Department or Program

Environmental Studies


80% of student participants surveyed regularly used the preset cold/warm cycle to wash all or part of their laundry in their regular laundry methods using machines in Bates College on-campus residences. All of the student participants surveyed regularly used bleach-free detergents. This common laundry method was examined for effects on growth inhibition of the following normal microbiota species: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas spp., and Escherichia coli. Twenty student participants (ten male and ten female) wore clean, new cotton socks for a day; one sock from each pair was used as a control while the other was washed using the laundry method above. Washing most inhibited growth consistent with S. aureus, but it was not as efficient in inhibiting growths consistent with E. coli and Ps. spp. More bacterial growth consistent with Ps. spp. occurred in the more tightly knit cotton socks distributed to female participants than in socks distributed to male participants.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Karen Palin

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.