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Washing / Drying Clothes on Hot? Question

(13 posts)
  1. bugger09

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Dec 12 2009 11:21:24
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    Hello!

    Could someone please answer my question. Is it necessary to wash and dry on "HOT" to eliminate bed bugs? I ask because hot dryer mode kills my wool clothes.

    I recently ordered a pack-tite for preventative measures. Can a pack tite dry wool clothes (and eliminate possible eggs/bugs/etc) without destroying wool?

    Thanks so much! You guys are so knowledgable!

  2. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Dec 12 2009 11:54:39
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    I am NOT an expert in washing clothes. However, it is my understanding that wool only shrinks if you dry it when wet. If you put it into the dryer without washing it then it should be fine.

    You DO NOT need to wash anything to kill bed bugs. The dryer alone will do the trick.

    If you are going to dry your wool you should run the dryer while empty for a few minutes just to be sure that there is no moisture inside.

    Sincerely,

    Sean.

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Dec 12 2009 12:06:06
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    As Sean pointed out, it's the heat that kills the bed bugs, not the laundering process.

    I found it useful to use only clothes that could be washed and dried on hot in the house while I was battling bed bugs. I bought a few sets of cheap polo shirts, shorts, and sports bras that I didn't mind ruining, and I wore only those outfits inside the house until I was bed bug free. (Obviously, I had a summer infestation. If it had been a winter infestation, I'd have done the same thing with lounge pants, sweatshirts, and sports bras.)

    Any of my more delicate items, once debugged, were worn only outside the house and then immediately put into sealed bags as soon as I got home before I had a chance to even sit down.

    Once you get the Packtite, you can treat delicate items in that as it's not as hard on them as putting, as Sean points out, wet clothes into a hot dryer. (Packtite wasn't available while I was being treated, but I did have thermal treatment, so basically my whole apartment was Packtited all at once, and my delicates that hadn't been washed and dried or dry cleaned came through just fine.)

    After Packtiting them, put them into clean, sealed plastic bags and just don't wear them (if possible) until the bugs are gone. Or you could opt only to wear them outside the house. Or you could opt to treat them after wearing in the home in the Packtite.

    But, again, as Sean points out, it's the heat in the dryer that kills them. Putting them into plastic bags doesn't kill the bugs, it just prevents the bugs from hiding in them in your home and keeps you from having to debug them again. If you keep those principles in mind, you have a little more flexibility in how you treat them.

  4. cilecto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 13 2009 12:20:14
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    Get an infrared thermometer (RadioShack, etc.) and "learn" the temperature of your dryer and the stuff being dried. This way, you can adjust the settings to be least destructive to your stuff.

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

    (Not an pro)
  5. bugger09

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 13 2009 17:47:03
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    hey thanks you guys!

    bed bug resource, i didnt know that wool only shrinks in the dryer when wet! so basically i could take my already washed and air dryed sweater and put it in the packtite to kill all the bugs without ruining my sweater?

    or just get it drycleaned and put it away also. but packtite seems to be a cheaper (and effective) option.

    buggyinsocal, thanks so much for your tips! so by doing thermal to your whole place, the thermal heat also took care of your clothes? maybe im confused.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 13 2009 23:28:32
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    by doing thermal to your whole place, the thermal heat also took care of your clothes?

    Every thermal provider, I suspect, is slightly different, but my PCO did not require me to wash, dry, and bag all my clothes before treatment.

    My PCO used propane fueled heaters--running ductwork from the heaters up to my unit and baking the crap out of the whole apartment for most of a business day. (I wasn't here for it. The earliest appointment I could get was a day I was leaving for a trip to a family wedding, so I was here when they started but not when they finished.)

    I'm not sure that that would be true with every thermal provider or every structure being treated with thermal, but it was the case for me.

    I did have about a two week delay between finding the bugs and getting treated; for those two weeks, I was doing the whole wash on hot, dry on hot until really super dry, bag in a clean plastic bag, and isolate in the house vs. wear to work items.

  7. kitep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Dec 15 2009 1:54:39
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    I'm no expert, but I agree that you don't need to use the washer. Also, I believe you can even use your dryer on "low" instead of "high", but then you should probably dry for a longer time.

  8. nytravelbug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Dec 15 2009 2:15:45
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    Funnily enough, I actually just got done drying-not-washing right now – and quite due to this post. Last time I had spent a large fortune on dry cleaning / sending my clothes out for my treatment and just couldn't stomach it again. So, figuring that since it wasn't that long ago I had them cleaned, I opted to dry my pillows, my duvet and my drape panels (along with proper hot wash for bed linens). I was quite relieved that my fear of them exploding into fireballs did not happen. That and a gazillion loads of laundry in the stealth of the night in my communal laundry room! It was nice to be able to keep the cost semi-under control this time by being able to do the laundry myself and not opening my other dry cleaning.

    One Packtite question though: Once you put your items in it, how long does it take to cook? I might consider buying one if this treatment isn't effective but wondered how much wait time I could expect between loads. Does it take everything?

  9. bugger09

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 2:42:58
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    hey nytravelbug!

    im glad this post (or thread?) helped! I think packtite can take most items except for vinyl records?I think you could bake the sleeve and clean the record by hand. . .

    I heard books are ok as well as shoes. I have heard of people baking laptops but I wouldnt recommend it . . .

    I have a question though for pack titers . . . what if you have vinyl-ish, fake leather shoes? will they melt like a vinyl record?

  10. flabergasted

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 3:05:45
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    Just got mine, haven't been brave enought to try in packtite. Before I got mine I put them in a pillowcase with some cloths tied it up and threw them in the dryer with a old sheet the noise wasn't anyworse than by dryer balls I use. I put on medium heat and tumble for 1/2 an hour then put in a rubbermaid bythemselves for a week - no sign of bugs.

  11. saw two of them

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Feb 24 2010 5:26:08
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    About the drying, I don't have my own washer and dryer, from what I read is that, the bed bugs gets killed in temperature 120F and higher? But since I go to the laundry mat for my washing and drying, How would I know if its hot enough? or should i get an infrared thermometer as cilento suggested? do i throw it in with the clothes and take it back out to check the temp? Instead of putting the clothes in sealed bags, can I put it in one of those rubber maid plastic containers? btw, how do i check if my clothes are infested/contaminated?

  12. upagain

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Feb 24 2010 12:27:18
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    Get an instant read meat thermo (about $10). Run the clothes in the dryer for 30 min, open the door and stick the thermo in the center of th clothes, close the door (don;t run the dryer) Wait about 3-5 min and check the temps. That should give you an accurate reading of the dryer temps.

  13. saw two of them

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Feb 25 2010 1:38:41
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    Ah, Thank you, i will get one and try that.


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