Hot Water Temperature(9 posts)
Does anyone know how hot the water in my washing machine should be? Makes me wonder if all this washing in hot water is even doing any good.I haven't really found anything, but even so I don't know if it is helping if the water is not hot enough.
If you mean your home washing machine, you can do what I do and add water heated on the stove.I have to do that sometimes,only because my dryer doesn't get very hot.So I have to make sure the wash kills them.Another trick I have learned is to just stop the wash,even if the water isn't to hot,if all clothing is submerged they(bb's) will drown.
thanks.. thats a great idea. gonna do that with the next load.
You will have a tough time drowning bed bugs.
As for the temperature ... Anything over 120F which most household dryers should easily reach. Just do not over stuff the load.
Entomologist / Pest Professional
Yes--you do not have to have a hot wash as long as you are going to do a hot dry.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
Just confirm I advise 60 degree centigrade or 140 degree Fahrenheit for washing or 90 minutes on high heat in a drier is another option.
Your PCO should know how to deal with delicates such as silk and fabrics that can not be washed or dried at high heat.
I personally do not recommend any form of dry cleaning on the grounds that unless they use specific chemicals it will not kill the bed bugs and there is also the risk that the dry cleaners will become infected.
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forgot to say the reason why I use 60 degrees is because it is a temperature that will denature the proteins of almost all organisms and will therefore kill them.
Drowning bedbugs may be unlikely since insects are known to have a discontinuous respiration pattern. They breath through little valves in bursts and the valves close shut for long periods, sometimes up to several hours.
Here is a lay article about ticks and ants, for instance. "Respiration Patterns Play Key Role in Pest Biology"
Or for a more detailed study, the following. "Discontinuous Respiration in Insects: Role of the Spiracles"
So in washing it's the heat duration/exposure that counts, not the submersion.
120F is the thermal death point (all stages die 100% of the time) for bed bugs. I agree with David in that anything hotter than that is a good idea. Obviously if the temperature is right around 120F and dips below it will not be effective.
Most of the literature I have read about residential dryers is that they reach temperatures of 194F and that would certainly kill bed bugs.
Most experts will agree that washing the items first is not needed to kill bed bugs. In fact, many will argue that washing first is a bad practice as not all washers can reach the needed temperature (many household hot water tanks are set at or below 120F to prevent scalding of children [even though above 140F is recommended to kill bacteria]) to kill bed bugs and could run the risk of live bed bugs in the washers after a cycle.
You can run the clothes through the dryer only and achieve 100% mortality. DO NOT over stuff the dryer.
Entomologist / Pest Professional
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