Packing dirty clothes in the basket while waiting for laundry day is common. However, while this may seem easy to get the job done, it can cause some problems.
Such dirty clothes with odors, food remnants, and moistness make a perfect shelter for maggots, mold, and roaches.
And like you, many have also wondered if washing machines can eliminate these pests on clothes, but is it possible?
Fortunately, washing machines can rid you of these pests. But ensure to use an appropriate temperature and good cleaning agents. It is much easier to kill maggots and molds as detergents and bleach will do the trick, but extending the washing machine’s wash cycle for roach elimination puts you on the safe side.
Toward the end of this article, you’ll learn how to get rid of these pests in your clothes using a washing machine.
You’ll also discover additional items that can help you eliminate them permanently.
Can Cockroaches Survive a Washing Machine?
Cockroaches respire through open pores on their body, and the soapy water and foam inside the washing machine reduce their surface tension penetrating their inside and killing it.
Moreover, when these pores fill up, there’s no entrance for air, so it dies off.
Further, even the spinning force of a complete wash cycle in a washing machine can eliminate the roaches and their eggs.
The proper laundry detergents simplify the process for you. However, they can suffocate cockroaches and eliminate the protective layers on the roaches’ skin, making them dry out and drown.
While washing machines do the trick of killing roaches, removing the roaches’ eggs might be complicated as they are stronger and can resist pressure from the washing machine.
An excellent way to kill them is to use hot water to prevent them from hatching.
Besides killing roaches in your clothes, it would be best to focus on getting them out of your washer.
But remember that doing this requires patience as there are many compartments in your washing machine perfect for roaches to live comfortably.
Endeavor to check the compartments inside the machine and even the door areas and clean them well using bleach and vinegar.
Doing this will notify you of any torn or broken parts in the washer that is a perfect spot for hiding, and you can ix it.
Additionally, you can practice a few methods to help avoid roach problems in your washing machine.
Firstly, you can use natural repellents like lemon and mint to scare roaches away. They despise that smell.
Secondly, only put dirty clothes in the washer when you want to wash them. Don’t pile them there.
Lastly, clean your washers after an entire week of use to renew the repellent smell and remove accumulated dirt.
What Kills Insects and Maggots in a Washing Machine?
The hottest water settings and bleach additions in a washing machine will rid you of insects and maggots in your washer.
Most insects can survive a washing machine under conventional or moderately high temperatures.
However, using at least 194°F when washing will dry them up and kill them, as such conditions are highly unfavorable.
However, not all washing machines can generate hot water as they lack heating elements.
Some new models have heating elements pre-installed, but for old versions, you need to connect to a heater.
Also, the table below shows some familiar places you can find mold, roaches, and pests and the best ways to avoid them.
|Where to Find Mold, Roaches, and Maggots||How to Avoid These Pests|
|Walls in laundry rooms (mold)||Reduce humidity. Improve ventilation, and fix leaks.|
|Dark and moist places||Let natural light in|
|Leaking washing machine pipe and drainer||Fix any leaking pipe or drainer in your washer|
|Under/behind washers||Spray insecticide in hidden, dark areas and clean frequently|
Is It Safe to Have Insects and Maggots Killed in the Washing Machine With Your Laundry?
It isn’t always safe to kill larvae and insects in washers with your laundry. If they don’t die, leftovers will linger to infect your clothes on the next wash.
But if you choose to kill these pests in your washer, you must do it right. Use the right temperature and detergents; remember, you can’t save all infested clothes.
It would be best to discard those heavily infested with these insects.
Further, you can also choose to soak those clothes in hot water and wash them manually.
But above all, ensure to cleanse the washing machine after every wash involving infested items to ensure it’s safe for another laundry.
Killing maggots and insects in clothes inside washing machines require high temperature, but that can be unsuitable for some clothes, so be careful.
An alternative to this is pouring bleach water on the clothes, if acceptable, or freezing infested clothes for two weeks. Afterward, you can handwash and dry it.
But this is not to say that washing maggots and insect-infested clothes in a machine are entirely unsafe.
However, the problem is that a washer has many compartments in which these insects can hide if they don’t die off.
To be safe, run a chlorine bleach wash on your washer with nothing inside it after doing much laundry.
Doing this will get rid of the leftover pests, and its lingering smell will ward them off.
Can Insects and Maggots Live Under and Behind a Washing Machine?
Insects and maggots find the spaces under the washing machine conducive for living due to the moistness and warmth it provides.
When turned on, the air from the washer gives them warmth, and since those areas under the washer are dark, it’s perfect for them as no one will see them.
Most times, since these washers stay in the laundry room, which isn’t visited constantly, other pests like roaches would also love to live there.
Also, people often dump dirty clothes on the floor in their laundry rooms without plans to clean them until laundry day.
Littering dirty clothes around in such dark, moist areas makes it much easier for insects to live and grow there.
Can Cockroaches Live in Washing Machines?
Cockroaches can be tough to eliminate and can also live safely in washers since it houses them and provides food and moisture.
Can Dirty Laundry Attract Roaches?
Roaches are attracted to not only sweet things and leftover food but also dirt in clothes. They also ruin fabrics, causing torn and loose garments.
Can Maggots Live in Bleach Water?
No, maggots cannot live in bleach water and can only last 30 minutes under such conditions before dying off. But remember to mix the bleach with boiling water equally.
Can Insects, Mold, and Roaches Return after Cleaning?
Yes, they can. So it’s vital to clean deeply frequently. Also, use insecticides, other preventive measures, and essential oils to keep them away.
Most importantly, clean your washer after the laundry of infested clothes to remove lingering pests.