I’ve had enough people ask me about using Lysol to disinfect cloth diapers that it has me worried. When someone says the word ‘Lysol’, the aerosol spray can pops into me head. Maybe you picture the wipes or the spray cleaners. Either way, when you hear Lysol and disinfect cloth diapers used in the same sentence please think of me saying this in your head: No…just no.
There is a Lysol product that is labeled for use as a laundry disinfectant; the Lysol Concentrate Disinfectant (brown bottle). (I’ll tell you why I won’t be using it on my cd’s in a second.) You have to use 8 oz of the 12 oz bottle per load to disinfect and a bottle runs about $6. That makes it an expensive choice. But there is more to it than cost.
Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Worth noting are a few of the ingredients in Lysol Concentrate Disinfectant (1).
o-Benzyl-p-chorophenol: In addition to being a disinfectant, it is also used as a pesticide (2). The pesticide part is what bothers me.
potassium hydroxide: It is on the EPA’s Right to Know Hazardous Substances list; not reported in this quantity, but still it’s on the list (3 & 4). Also used to chemically assist the removal of hair from animal hides (5).
*disclaimer* I’m not perfect. I use synthetic chemical filled fabric softener on my clothing because I love the smell. I drink soda (my 2.5 year old does not). You can probably find a horribly toxic toilet cleaner in my storage closet if you look hard enough.
But…I try to cut out the bad stuff when I can. I think it’s a good thing if we all try to do this when our children are involved. This is one of those things that I can tell you to go ahead and cut out.
I don’t think a rinse (or two) in my washer would remove every trace of the Lysol Disinfectant. I’d prefer not to put a cloth diaper on my baby’s most sensitive areas after it has been soaked in it. Maybe it does all rinse out; but I say why take the chance when there ARE better options that work? For other disinfecting alternatives please check this out.
This may be my personal preference (although I do hope you arrive at the same conclusion). Plus my common sense says… no…just no…
(1) RB Products. Lysol, 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://www.rbnainfo.com/productpro/ProductSearch.do?brandId=19&productLineId=342&searchType=PL&template=1>.
(2) “Ortho-Benzyl-P-Chlorophenol: Reregistration Eligibiity Decision (RED) Fact Sheet | US EPA ARCHIVE DOCUMENTOrtho-Benzyl-P-Chlorophenol: Reregistration Eligibiity Decision Fact Sheet.” (n.d.): n. pag. EPA Website. EPA, 1995. Web. 2015. <http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/reregistration/REDs/factsheets/2045fact.pdf>.
(3) “Section D. Superfund and Community Right-to-Know Requirements.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/pwb/tech_rep/fedregs/regsectd.htm>.
(4) US. NJ Dept of Health. Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1571.pdf>.
(5) “Potassium Hydroxide.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_hydroxide>.
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.