an ingredient in many liquid soaps) so I found something called Seventh Generation Hand wash. After using it for the past 10 days, I just found out it isn't antibacterial and momentarily freaked out about the fact that my hand washing may have been for naught. I guess the point of of the soap is to wash it off your hands, not kill it (since nothing does that but bleach).

It's been an interesting education and I am so grateful for everyone who has answered my crazy worries.

Machaon
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby Machaon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:02 am

My situation is a little unusual. I can't use bleach. During my six month struggle with C-diff, I stained my undies and wore a paper towel with my undies to prevent staining and to prevent contact with my already ugly, disgusting, stained undies.

For laundry, I placed my undies into a large bucket, added dish detergent; and then boiled water on the stove and poured it into the bucket on top of the undies, stirring as needed :) ... then stood there enjoying the imagined screaming from the dying and screaming C-diff! After that we just placed them into our dryer.

Other than that we washed our hands frequently and my wife and I used separate bathrooms. Fortunately my wife remained C-diff free.

Tomorrow I'll be 13 months post C-diff, still frequently washing hands.

Best of luck and health! Bob
Male 74. S Florida. Retired systems analyst and programmer

1987 had CHF, perm afib, sensitive asthma, autoimmune

Ex C-diff (since 9/12/17) after 10 days dificid

Diet:6 low cal meals <1500 cals, 2 eggs a day, 4 large salads, cereal, yogurt, cheese

DebJS
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Re: Laundry protocols

Postby DebJS » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:03 pm

Bob.

I love the imagery of dying C Diff spores :)

I am wearing Depends so the underwear is not an issue. Anything that is not soiled is getting washed in hot water daily, though I don't know if daily is necessary.

Congratulations on being C Diff free for 13 months. I seem to take two steps forward and one back, but hopefully, mostly forward!

Deb


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