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Mo This is a strange question but I am concerned so I will…

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Hi Dr. Mo This is a...
Hi Dr. Mo
This is a strange question but I am concerned so I will ask it. I use a wash cloth when I shower on my female parts. I then hang the cloth in the shower to dry before I put it in the laundry. I then use a new wash cloth each time I shower. My husband will see my wash cloth there hanging and will use it on his back side. (butt in otherwards). so here is the question. Once this wash cloth is dried and then I put it in the washer on warm water and drier will this kill any ecoli that he may possibly have ? I just don't want to end up with a UTI. I didn't know if it is okay to use wash cloths that he also used. Even though they are laundered. I don't use bleach only regular detergent as the towels are colored. I have always been very careful with how I wash myself as to avoid a UTI.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 4 months ago
Dr. Mo
Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2,021
Experience: Board Certified MD
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The wash cycle and agitation of modern washing machines is often adequate to kill e coli which really isn't that hardy of a bacteria to begin with. If you are using standard detergent then there would be no bleach as the detergent would most definitely get rid of any e coli. So you would be safe to use it after he used it.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 4 months ago

Of course the only concern would be if you used it right after he used it without washing it and that would only be an issue if he didn't use soap to wash his backside.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I was reading that sometimes washer and dryer doesn't kill bacteria unless you use bleach. could there be linger bacteria on the wash cloth that could infect my urinary tract?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 4 months ago

It's not a matter of killing the bacteria, it's the amount of bacterial load on clothing that matters. Even bleach cannot kill all the bacteria which is why we have sterilization machines and techniques used in hospitals. However, unless you are introducing that cloth into your organs it would be overkill to try to kill every last bacterial molecule on your clothing. In fact, exposure to some bacteria is good for our immune system.

In summary, there would be enough bacteria left on the cloth by using water and soap and agitating the cloth through a washing machine that could infect your urinary tract.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
did you mean to say there would not be enough. You said there would be
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 4 months ago

Sorry, yes, I meant there wouldn't be enough bacteria.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That is good to know. I just worry about ecoli. My husband ended up with a urinary tract infection. I think he goes from his rearside to his front side when washing. Anyway, I am prone to urinary issue, that is why I was asking. I normally like to have my own washcloths, but he asked me the other day, can I just use yours on my back side since you end up getting a new one anyway. I know when at a hotel I am using washcloths that have been used by others, but I know they use bleach to disinfect them. .so that is the story.
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