Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites and the Nasty Allergies They Cause!

Adriana Aziz
October 9, 2022
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If you dread allergy season, you will certainly dread having dust mites crawling around your home! These little critters can cause allergies all year round including hay fever, asthma symptoms, wheezing, and skin irritation. Overall, they make your home life very uncomfortable and unpleasant, and will only multiply if not taken care of sooner rather than later.

Now, before we talk about the ways to get rid of dust mites in your house, it’s important to know a little more about these microscopic creatures.

Facts About Dust Mites

close up picture of dust mite infested carpet

  • Whether dead or alive, dust mites can cause allergies
  • The faeces and body parts of a dust mite do more harm than the actual creature in terms of triggering allergies
  • Although dust mites cause itching, they do not bite
  • They are not visible to the naked eye
  • They survive by feeding on dead human skin cells 
  • Dust mites thrive in dark and moist fibre surfaces such as bedding, carpets, and sofas
  • They can be found anywhere in the home where there is food for them (shed skin cells)

Armed with the knowledge above, you will have a better understanding of how to get rid of dust mites and keep them at bay. 

Now, let’s learn of the measures you can take to rid your home of allergy-causing dust mites.

Vacuum and Dust Daily

person vacuuming white fluffy carpet

While regular cleaning may not remove all dust mites and whatever they leave behind, doing it on a daily basis will help reduce their numbers and, eventually, rid your home of the pests. Where vacuuming is concerned, it should not be limited to just carpeting and/or your flooring; use the appropriate attachments to vacuum sofa cushions, upholstered furniture, and even window curtains as dust mites often make their homes in these materials.

Don’t forget to keep your furniture and other surfaces clean as well. For this, a quick wipe down with a damp microfibre cloth is all it takes. If you cannot manage dusting on a daily basis, try to do this task at least 2-3 times a week.

Use the Right Water Temperature When Washing Bed Linen

Led washing machine temperature screen showing 60 degrees celcius

The most common place to find an infestation of dust mites is in your bed! They can be found in your mattress, bedsheet, pillows, pillowcases, duvets, and blankets. For this reason, it is important to clean each of these items properly to get rid of the mites altogether. Cleaning just your pillowcases and bedsheet will defeat the purpose because the dust mites will make their way to the fresh linen from the rest of your bedding. 

When machine-washing bedding, the higher the temperature, the less likely dust mites will survive. Of course, certain fabrics cannot withstand high heat and therefore, you must check the washing instructions on the care tag before using a high water temperature. When washing your bed linens and pillows to get rid of dust mites, keep in mind that they cannot survive 60ºC water temperatures or higher. 

Clean and Protect Your Mattress

man vacuuming queensize mattress

The hardest place to kill or remove dust mites from is a mattress. While it is important to learn how to clean your mattress regardless of whether or not there are dust mites dwelling in the material, it is not always easy to get the job done successfully. Moreover, it takes a rather long time to vacuum and scrub the mattress on both sides before it needs to be left to dry overnight, or for several hours at least. Of course, you can always hire a professional cleaning service to do this if you are not up for the task yourself.

As an alternative or a follow up tip to cleaning your mattress, consider using a mattress cover that is dust-mite proof. While trapping the dust mites within your mattress may not sound like an ideal solution, it is actually very helpful in doing away with the problem altogether. The way in which this works is owed to the fact that dead skin cells will not be able to penetrate the cover, thereby starving the dust mites to death. When using a mattress cover to achieve this goal, it is advisable to clean your mattress thoroughly after 2-3 months to get rid of the dead mites and allergens left behind.

Steam Clean Household Surfaces and Upholsteries

man steam cleaning gray upholstered couch

Steam cleaning is a favoured option for killing bacteria in the home. It is often used by professional house cleaners to sanitise and remove bad odours from carpets, upholstery, mattresses, bathroom surfaces, and so on. Where dust mites are concerned, steam may not kill all dust mites in a fabric or porous surfaces, however, it is worth a shot as there are several benefits of steam cleaning household surfaces, including killing bacteria left by mites. Once done, it is advisable to vacuum the areas to pick up dead mites and other particles or allergens. 

Use a Homemade Tea Tree Oil Solution

woman pouring tea tree oil into a small countainer

If you are looking for an all-natural way to kill dust mites in your house, tea tree oil is a great option. Known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, using the ingredient on your upholstery, bed linen, and mattress on a weekly basis can rid your home of these pesky creatures. 

All you need is a tinted spray bottle, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. Fill the bottle up with 2 cups of purified water, add 2 teaspoons (each) of both oils, close the bottle and shake it well. Use this solution to mist-spray fabrics and surfaces that are common hotspots for dust mites, and allow them to air-dry thereafter. Do this once a week while ensuring that you are also cleaning the house regularly and, overtime, your dust mite problem will go away. 

NOTE: When not in use, store your homemade tea tree oil solution in a cool, dry, and dark place to avoid spoilage.

With that, you will be able to kill and remove dust mites from your home, and eliminate those terrible allergies that are typically a package deal with these creatures! It’s important to note, however, that this is not an overnight process; you need to be patient, stick to the tips above and, in time, your home will be rid of dust mites!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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