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    Can severe cleanliness OCD be treated?

Posted on Wed, 5 Jul 2017 in Mental Health
Question: Do clothes get clean as perfectly as hands or skin when washed? If my skin or hands get dirty and wash, I don't get OCD or doubts but I get severe ocd and doubts even if my clothes get washed after being dirty. Please help and confirm that clothes and skin get cleaned the same way and I don't need to worry. Thanks
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Yes, you don't need to worry about clothes after washing.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

A standard washing machine and detergent will remove most dirt. There are so many different things that have specific requirements to remove them. For example, if you have an allergy to dust, washing at 140 degrees (hot) will get rid of them while it is easier to remove blood stains on cold. Regarding viruses, the process of washing and drying your clothes will take care of those as they will not survive that.

If washing machines with detergent did not adequately get rid of infectious germs, there would be a lot of sick people. The main way people get sick is to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a surface that a person who has a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness has touched, or inhaling respiratory droplets from someone coughing/sneezing nearby or eating contaminated food.

I want to reassure you that you should not feel unclean from clothes that have been washed. It is like washing your hands. The detergent emulsifies and lifts the dirt out, and the rinse cycles remove it.

I hope this information helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions


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