Kill Mites in the Laundry
Does the Water in My Washing Machine Get Hot Enough to Kill Mites, Bacteria and Other Parasites in the Laundry?
A guide to killing fleas, ticks, lice, bird mites, demodex mites, cheyletiella mites, scabies mites, mange mites, springtails, bedbugs, mold, viruses, nail fungus, E. coli, streptococcus bacteria and staphylococcus bacteria on clothing and bedding.
The temperature setting of hot water tanks can vary greatly from home to home. If you live in an apartment building or residential home for seniors, community water tanks may be set low to avoid scalding residents. If the water flowing into your washer machine isn’t at least 135 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius), it probably won’t destroy bacteria, viruses or parasites.
In cases where infested laundry must be stored until wash day, spray dirty clothing with our clear, non-staining cedar oil formula. Store dirty clothes in a thick garbage bag and seal the bag tightly to prevent parasites from escaping and infesting other areas of the home. Parasitic arthropods absorb air through pores called sphericals. The aroma of cedar oil triggers an instant danger response, forcing the arthropod to close its breathing pores. The cedar aroma will suffocate parasites and bacteria in the enclosed bag, including staphylococcus (staph) bacteria from boils and streptococcus (strep) bacteria from throat infections.
Pre-treatment of laundry is not necessary for clothing that will be washed in bleach immediately. In cases where bleach isn’t appropriate, add 50 Mule Team Borax to wash water to kill bacteria and parasites. Add 1/2 to 1 cup per load. Stop the machine and let articles soak for 30 minutes before continuing to the wash cycle. Since Borax has a tendency to clump when wet, find a random mixing instrument, such as a plastic hanger. Manipulate articles in the wash water to be certain the Borax dissolves properly and permeates the water.
For extra funky items such as cloth diapers or socks worn by a person with nail fungus, consider using a dedicated wash bucket for soaking. If you find yourself without Borax on hand, fire up your kettle and dump a load of scalding water into the bucket.
Note: Borax may fade colors slightly with repeated long-term use, but it shouldn’t leave white spots or cause immediate damage like bleach. For extra protection, you may add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
In most environments, the ideal setting for a hot water tank is 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Higher temperatures can increase the risk of scalding. You can find the thermostat under the protective lid on the side of or underneath the cylinder. It can usually be adjusted with a screwdriver. Use a thermometer to test the water that flows into your washer machine. Many thermostats are not very accurate, so be certain to test the water that flows directly to your machine or wash basin.
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