How to Wash Clothes Exposed to Bedbugs
Having a bed bug infestation is a devastating experience for a lot of reasons. One of these is that these critters can get all of your clothing, bedding, and other belongings that can make an infestation even worse. Due to this, you should take extra precautions as you wash your clothes and other belongings exposed to bed bugs.
How to Properly Wash Bed Bug-Infested Clothes
To eliminate bed bugs effectively from your home, you must wash and dry all exposed clothes properly. You want to make sure that you can remove all traces of the critters from your clothes and the following are the things that you should do:
Sort All Your Clothes and Place Them in Sealable Bags
Before taking your clothes to the laundry room or directly putting them in the washing machine, sort all clothes as you normally do and put them in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Make sure that you put them carefully in the bag and seal each bag to prevent the bugs from escaping.
See to it that you’ve included all articles of clothing exposed to the critters in the bags. Never leave any article of clothing behind, as this may only spread bed bugs in the different areas of your home.
Wash Clothes in the Hottest Temperature Setting and Dry Them
Instead of just throwing all the clothes in the machine one by one, tip all the clothes over at once. Never attempt to touch the clothes as the bugs can attach to the clothes you are wearing.
Once all the clothes are inside the machine, turn it to the hottest temperature setting. It’s recommended that you have it set at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit or around 49 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes to an hour.
After this, simply place all of them in the dryer and also set it at the highest temperature. The hotter the temperature during washing and drying, the higher the chance of getting all bugs in all life cycles killed.
Storing Washed and Dried Clothes
After you’ve washed and dried your clothes, they should be completely free of all the bugs and eggs. However, to achieve complete bed bug control, you must also practice proper storage of all cleaned clothes.
Get a new plastic bag and put all your clothes in and seal it again. You should consider doing this, especially if you are in the laundromat. Make sure that you don’t let any of your clean clothes touch and possibly infested areas.
Unless the exterminator cleared out your home, you could take out all the clean clothes from the bags. This way, you can prevent re-infestation. If you haven’t cleared out your home from an infestation, you should keep the clothes inside the bags and remove them one by one when needed.
How to Heat-Treat Delicate Clothing
Since high heat is among the effective ways of treating infested items, you can use a clothes steamer instead of washing delicate pieces of clothes. See to it that the temperature is ranging from 71 to 82 degrees Celsius.
Make sure that you run the steamer on every surface of the fabric to kill all the adult bugs and eggs. After steaming, get your HEPA vacuum to capture and contain any bugs. Dispose of the dust container or vacuum bag on a sealable bag in an outdoor bin.
Another option is bringing your delicate clothes to the dry cleaner, but you have to inform them before dropping off your clothes. This way, they can also observe methods that will prevent an infestation from breaking in their shop or affect their other customers.