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Hotter Is Better For Removing Allergens In Laundry

Date:
May 21, 2007
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
A new study finds that the heat setting you choose when doing laundry makes all the difference when it comes to killing dust mites. The researchers found that washing laundry in hot water -- 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) or higher -- kills all house dust mites, compared with just 6.5 percent of dust mites in laundry washed at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), or warm water.

Researchers found that washing laundry in hot water -- 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) or higher -- kills all house dust mites, compared with just 6.5% of dust mites in laundry washed at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), or warm water.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sebastian Kaulitzki

A new study finds that the heat setting you choose when doing laundry makes all the difference when it comes to killing dust mites. The researchers found that washing laundry in hot water--140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) or higher--kills all house dust mites, compared with just 6.5% of dust mites in laundry washed at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), or warm water.

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Hotter water temperatures are also more effective in removing dog dander and pollen, says lead researcher Jung-Won Park, M.D., Ph.D., of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

There is an alternative to washing in hot water that's also effective, Dr. Park found: washing at a lower temperature (between 86-104 F, or 30-40 C), then rinsing the laundry twice with cold water for three minutes each.

In the study, researchers compared allergen levels on cotton sheets after they were washed in various temperature settings. They found that since more pollen was left on the sheets when they were washed in cooler temperatures (86 F, or 30C), rinsing the sheets was especially important when using this temperature setting.

The study is being presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20. "Optimal Conditions for Mechanical Laundry in the Removal of House Dust Mites, Dog and Pollen Allergens"(Session A93; Abstract # 2686)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Hotter Is Better For Removing Allergens In Laundry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070520183542.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2007, May 21). Hotter Is Better For Removing Allergens In Laundry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070520183542.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Hotter Is Better For Removing Allergens In Laundry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070520183542.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

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