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Safe for Packtite?

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  1. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 9 2014 16:32:50
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    I decided to order a packtite. For the $$$ I'll spend on it, I'll make up for in not throwing some of my stuff away. And in peace of mind. That being said, questions on what can go inside of it safely. I figure anything that can be left in a car on a hot day is safe, so that's most everything, but I'd like to get your opinions. Opinions like "DO NOT, FOR GOD'S SAKE, PUT THAT IN THE PACKTITE!!!"

    Laptops and phones? I think a processor on a computer can push 200F. And I've definitely left mine in the car on a hot day.

    Dress shoes, leather. I have three pairs worth $1500... really don't want to ruin these. I know exposing wet dress shoes to heat is a big no no.

    Dress pants and suit, wool. I know you gotta be real careful steaming these, because you can ruin the seams and the shaping, especially of the jacket. But steam is wet, and also 212F, not dry 120F heat. I'd rather not dry clean because that's not exactly good for my clothes either.

    That's all I can think of right now.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 9 2014 21:01:38
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    I think most clothing (wool, etc.) is fine as long as it's dry. You hit the nail on the head. Remember those "at home dry cleaning" kits use a dryer to treat items normally suitable for dry cleaning only. That's because generally, getting the item wet and then drying it is the problem.

    Many people treat leather. It can dry out, and you might use a leather conditioner to help keep it nice, but it may get dried out now or later.

    I figure anything that can be left in a car on a hot day is safe, so that's most everything

    But actually, the Packtite will get hotter than your car on a hot day. And -- I am not an expert on this but my understanding is that air will be circulating in a way it won't in your car, creating convection heat which is more effective.

    Batteries in laptops and other electronics are a no-no.

    If you ask electronics companies what temps their laptop can safely be exposed to, you may get a number below 120F (pretty sure that's true for my Mac), and certainly below 140F (I've had Packtites get that hot or a bit higher on a hot day when I did "get it to 120F and leave it for an hour"). Treating electronics is a risk but don't add to it by leaving batteries in.

    Aerosols might be a bad idea-- true of the trunk also, of course. And it might seem like an odd thing to mention, but if people were bringing home a suitcase and popping it in... (note to the new user: unpacked, unzipped suitcases and stuff which is spread out and not packed tightly in a bag will get to temperature much more quickly).

    And lipstick, and lots of other items which might explode or melt.

    All in all, it's a fabulously useful tool in my experience. (I have a Packtite Closet.) Now I want a tiny one I can leave out all the time to treat a couple of library books at a time. Are you listening, David James?!?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Crackerjade

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 12:51:16
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    I have the same type of questions.

    1) I have an LG dryer with the "rack" inside it to "flat dry" stuff. Could it work as well as Packtite? Let's say I put shoes and books on the rack and heat for 20 minutes on high?

    2) If I decide to use the Packtite, should I leave stuff in a sealed bag or will it melt?

    3) Handbags and shoes should be ok for the Packtite. What about a box of photos? Board games (with a couple of plastic pieces)?

  4. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 13:12:23
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    A car in 100f weather will get up to 140f pretty darn quick. But you're right, how even that temperature is and cold spots could be a question. I made the mistake of putting my new laptop right behind the rear window on a long trip, and even though I was driving south with AC, it was still HOT HOT HOT! But I'm not sure how relevant that is to the situation.

    Anyways thanks for the reply. I feel better about putting my clothes in there. I have my old military leathers I can test before I zap them, too.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 15:56:20
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    Piston,
    You're right that cars can get hot. The issue is whether the items will reach the required temperature in their core, and maintain it.

    Crackerjade,

    1) I have an LG dryer with the "rack" inside it to "flat dry" stuff. Could it work as well as Packtite? Let's say I put shoes and books on the rack and heat for 20 minutes on high?

    The racks are, I believe, designed for shoes-- but ones which can stand being dried. As I noted above, some materials (eg leather) may have adverse effects.

    I wouldn't personally put books in the dryer. You'd also have to figure out how hot your dryer gets. Drying most clothing for 1/2 hour on hot is recommended if it starts out dry, but thick items may require longer.

    2) If I decide to use the Packtite, should I leave stuff in a sealed bag or will it melt?

    People have treated XL Ziploc type bags in the Packtite. Note that (as I said above), taking items out of a bag and spreading them around is much more efficient. In the Packtite Closet, you can even hang clothing which means they're don't very quickly. I've got down coats to 120F in about 20 minutes, but remember it's recommended to maintain that temperature for an hour.

    3) Handbags and shoes should be ok for the Packtite. What about a box of photos? Board games (with a couple of plastic pieces)?

    Photos are very sensitive. I would not heat them.

    As far as I know, plastic can't melt at 120F-140F. See this chart.. Board games should be okay.

    The nice thing about the Packtite is you can monitor the temperature pretty easily.

    Please do view our FAQs which cover this information, particularly the ones about treating your stuff to get rid of bed bugs.

    I am not an expert on any of this so YMMV.

  6. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 16:58:06
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    Nobugsonme - 58 minutes ago  » 
    Piston,
    You're right that cars can get hot. The issue is whether the items will reach the required temperature in their core, and maintain it.

    Just being a little pedantic here, so forgive me. I imagine something left in a 140F car, direct sunlight, for 8 hours on the seats, on the floor, etc will get plenty hot. Would have to test to be sure. What I'd be concerned about is if the bugs can find a cool spot in a nook or cranny. But if the outside air temp is 100F, and the inside air temp is 140F, then EVERYTHING in the car should be between 100F and 140F. I'd say odds are good anything left there for 8 hours is cooked.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 17:04:29
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    pistonengine08 - 31 seconds ago  » 

    Nobugsonme - 58 minutes ago  » 
    Piston,
    You're right that cars can get hot. The issue is whether the items will reach the required temperature in their core, and maintain it.

    Just being a little pedantic here, so forgive me. I imagine something left in a 140F car, direct sunlight, for 8 hours on the seats, on the floor, etc will get plenty hot. Would have to test to be sure. What I'd be concerned about is if the bugs can find a cool spot in a nook or cranny. But if the outside air temp is 100F, and the inside air temp is 140F, then EVERYTHING in the car should be between 100F and 140F. I'd say odds are good anything left there for 8 hours is cooked.

    I'm not sure where you are but even if the temps reach 100F where you live, are they sustained all day from 8 am to 5 pm, for example?

    Most people don't have those conditions.

    The temperature would need to reach 120F for an hour in the items themselves (their core) to reliably kill all bed bugs and eggs. Lower temperatures or higher temperatures work with adjusted times.

    Cold spots are an issue with conduction heat. Convection is better. That is about the extent of my understanding.

    You probably know a lot more about heating generally than I do, but I have read a bit about killing bed bugs in heat. I'm probably not conveying it well, though, not being an expert.

    Sure, it's possible to have conditions that would make it possible to kill bed bugs in a car. Is it going to work for most people? Not reliably, in my understanding.

  8. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 10 2014 18:28:05
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    I'm not sure where you are but even if the temps reach 100F where you live, are they sustained all day from 8 am to 5 pm, for example?
    Most people don't have those conditions.
    The temperature would need to reach 120F for an hour in the items themselves (their core) to reliably kill all bed bugs and eggs. Lower temperatures or higher temperatures work with adjusted times.
    Cold spots are an issue with conduction heat. Convection is better. That is about the extent of my understanding.
    You probably know a lot more about heating generally than I do, but I have read a bit about killing bed bugs in heat. I'm probably not conveying it well, though, not being an expert.
    Sure, it's possible to have conditions that would make it possible to kill bed bugs in a car. Is it going to work for most people? Not reliably, in my understanding.

    Practically, you're almost certainly correct. I was just being pedantic. I've been in Norfolk for a week and there was a pretty good heat wave last week.

    I'm just starting with the premise that if you have a car in the hot sun, with an outside air temp at 100F, and the inside reaches 140F (not unreasonable), and everything comes to equilibrium, then ALL areas of the car will be between 100F and 140F. That's a demonstrable fact. Whether or not that is practically achievable is another matter altogether.

    Now I wouldn't suggest that as a way to kill bedbugs, for reasons you've mentioned above. But I was just speculating that my electronics and shoes have survived those car conditions, so they should survive the packtite.

    Right now I have the packtite going and among the items is one of my old military shoes. I'll compare it with the unheated one to see how it fares. I'll skip the electronics because I consider those very low risk items.


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