Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.4 Space and Equipment in Designated Areas

5.4.4 Laundry Area Location of Laundry Equipment and Water Temperature for Laundering

Laundry equipment should be located in an area separate from the kitchen and child care areas and inaccessible to children. The water temperature for the laundry should be maintained above 140°F unless one of the following conditions exists:

  1. The product labeled by the manufacturer as a sanitizer is applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, in which case the temperature should be as specified by the manufacturer of the product;
  2. A dryer is used that the manufacturer attests heats the clothes above 140°F;
  3. The clothes are completely ironed (1).

Dryers should be vented to the outside. Dryer hoses and vent connections should be checked periodically for proper alignment and connection. Lint must be removed with each use and periodically cleaned from the hose to avoid fires. If a commercial laundry service is used, its performance should meet or exceed the requirements listed above.

Chemical sanitizers are temperature-dependent. Ironing or heating the clothing above 140°F will sanitize. Bent dryer hoses can cause lint to catch in dryers, which is a potential fire hazard. Disconnected dryer hoses will vent lint, dust, and particles indoors, which may cause respiratory problems.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Laundry Service and Equipment
  1. Witt, C. S., J. Warden. 1971. Can home laundries stop the spread of bacteria in clothing? Textile Chemist Colorist 3:55-57.