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Wash Clothes in Dawn Dishwashing Detergent

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  1. 1bedbughater

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat May 26 2012 2:03:58
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    I'm fighting the fight too. I won't go through a long story on how I got to this place but I will say that I believe the super of my building planted bed bugs in my bedroom. I found holes in both my mattress and box spring that weren't there before and once I put another lock on my door I caught this man with a ladder to my bedroom window. It was shortly after this I became aware of the bugs. I'm in NYC and there are certainly some deranged people here.

    But on the subject of Dawn, I found this out on another site. I noticed that Dawn kills the bugs on contact and I came to realize that washing and drying doesn't always kill the bugs when using regular clothes detergent. I became aware of this after I washed my mattress cover using regular detergent and bleach. I must also mention that I used an HE washer which doesn't completely submerge items. I don't have my dryer hooked up but must rely on washing alone but after I washed with the regular detergent then air dried I placed the cover back on the bed. Shortly thereafter I noticed the nymphs again and I was getting bit. I had stripped the bed already w/ mattress covered and only a top sheet that was already cleaned in Dawn to sleep with.

    I also had a headache using commercial laundromats when I washed 2 pillows I eventually threw out. I washed them 3 times and dried for an hour in the commercial dryers still nymphs were running from them. I watched the pillows be completely submerged in the soapy water detergent I used and I made sure the dryer was put on high for an hour still some survived. I'm aware that the bugs may run to the center of the pillows to avoid the heat so this might have happened. When I use the Dawn nothing survives that. I even keep a spray bottle with 3 parts water and 1 part Dawn to squirt whenever I feel what I think is a bite. Kills them on the spot and I wipe away feeling the bug (nymph) in my hand.

    I'm also using DE on my bedroom floor which is helping. Now I'm just waiting since I've covered my mattress and box spring. I'll eventually make a trap to see if they went elsewhere.

    If you decide to use Dawn to wash your clothes you only need a little since is is dish washing liquid. My preference is the Orange Anti-bacterial Handsoap, I find it's not as soapy.

    Good Luck

  2. Tessy

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat May 26 2012 14:20:09
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    Interesting to know. Will throw out pillows I suspect some BBs are in and wash clothes with a little dawn

  3. 1bedbughater

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat May 26 2012 19:12:39
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    Tessy,

    More pillows bite the dust.:(

    I just laundered another set of pillows I loved, kept me from getting headaches since it didn't go flat. I would wash them frequently and no signs of bed bugs until this last time. I saw the bugs through the material while in the washer and once I removed them there were the tell-tale black spots on both the fabric of the pillow and the two covers of the pillows.

    I just knew, or rather thought, that they couldn't penetrate the inside of the pillows sewn close on all sides along with the pillow covers. I was wrong. Those damn nymphs or so small they must go through the holes of where the thread is sewn. And I was still getting bit on my scalp and face.

    Ho Hum I'll let these dry then put them in bags for eternity, guess I'll put a little DE in them too. Although I loved those pillows I don't think I'll ever use them again, and it's too bad because where I bought them they no longer sale them.

    Although I know the Dawn kills the nymphs and adults but I don't think it would have an effect on the eggs so I don't want to take any chances.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 1:33:49
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    Actually, washing on hot, or drying on hot (either) will kill bed bugs.
    Washing on cold followed by a hot dryer will do the job too. This has been tested by entomologists. Regular detergent is fine.

    I would not recommend putting dish soap in a washing machine because I understand the action of the suds is different in the two cases.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. Koebner

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 9:42:45
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    NoBugs is right, correct washing/ drying will kill bugs. I suspect that your HE washer is to blame as your fabrics are not fully immersed - think back to your school physics; unless everything is fully immersed in the hot water, you're always going to have cool spots, so the process of killing by heat will be compromised.

    Pillow - physics again; it's a big wad of fibres. You need to achieve & maintain kill temperature all the way through the pillow for at least 30 mins. From wet, you may very well not have even gotten the centre completely dry in an hour, much less up to kill temperature for long enough.

    Sleeping on a pillow that's been treated with DE is a very poor choice - read the FAQ on DE; it's an acute, not chronic inhalation risk. Acute because it doesn't need years of exposure like "mason's asthma" or "miner's lung" used to take - DE is incredibly fine due to advances in grinding technnology, so it can penetrate deeper than lower-tech stone dusts & its jagged microscopic structure is especially apt to damage the lung.

    People constantly imagine that because DE is "natural" it must be safe. I challenge such believers to coat their homes in a thin film of natural, organic fugu toxin.

    NoBugs is right - dishwasher soap in a washing machine is not a good idea.

    I'm rather concerned that you took to a public laundry items so heavily infested that nymphs were "running out" of them. Are there no branches of Ikea near you? Seriously, pillows are not costly items; you've wasted all that time & money on laundry &, if those are BBs, all you've managed is to potentially share the BB love with other users. If you do have pillows as badly affected as you describe, buying new ones may be a very sensible step.

    Yes, Dawn is a contact killer. However the bottle in which it comes is just as effective a contact killer, & by not using any of the liquid, you'll be making a significant saving.

    On the the main issue - do you have bed bugs?

    1) Your "planted by the super" theory is vanishingly unlikely - let it go, it isn't helping you. Stay in that line of psychological country & before you know where you are, you'll be wearing a fetching tinfoil tifter. Sure, I don't know your super, yada yada, but you live in NY; do the maths & you'll see that there are plenty of far more likely routes by which any BBs got into your home.

    2) Have you ever had samples of your problem insects expertly identified?

    3) You seem quite concerned about your bedlinens & mattress but say nothing of the bed frame or surrounding area, nor about other rooms/ furniture - have you read this site's FAQs on BB detection?

    4) Bed bug nymphs are not small enough to pass through needle holes (unless your pillows were sewn with something the size of an awl). Have a look at the FAQs on bed bug identification & the FAQ on things often mistaken for BBs. Make sure to follow the links to Lou Sorkin's Flickr stream - there are pics there of BBs at all stages of development, helpfully shot against graph paper for scale.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 10:44:38
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    Hi,

    Just wanted to add a confirmation that its the temp of the wash or the dry that works not the additives.

    At least 3 of you are out of pocket to the cost of the pillows and maybe a lot more who would have read the bad advice and ran off to throw their out. To present a theory as fact when it is mere fantasy does more harm than good.

    Even the tip about spraying your skin is a bad one. The detergents will dry and crack the skin making any actual bites more aggressive and painful.

    Please don't present ideas as facts because frankly we have tested more things than you would care to mention and only stick to what works.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.

    "Astral Entomologist - because so many people say my ideas are out of this world"
  7. Koebner

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 10:55:58
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    Ok, Mr C - I stand corrected & will be precise;
    If your pillows are offering harbourage to expertly-confirmed BBs in very high numbers, & you are reliant on a public laundry; it may be more cost effective to replace pillows rather than try to treat with heat.

    Throwing them out on a whim or because one is emotionally "convinced" that there must be BBs there when there are in fact, no bugs, eggs, faecal stains, or moulted skins to be found, is a needless cost.

    Unless pillows are ripped, BBs will be living on the outside of the pillow pad, usually around seams & corners.

  8. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 11:04:50
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    Hi Koebner,

    Yes to be inside the pillows there would have to be a rip or a tear.

    To be associated with the pillows there would already be a massive issue as pillows are one of the last things bedbugs tend to hang out on as they are mototaxic in nature (they prefer solid surfaces or ones that don't move much).

    Personally I would not even wash or dry but would use some sticky tape to remove them from the surface but other than in the very heavy cases its just not something you come across in the field.

    I just hate to see people wast things during difficult times such as dealing with bedbugs. I mean if you want to replace the pillows do so only after the bedbugs have been dealt with so you don't have to waste money on unnecessary costs.

    David

  9. 1bedbughater

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 15:32:58
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    Sure there are variables which is the reason I continue to use the Dawn. Air pockets during the wash in the pillows could allow them run to the top, the fact that I'm in an apartment building where hot water is shared and at any given time the hot water could run out, temperature factor -- I don't know if this building is keeping the hot water at the recommended legal temperature. Although I have a HE washer with a heater, I don't know to which degree it reaches. When I use the cycle that enables the hottest temperature it starts out using cold water to wash then later raises the temperature. Again, this doesn't allow me to know if the water is hot enough.

    When I took the other pillows to be washed I used regular detergent and saw the suds, I proceeded to dry them for an hour on high hot heat. Again, not knowing the commercial dryer's temp is a factor and I should also add that these weren't the good old fashion dryers that used gas but the next commercial laundromat used gas and I again washed and dried for an hour, still bed bugs nymphs.

    Sorry guys your argument won't dissuade me, I've seen for mine own eyes how these monsters can still survive washing and drying. Dawn really knocks them out without a doubt. I'm trying to be bed bug free and this is helping. Dry skin? Big whoop! So far I've mainly dealt with very small nymphs and I've had very few bites in comparison with some, so no problem there. My skin isn't suffering any since using and when I bathe the soap is out of my skin.

    On the topic of DE and the pillow. As I said in the prior post I doubt if I'll use those pillows again (I don't want to breathe in dead bed bug carcases), I'm aware of not breathing in DE. I would have washed the pillows again after coming in contact with the DE. My purpose for keeping the pillows in bags with the DE is to see if any eggs hatch.

    Sorry guys, I'm going to do what's best for me. I'm stubborn and tough (my skin is too) and I'm determined not to have bed bugs crawling all over me.

  10. 1bedbughater

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 15:49:43
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    Oh and another thing, you could personally come to my house and look at these pillows. Neither the ones I had before or these had any rips in them or large spaces.

    The only thing I could come up with is a few of those nymphs actually went through the threading or stitching of the fabric. I also had zippered covers for both pillows but still they got inside that pillow. They didn't have to go far to get blood so they built up their colony followed by more nymphs that could penetrate the pillow's threading so they were out to find new homes in my room while the ones in the pillow got too big to get out.

    From what I've been reading on this site it seems there's some people who don't believe bed bugs are getting into pillows much. I think people should pay close attention to their pillows and wash them on a regular basis and also use bed bug pillow covers. This certainly opened my eyes. I inspected my pillows and found no bed bug feces, no bed bugs anywhere on the exterior. Once those pillows were washed and during the time they were wet I could clearly see brown bugs through the fabric during the wash. After the wash there was the black spot staining on the pillows and covers.

    I'll keep you guys updated on my progress and if any more of those little monsters are still around. You got to understand that as you well know these bugs are enough to drive a person crazy with great financial costs and you can't blame anyone for trying anything (within reason) to rid themselves of these hellish bugs.

  11. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:01:27
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    1bedbughater - 25 minutes ago  » 
    Sorry guys, I'm going to do what's best for me. I'm stubborn and tough (my skin is too) and I'm determined not to have bed bugs crawling all over me.

    As odd as it sounds I have no issues with people doing pointless things on their own, I do however take issue when the insanity and unnecessary things are passed to others.

    Lets just hope they have the sense to see this clip below first:

    http://youtu.be/CoPHzM6BBy4

    David

  12. edtt

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:19:41
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    I love reading your posts/replies David

  13. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:26:43
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    Hi edtt,

    Thanks, I have said we need some like buttons around here, although my research did lead me to the conclusion that Palmolive in the washing machine looks a lot more fun than Dawn:

    Two more for the Darwin awards:

    http://youtu.be/hmXO75WfX28

    It's OK the baby does not end up int he machine.

    http://youtu.be/Hq5ZCLV5C_g

    David

  14. 1bedbughater

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:31:40
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    That's your opinion and you're allowed to have them just as I am. I know it's working for me. This pointless thing as you call it has been used by others who've said it worked for them. I tried it and it worked for me. It's up to others if they want to try it or not but I only came here to share and offer another alternative they may not have known about.

    It's funny in one post one is telling me oh yeah hot water, drying in a hot dryer is only needed, then in another post someone is bashing me for taking those pillows to a laundromat. lol So which is it? Either it was a sure way to work and kill them or you're telling me there's a risk of them spreading in the laundromat because there's a possibility it doesn't actually work.

    If you're worth your weight in the lab then come up with something that safely does away with these bugs so no one in the world would have to suffer.

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:53:39
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    Hi 1bedbughater,

    Since this site is read by more than the people who contribute its important to get facts right and theory portrayed as such.

    The fact is that bedbugs are killed by heat in the wash or heat in the dryer, this was actually published in a scientific paper a few years ago, I will try and post the link later.

    Your use of laundry additives comes from your personal experience, if it works for you fine, but please be a little more scientific and accurate in what you try to encourage others to do. Or your input come across as gospel when its based on the experiences of 1.

    As you can see from the video, clearly too much detergent can be a bad thing, maybe you would be good enough to write an FAQ in support of your theories so others can validate them and turn them into fact.

    I am sorry to inform you I work at the front line not the research bench. I decontaminate peoples properties for a living and do so based on a fixed fee to resolve model which means I aim to get it dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If I were capable to "developing something to do away with the bugs" it would most likely if based on chemical action eventually fail in the same way that other products have because of over application and evolutionary pressures.

    I appreciate that you mean well but the reality is that your secret weapon may as well be standing on one leg while the washing occurs because as long as its a hot wash or a hot dry of dry clothes it will work.

    Aside from that I am I hope worth my weight in experience because that's actually what counts in this world and good bedbug exterminators are nothing if not the sum of their experiences.

    David

  16. edtt

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 16:55:43
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    I am sorry you are going through this 1bed.

    Yes, if it is working for you then by all means.
    There are some very committed and knowledgable people on this site.
    They offer their time and answer questions to help people throught this horrible experiance, just because.
    of course you can choose your own path.

    I believe the comment regrading the pillows and the laudromat had to do wih the extreme nature you were describing. that it would have been easier/safer for everyone, for the pillows to have been disposed of safely as opposed to possibly spreading them to the laundromat.
    good luck

  17. ShelaghDB

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun May 27 2012 17:38:00
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    Sleeping on a pillow that's been treated with DE is a very poor choice - read the FAQ on DE; it's an acute, not chronic inhalation risk. Acute because it doesn't need years of exposure like "mason's asthma" or "miner's lung" used to take - DE is incredibly fine due to advances in grinding technnology, so it can penetrate deeper than lower-tech stone dusts & its jagged microscopic structure is especially apt to damage the lung.

    I don't have a puffer but I put some down beside my feet, a foot away ad with a old toothbrush just pushed it under he 1/4 round. There is a tiny bit no top of the 1/4 just siting here but no reason to kick it up in he air. Also in front of me, at the front of my desk, the same thing, under the 1/4 round along the second wall.
    Plus, although my bed is pulled out from he wall, I have laid some down along by he quarter round. I discovered in this area that i am unable to push it underneath with a toothbrush and figure he last tenant must have caulked it as there is o space between it and the floor. So i left a bit of it here jus in case some ever showed up in that area. But again, I am never back there nor need to kick the dust up in the air.

    I assume that is safe to live with?

    I would not recommend putting dish soap in a washing machine because I understand the action of the suds is different in the two cases.

    Whenever I have spilled oil from salad dressing, or the like on a top, or any sort of oil spot, I have found that laundry detergent won't take it out but dish detergent meant to cut through oil will.
    At such times, I just throw some dishwashing liquid onto the spot and leave it there until I wash, at which point, I just toss some of the same dishwashing liquid into the washer and it brings out the clothes beautifully. Its never bee a problem. I have used it on occasion as well when I have discovered that i am out of laundry detergent. Again, its never cause a problem

  18. Koebner

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon May 28 2012 5:52:25
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    Hm, let me sum up this thread for new readers;

    Why are bed bugs spreading so fast? Are they all pesticide-resistant?

    No.

    Bed bugs are spreading so fast because so many people are information-resistant.

    (Shelagh - read the DE FAQ. If you can see it, there's too much. More doesn't kill better, indeed there's some indication that BBs actively avoid DE in quantity.)

  19. Canuck

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon May 28 2012 13:42:19
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    Koebner,

    "information-resistant" - priceless!

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector
  20. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon May 28 2012 13:56:21
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    Cost of avoidance nominal

    For everything else there is MasterCard.

    or

    Cost to treatment XXXXX
    Cost of lost possessions XXXXX
    Cost of time off work XXX
    Cost of laundry XXXX
    Cost of stress XXXXXXXXXX

    Cost of avoiding them in the first place - priceless

    I doubt it will be long before we see one of them offering something bedbug related.

    David

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon May 28 2012 18:07:33
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    1bedbughater,

    I am sorry you are dealing with bed bugs.

    However, when you come on the forums like this telling other people to use a method which has been proven unnecessary for killing bed bugs, and which may potentially damage their machinery, then you have to accept that people with more knowledge about bed bugs are going to disagree.

    There's nothing wrong with trying new things (I like that inventive spirit), but you have to back off when others point out you're basically telling people to do things that are at best a waste of resources and at worst potentially damaging to possessions.

    If you want to do this, of course, no one is trying to talk you out of it. But the title and content of your post suggest this as a method for others to use and I am sorry-- it's a fact that it's unnecessary and potentially harmful to one's possessions.

    I would post a link to the articles about washing/drying clothing, but I think you can find them
    in the posts about laundry in our FAQs about getting bed bugs out of your stuff.

  22. cilecto

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 29 2012 6:32:07
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    Detergent in sufficient concentration will kill BB, but not eggs (for that, you need heat).

    Many of the "green" "designer" bed bug sprays are primarily sodium lauryl sulfate, a detergent (they kill BB on contact, but offer no residual action and will not kill eggs) with some added "essential oils".

    Hand dish-washing liquid is useful for a lot of things (spot cleaning of items, "make-your-own" contact killers, etc.), but I would not use it (in significant quantity) in a washer.

    The dryer is the more effective machine for killing BB anyway, so just wash your item (if necessary) as you would normally.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)

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