With finals in full swing, your college-aged kids are getting ready to pack up their dorm
rooms and head home for the summer. With that comes the question of what to do with their bed linens. Do you leave them in the dorm and resign yourself to the join in on the back to school shopping crowds to buy them a new one for the next school year? Definitely not! While you want to be careful not to take back any linens that might be harboring bed bugs and other contaminants, you don’t have to scrap them at the end of the school year. Follow these steps and you’ll save time, money, and your sanity! Why give up a beach day to fight crowds, after all?
Bag Your Linens
When you’re helping your son or daughter move out of his or her dorm room, bag all of their linens, including their mattress encasements (don’t forget the box spring encasements either, if they have one) in an air tight bag. A regular garbage bag will suffice, as long as it’s not too over stuffed to close all the way. The idea is to not have any gaps in the bag, so that, if there are bed bugs mixed in with the linens, they can’t escape from the bag during the journey home.
Store them outside
Once you arrive home, make sure to store your bag full of linens outside of the house. You’re going to want to keep them outside until you’re ready to wash them. You definitely don’t want to plop down the bag with your mattress and box spring encasements in your house and forget about them for a few days. If you’re like me, you don’t unpack right away from a trip. This is not the time to wait to unpack! But, again, time it so that when you do unpack that bag full of linens, you’re unpacking them right in the washer.
Wash and dry them
Once you’re ready to wash the mattress encasements, box spring encasements, sheets, and other bedding, make sure you wash them in hot water. The heat from the water will kill the bed bugs instantly. You’ll obviously then want to dry them, and it’s the same situation; make sure to dry them on a high-heat setting. Going through a hot wash and dry cycle will ensure that any potential bed bugs are killed on contact and before they can wreak havoc on your home. The summer is all about relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. You don’t want to be cooped up in the house inspecting for bed bugs!
Store them for next year
Now that you’re confident that you’re not introducing bed bugs into your home from your child’s school linens, store them for the next school year! We recommend keeping the entire bedding set together. The encasements are large enough to fit your entire mattress and box spring, so the bedding will easily fit inside of them. Simply fold the sheets, blankets, and pillow cases and store them inside the mattress encasement. You can then zip up the encasement with the entire bedding set inside and you won’t have to worry about any pieces of the set getting lost or misplaced!