Finnish laundry habits ‘a threat to health’?

Finns are risking their health by following clothing care labels too stringently, according to a new report. Experts claim that laundry washed at temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius remains a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to skin rashes, diarrhoea and nausea.

But Danish hygiene experts Bedre Hygiejne say over half of Finns surveyed by market research company Userneed believe germs are killed when clothes are washed at any temperature. The group added that many are setting their machines to 30 degrees or lower as they are instructed to by clothing care labels or are trying to save energy.

“However, in order to get rid of all bacteria, clothes should be washed at 60 degrees and subsequently tumble dried at high temperature,” said a spokesperson for Bedre Hygiejne.

The Finnish Martha Organisation for home economics said, however, many fabrics cannot withstand high temperatures and that the washing research is no cause for alarm.