How Often to Wash Sheets with Pinworms

  • Pinworm is a tiny nematode worm, an internal parasite of vertebrates. Pinworm infection is quite common, especially in school children. These worms spread from person to person quickly and can infect the entire family in a blink of an eye.
  • These worms can survive a lot even if treated by doctors, not to mention using home remedies.  
  • In the following article, we’ll discover how to eliminate pinworm eggs, focusing mainly on washing sheets;

What are pinworms?

Pinworms are visible but very small. They range in size from 2-13 mm and have a shape of a worm.

Their one-quarter to the one-half-inch body is the size of a staple.

Pinworms are:

  • small, 
  • thin, 
  • pin-shaped, and
  • white;

They live in the digestive tract, colon, rectum, and anus. They can also infect vaginas. 

A pinworm infection is an intestinal illness.

Females lay pinworm eggs when a person sleeps. First, they leave the intestine through the anus. Then, they deposit their eggs on the surrounding skin around the anus.

Pinworm infections spread quickly. People touch their anal area spreading infectious eggs everywhere, forgetting that it’s necessary not only to wash hands often but also carefully clean everyone’s fingernails.

About 20-40% of American children carry pinworms. Pinworms are also called threadworms or Enterobius vermicularis).

Why are kids so prone to pinworm infections?

Not only toddlers are known for having little to no hygiene, but also, in the school environment, kids 

  • play together, 
  • use the same toilet, and 
  • (let’s face it) rarely clean their hands. 

Important: A child who is a nail-biter or thumb sucker is more than likely than their peers to have pinworms.

Good hand hygiene—i.e., washing hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before handling food—is the most effective means of preventing pinworm infection. 

Regular laundry soap can eliminate pinworm problems with more success than disinfectants. 

Causes and symptoms of pinworm infection

How do you even know that you have this health issue, and how to remove threadworm eggs?

Typical symptoms include:

  • restless sleep,
  • anal itching (especially at night),
  • feeling irritable,
  • abdominal pain that comes and goes;

Tip: If you suspect you could be dealing with pinworms, ask your doctor about the tape test. You take a clear piece of tape and press the sticky side to the skin around your child’s anus. Do this in the morning, when your child wakes up, even before they use the toilet, bath, or put their clothes on. Worm eggs will stick to the tape. Repeat three days in a row. Then take all the pieces of tape to your doctor who’ll check the results under a microscope.

Pinworms are ubiquitous in communities. 

We can get them accidentally by:

  • swallowing, eating, or drinking a product with remaining eggs, or 
  • breathing them in,
  • coming into contact with surfaces such as clothing, bedding or other objects;

If you contact threadworm eggs and forget about a hot water wash of your hands with the soap afterward, you may unconsciously put fingers in your mouth, swallow and spread eggs to your organism. 

After about a month, the eggs hatch in your intestines and grow into adult worms. 

Females start to lay their eggs around the anus of the affected person, causing the characteristic itching.

Next, scratching this area causes eggs to cling to your fingers and get under your fingernails; that’s why we mentioned how important it is to carefully clean everyone’s fingernails.

 Moreover, you spread the worms by touching other surfaces, and the infection circle repeats.

Get rid of pinworms

So how to eliminate pinworm eggs from your body and environment?

While we should typically wash our linen once a week, you’ll have to wash bed linens more often with pinworms. 

How long can pinworms live on food, liquids, toys, clothes, bedding, or other objects? 

Pinworm eggs can survive for two to three weeks outside the body. 

Tip: Since pinworms lay their eggs at night, you should wash your hands and your anal area in the morning to reduce the number of pinworms on your body. 

Don’t bathe with anyone or share towels during treatment. Continue doing it for two weeks after the final treatment.

Taking a shower is better than a bath—it prevents possible recontamination.

Try to avoid scratching your anal area, even if it’s itching. 

Remember to trim your child’s nails to end spreading infectious eggs.

Wash underwear, wash bedding, towels, nightclothes, pajamas, washcloths, etc., in hot water to kill pinworm eggs. Then, dry them on high heat.

Don’t shake bed linen indoors or other things that may have eggs on them, such as clothing, underwear, pajamas, bed linens, or towels. 

Vacuum or brush upholstered furniture. Scrub toys, countertops, floors, and other surfaces the infected child has touched.—advises FAQ ANS.

Important: These worms can be treated with just two doses of over-the-counter medicine called pyrantel pamoate, available in the US under Pin-X and Reese’s Pinworm Medicine.  

When should you see a doctor immediately? Don’t wait if you have persistent symptoms such as anal pain, reduced appetite, abdominal pain, blood in stool, or rectal bleeding;

Wash bedding

Your sheets, even without pinworms, already contain:

  • dirt
  • dead skin cells
  • body oils
  • sweat, and
  • dust mites, including their carcasses and fecal matter;

Mind that pinworms can survive two weeks on clothing bedding surfaces. So the best idea in case of infection is to wash bedding everyday. 

That’s right! Change your bed linens each day and wash all the sheets in the washing machine in hot water with regular laundry soap to remove pinworm eggs. 

It sounds surprising, but hot water and soap kills pinworm eggs. 

What about cleaning your home post-pinworm infection? 

You’ll need a home post-treatment wash. 

For several days after treatment, clean the bedroom floors, vacuum carpets, or clean either by vacuuming or damp mopping. Don’t forget to wash bedsheets in hot water.—suggests Reese Pinworm.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The unfortunate thing with pinworms is that they spread quickly through people who live in the same place, eat together, and use the same sheets clothes and towels. Even your pets can get pinworms! Therefore, you do need to treat the entire family.
Pinworm eggs are small and transparent. They are so small that we can see them only with a microscope.
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