Crop and Pest Management Guidelines

A Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication

Tips for Laundering Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing

Pre-Laundering Information

Remove contaminated clothing before entering enclosed tractor cabs.

Remove contaminated clothing outdoors or in an entry. If a granular pesticide was used, shake clothing outdoors. Empty pockets and cuffs.

Save clothing worn while handling pesticides for that use only. Keep separate from other clothing before, during, and after laundering.

Wash contaminated clothing after each use. When applying pesticides daily, wash clothing daily.

Clean gloves, aprons, boots, rigid hats, respirators, and eyewear by scrubbing with detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and hang in a clean area to dry.

Take these precautions when handling contaminated clothing:


Hang garments outdoors to air.


Use one of three methods:

1. Hose off garments outdoors.

2. Rinse in separate tub or pail.

3. Rinse in automatic washer at full water level.

Pretreat (heavily soiled garments)

Use heavy-duty liquid detergent.

Washer Load

Wash garments separate from family wash.

Wash garments contaminated with the same pesticide together.

Never use the "sudsaver" feature on your machine when laundering pesticide-soiled clothes.

Load Size

Wash only a few garments at once.

Water Level

Use full water level.

Water Temperature

Use hot water, as hot as possible.

Wash Cycle

Use regular wash cycle, at least 12-minutes.

Laundry Detergent

Use a heavy-duty detergent.

Use amount recommended on package or more for heavy soil or hard water.

Remember to use high-efficiency (HE) detergents in HE and front-loading washers.


Use a full warm rinse.


Rewash contaminated garments two or three times before reuse for more complete pesticide removal.


Line drying is preferable to avoid contaminating dryer.

Clean Washer

Run complete, but empty, cycle.

Use hot water and detergent.

Prepared by Charlotte Coffman, College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Cornell University

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