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Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 3 min read.
Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs - just the thought of these tiny, blood-sucking parasites is enough to make your skin crawl. But what’s even worse is the arduous journey to get rid of them.

Many desperate homeowners wonder: Does bleach kill bed bugs? We’ve conducted a deep dive to address this question, looking at the scientific facts, safety precautions, and alternative treatments available.

Will Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, bleach can kill bed bugs upon direct contact. The chemical properties of bleach break down the exoskeletons of bed bugs, leading to rapid dehydration and eventual death. However, this method is not always efficient for a full-scale infestation.

How Exactly Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, a potent oxidizer that breaks down the fatty acids and proteins in a bed bug’s exoskeleton. This leads to rapid dehydration and death, making bleach a lethal weapon against individual bugs. However, its effectiveness diminishes when it comes to treating an entire infestation.

How Long Does It Take Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs?

When bleach comes into direct contact with bed bugs, it can kill them within 10 to 60 seconds depending on the concentration. However, this doesn’t account for the time it takes to locate the bed bugs and apply the bleach accurately.

How to Use Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs

Steps to Follow:

  1. Put on Protective Gear: Ensure you're wearing gloves, a mask, and eye protection.
  2. Prepare a Bleach Solution: Mix one part bleach with nine parts water, creating a 10% bleach solution. This concentration is potent enough to affect bed bugs while being diluted enough to minimize damage to fabrics and surfaces. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines of the surfaces you intend to treat, as bleach can discolor or damage certain materials.
  3. Locate Infested Areas: Identify all areas where bed bugs could be hiding.
  4. Spray or Dab: Use a spray bottle or a cloth to apply the bleach directly to the bugs or their hiding spots. Ensure the solution contacts the bugs directly.
  5. Clean Up: Once done, thoroughly rinse all treated surfaces with water to remove bleach residue. This is particularly important for areas that will come in direct contact with skin or are food-preparation surfaces.

While using harsh chemicals like bleach, it’s vital to have a safe place to sleep. Puffy mattresses are made with hypoallergenic materials that offer you a safe haven during your battle against bed bugs.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Does Bleach Water Kill Bed Bugs?

A diluted bleach solution can kill bed bugs but is less effective than concentrated bleach. The dilution makes it less potent, requiring a longer time for the bleach to take effect.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs in Laundry?

Yes, adding bleach to your laundry can help kill bed bugs that might be hiding in your fabrics. However, this method is only effective for items that are bleach-safe.

Laundry Steps:

  1. Sort Clothes: Separate bleach-safe and non-bleach-safe items.
  2. Add Bleach: Add an appropriate amount of bleach to your washing machine.
  3. Hot Cycle: Use the hottest water setting to maximize the killing effect.
  4. Dry: Use the highest heat setting in your dryer to ensure no bugs survive.

When fighting bed bugs, a fresh, clean bed can make all the difference. Puffy mattresses come with a washable, zip-off cover that can be laundered, ensuring a clean sleep environment.

Safety Concerns When Using Bleach

  • Ventilation: Always use bleach in a well-ventilated area.
  • Skin and Eye Protection: Wear gloves and goggles.
  • Respiratory Hazards: A mask can protect against fume inhalation.

    Pros and Cons of Using Bleach for Bed Bugs


    • Quick action
    • Easily available
    • Relatively inexpensive


    • Harsh chemical
    • Requires direct contact
    • Potential damage to fabrics and surfaces

    Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


    While bleach can offer a quick and potent kill of visible bed bugs, it isn’t a one-stop solution for an infestation. A more comprehensive plan involving professional extermination and preventive measures is recommended for long-term relief.

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