Posted 3/11/2010 9:55 PM (GMT -6)
Most clothes washers are dumbed down to not let you wash at temperatures greater than 110 degrees F. To get rid of dust mites you need to wash at least at 130 degrees. Short of getting one of the expensive new LG steam washers, you can install a Y valve on the hot water outlet coming into your washer. Let one side go into your machine as the default setting. Connect a short hose to the other outlet. When you want water over 130 degrees you need to turn your water heater up to maximum setting about an hour before doing laundry. Then, using a hose hooked to the alternate arm of the Y valve, admit hot water to your machine directly, bypassing the machine inlet. I know, it sounds kludgy, bothersome, possibly dangerous if you forget to shut water off once machine is filled. But it works. Since we've started washing our bedsheets and pillow cases in truly hot water we've noticed a significant lessening of nightime allergies. We do this once a week for bedding and towels. Be sure to remember to turn your water heater down to the normal setting when you are done.