will washing clothes kill bed bugs

will washing clothes kill bed bugs

Will Washing Clothes Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are a proficient and persistent pest that infests homes, hotels and other residences worldwide. They are mostly found in bedding and other furniture like mattresses, carpeting and headboards, but they can also sometimes be found in clothing and other soft materials. So the question arises: will washing clothes kill bed bugs?

Heat Kills Bed Bugs

The good news is that yes, washing clothes will have significant effects on bed bugs. Studies have shown that temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) will instantly kill bed bugs. Most modern washing machines can reach temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), making them a great way to kill bed bugs in clothing.

Additional Steps Necessary

It is important to note, however, that while washing clothes will help kill some of the bed bugs, additional steps are often necessary to completely eradicate them. Here are some advice most experts agree on:

  • Wash as hot as possible. Set the washer on the hottest cycle possible and ensure the temperature is well above 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius).
  • Dry on the hottest cycle. After the clothes are washed, put them through the dryer on the hottest setting for at least 30 minutes.
  • Eliminate the source. To completely get rid of bed bugs, it is important to eliminate the source of the infestation. Launder bedding and other fabric items that have come in contact with the bed bugs, vacuum furniture to remove eggs, apply insecticides and contact a professional pest exterminator if necessary.


Washing clothes is a great way to get rid of at least some of the bed bugs on clothing. But to eradicate the infestation completely, it is necessary to take additional steps, such as laundering other fabric items, vacuuming furniture, and if necessary, to contact a professional pest exterminator.

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