It is a very important part of both do-it-yourself bed bug control, and when you have professional pest control company apply insecticides. Washing will kill some of the bed bugs, but it is the heat of drying that will kill any remaining bed bugs.
Laundry detergent/cold water will work to kill bed bugs on "contact". In fact, you don't even need laundry detergent. You can use simple dish soap in a diluted mixture.
It's common for pest control operators in North America to require customers to launder all their clothing to kill bed bugs. While people are often told to wash on hot and dry on hot, a hot dryer alone is sufficient for doing the bed bug laundry.
Yes, you can definitely wash your clothes if you think they are infested with bed bugs. But, you should expose the cleaned clothes to hot air to kill the remaining bugs. Can Bed Bugs Survive in the Washing Machine? It is possible, but it depends on the set temperature of the machine. Extreme temperatures kill all the bugs. Do bed bugs eat clothes?
The short answer is that yes, you can use the washing machine to kill bed bugs. Unfortunately, you may be disheartened to know that this method alone is unlikely to get rid of your bed bug infestation.
That's good news if you're trying to get bed bugs out of your clothes: Washing your clothes in hot water will probably kill them, and spinning your clothes in a hot dryer will certainly kill them. In fact, just stuffing your bug infested clothes in a trash bag, sealing it and putting it out in the sun on a hot day will kill any critters inside.