How to Get Rid Of Fleas on Clothes and Bedding

How to get rid of fleas on clothes and bedding? Sadly, that’s about all the details they gave me. 

The short answer on how to kill flea in clothes and bedding is to use laundry detergent, heat, and turbulence cycle in the washing machine to kill the fleas, flea eggs, pupae, and larvae. How to Get Rid of Fleas on Clothes and Bedding

All you have to do is wash the clothing.

The challenge is getting the right ingredients/ temperature and transporting the clothing and bedding to the laundry area (without dropping some fleas), either in your home or elsewhere. 

How to Get Rid Of Fleas on Clothes and Bedding 

I had to assume they have fleas are on the clothes they’re wearing, or their pet hitchhiked their bed.

Step 1: Wash all clothes & bedding for 10 minutes ( in cold water) 

Then do a regular wash cycle (hot water and soapy base detergent like 20 Mule Team Borax) and dry clothes and bedding. If there are clothes that can’t be washed but can be dried, then you’ll need to put it in the dryer and run it on a hot cycle for about 30 minutes – which will kill the fleas too. 

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Clothes and Bedding

Flea eggs and adults will not die easily when immersed in water. Fleas will survive in water for about seven days. Further, fleas will only drown in water after 24 hours when submerged as they sit on the water and not break water’s surface tension. Fleas have cuticles that are covered with wax, and hence its skin is non-wettable with water.  

HoweverDish soap drops have surfactants that reduce water’s surface tension and hence make the flea sink in water and drown. Therefore, washing clothes with detergent for about 10 minutes would make adult fleas drown but not the pre-adult fleas

I’ll explain it. Flea eggs and flea larvae in your bedding and clothes will require the use of more rigorous laundry methods: Also, check the flea spray for the yard. This drives us to tactic #2… 

Step 2: Wash Clothing and bedding in Hot Water

Depending on the type of fabric: Cotton, Silk, Wool, etc…

Wash the clothes in a washing machine or just hot water in a basin.

However, add some mild detergent to the hot water. Check these vacuums for fleas

Adult fleas will die when temperatures exceed 35 °C (95°F) or if it goes below 13°C (55.4°F). Also, Flea larvae will die in their cocoon at a temperature over 35 °C. 

The mechanical action and the hot water in the washing machine would definitely dislodge the fleas from the clothes and beddings and send them down the drain. The flea adults, eggs, larvae, and pupae would not survive through the laundering & drying process. 

Step 3: Quarantine & Flea Treat the pets (cats and dogs) 

Fact Bite: Most fleas (90% of the flea population) hide as larvae, pupal, and eggs in shady areas, clothes, furniture, carpet, and pet’s fur. So, practice persistence and vigilance but use a flea fogger if you have a massive flea infestation. 


You don’t want the fleas to spread. What you want to do is to put the laundry (clothes, blankets, bedsheets, e.t.c) in a nice sealed plastic bag and take them straight to the washing machine. 


  1. How to Get Rid of Fleas
  2. Bed Bug FAQs | New York State Integrated Pest Management

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