Dead skin cells are falling onto the floor every day. Dust mites love it, and given their microscopic dimensions, that is no surprise. Dust mites cannot be seen with a naked eye - their size is from 0.1 to 0.5 mm.
Unlike bed bugs and fleas, they do not bite or suck blood, nor do they spread any diseases. At first glance, they seem completely harmless to people and pets. However, half a century ago, scientists discovered that dust mites and their waste are the main household allergen.
Allergies are the scourge of our time, and the humid UK weather doesn't help. Millions of people are having allergic reactions, and studies show that dust mites and their waste products are the cause. Over 12 million people have been diagnosed with dust mite allergy in the UK. More than 80% of asthmatics have found that dust mites inside their homes have caused the disease.
People have to take anti-allergenic drugs, but it is also necessary to reduce the allergic load on the body, that is, by all means to get rid of dust mites. We want to warn you that it’s impossible to completely get rid of dust and dust mites. However, you can improve your home with a few tips below.
How to make your home allergen-free?
Reduce temperature and humidity in your home
Dust mites thrive in high room temperature, and humidity levels above 50%. In order to remove the habitat of dust mites, you need to do two main things. Lower the termostat to 18-22° C, and the humidity should be no higher than 40%.
To regulate the temperature today there are many possibilities - air conditioners, split systems, battery controllers, but it is more difficult to determine the humidity in the room. You can do it with a hygrometer - a simple and not very expensive device.
In order to get rid of dust mites, you need to ventilate the room more often. If possible, keep the windows micro-ventilated all day. This will ensure air flow and reduce humidity. At the same time, it should not be too low, as dust circulates easier in too dry air.
Air purifiers can also be a good option. They consist of two fans, an ultraviolet lamp and a special filter. They purify the air of fine dust particles all the time. This also deals with the dust mites and other allergens contained in dust.
Perform regular wet cleaning
Wet cleaning must be performed at least once a week, always with a damp cloth, which should be washed in running hot water, and then washed with a soap. Moreover, you need to wipe not only the wood floor, laminate and tiles, but also the soft upholstery of sofas and armchairs. If they have removable covers, then they need to be washed more often.
If there are no coatings, then here's what you can do: take an old sheet, moisten it with water, cover a sofa or chair and simply knock it out with a knocker for carpets. You will be amazed at how much dust remains on the sheet after this. Using this method regularly, do not forget to wash it each time in hot water and rinse under running water to ensure that all dust mites are removed from the fabric.
How to get rid of dust mites?
Another great way to get rid of dust mites is cleaning all the surfaces in your home with a homemade spray. You will need 2 cups of distilled water and 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil. Mix them, keep the spray in a dark bottle and be sure to shake it before each use so that the oil is evenly distributed. When cleaning, use the spray not only on the furniture surface, but also on carpets, rugs and upholstery.
Vacuum cleaner can also be helpful for getting rid of dust mites
Wet cleaning is not able to replace dust removal with a vacuum cleaner. You need a hoover to remove dust from the upholstered furniture and carpets. Otherwise, the steam cleaner will only turn dry dirt into mud.
Do not forget about cleaning the curtains with a vacuum cleaner. As they are closest to the windows, they accumulate lots of dust.
If you have a dust mite allergy, then an ordinary vacuum cleaner will not help you cope with the problem. You need to focus on the upholstered furniture, which are the real dust collector inyour home. They represent the ideal living environment for dust mites. Therefore, it is worth buying a washing steam vacuum cleaner, which with the help of steam is able to kill ticks on upholstered furniture and in floor coverings.
Please note that the vacuum cleaner is equipped with a HEPA filter, which allows you to reduce dust emission from it. If you need to do wet cleaning 1-2 times a week, then vacuum it 2-3 times, even if it seems to you that there is not much dust. For microscopic creatures such as dust mites, even this amount will be enough.
Most dust usually accumulates on the rug in front of the front door, under the beds and other furniture on the legs, and in the absence of legs - around the furniture itself. To prevent dust mites from building up, hoover all around soft furnishings.
If you suffer from allergies, then while you are using the vacuum cleaner, you need to wear a medical mask, which you can buy at the pharmacy.
Wash the bedding correctly in order to get rid of dust mites
When allergic to dust mites, it is especially important to wash bedding correctly. It has been estimated that on a medium-sized bed you can find between 100 thousand to 10 million dust mites. You need to kill the dust mites living there, by frequently using your washing machine.
Dust mites die at temperatures above 60° C, so wash bedding at a higher temperature, and if you add a few more drops of eucalyptus essential oil, then studies show that you can get rid of 99% of these uninvited guests.
A favorite habitat for dust mites is the bedroom. In addition to bedding, they nest in pillows, blankets, mattresses, so they should be approached very carefully when choosing and taking care of them. If not processed, up to 10% of the dust mites and their excrement accumulate in the mattress.
Therefore, buy hypoallergenic pillows, blankets and mattresses, where dust mites will not find it easy to settle. For a mattress, you should purchase a special protective cover. Sofa cushions also pose a potential danger, so with a strong dust mite allergy it is better to get rid of them.
Should you have indoor plants if you suffer from dust mite allergy?
Indoor plants are not only an interior decoration, but also a place for collecting dust, therefore they should be regularly cleaned with a damp cloth or, if possible, washed under running water. It is very important to correctly water each plant. Otherwise, mould, which is another potent allergen, may appear on the moist soil in the pots.
Pets – a victim and a source of dust mites
Do you know that dust mites cause allergies not only to humans, but also to pets? This is evidenced by test results: from 30% to 80% of tested dogs and cats are allergic to dust mites. The allergy manifests in itching, the appearance of recurrent inflammation of the ears or susceptibility to infection.
However, our furry pets are not mere victims of this parasite. They also help it spread, as they are an excellent food supply for it. At the same time, pet hairs can easily stick to carpets and upholstery. The shorter the hairs, the harder they are to remove.
Many kind-hearted owners of domestic animals tend to let their pets do anything. Thereby, they harm the animals' health, and their families. It is very important to teach a cat or dog to never enter the bedroom, especially the nursery, then there will be less dust mites there. It is clear that only a few will be able to show such willpower, so at least try to prevent the animals from lying in your bed.
Pets should not have access to bedding in a closet or chest of drawers, and to clothes, as they inevitably leave their wool on them along with dust mites. You need to try to minimize the possibilities for the spread of dust mites through animals: regularly bathe them and wash their bedding in very hot water.
Reduce the amount of dust in the house by wearing slippers
Studies have shown that up to 40% of home allergens are airborne. Also, the concentration of house dust reaches its maximum value in hallways, stairs and rugs. Best of all, if it is area rugs, it is easier to shake dust out of them.
Changing shoes after coming home to cosy slippers will help a lot. You not only create comfort for your strained legs, but also reduce the amount of dust in the house, and therefore the number of dust mites.
Means for air purification
This is not about sprays, but about air filters or cleaners, which must be equipped with a HEPA filter - it can remove up to 90% of allergens. When the air purifier is working, the windows in the room should be completely closed, otherwise the cleaning procedure will be ineffective. Also remember to clean the filters regularly to remove accumulated dust.
What else can be done to get rid of dust mites?
Cleanliness is the key to health. This hackneyed expression therefore became such that it is true. Of course, you should not turn into a fanatic, running around the house all day with a damp rag and chasing every speck of dust, but it is simply necessary to look at your home with an unbiased look.
Do you have a carpet on your floor? Then you will never get rid of dust mites: studies have shown that where the floors are not covered with anything, dust is up to 90% less. Maybe you should sacrifice your ideas about beauty for health?
- Curtains accumulate an amazing amount of dust. Or maybe it is worth replacing them with modern stylish blinds?
- You have pictures and photographs hanging on your walls, but how often do you wipe dust from them? This must be done in every dusting and cleaning session.
- Try to remove everything that is capable of collecting dust on closed shelves of cabinets, chests of drawers: books, business papers, various trinkets.
- Decorative pillows on a sofa are not only beautiful, but also comfortable. Choose pillows with such a filler in which dust mites cannot find shelter, and wash their covers more often.
- The choice of the right sofa is also important. If you suffer from a dust allergy, when purchasing a sofa go for leather sofas. They are easier to be maintained and cleaned, and do not collect such a great quantity of dust mites, like upholstered sofas.
- Experts strongly recommend changing pillows and mattresses every 6-8 years of service.
- Ruthlessly get rid of all woollen carpets, as well as carpets and rugs with high and / or natural pile.
- If you can, get rid of any soft plushy toys.
- Wipe all the books on the shelves with a damp cloth.
- Air out the premises as often as possible, especially during winter. In the cold, dust mites die very quickly.
However, it is not always necessary to make sacrifices in order to get rid of allergens in the form of getting rid of half of the furniture, curtains and carpets. It is not always necessary to buy a lot of expensive and ranking equipment. It is enough just to purchase a powerful multifunctional cleaning system that can cope with the cleaning of surfaces and air by almost 100%.