If you’ve got dust mite allergies, you know how miserable they can be. Between the watery eyes, sneezing, and sometimes wheezing or a skin rash they cause, dust mites can can feel like Dementors tormenting you in your own home.
It takes more than a wave of a vacuum wand to get rid of them. So read on to learn specific cleaning practices for allergies, then get the recipe for my homemade dust mite spray that works like a charm.
Dust mites eat the dead skin cells shed by people and pets. As if that’s not creepy enough, these tiny eight-legged creatures also look like like their cousins: spiders and ticks.
Clean Spaces Not Just Surfaces
To get rid of dust mites, you’ve got to get rid of dust, not just move it around. That’s why I prefer room-based cleaning over a task-based approach.
Dusting one day and vacuuming the next leaves dust lingering on the floor where it gets stirred up and settles back on the surfaces you just cleaned. But room based cleaning gets that dust out of your home.
- Dust with a damp cloth and rinse it often. Work from high to low so it doesn’t settle on clean surfaces. Use extension tools to clean the hard to reach spots.
- Vacuum soft furniture next. Use the upholstery attachment weekly on all sides.
- Vacuum floors wall to wall. To get the most dust out of carpets and area rugs, turn and vacuum again at a right angle.
- Finish by mopping. Use my homemade floor cleaner which contains alcohol that neutralizes dust mites and other allergens.
Run the fan setting on your home’s HVAC for 15 minutes after cleaning to remove dust particles and other allergens stirred up in the process.
Follow Best Practices for Bedding
To dust mites, beds are a buffet of dead skin cells and a warm place to breed. And wow, do they breed—a single bed can contain a million of them!
Eight hours spent in that type of an environment is agony for allergy sufferers. So here’s how to help keep them out of your bed:
- Wait to make the bed in the morning. Leave sheets pulled back for 30-60 minutes to lower the moisture levels and helps keep dust mites from breeding.
- Use washable bed covers. Replace comforters and dry-clean only bedding with duvet inserts inside washable covers. Launder the covers weekly.
- Clean your bed and bedding routinely. Wash sheets weekly and every six months, deep clean your mattress and wash your pillows.
- Use my dust mite spray. Between sheet changes, use the spray further down the page to eliminate dust mites before they get out of control.
Many bedding materials shrink in hot water, which is why people with allergies should look for hypoallergenic sheets and add dust covers to their mattress and pillows.
Clean Your Child’s Toys
Stuffed toys can be a comfort to kids, but also an allergy trigger if they’re full of dust mites. Wash their stuffed animals once a month. Between washings, tumble dry them for 15 minutes to dislodge dust and skin cells.
Most people who believe they’re allergic to dust are actually reacting to the dust mites found in almost every home. It’s not even the dust mites themselves that are the real problem: it’s their poop!
Dust Mite Spray
Equipment and Materials
- Spray bottle
- 1/4 cup Rubbing alcohol isopropyl, 70% concentration
- 3/4 cup cool water
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- Open the windows for ventilation. Shake well and open the windows before using it on beds, carpets, rugs, and washable upholstery. Keep kids and pets out of the area until it dries. Don't use or store it near open flames.
- Shake well and spray washable soft surfaces like beds, carpets, rugs, curtains and upholstery.
- Keep kids and pets away from the area until it dries. Do not use near open flames. Store away from heat and direct sunlight.
Rubbing alcohol kills dust mites by dehydrating them on contact. Since it’s a disinfectant, it also neutralizes the enzymes in their feces that trigger allergies. Lavender also has mild antibacterial properties, plus it’s a pleasant pet-safe fragrance.
So think of these steps and this spray as your magical defense against dust mites in your quest for relief.