Hotter is Better for Removing Allergens in Laundry

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You’re very particular about the laundry and cleaning products you use, opting for brands that conform to organic living. Here’s a peek at some new research that may change how you wash your clothes—especially if you’re an allergy sufferer.


A new study, presented on Sunday at the American Thoracic Society’s 2007 International Conference, finds the heat setting you choose when doing laundry makes all the difference when it comes to killing dust mites.

Researchers found washing laundry in hot water (140ºF or higher) kills all house dust mites, compared with just 6.5% of dust mites in laundry washed at 104º, or warm water.

Hotter water temperatures are also more effective in removing dog dander and pollen, says lead researcher Jung-Won Park, MD, PhD, of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. He and his colleagues also found an effective alternative: washing at a lower temperature (between 86ºF and 104°F) and then rinsing the laundry twice with cold water (for three minutes each time).

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