Why Are Ants Attracted To Laundry?

Why Are Ants Attracted To Laundry?

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Why Are Ants Attracted To Laundry?

Laundry attracts ants because it’s often damp, and it sits in a humid environment. Certain types of bacteria produce odors that attract ants. Combining these factors gives ants the impression that there’s a food source in the laundry, and they will gather there for an easy meal and cause massive infestations.

(Thus, anything damp attracts ants, like laundry and moist/damp carpets/floors.)

The combination of factors that attract ants to a place is quite complex, so it suffices it to say that laundry will attract different ant species to different odor types.

This can often come down to the scent molecules produced by the bacteria themselves, influenced by temperature.

Cleaning, however, often has the opposite effect and can make the problem worse.

For instance, in particular, bleach can kill off a lot of those bacteria that produce odors that attract ants and the ants themselves, resulting in a lack of food sources.

This will attract more ants with the remaining smell, which is further reduced by the cleaning. The effect is that these types of infestations often take a long time to get rid of completely.

Can Ants Survive The Washer + Dryer?

A washer + dryer is a common household machine. It allows you to wash and dry clothes using a single machine with hot water and pressurized air.

One uses it in their home with limited space or a water line layout.

Yes. Ants can survive the washer or dryer because they don’t get wet. Their exoskeleton helps keep them safe from getting wet by providing a protective barrier of air that prevents them from getting wet.

Ants may also survive the washer or dryer by hitching a ride on your clothes.

Thus, you may have seen some ants outside when it’s raining but not seen them with water anywhere. 

If there are ants in the laundry room you are doing laundry in; you may find an ant or two in the pockets of the clothes you have just washed and dried.

Sometimes, you may find an ant in your washed clothes but not in your dry ones. If you are unsure, put some clothes in a Ziploc bag and put that in with your laundry to see if there are ants.

If you find ants in the dryer or washing machine, the ants may be nesting somewhere inside the machine.

Sometimes ants will have a “bait ball” or “house.” The ants will go out and find food and return to the house they have built. This is where they store any food that they find.

If you know of an ant colony, you may find some small ant balls or houses on its walls. Ants may also build a nest inside your washer, dryer, or other appliance if they can get inside.

Therefore, it’s essential to seal any cracks or holes in your appliances.

Do Ants Die In The Washing Machine?

No. Ants do not die in the washing machine.

The concerns with ants and washing machines are two-fold: You can find ant nests within the washer, meaning they will have submerged in water while agitated by the machine’s harsh water motion.

They may also end up in your dryer because of any misplaced clothes you have tried to dry outside, like towels and linens.

Ants that travel within your washer can devastate your laundry room.

The ants will excrete a formic acid which can damage the metal, inner workings, and even the laundry itself.

This acid is also very stinky and will stick to your clothes and leave a mark throughout your wash cycles.

Ants enjoy living in a hot, steamy environment like your washing machine. If you find a nest in your washer, the dryer will be an ideal place for them to move to.

Ants love the heat of the dryer and will enjoy nesting within it. The happy smell of clean clothes that the machine’s hot air has dried and the tumbling motion also attract them.

Insecticides can keep ants out of your laundry room if you worry about them moving in and wanting to live there. These products can come in powders, sprays, and even shampoos.

Why Are Ants Attracted To Laundry?

However, it’s essential to note that you can identify ants before entering your home. This means that you won’t need any products to get rid of them when they enter.

You can prevent this situation by simply being diligent about removing all the ants around your home and ensuring that your washer and dryer are clean.

A clean washer and dryer will also keep you from worrying about ant damage in the future.

How Do I Get Rid Of Ants In My Laundry?

You can spray a cleaning solution or liquid detergent on the ant piles or nests. If ants come from your home’s walls, you can spray a cleaning solution or liquid detergent around the suspected area.

You can also try sprinkling borax in areas where ants come into contact with your laundry.

Some people have had success with putting peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them in areas around the house where there are ants.

“Ants hate peppermint. So if you have a problem in your home, place peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in areas where ants are coming in contact with your laundry.

They also won’t cross an area with vinegar or vanilla extract sprinkled down. (I’ve heard various peppermint oil to use depending on how much you need it to work.

Some suggest a teaspoon; others say 3-4 drops per cotton ball.

Use vinegar and water to get rid of ants in your laundry room. Spray around the areas where there are ant piles and nests. This will help get rid of them as well.

It’s also suitable to get rid of these pests by washing your laundry in hot water. Ants won’t go into the hot water and will escape your laundry.

You can also use a cleaning solution or liquid detergent to spray on ant piles and nests. Ants will take their dead colony members away.

Also, sprinkle borax in areas where there are ant piles and around suspected areas in your home where ants are coming from.

This should help you keep them out of your laundry room and other rooms in your home.

Do Dead Ants Attract More Ants?

Yes. Ants that are dead or dying will attract more ants because of the pheromones they release. This can be a problem for homeowners, especially when large black populations live.

The dead ant’s odor attracts more ants to feed on them. Ants can also leave pheromones in food that they have found as well. Ants will release an odor to let other ants know where food is.

This WILL allows other ants to follow the trail back to the food source and share. In addition, ants will release pheromones when they feel a threat is present.

The pheromone will alert the other ants of danger and that they need to move to a different location as quickly as possible.

This can become a problem around ant hills or in areas of frequent ant activity.

The pheromone that ants release is also detectable by other animals. Thus, it’s likely that you’ll see mice or other small rodents around an anthill or other area where ants are present.

Some of the mouse pheromones will attract ants as well. Even some chemicals can come from the pheromone in ants and other animals to attract other types of animals.

If a human smells these chemicals, it would be like a smell associated with danger.

If humans encounter these chemicals for long enough, they will start to associate them with something very dangerous, such as an anthill.

Do Ants Hate Baby Powder?

Yes. Ants hate baby powder when sprinkled on the ground. This is because baby powder contains a chemical called Calcium Stearate, found in most powders.

When an ant crawls across this powder, it becomes coated with the substance and cannot move quickly.

Ants typically have poor eyesight, but they are very sensitive to smells, so they can often smell the calcium stearate before they get close enough to touch it.

This substance will stick to an ant’s feet and body, so the ant will try to remove the substance, which often results in an ant fighting with itself until it dies.

Ants are incredibly intelligent creatures. They have an excellent memory and can learn almost anything they experience, including what substances will harm them.

The ants have no trouble recognizing the calcium stearate in most powders because many ants have died from consuming it.

They are just not as sensitive to smells as other creatures on this planet.

Thus ants hate the calcium stearate,many have died from consuming it. This may be an intelligent way to attract insects to your property.

Can You Wash Ants Out Of Clothes?

Yes. You can wash ants out of clothes by soaking the items in a soapy solution. This will kill any ants on the clothes, and then they can no longer cling to them while they dry.

First, fill your washing machine or sink with the water and dish soap mixture. 

Next, add your clothes to the machine or place them in the sink; make sure that you don’t over-stuff them into it, though.

Finally, allow your garments to soak for at least an hour before washing them normally.

This method is best used on clothes you can wash this way, like cotton and some synthetics. Ensure that you thoroughly dry your machine and the clothes afterwards to prevent mold.

It’s possible to wash ants out of clothes with vinegar or baking soda, but these are less effective because they don’t kill the ants; you still have to take care of them yourself after washing.

You can add it to your laundry along with some detergent and vinegar.

However, this will only work if the ants are on the outside of your clothes. If they are inside a garment already, fill a spray bottle with vinegar, and then spray inside the garment to kill them.

Can Laundry Detergent Attract Ants?

Yes. Laundry detergents attract ants. Ants look for a high-sugar source of food and often get attracted to anything that has sugar as an ingredient, including your laundry detergent.

What’s gross about your laundry detergent attracting ants is that they usually get covered in it when they get there.

Meaning all over your clothes inside the washing machine and even in other parts of your house.

This is how it happens:

-You go to your washing machine, load your clothes and detergent and turn it on.

-The solution then gets sucked into the ants’ nest through a hole/crack in their nest.

-Or, you pour the detergent into the washer, going straight into their nest.

-Once they get their hands on it, they will bring it back and then let all the other ants in the colony have a taste of your yummy sugar source.

-Once all ants taste that sweet smell, they will all bring that substance back to their nest.

-Your washing machine will often be full of ants or have a few.

So after you’ve noticed this, never use that detergent again.

You might get inclined to wash those clothes because you spent the money and the time on them already, but keep in mind that you will end up with a bigger problem.

Why Are Ants Attracted to My Towel?

Your towel attracts ants because of a chemical in your sweat. The chemical, called geosmin, smells like the earth when humans breathe in it.

Ants that smell this chemical will seek your towel out to eat it and spread their presence around. This causes other ants to join them for a meal of some sort, thus the beginning of an infestation.

Skip the towel-eating ants and buy an ant barrier that fits over your apartment door instead.

This will prevent ants from entering your home, but it will not eliminate any ants already inside. If you want to get rid of the ants you already have, buy a borax bait.

Why Are Ants Attracted To Laundry?

This is a poison for ants and will do the trick all independently. Ensure to read the label of this product, though, and be careful, some borax baits have toxic effects on dogs and cats.

If you have a towel-eating ant problem, you can use a product called pyrethrin. This is made from chrysanthemums and is entirely safe for humans and pets.

Pyrethrin will eliminate the ants and their trail through your house for good.

Sealing cracks in your walls can also help to keep ants from coming into your apartment from outside or other units.

For maximum protection, use caulk, which is a better option than tape because it lasts longer. The caulk will keep ants from coming in, but you mustn’t seal off your entire home.

This will only eliminate the ants living in and around the cracks.

The ant barrier with the ant moat will continue to attract ants even if they are not inside your home. The moat allows them to come inside but keeps them from going outside your apartment.

So, if you want to take the chemical-free approach to ants, you should buy both an ant barrier and pyrethrin to kill the ants living inside your apartment.

Then, remove the rest of the ant bedding by placing it in a bag and sealing it. This will eliminate all ants permanently.

How Do I Get Rid of Ants in My Laundry?

You can get rid of ants in your laundry by using ground cinnamon, boiling water, and vinegar. Using these three ingredients, you can rid your laundry of ants in just a few minutes.

When fighting ants, use these ingredients, mix three teaspoons of cinnamon into 2 cups of water, and add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar.

Then put the water in the microwave for about 35 seconds on high power until it boils and steams.

Cinnamon is a natural ant repellent. The ants won’t go near the liquid because of the cinnamon. The vinegar attracts ants, so they will get attracted more to the water instead.

You should spray it on anything where you see an ant trail or sight. This can include floors, walls, doors, counters, and cabinets.

If you have trouble with ants, you can also spray it on them. This method will get rid of your ants and leave a pleasant smell in your laundry.

The cinnamon smell won’t last long, though, so the only thing left after about an hour will be the smell of vinegar and water.

Guide To Get Rid Of Ants In The Washing Machine And Laundry

Ants are a massive problem in the (still-hot) summer months. You can find them in your home, clothes, or even your food.

They’re tough to get rid of if there is a food source for them, like a dirty washing machine.

Clearing your laundry room is the first step to ensuring that ants don’t make themselves at home again.

Step 1: Shut off the washer and leave the door closed for a few days.

Step 2: Store all your fabric softener, detergent, and dryer sheets in an airtight container. This will ensure that any ants that haven’t yet left the area won’t be able to find food.

Step 3: Remove all clothing, trash can liners, and other items that may be near or on top of the washing machine.

Step 4: Remove all items stored in the laundry basket and wash the basket in hot water

(You can also place the dirty laundry baskets in your car and run a complete cycle to ensure that you kill any ants inside).

Step 5: Clean any dirt or dust from the floor around your washing machine with a damp cloth. Rinse it off and let it air dry.

Step 6: Remove all of your laundry baskets and bags underneath or near your washing machine.

Step 7: Place a rubber band around the lid of your washing machine and attach a bag of ant bait (available at your local hardware store) to it.

This will ensure that any ants still in the area will find their way inside.


Ants can be a big problem during the summer months. You can find them in your home, clothes, or even your food.

The biggest thing you can do to eliminate these pesky insects is to keep them away through cleaning and pest control methods.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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