Guide to Laundering Bed Bug Infested Clothes And Bedding

Washing and drying your clothes and bedding is a good way dealing with bed bugs. A regular clothes dryer is capable of reaching high enough temperatures for killing bed bugs and their eggs.

Anytime you have bed bug-infested clothes in the home, simply place them in the dryer and get rid of them. However, as effective as this method might sound, there is a chance of the eggs being resistant to the heat from the dryer.

In this article, we will talk about how you can use your dryer for killing bed bugs.

Does washing clothes kill bed bugs?

Washing your clothes won’t kill bed bugs. Many people associate washing clothes with killing bed bugs because drying your clothes is the step that usually follows. It’s the dryer that kills bed bugs. When a dryer is put at a high enough temperature and left running for long enough, it can absolutely kill bed bugs.

Can Bed Bugs Survive In The Dryer

Bed bugs can survive in the dryer if there wasn’t enough heat or if they weren’t in the dryer for long enough. To guarantee a higher chance of success, keep the dryer on for longer than 30 minutes.

If you’re looking for an aggressive approach, you can choose to wash your clothes with laundry detergent that works to kill bed bugs during the washing cycle, then you can finish them off with the dryer.

When done correctly, washing and drying your clothes can be effective for killing bed bugs.

Is A Dryer Hot Enough To Kill Bed Bugs

Since the dryer will take almost 15 minutes to get to its peak temperature, it is advisable to tumble-dry the clothes on the high setting for at least 30 minutes. Although bed bugs can be killed with heat, they actually prefer it. It isn’t until you expose them to high heat over a long period of time that they can actually die from it.

How Long To Kill Bed Bugs In The Dryer

Assuming your dryer can reach high enough temperatures, you will need to run the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. The length of time depends on how hot your dryer gets. If your dryer can’t get hot enough, you will need to keep them in there for longer. The higher heat you can use, the less time is needed to kill the bed bugs.

Does detergent kill bed bugs?

When washing your clothes and bedding, it isn’t the detergent that kills bed bugs. It’s the heat from the drying cycle. That being said, there are some brands that provide specially formulated laundry detergents that claim to kill bed bugs during the washing cycle.

They design it to work like any regular detergent, but with the added benefit of having natural ingredients that are known to weaken to kill bed bugs. At the very least, it can help as a stepping stone to making the dryer method more effective.

Do Bed Bugs Die In The Washer

If you’re looking to kill bed bugs, washing your clothes isn’t enough. There is nothing about water or laundry detergent that works to kill bed bugs or their eggs. Unless you were using a special laundry detergent for bed bugs, washing alone isn’t enough to make a difference. 

Do bed bug eggs die in the dryer?

Using the dryer is effective for killing bed bugs in all life stages. Although bed bug eggs have some protective coating to help them survive, they don’t stand a chance against the high heat of a dryer. The same rules apply to eggs as they do to adult bed bugs.

How to get rid of bed bugs on delicate clothes?

Getting rid of bed bugs on delicate clothes can be done by taking the clothes to a dry cleaner. Dry cleaners are skilled in dealing with delicate clothes as well as having access to dryers that produce high temperatures.

Alternatively, you can use a mesh laundry bag that will keep your delicate clothes contained during the cycle. It won’t protect the clothes from the heat, but it will reduce the amount of movement during the cycle.

Can You Get Bed Bugs From The Laundromat?

If you’re using a public laundromat, then you may be sharing a dryer with someone who has bed bugs in their clothes and bedding. Although a dryer can kill bed bugs, it doesn’t guarantee that all living bed bugs and their eggs were killed in the process. 

Should any bed bugs remain in the dryer and you used it next, it is entirely possible that bed bugs have transferred from the dryer and onto your clothing.

Prepare Your Infested Clothes For The Dryer

There are things to do before putting your infested clothes inside the washer. You need to follow each step to get an effective and reliable result. When these steps are taken, you will see how you can kill bedbugs in the dryer easily.

Sort Out The Clothes

This is a good step in dealing with bed bugs. To do this, first, sort those clothes by color and materials. The reason for this is to safeguard them from tampering with one another. Also, the delicate ones should be put first into the dry cleaner before others.

However, you need to be cautious while treating the bedbugs to prevent the clothes from being affected.

Vacuum The Infested Items

In a situation whereby you have a vacuum cleaner, your clothes can be made to pass through a vacuum cleaner before treating them in the washer and the dryer.

It would be very easy to see and capture any visible bed bugs when this is done. Not only that, it would be easy to see their eggs. This will make the process of their elimination very possible and easy.

To Start The Process, Follow These Steps And Anticipate The Perfect Outcome:

  • Get two different trash bags for a load of laundry and proceed with the job
  • Fill the plastic laundry bag with the affected clothes. Everything can be placed in a dryer that can accommodate high heat.
  • Pour all the clothes into the dryer immediately and remove the plastic bag. You can burn it or put it inside a sealable bag to ensure that the bedbugs that have crawled out of the clothes do not come out.
  • Set the clothes on the highest temperature level, let them work at a stretch for at least 30 minutes
  • When you are through with that, place all the clothes inside an unused bag

In a situation where you are treating infested, worn clothes in the washer before drying, use laundry bags that are dissolvable so that you do not need to put all the clothes out before putting them in the washer. When this phase has been completed, place your clothing in the dryer, set it at the very highest temperature, and allow it to run for at least half an hour.


Although washing and drying your clothes are effective means of dealing with bed bugs, they are not enough to prevent them from being infected. Therefore, it is recommended to keep a routine of preventing bedbugs from attacking your home by using the best means, such as chemical prevention.

For a more pro-active approach, you can spot clean by killing bed bugs with a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner is essentially a portable heat machine that obliterates bed bugs.

Also, learn the habit of controlling bedbugs by constantly checking their hiding place or places that can aid their free breeding in your homes. In a case where they have grown beyond what you can tackle, get the help to treat the problem, usually with a professional steamer.

In case you want to transport your infested clothes to a dry cleaner, make sure they are put inside a well-sealed plastic to prevent spreading it as you go. You can also put them under the high sun to get rid of them. By using these methods, you can kill bedbugs in the dryer.