THE role of microorganisms in diaperarea lesions is well known, if not well defined. The diaper itself provides a ready vehicle for the dissemination of microorganisms within the home. Consequently, the antimicrobial effectiveness of laundry procedures should be of concern to the physician, if he is to reassure the housewife on the adequacy of her laundry practices.
Studies by Ridenour1 on the bacteriological aspects of laundering have demonstrated that certain bacteria can readily survive the typical home laundry process. Suskind and Whitehouse2 have reported a median home washing temperature of 118 F; a washing temperature well known to be inadequate to assure pasteurization, let alone sterilization.
McNeil and Choper3 have reported on the use of phenolic, quaternary ammonium, and sodium hypochlorite disinfectants as effective antibacterial laundry additives to minimize the potential hazard that exists if pathogenic bacteria are present in the wash water, rinse water, or on