Does Heat From The Dryer Kill Germs?

Do washing dryers kill germs and other bacteria? How does a washing dryer effectively kill germs and bacteria in the laundry? Laundry dryers offer a quick and convenient method of removing moisture from clothes. Do you also question, if laundry dryers can be effective in disinfecting your clothes or killing harmful germs or bacteria? 

Quick Answer: A laundry dryer can assist in significantly killing a vast majority of germs and bacteria when heated to the right temperature. For the dryer to significantly kill germs on clothes, it depends on the length of the drying cycle, type of fabric, and germ.

Additionally, the minimum temperature that could effectively reduce the majority of germs and bacteria with a laundry dryer is 135°F. It is also worth noting that dryers do not disinfect clothes, instead use bleach (for whites), color-safe bleach, tea tree oil mixed with detergent, or laundry sanitizer. 

This article shall be discussing whether laundry dryers are effective in killing germs and how best to effectively maximize using dryers to kill germs found in your clothing items. 

Do Laundry Dryers Kill Germs And Other Bacteria?

Of course, dirty or stained clothes carry and can indeed spread germs, and although we use washing machines and detergents, germs may still be actively dwelling on how clothing items. 

To take a step further, we question if the heat from the laundry dryer in our homes can effectively kill these living microorganisms (germs) found in our clothes.

Before we shed more light on this, it is worthy to note that the dryer cannot kill all germs in the laundry basket as the temperature level it runs on, isn’t as hot enough, but instead will kill a vast majority of the harmful germs in your clothing items. 

To completely kill all germs, the heating temperature needs to be above 140°F and a majority of dryers don’t have the facilities to accommodate such high heating temperatures. 

Thus, to take further steps in eliminating all germs and bacteria in your clothing by disinfecting it with bleach (for whites), color-safe bleach, tea tree oil mixed with detergent, white vinegar, or laundry disinfectant when washing, then sun dries it or irons it after drying it up in the dryer.

We cannot underemphasize the importance of dryers in conveniently and quickly drying and killing the major germs and bacteria in our laundry, as some are harmless, as one doesn’t exactly need to kill all germs.

Now, the next step is to look into how to use a dryer to kill the major harmful germs in your laundry. 

Does Heat From The Dryer Kill Germs?

How The Heat From A Dryer Kills Germs 

A dryer is a modern-day method of quickly draining the moisture in your clothing, especially when it isn’t a sunny season. With this knowledge, comes the question of how the heat from the dryer helps to kill germs. 

Firstly, heat is one of the most natural and quickest ways to kill germs, bacteria, insects, dust mites, and household pests. As it pertains to clothing, washing them with detergent isn’t enough security that your clothes are germ-free. 

Hence, using tools that produce heat like a dryer or iron can help you naturally and quickly kill off harmful germs or bacteria in your laundry. 

  • Start with washing your clothes on a hot cycle with detergent and disinfecting solutions like white vinegar, tea tree oil, or laundry disinfectant. 
  • Followed by setting your machine to rinse, and checking the manufacturer’s manual or website on how to use your dryer properly. 
  • Set your dryer to your preferred/highest setting for 45 minutes and dry off moisture. 
  • If not satisfied, you can spin again on a lower setting.
  • Afterward, you can take a step further by sun-drying or ironing your laundry to kill all harmful germs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How hot do you need to wash clothes to kill bacteria?

Experts advise the regular washing of clothes at 60 degrees to help eliminate the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

Can you spray Lysol in the dryer? 

It is advised to never spray Lysol or any cleaning solution directly into the dryer as the residue may get into the drum holes of the dryer and damage it, or the act may cause a fire hazard.

Does heat kill germs on fabric? 

To kill germs in your laundry, you are advised to wash your clothes on a hot cycle, then put your laundry in the dryer for 45 minutes. Also, you can wash whites with bleach, and use peroxide or color-safe bleach for colors.


Just as it is essential to wash and wear clean clothes, it is also necessary to wear germ-free clothes.

In this modern age, we all want the quickest and most convenient solutions to things, hence the reason for most inventions and technologies. 

With this in mind, many of us question; if the laundry dryer in our homes can do the job of ensuring our clothes stay dry and germ-free. Although the dryer does a fantastic job of drying our clothes, it tends to help kill germs too.

This is possible by placing clean laundry into the dryer, then har on the highest setting for 45 minutes, to help kill a vast majority of harmful germs or bacteria found in our laundry.