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How Long Does Bacteria Live on Your Clothes and How to Disinfect Them Effectively

Bacteria animation

 In the time of super bugs and pandemics we are more and more conscious of bacteria and how close in contact we are with it in every day life.  On our hands, on hard surfaces and even on our clothes. 

It’s a constant battle and the stakes are higher than ever.  But we are not defenseless.  We can take precautions and follow good practices to limit our exposure to bacteria and viruses so we and our close friends and family are as safe as can be.

We all hear the common things to do to reduce exposure to bacteria in our homes or in public places.  Like wash your hands, don’t touch your face, use hand sanitizer and even wipe down surfaces with alcohol-based cleaning supplies.  But what happens to the bacteria on the clothing? As explained in this article published on Health.com they emphasize the importance of washing clothes effectively to avoid the spread of harmful bacteria.  CDC guidelines also note that viruses may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, including clothing. 

But what can we do about the bacteria that gets into fabrics of our clothes? 

There are some well-known practices to get your clothes disinfected. For example, you can wash your clothes in the washing machine at very high temperatures or cook them in a boiling water.  You can add disinfectant to the detergent you normally use.  You can even use bleach in some cases.

But what do all those methods have in common?  They are all high risk of damaging the fabrics. Either by shrinking your clothes, or by bleaching out the color.  It’s fine for items like towels or bed linen, but what about your personal clothes?  Your scarf, hat and other clothing items that come in direct contact with your skin are in most of the cases the items that you have to wash on low temperatures and definitely cannot introduce bleach.  Then what do you do?

You can use technology.  Industries that have invested millions into research know that ultrasonic technology is the future in deep cleaning and disinfection. While those big companies use the tech for killing germs and bacteria from all kinds of surfaces like surgical instruments or human body implants, we can use it at home to clean and disinfect our clothing.

Ultrasonic technology is the answer to killing bacteria without compromising our clothing in the process.

How does Ultrasonic Cleaning Technology Work?

Ultrasonic cleaning is a cleaning method that uses sound waves that are beyond the human hearing (above 20KHz). The sound waves agitate the water in a process known as “cavitation”.


Cavitation explainer image


This process creates millions of tiny bubbles that implode creating a tiny jet streams which remove the dirt on microscopic level.  This is what makes ultrasonic cleaning so effective for washing deep into the fabric where hand washing cannot. It works as a mechanical disinfectant against bacteria.


Image showing Dolfi deep cleaning fabric


This method uses a highly-effective  way of eliminating  contaminants and bacteria from the item being cleaned. The kind of results you get from this process are difficult to achieve using other technologies.


What Are the Different Types of Ultrasonic Cleaners?

Ultrasonic cleaners can be divided into several types based on their size and capacity.

Large Capacity Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

These ultrasonic cleaners have tanks that generate ultrasonic frequencies between 25Khz and 40KHz, which means they’re better suited for solid objects and machine parts. They can also be used for automotive parts and large musical instruments.

Table-top and Bench-top Ultrasonic Cleaners

Table-top ultrasonic cleaners can range in size and capacity. They often operate on a frequency of 40KHz, which is very versatile. The larger ones can be used for cleaning machinery, while the smaller ones are great for small machine parts, instruments, optics and lenses, watches, jewelries, glasses and so on.

Portable Ultrasonic Cleaners

Dolfi  has pioneered this category with its revolutionary portable device in 2015 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dolfi-washing-device_n_6510494 and has continuously improved the portable application of ultrasonic technology for the last 5 years. By now there are also various knock-offs on the market, mostly from China as it is common nowadays.


How Does Dolfi Ultrasonic Device Work?

Put simply, the Dolfi device is packed with ultrasonic technology that can be applied to cleaning delicate fabrics without compromising the structure.

There is no mechanical rubbing or whirling during ultrasonic cleaning, the cleaning happens thanks to the cavitation phenomena. 


Dolfi in action


Designed in a compact shape, Dolfi employs ultrasonic technology to clean and disinfect your garments. Since it can only be used to wash small loads of clothes, it’s best used to compliment your washing machine. Another benefit of its lightweight design is that it’s portable, which makes it suitable for cleaning items on the go.

What types of clothes Dolfi is designed for:

Your next-gen washing device is not meant for all types of fabrics. Here are the items Dolfi is ideal for and will deliver the best results: 

  • Clothes made of delicate materials such as silk, chiffon, moire, most sheer fabrics, lace, cashmere, and mohair
  • Clothes that are originally meant to be hand-wash only but are not damaged from contact with water alone like leather pants
  • Shaped apparel: dresses, bras, corsages, hats etc.
  • Fashion with applications like buttons, studs, jewellery and more 
  • Lingerie and undergarments 
  • Activewear like leggings, sports bras, sport shirts, socks and other sports clothing made of special fabrics
  • Swimwear 


Use cases

What types of clothes are NOT recommended to wash with Dolfi 

If you want to get the best results for your laundry, then you should take note of the clothing items that won’t work well with Dolfi. These are: 

  • Big volume laundry items like bed linens or towels
  • Working clothes with heavy duty dirt, like engine oil 
  • Jeans  
  • Large knitted items like blankets and big jerseys

Dolfi is an innovative solution that utilizes technology to solve an everyday problem. It’s  a handy tool to own, as it helps you to keep your clothes clean, free of bacteria and most of all undamaged.


Dolfi device in hand