Washing clothes is among the most regular activities we do in our day to day life. Most of us use washing machines to fulfill the purpose and the rest prefer hand washing. Without any doubt, your outfit marks the first impression of you as, a person gazes at your appearance before initiating the verbal communication. This doesn’t only mean the style and brand of clothes, but also how clean and new or spoiled and worn those clothes are. Because our clothes play such an important part, we put a huge amount of energy in keeping them clean. Selection process of our cleanliness method completely depends upon the nature of the clothes. Wet washing is adopted for washing light clothes such as t-shirts and is the most common method of doing laundry at home where as dry cleaning is the best way to wash heavy stuff like blankets and jackets. However, it doesn’t matter which method you, the key ingredient in the whole process is heating the water up to an accurate temperature which kills and draws all the mites out of the cloth. Apart from dust particles and pollutants present in atmosphere, mites are the major reason for a cloth to get untidy and itchy.
>HOW DOES THE MITES ATTACK YOUR CLOTHES?
There are a lot of ways in which mites can occur on your clothes. Most of them are listed below:
1) Mites are microscopic bugs commonly found in the human habitat. They are able to live off of human and animal dead skin cells. If we use an outfit for days without washing, dead skin cells stick to the cloth there by attracting the mites.
2) Regardless of how clean we keep our homes, the carpets, cushions and sofa covers are always vulnerable to mites. An average human sheds about 5 to10 grams of dead skin cells per week which gets collected on carpets and sofas over a period of time giving enough room for the mites to reproduce.
3) Compared to humans, mites are attracted more rapidly to the animal dead cells and hairs. So, holding your pet close even for a short period of time can result in an entire army of mites to hover over your clothes and cause health problems.
>ARE THEIR ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY MITES?
Generally, cloth mites are not deadly but still can cause a lot of adverse effects resulting in health degradation. Below is a list of major health problems related to mites:
1) The most common disease caused in humans by the action of mites as surveyed by world health organization(WHO) is scabies. It is a form of skin infection. Microscopic mites are most commonly exposed to skin through clothes, where it burrows into the upper layer of skin and lays its eggs. This causes the skin to get more porous and dried gradually resulting in itchiness. Although scabies doesn’t last for more than 72 hours but still results in skin damage.
2) Mites gives off an average of 20 droppings of waste each day. These droppings are rich in protein compounds. When we inhale these protein rich substances, or when they come in contact with the skin, our body tries to shield us by producing certain antibodies which in turn releases histamine which results in swelling and red colour of skin associated with allergies.
3) The excreted droppings are comparable to dust and are a great threat to asthma patients. Sometimes, exposure to heavy droppings increases the risk of respiratory problems in a completely healthy person.
>HOW MANY DEGREES OF THE WATER CAN KILL THE MITES WHEN WASH YOUR CLOTHES?
Cloth mites can cause a lot of problems to you and your well wishers if not taken care of and removed carefully while washing clothes. Washing is the most efficient way to get rid of those bugs as it is impossible to remove them from the environment.
However, it may be stressful to think about how many degrees of the water can kill the mites when wash your clothes. So, here is a complete solution to the problem.
There are three factors involved in getting laundry perfectly clean: agitation in wash cycle, detergent and water temperature, among which the third factor is the key ingredient as discussed earlier. Hot water has a greater cleaning potential as compared to cold water. Although heating up water uses some extra energy, it gives your cloth the best wash. It not only washes your cloth clean but also sanitizes and helps the cloth appear brighter.
We cannot set a particular central temperature at which all the clothes can be washed perfectly as we know that different kind of clothes are made using different materials and certain fabrics lose its nature if washed at very high temperatures. But our motive is to kill and remove mites for which temperature ranging from 75 to 135 degrees is applicable. However, antique fabric or lacy fabric gets easily cleaned at water temperature of 65 to 70 degree while cleaning towels and beddings requires a hotter temperature range from 75 to 85 degree.Here is a list of some daily used cloth types and their washable temperature ranges for removing mites and dust:- Whites and typical dirty clothes ; 130 degrees- Synthetic materials such as polyester ; 90 to 95 degrees- Work out clothes and office clothes ; 130 degrees or above- Cotton t-shirts and pajamas ; 130 degrees- Kitchen and bathroom towels ; between 120 to 140 degrees- Grease stained clothes ; 135 degrees- Silk and Woollen clothes ; between 75 to 85 degrees- Antique or lacy fabric ; 65 to 70 degrees- Moderately soiled clothes ; 90 degrees(NOTE: All the temperatures taken are in degree Fahrenheit.)
Finally, in the whole process of cleaning, it is fair to note that the lower is the temperature of water, the more detergent you need and below 60 degrees even the most expensive detergent fails to perform its action. Moreover, washing heavily soiled clothes in hot water set stains on the cloth which completely spoils the quality of cloth. In such a case, it is important to pre-wash the cloth in cold water followed by warm water treatment. Rinsing in cold water also prevents wrinkling and removes protein rich droppings by mites.