can washing clothes kill bed bugs

can washing clothes kill bed bugs

Can Washing Clothes Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that feed on human blood. Because of their small size and adeptness at hiding in places like the seams and tags of clothing, they can be tricky to detect and even harder to eradicate.

Most people know that washing clothes can help to remove dirt, sweat, and odors, but many don’t realize that it can also be a powerful tool in the fight to get rid of bed bugs.

What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?

As it turns out, washing clothes is an effective bed bug removal method, as long as the water temperature is hot enough; 120°F (49°C) is hot enough to kill bed bugs. Because water heaters typically aren’t set higher than 120°F/49°C, to ensure the water temperature is hot enough, clothes should be washed in hot water and dried on the highest heat setting.

The Benefits of Washing Clothes in Hot Water

Washing and drying clothes is a common and highly effective way to avoid and eradicate bed bugs:

  • Killing larvae, eggs, and adults – Hot water washing and drying in a dryer on the highest heat setting is able to eliminate bed bugs as well as their larvae, eggs, and even adults.
  • Eradicating odors- The hot water washing will kill any lingering odors the bed bugs may have created.
  • Removing dirt and sweat – The washing process will also remove any dirt or sweat that may be on the clothing.


Washing clothes in water as hot as 120°F/49°C and drying on the highest dryer setting is an effective way to eradicate bed bugs.

Using this method of hot water laundering will eliminate bed bugs, their larvae and eggs, as well as any dirt and odors that have accumulated on the clothing.

By taking the extra step of washing clothes in hot water and drying on the highest heat setting, you can ensure that you and your family are kept safe from an infestation of bed bugs.

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