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So to get rid of bad smells from clothes that have stayed wet for long, I am wondering if I can just add a disinfecting product to my wash in addition to regular washing powder.

I have a product called Plano Odorclean. The active ingredients are as far as I could find 5-10% alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride, 5-10% didecyldimethylammonium chloride, 1-5% ethoxylated isotridecanol. It has a pH of 6.5.

My question is, will any of this react and somehow neutralize with a washing powder, for example Ariel Color?

I am thinking of putting the powder in and as the water carries it away, add 20 ml of the disinfecting product into the running water. So then the clothes would be washed with a mixture of washing powder and the disinfectant.

Will the disinfecting ingredients be neutralized by the washing powder or will they still work fine?

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Not sure what is in Ariel, but I assume that washing powder is based on anionic surfactants, whereas the quaternary ammonium compounds are cationic. Probably they would interfere with each other. Why not do a normal wash, rinse, and then wash the clothes a second time with the quaternary ammonium product?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! From now on I will make sure that they are used separately, ie with a prewash or by washing a second time. Just so far I had been doing it like this and I wondered if it was useless after reading on the Wikipedia page "Quaternary ammonium cation" that common soap deactivates it. $\endgroup$ – aldkold Sep 8 '18 at 18:34

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