Pinworm infection is the most common worm infection in the United States, so it is crucial to know what to do in the event of a household infestation. Aside from consulting your doctor and treating the whole family, you will need to know how to wash your bedding and clothing to successfully remove eggs. Otherwise, pinworm eggs will stubbornly cling to surfaces and continue to infect your family. Here are the best methods for cleaning pinworms from your pillows and other bedding plus related health topics.
How to Clean Pinworms From Bedding
Don't wait to clean your bedding if someone in your household has pinworms; do so immediately. Because pinworm eggs can contaminate clothing and bedding, you should wash all underwear, clothes, towels, and bedding daily. There are just a couple important things to remember before you begin the cleaning process.
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First, it is a good idea to wear protective gear while washing pinworm-infested bedding and clothing, like a surgical mask and disposable gloves. This will help you avoid breathing in and spreading the eggs. Also, never shake bedding or towels. Pinworm eggs can easily become airborne, which will likely spread the infection.
Wash all bedding and clothing in hot water, paying special attention to undergarments (this is where the eggs are commonly located). Then dry everything on high heat. If possible, launder clothing and bedding after each use until the infection is gone.
How to Prevent Pinworms
Prevention is key when it comes to pinworm infection, which is highly contagious. Aside from washing your clothes, pillows, and other bedding in hot water daily, it is important to take certain preventive measures to keep your home infection-free:
- Clip fingernails. Since pinworm eggs tend to collect under the fingernails, it helps to keep nails short. Be sure to sanitize the clippers after each use.
- Wash hands regularly. Washing your hands with soap and water several times throughout the day is critical in the fight against pinworms. Make sure everyone in your household washes their hands after using the toilet and before preparing or eating meals.
- Disinfect surfaces. Using a good, strong disinfectant, make it a point to wipe down countertops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, and any other widely used surfaces in your home.
- Clean the floors. Vacuum and mop floors daily and avoid dry sweeping.
- Bathe daily. Daily morning baths or showers can help prevent infection and reinfection, so ensure that everyone in your family maintains good hygiene practices.