The wash resistance of factory produced PermaNets (with deltamethrin bonded to the netting with a resin) was studied by bioassays with Anopheles stephensi. Commercial detergent powders were used to wash the nets. For comparison, conventionally treated nets were washed and bio-assayed. Nets were washed under laboratory conditions using a Rotary shaker for 10min. Mosquito bioassays used standard WHO plastic cones with an exposure time of 3min. The PermaNet caused almost a 100% mortality of An. stephensi after up to 18 washes and >80% mortality up to 26 washes but after 30 washes mortality declined. The differences between the mortality of An. stephensi on treated nets washed with detergent or soap (uncoloured, non-perfumed) were not significant. When conventional nets dipped in deltamethrin (25mg/m(2)) or lambdacyhalothrin (10mg/m(2)) were washed under similar laboratory conditions, the wash resistance was markedly less than that of the PermaNet. In the case of deltamethrin, mosquito mortality remained >80% up to 12 washes and with lambdacyhalothrin mortality remained above 80% up to 11 washes. The relationship of 80% mortality from a 3min bioassay to effectiveness against free flying mosquitoes remains to be determined.