How To Wash Bed Bugs From Clothes? Step-by-Step Guide To Kill Bed Bugs On Clothing

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You have found that one bed bug on your cloth but how to wash bed bugs from clothes and get rid of it completely. Here we are to guide you on how to wash your clothes and keep away from these tiny irritating infestations. Keep reading to know more.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are wingless insects that only feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The species prefers to live with humans.

Bed bug

Bedbugs are named after their preferred habitat in human homes, which includes sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They want to hide in the dark areas of your home, preferably.

Bedbugs are increasingly becoming more common in a range of places, such as private homes, dormitories, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters.

Their color can range from white to light tan to deep brown to scorched orange when viewed up close. After they’ve eaten, a dark crimson or black glob may appear within their body. They seek shelter in dark gaps and crevices.

How to Wash Bed bugs from Clothes? (Step-by-Step)

Washing machine

Use Rubbing Alcohol On The Clothes

Immediately after detecting a bedbug infestation, spray colorfast infected clothing with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will kill live bedbugs on contact, but it won’t get rid of the eggs or the infestation. Place non-colorfast textiles and objects that must be dry cleaned in a sealable plastic bag as soon as possible.

Separate Your Clothes

Before doing a load of laundry:

  1. Sort your infested clothes as you typically would do with other clothes.
  2. Sort them in the bedbug-infested area to prevent bedbugs from spreading to other parts of your house.
  3. Fill a huge garbage bag with each pile of garments and seal it.

Wash the Clothes

If your washer doesn’t have an automatic dispenser, simply pour standard detergent (no special detergent required) into the drum.

Choose the warmest water temperature advised for the fabrics and the appropriate cycle for the different fabric kinds. Make sure always to follow the washing instructions for your infested fabric type.

Bring the bags to the washing machine and carefully tilt them over so that the clothes fall into the machine. Bedbugs may become airborne if the clothing is thrown out in a haphazard manner.

This s critical whether you’re washing your clothes at home or in a communal laundry room or laundromat. Place the trash bag in an exterior container to be disposed of.

Dry the Clothes

Place the garments in the dry cleaner after they have been washed. Set the dryer to the highest heat setting that won’t harm the cloth for at least 30 minutes. To kill bed bugs as well as the eggs, there should be a high temperature, as high as 120°F or above.

Fold the clean clothes on a table that has been thoroughly inspected for bedbugs. Laundry should be stored properly.

Does Washing Clothes Kill Bedbugs?

Bed bugs cannot be eliminated by merely washing the clothes; they must be dried in a high heat dryer. The movement, water submersion, and detergent in the washing machine will kill a few bed bugs.

how to wash bed bugs from clothes

The majority of washing machines do not heat the water to a temperature that is high enough to destroy bed insect eggs. Not only must the temperature be 120°F, but it must also be maintained at that temperature for a period of time.

Can Bedbugs Survive in Water?

Because they are unable to swim, these pests will drown if placed in water. On the other hand, bed bugs are light enough not to sink right away.

Bed bug in water

Even when submerged for 24 hours, bed bug eggs can survive. When the temperature is chilly, the more durable eggs can live for a long time. As a result, cleaning infested items in cold water will not kill them all.

The temperature of the water in which bed bugs live is critical to their existence. Bed Bugs will perish in hot water. When their body temperature surpasses 150 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs die. Adult bed bugs and their eggs are in the same boat.

You should wash your bed linens and clothes in the hottest setting if you wish to kill these insects with your washing machine. Place your items in the dryer and dry them on high for 30 minutes.

Carpets, beds, couches, and other objects that can’t go in the washing machine can be vacuumed, and steam cleaned. To avoid bugs and their eggs from infesting your garments, store them in zippered bags once they’ve been cleaned.

Remember that even if you kill some of these insects in the water, you won’t be able to get rid of the ones that hide in your home’s corners, and thus, the bed bug infestation will come back very soon if you do not kill them all.

How Long Do Bedbugs Live on Clothing?

Bed bugs can occasionally be spotted on your clothes because dead skin cells and dried blood can move from your skin to your clothes.

Without a meal, bed bugs can survive for up to four months on your clothing. However, Bed bugs will continue to feed on you if you continue to wear afflicted clothing.

In order to get rid of these pests from your clothes, wash them on the highest heat setting available during both the washing and drying cycles.

How Often to Clean Laundry Infested With Bedbugs?

Owing to the fact that heat kills bedbugs, a single washing and drying per a load of clothing should suffice. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the bedbug problem to ensure no new infestations develop. 

How to Store Clothes Infested With Bedbugs?

You can store bedbug-infested clothing once it has been washed. Because bedbugs can dwell inside cardboard boxes, store your belongings in plastic containers or new plastic bags. Keep the garments in a safe place until you’re certain the infestation is gone.

Bug net on bed

Store delicate fabrics and dry-clean-only garments in a freezer if you can’t wash or dry clean them since they can’t resist the intense heat required in the dryer to kill bedbugs. Bedbugs cannot endure frigid temperatures, and thus storing these in a freezer would help too.

To kill bedbugs and their eggs, seal silk garments, suede boots or shoes, lingerie, and treasured stuffed animals in a plastic bag and store in a freezer set to zero degrees. The majority of products must be frozen for at least four days. Bulky items may take a little longer to accomplish.

After removing the items from cold storage, vacuum thoroughly to remove any debris, then discard the contents of the vacuum bag or dust cup in an outside trashcan.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.