Can Cockroaches Survive in a Washing Machine? [Your Won’t Believe]

At least once in our lives, we’ll see a tiny reddish-brown creature scurrying around in our kitchen. The creature in question is the dreaded cockroach. Usually, they do not bite and are quite harmless. But they are scary enough to make us run away, especially if they have wings.

Cockroaches are such tough creatures that they can even survive a nuclear explosion. They love to live in dark, humid places. You’ll often find them hiding out in the kitchen or washing areas.

If you see cockroaches wandering around in your laundry area, you might be worried about them hiding in your clothes. If you want to know if they survive in a washing machine or not, this article is for you.

So, if cockroaches are so durable and resistant that they can survive a nuclear explosion, can they survive in a washing machine? The answer, thankfully, is no! If a cockroach finds its way into your washing machine, you don’t expect it to climb out alive.

This can be a relief for those who have spotted these ugly creatures in their laundry rooms. There is no fear like the fear of finding a cockroach in your freshly washed clothing.

Where Do Cockroaches Live?

Now, you might think that if cockroaches cannot survive in a washing machine, why do they move around in your laundry. Dirty and humid clothes is an ideal hiding place for them.

If you come out of the shower and throw your damp or worn clothes in a bucket, cockroaches can’t wait to stay there. There is also a chance that cockroaches might hide in the cracks or drains of the laundry room.

Similarly, drains are the best place for hiding. If you want to keep these cockroaches away, clean your drains regularly. You can use detergents with sharp fragrances such as lemons to do so.

How Do Cockroaches Come Inside Your Home?

Cockroaches can come inside your houses in old boxes or grocery bags. You may not always bring home adult cockroaches, but maybe their eggs. There could also be a big egg-laying female hiding out in your kitchen cabinet.

Killing the adult cockroaches, you see, might not be enough. If you find a cockroach in your house, you must clean all their hideouts to fully get rid of them. These hideouts include cracks in the wall, drains, and even kitchen appliances.

Similarly, washing machines are dark and humid places. Some washing machines have open spaces below them where they like to hide. Oftentimes, people forget to clean these spaces under the machines, leading to perfect places for these hideous insects.

Cockroaches rarely hide in the clothes. But, if cockroaches are present under the washing machine, there is a likely chance they’ll get mixed up in them.

Why Don’t Cockroaches Survive in Washing Machines?

Cockroaches are very tough creatures. They survive a lot of stressors like high temperature, chemicals, and even your strikes. This is due to the very hard cuticles they have on their body providing them protection.

Cockroaches can see well, but their hearing isn’t so good. The eyes of a cockroach are equipped with 360 degrees of vision and they can see in the dark as well. The two long whiskers you see on their faces are antennae, sensory organs that help them smell and feel.

If you see cockroaches, their eggs, and larvae in your clothes, wash them with boiling water before putting them in the washing machine. There are many theories according to which cockroaches do not survive in hot water and soapy solutions. In this way, you can keep cockroaches away from the washing machine.

Usually, cockroaches stay away from clean, fragrant places. Washing machines have the fragrance of detergents and soaps. However, despite all these measures, if you may still find a cockroach floating in your washing machine. Don’t panic, though.

This cockroach is most probably dead because of the detergent. The detergents rarely kill the bugs. It is the foamy water that suffocates and kills the cockroaches in a washing machine.

How Does the Detergent Kill the Cockroaches?

In a washing machine, cockroaches do not die because of the detergent. They die from the suffocation of the water and foam. Detergent can lend a helping hand, though, as it creates foam and bubbles.

A detergent is usually basic in Ph, which is a good fat-soluble agent. The cuticle on the skin of the cockroach contains waxes which are lipids. So, detergents can dissolve the protective fat layer on the skin of the cockroach, making it more vulnerable.

You can use pest control sprays and maintain good hygiene to keep cockroaches away from your home. However, if you don’t want to use pest control sprays, you can kill them using detergents. Another effective method is using soap and borax with a hypertonic salt or sugar solution.

Hypertonic solution of borax and detergents is very efficient for killing these bugs. The detergent removes the protective layer from the skin of the cockroach.

The hypertonic borax solution brings out the water from the insect’s body. In this way, the cockroach dies because of dehydration.

Other Methods to Kill Cockroaches

A washing machine isn’t the only way to kill cockroaches that have invaded your home. There are plenty of home remedies and products you can use to get rid of them.

Boric Acid

Boric acid or Borax is the best method to kill cockroaches. It is also conveniently available. However, cockroaches are not usually attracted to it. You can design a bait using sugar or flour to bring them to the chemical.

Take flour or sugar powder, mix boric acid in it, and make small balls, then these sugar balls in corners and dark places to lure them out  

Clean The Hideout

One of the best methods to get rid of these insects is cleaning. You can clean the cracks and crevices, leaving no place for these insects to hide. You can clean these dark and humid places using detergents and soaps.

Use Hot Water

Cockroaches do not survive in hot water, as we discussed earlier. Using boiling water is the most reliable method to kill their eggs and larvae. If you want to keep cockroaches away from your laundry, wash your clothes with hot water. 

Use Coffee Grounds

It is one of the oddest repellents that keep most bugs away from your kitchen. It’s the strong fragrance of coffee that keeps the cockroaches away. Keep some coffee beans or place freshly boiled coffee beans in dark places at night.

Use Fragrant Plants

The smells of foods usually attract cockroaches. Clean the cabinets and counters after cooking food in the kitchen. You can also keep some fragrant plants in your kitchen to avoid food smells. Bay leaves have been seen as effective for this purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do cockroaches hate sharp smells?

Cockroaches have olfactory receptors. They can sense the smell of food using their antennae. You can keep them away by using detergents with a sharp smell. These detergents will remove the smell of foods and keep the roaches away.

2. Do cockroaches stay away from cucumbers?

There is no scientific evidence that cucumbers can keep cockroaches away. It depends entirely on your experience. You can use cucumbers and check if they work for you.

3. Why do cockroaches hide in dirty clothes?

Cockroaches love dirty, humid places to hide. If your clothes are dirty and humid, insects will lay their eggs. It is better to hang your laundry clothes in an airy place. To remove the eggs, soak them in hot water before washing.

4. How to get cockroaches out of a washing machine?

If many cockroaches are hiding out in your washing machine, you can clean it using hot water and baking soda. You can also use detergent with hot water to kill the cockroaches.

Do not drain the water because it might get stuck in the filters of the washing machine. Take the dead cockroaches out from the surface of the water.

5. Do cockroaches survive in microwave ovens and kitchen cabinets?

Microwaves are not a place for cockroaches to survive. Cockroaches stuck there while finding some food. They rarely stay in warm places.

However, kitchen cabinets, especially humid ones, are the best place for their survival. These cabinets contain food scrapes as well. You can clean them more often to keep cockroaches away.

6. What are the common places in my house I should clean?

To keep cockroaches away, clean your house regularly. You can use any soap or detergent. Baking soda and boric acid are very effective for this purpose. Clean the following places in your house:

  • Kitchen cabinets and appliances
  • Dishwasher
  • Trashcans
  • Washing machines
  • Cracks and crevices


Cockroaches are very dirty creatures. They are not only attracted to food scraps but also the smell of dirty clothes. If you keep dirty clothes lying around, keep them in an enclosed hamper.

The smell of sweat attracts the cockroaches. Cockroaches usually do not tear or ruin the clothes. But sometimes, they can eat strange substances like soap, toothpaste, and small fabric threads.

Hang your sweaty clothes in the air or sunlight before placing them in the laundry. Sunlight will dry out the sweat and kill germs as well.

It is also important to service the washing machines and dryers. The inside of the machine can serve as a good hiding place for them. Regular cleaning of your gadgets will keep these bugs away.

If you do see cockroaches crawling around your home, you can rest assured that they will not survive in your washing machine if they so happen to fall into there. Although, you may want to rewash your clothes if you do see a dead cockroach with them.

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