Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

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URSnshn
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Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by URSnshn »

Hi! Summer is coming. When it comes to ticks some have suggested that putting your clothes in the dryer and running it on hot is a good way to kill ticks ... see viewtopic.php?t=255488

Edited add: Spouse had read or assumed based on what was read that the clothes dryer was the FIRST place to put your clothes to kill the ticks, and then wash. example: https://blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/t ... -wash-them

Questions:
1. Is it necessary to clean the clothes dryer after running your dirty clothes in the dryer? This is what my spouse has been doing and it is a bit tedious. If cleaning is necessary, how do you go about cleaning or disinfecting the dryer? The outside is a good place to be and I don't like adding in unnecessary burdens.

2. If clothes are dirty, do they need to be run in the dryer first, or simply wash and dry for an extra amount of time in a hot dryer?

3. If you do DISINFECT it, what are your thoughts? suggestions? products or techniques if any that you have used?

EDIT to clarify above and to add:

I found this after reading some of the responses below:
https://blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/to ... -wash-them
CDC and clothes dryer recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html and https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/media/lymedisease.html
Last edited by URSnshn on Sat May 30, 2020 9:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
livesoft
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by livesoft »

Why on earth would you put dirty clothes in the clothes dryer ever? I would put them in the washer first and clean them, then dry them in the dryer. It seems that moist clean clothes would keep the dryer clean enough. I do realize that every once in a while gum or an ink pen makes it into the dryer and one needs to use isopropanol to clean those specific things, but that should be rare.
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jebmke
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by jebmke »

We just throw our possibly tick infested clothes in the washer on a short cycle, then dump them in the dryer. I normally do a pretty thorough tick check before I even go back in the house but it is always possible to miss them.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

livesoft wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 7:29 am It seems that moist clean clothes would keep the dryer clean enough.
The drum in our clothes dryer might be the cleanest and shiniest thing in the house. Then again, we don’t put dirty tick infested clothes in there, and we do have ticks in MA.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
BruinBones
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by BruinBones »

I don’t know about ticks, but it is fairly easy to clean a clothes dryer if you are handy with tools. It should be done at least once a year if you use your dryer several times a week.
A regular vacuum with hose attachment will do. Vacuum out the housing for the lint rack. Unplug the dryer. Then study a YouTube video on how to repair your dryer so you can safely open up the inside. Wear gloves. Carefully vacuum the inside of dust and lint, making sure not to stretch or dislodge any wires. Close up the dryer, and plug back in.
Last edited by BruinBones on Sat May 30, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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URSnshn
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by URSnshn »

I did edit my original post for clarity. What I will add here is that what my spouse is doing is DISINFECTING the clothes dryer, AFTER first running whatever clothes were worn outdoors in the clothes dryer. THEN the clothes are washed while the clothes dryer is disinfected. This process is TEDIOUS and time consuming and annoying. The reason this was done was to kill the ticks first, they can live through the washing machine.
livesoft
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by livesoft »

I have never disinfected the dryer and have never ever ever heard of anyone that has ever suggested doing such a thing for a home clothes dryer. We wash and dry clothes normally even after brushing off ticks that are crawling up our clothes.

And we have also never ever ever taken apart our dryer to clean it. I have taken it apart to repair it, but not to just clean it.

One could do this test: Collect ticks and put them inside the foot of something like panty hose and tie off. Put that in the dryer. See what happens to the ticks. If ticks are not available, collect some ants to do the same thing. Report back.
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jebmke
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by jebmke »

URSnshn wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 8:30 am I did edit my original post for clarity. What I will add here is that what my spouse is doing is DISINFECTING the clothes dryer, AFTER first running whatever clothes were worn outdoors in the clothes dryer. THEN the clothes are washed while the clothes dryer is disinfected. This process is TEDIOUS and time consuming and annoying. The reason this was done was to kill the ticks first, they can live through the washing machine.
This seems excessive. If a tick is still on the clothes after washing, the subsequent dry cycle will get it. I have a hard time thinking that ticks that come off the clothes in the washer don't get spun out in the spin cycle. We use a front loader and it sounds like a 747 when it hits the peak of its various spin cycles.

I'm probably more likely to get a tick that dropped off as I came in the house or dropped off in my car than I am getting one that crawled back up the drain line into my washer.

I get a tick almost every year and it is usually because I waited to take a vigorous shower and wash my hair. This year I invested in some gaiters to wear in all but the deepest grassy areas. For real tick hot zones with higher grass I wear high Muck Boots and spray my pants.
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pshonore
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by pshonore »

I'd be more concerned about the ticks on ME after I take off my clothes. I've not found many on clothes but probably find a dozen or more on me each year. (I spend a fair amount of time outside from April to October). And I think the dog may bring in some. He is on tick preventive but I believe some may fall off before they bite. And we do frequent tick "inspections". Lift up your shirt and look in the mirror, etc. Just part of living in rural wooded Eastern CT
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by jebmke »

My typical routine is to stop in the mudroom/laundry room, strip down and put clothes in washer. Do quick inspection of what I can see. Then go directly to the master bath where we have full length mirror. Then I check everywhere I can - including places you normally don't look at routinely. Hint - bend over. Also check in ears or have someone take a peek. Then into the shower. The only time I've had to pull one off (embedded) is when I get lazy and skip this process.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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URSnshn
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by URSnshn »

I appreciate everyone's thoughts ... here is an example of an article from AARP which advises putting clothes straight into the dryer and then wash them .... https://blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/to ... -wash-them .... but practically speaking how do we or anyone manage this and keep a clean dryer?
livesoft
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by livesoft »

I'm laughing at that AARP article. Sorry, but I don't care if ticks do not drown as long as they do not end up biting me.

But if my clothes are clean, I don't see any reason not to toast them in the dryer. Nevertheless, there is no reason to "disinfect" the dryer afterwards.

You can do this test: Take a black pepper grinder and grind some pepper into your dryer and toss in some clean clothes. Dry them. Now see where the ground pepper ends up. Did it get caught in the lint catcher? Please report back in an hour. Thanks!

Have you ever found dead ticks or bugs in the lint catcher?
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Tubes
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by Tubes »

URSnshn wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:05 am I appreciate everyone's thoughts ... here is an example of an article from AARP which advises putting clothes straight into the dryer and then wash them .... https://blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/to ... -wash-them .... but practically speaking how do we or anyone manage this and keep a clean dryer?
Just because someone wrote an article doesn't make it right. CDC is not adamant that you MUST not wash first. It only offers it as a suggestion for apparently clean clothes. It also mentions the procedure for drying after washing (more time, basically wash and dry then do the extra 10min). And they also recommend treating your clothes with insecticide. Do you really want to bake that in after your trip outdoors?

To answer your practical question: don't do it. Do not put dirty, or insecticide laden, clothes in the dryer. Period.

From the CDC as mentioned in the AARP article:
(source: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/on_people.html)
Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.
Last edited by Tubes on Sat May 30, 2020 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by livesoft »

Tubes wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:12 amTo answer your practical question: don't do it. Do not put dirty, or insecticide laden, clothes in the dryer. Period.
Permethrin-treated clothing (as recommended by many) creates insecticide-laden clothes that are meant to be worn, washed, and dried for many weeks before another treatment. One can even purchase pre-treated-by-permethrin clothing. So I don't subscribe to the idea that one should not put insecticide laden clothes in the dryer.
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999
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by 999 »

Permethrin
livesoft
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by livesoft »

Here is something else one can do if they bring home ticks: Put a tick or ticks into a cup of hot tap water. That's right: hot water that comes from your tap. I know the temperature of my hot water. You can also know the temperature of your hot water if you have a decent thermometer.

Then report back what happened to the tick(s) that you put in a cup of your hot tap water. You won't have to guess whether your hot water is effective in killing your ticks or not. You will know.
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SC Anteater
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by SC Anteater »

URSnshn wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:05 am I appreciate everyone's thoughts ... here is an example of an article from AARP which advises putting clothes straight into the dryer and then wash them .... https://blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/to ... -wash-them .... but practically speaking how do we or anyone manage this and keep a clean dryer?
Unless you're rolling in mud how much actual, physical dirt is on your clothes that could potentially be transferred to a steel drum of a dryer? I don't see the point of cleaning (and even less of disinfecting) a dryer ever.
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Chicken lady
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Re: Necessary to clean the clothes dryer? How? Ticks?

Post by Chicken lady »

We live in deep wood = tick zone central. As Jebmk suggested, careful examination of your body is the key when you come in. It takes a while for a tick to become embedded in your skin (hours) - if you look yourself over upon re-entering the house, you'll catch most all of them. We shake our extra dirty clothes outside then right into the washer.

In environments like ours, ticks are everywhere, after all - we're living in their domain. Sometimes we'll find one crawling along on a wall, or chair, or somewhere else inside the house. Just getting from here to there. Our solution is to pick them up with tweezers and light them up with a flame. They never come back from the dead that way. Never seen one crawl back from a drain but I suppose they could since they seem to be able to swim. But, your washer will drain into a city system or septic tank - a long walk for a tiny bug.

Yup, they can carry dangerous diseases but most do not. Tick bites itch differently from mosquitos or chiggers. If you get bitten enough you'll usually be able to identify if it's a tick by the itch. Funny but true.

Repellent as noted earlier is part of our answer.
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