How Do You Handle Dishes/clothes Under a 'Boil Water' Order?

Updated on August 26, 2010
M.K. asks from Warrensburg, MO
5 answers

We have been under a boil water order for 7 days now. They say boil for drinking/cooking/dishes, but showers are okay. So my question is: Does a dishwasher heat the water up to boiling? I've been hand washing and rinsing and then putting stuff in boiling water for three minutes but I am running out of patience with it. Also, would you use the water for clothes (they say it is a turbitity issue with the water, clouding it and turning yellow when something is added, not a water main break or microbe issue) or go to a laundry mat?

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answers from St. Louis on

Our dishwasher makes the water hot enough. I would read your book to see how hot it heats the water. We just got off a boil water order a few days ago. It was rough with 3 kids and one being a baby. As far as washing clothing it should be fine. We drank a ton of bottled water and even bought gallons of water to cook with.

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answers from St. Louis on

As everyone has said it depends upon your dishwasher. If you have concerns, what about machine washing and then sanitizing (with hot enough water or a bleach solution). It is still an additional step but it beats handwashing everything.

For me it would depend upon what I was washing. The dryer or the sun would sanitize things somewhat. If there was something I was concerned about water discoloring I would wash it elsewhere. One place I lived had a problem with iron in the water. This was not good with whites.



answers from Boston on

The dishwasher should heat up enough but check your settings as for the laundry if the water is cloudy and could turn yellow I don't know if I'd wash them in it. When I lived at my parents they had well water and it wasn't cloudy or discolored but whites always came out w/ iron spots we had to get special stuff to add to the clothes while they were washing.



answers from Kansas City on

I would think the water would be the same as people that have their water hauled in and put in a cistern tank. Most people don't drink cistern water but take showers and wash clothes in it. They buy water bottles or have the cooler water system that has a water company deliver the water. There are a lot of country areas that don't have running city water available and this is how they live everyday if there isn't well water available on their land.

Some dishwashers have a high temp water option. Ours heats the water to 140 degrees on that option so I feel that dishes get sterilized and cleaner than I could hand wash them.

If the water is a funky color especially a rust color then wouldn't wash clothes in it but if it is clear but just a drinking hazard then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Can't be any worse then washing them from a creek like our grandmothers did before washers came along.



answers from Portland on

If your dishwasher has a heater the water is hot enough. You didn't say that they said to boil water for clothes. I'm not sure what you mean. Are you saying the water is cloudy or has something in it that needs to settle out by boiling it. If so, then washing clothes in the water may discolor them. I'd try a load to see what happens. I'd call the Water Bureau and ask your question about clothes washing. Not knowing what is in the water prevents us from knowing if washing them might result in staining that won't come out. You want to know that.

I doubt going to a laundromat would be helpful. They have the same source of water as you.

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