does dry cleaning remove bed bugs?

The majority of us have at least one item of clothing that can only be maintained properly through dry cleaning. But what happens if you have a major bed bug infestation in your home? Will the dry cleaners be able to rid your clothes of those nasty little bugs? Continue reading to find out whether you can drop your bed-bug infested clothing off at the dry cleaners. 

How Do Dry Cleaners Deal With Bed Bugs?

Dry cleaning is a clothing and textile cleaning process; it involves a special chemical solvent instead of water mixed with a laundry detergent. The solvent extracts stains, while maintaining the original shape and stretch of the fabric, which is why the dry cleaner is optimal for cleaning delicate items. 

When it comes to killing bed bugs, neither the machine or the temperature used is responsible; instead, the chemical solvent, perchloroethylene, is the solution. Although it has low toxicity on humans, this chemical solvent has proven to be lethal to bed bugs. 

Helpful Guidelines for Removing Bed Bugs Using Dry Cleaning

When taking your bed-bug infested laundry to the dry cleaners, it is always important to remember these key guidelines: 

  1. Make sure to let the dry cleaners know that you suspect the clothing is bed bug infested so that they will know to make a separate load. 
  2. Use a separate bag to carry your bed bug infested clothing. Make sure to use a different bag to pick up your clean laundry. 
  3. Ensure that your dry cleaner uses the chemical called perchloroethylene (also known as PERC). Without this chemical, the bed bugs could survive a dry clean. 

How Much Heat is Needed to Kill Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs, heat is your friend. If the temperature is held for at least a minute, bed bugs will die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit; their eggs, however, require a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that every part of your clothing has reached the proper temperature, it is important that you run the dryer anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of clothing/fabric being washed. 

If you have clothes that can not be washed at a high temperature, bring them to a dry cleaner that specializes in bed bugs. Keep in mind that dry cleaning only removes the bed bugs from your clothes; you will need to enlist the help of a bed bug exterminator to treat your house. 

How To Avoid Picking Up Bed Bugs at the Laundromat

If you are like a lot of people, the laundromat may be the only place where you can clean your clothes. Here are a few helpful tips to remember when visiting the laundromat to avoid picking up bed bugs: 

  1. If you are carrying your laundry to the laundromat in a cloth bag, make sure that you put the bag in the wash also. 
  2. Do not set any of your laundry on the tables, seating, or floors. 
  3. Using medium to high-heat when drying your laundry if possible. 
  4. Take your items out of the dryer 1-by-1 for a quick visual check. 
  5. Wait until you return home before folding your laundry. 

Helpful Tips to Get Rid of Bed Bugs for Good

  1. Wash all of your clothing and bedding on a hot wash. 
  2. Seal your mattress with a protective casing, keeping it covered at all times. 
  3. Vacuum and steam clean your home regularly. 
  4. Declutter and throw away any unwanted items. 
  5. Close up any gaps, cracks, and crevices. 


If you already have a bed bug problem, be sure to pick a specialist. When searching for a professional dry cleaning business, it is important to make sure that they provide services to help eliminate bed bugs. If you are having a problem with bed bugs, have questions about our laundry services, or are wanting to schedule your free laundry pick-up and delivery, give us a call today at 501-227-8500. Our team at Hangers Cleaners is here to help you with all of your laundry needs!