How to Wash Sheets with Pinworms

Pinworms are parasitic intestinal infections that cause discomfort and illness. More prevalent in children, pinworms spread rapidly between people and from person to surface and vice versa.

A pinworm infestation can affect the whole household in a blink of an eye because they survive for long in untreated people and surfaces. Bed sheets are the primary surface that house pinworms in the homes.

Luckily, carefully washing your bed sheets can destroy pinworms, stop the infestation, and preserve the sheets’ integrity and lifespan.

Washing Sheets with Pinworms’ Infestation

Washing Sheets

Pinworms can survive on bed sheets for up to two weeks, spreading the infection from person to person and worsening the symptoms in already infected people.

Wash your sheets the instant one person presents symptoms of pinworm infestation because they must have spread to other locations.

When a person has a pinworm infestation, they transfer them to every surface and person they touch. Wash towels, sheets, underwear, pajamas, etc., every day until you’re sure the pinworm infestation is over.

Machine Wash Sheets with Pinworms

  • Wear protective gloves and a face mask.

Pinworms are highly infectious. When handling sheets with pinworm infestation, you should be careful not to inhale or touch them to avoid becoming infectious.

You can transfer pinworms to another surface by touch if you get them on your hands. Also, when you inhale pinworm eggs, they develop and hatch in your intestinal tract and spread to other people or surfaces when you excrete them.

  • Handle the Sheets with Care

After wearing the protective gloves and face mask, carefully remove the sheets from your bed. Be gentle to prevent the spread of the pinworms or eggs to the floor or other surfaces.

Also, don’t flap or shake the sheets; the aim is to kill the pinworms in the wash, not transfer them to other surfaces.

Roll the sheets and take them straight to the washer, then discard your protective gloves because they may have pinworm infestation from the sheets.

  • Choose the Correct Wash Settings

Usually, sheets have specific washing instructions that guide the user on the best practices to avoid damaging the fabric, but washing pinworm infestation has its guidelines.

The priority is to remove the pinworms from the sheets and remove them in the wash without destroying the fabric.

Select the hot water setting because high heat will destroy the pinworms in the wash. However, you should select the wash cycle recommended by the sheet’s care label, preferably with a long rinse cycle.

  • Choose the Correct Detergent

Use a regular detergent to wash your pinworm-infested sheets. Check the bottle’s label for the recommended amount to avoid detergent residue buildup on the sheets.

If the sheet allows, you can add bleach to the wash; it helps boost the destruction of the pinworms. Use non-chlorine bleach to protect your sheet from damage or discoloration.

Another laundry additive suitable during the wash of pinworm-infested bed sheets is white vinegar. However, you will pour one cup of distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle to avoid destabilizing the laundry detergent.

  • Start the Wash Cycle

Don’t overload the washer to avoid improper washing of the sheets, or the pinworms will remain even after the wash cycle ends.

After washing the sheets, dry them immediately to complete the procedure.


Hand Washing Sheets with Pinworms

Handwash Sheets With Pinworms

It is not advisable to hand wash sheets with pinworm infestation because that can increase the spread to other areas. But, if you must hand wash the sheets, follow the proper guidelines.


  • Wear protective gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from pinworm infestation.
  • Select a sizable bowl or bathtub and ensure it is clean; if it is not, wash the medium before use.
  • Fill up the sizable bowl or bathtub with steaming water.
  • Pour the correct amount of laundry detergent into the water. Shake the water with your hand; so the detergent dissolves quicker.
  • Add non-chlorine bleach to aid in the removal of pinworm infestation.
  • Handle the sheets with care. Don’t shake or flap them when removing them from the bed.
  • Submerge the sheets into the hot soapy water.
  • Leave the sheets to soak in the water for an hour, giving it time to destroy the pinworms.
  • Drain the water.
  • Fill the bowl or bathtub with clean hot water and pour in detergent again.
  • Place the sheets back in the water.
  • Thoroughly wash the sheets and rinse them with hot water afterward.
  • After washing and rinsing the sheets, dry them immediately.

How to Dry the Sheets

Dry Sheets in Dryer

Drying the sheets is the second part of a two-step laundry treatment process for removing pinworm infestations on sheets.

Like the washing procedure, heat is crucial when trying to destroy any remnant pinworms or eggs on the sheets.

Tumble Drying

  • Carefully place the freshly washed sheets into the dryer. Don’t shake or fluff it to avoid spreading remnant pinworms or eggs.
  • Select the highest heat setting the sheets can handle.
  • Tumble dry the sheets for at least 30 minutes. The heat should destroy any leftover pinworms.


  • Carefully hang the freshly washed sheets on a clothesline outside, under direct sunlight. Don’t shake or fluff it to avoid spreading remnant pinworms or eggs.
  • Alternatively, place a drying rack outside under direct sunlight and spread the sheets.
  • Leave the sheets under direct sunlight for hours until long after it dries; the heat should destroy any leftover pinworms.

How to Protect Sheets from Pinworms Infestation

Pinworms are so tiny, and you can barely see them with the naked eye. Unfortunately, you might not know that your sheets have pinworms until symptoms begin.

However, there are steps and precautions to take to destroy the infestation and prevent the pinworms from infecting the sheets in the first place.

Clean Surfaces

Because of how quickly pinworm infestation spreads between people and surfaces, there is a lot of cleaning and disinfecting to perform.

Take advantage of the time when the sheets are in the washer and dryer to clean the surrounding surfaces.


  • Wear protective gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from pinworm infestation.
  • Fill a medium-sized bowl with hot water.
  • Pour bleach and laundry detergent into the water.
  • Stir the mixture till it is fully incorporated.
  • Pour a small amount of the mixture on the floor around the bed and scrub till you cover the entire area.
  • Vacuum or brush the tables and cabinets and other possibly infested furniture.
  • Clean any surface that you think might have pinworms.
  • Gather the other infested clothes and prepare them for the wash.

Wash Frequently

Despite your best intentions and practices, pinworm infestation is strenuous to remove. Protect yourself and your family by carrying out several preventative methods.

After successfully washing your sheets, they can become re-infected if there are still pinworms in the surrounding area.

It is advisable to wash the sheets and pillowcases every day until you’re sure there are no pinworms. This frequent washing is because pinworms can live on sheets and surfaces for two weeks or more.

Don’t forget to wash the towels, underwear, and clothes you wear during this period.

Treat the Pinworms

Washing sheets with pinworms can be like playing an endless game of whack-a-mole. The best way to remove pinworms is by treating the infestation.

Go to the pharmacy and get medications that will destroy pinworms from the source. Seek expert opinion before making any purchase.

Other ways you can treat or prevent pinworms is by maintaining careful, regular, hygienic practices like:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands regularly and keep your fingernails short and clean.
  • Wash beddings, sleepwear, and underwear regularly in hot water.
  • Clean the floors regularly.
  • Act the instant you notice someone in your home with pinworms’ symptoms.

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