Oh, the Mighty Dust Mite! Talking with customers, we hear this question a lot: “How can I reduce dust in my home?”. So, let’s talk about some simple actions that you can take to reduce dust! Check them out below.
Our resident allergist, Dr. Paul Detjen, M.D., recommends that you focus your dust elimination quest in your bedroom. Considering that you spend about 6-8 hours (ideally) a night sleeping, overall you spend a lot more time there than in any other room.
Dr. Detjen and his team came up with these 14 recommendations, the top five recommendations are most important.
#1 Encase your pillows
Encase your pillows in zippered, allergen impermeable, dust-proof covers or wash pillows in hot water every two weeks. Covers which permit perspiration, vapor transmission will be most comfortable because they’re more ‘breathable’.
#2 Encase your mattress
Encase your mattress and box spring in zippered, allergen impermeable, dust-proof casings (if there is more than one bed in the room, all should be encased). As with the pillows, cover which permit perspiration vapor transmission and which have a cloth covering will be most comfortable.
De-clutter your bedroom (for example, knick-knacks, dog bed or anything else hanging around for no reason). Clutter collects dust and is hard to clean, plus you don’t need it!
#4 Go HEPA
HEPA air cleaners help remove airborne allergen particles. Be sure to choose the appropriate model for the size of your room. Cleans that produce six air exchanges per hour are recommended.
#5 Switch on the A/C
Air conditioners can prevent high heat and humidity, conditions which stimulate (dust) mite growth. Special filters can also be added to help trap airborne allergens. You can also use a dehumidifier to help reduce humidity levels (as dryer environments are’t conducive to dust mites flourishing.)
#6 Say no to carpeting
If possible remove the carpeting in your bedroom. Carpeting attracts dust and is hard to clean properly.
#7 Wash all your bedding, regularly
Wash all blankets, sheets, pillows, and mattress pad if used – in hot water (130°) every two weeks. Avoid wool and down blankets. Comforters can be encased in zippered, allergen impermeable dust-proof covers or washed every two weeks.
#8 Say no to heavy curtains
Avoid heavy curtains and venetian blinds, use window shades instead. If curtains are used, wash them often.
#9 Consider your fabrics
Substitute wooden or plastic furniture for upholstered furniture, or choose vinyl, leather or cloth furniture constructed with an additional allergen
#10 De-clutter, even more
Avoid wall pennants, macramé hangings and other dust collectors. Stuffed toys should be machine washable.
#11 Keep surfaces clean
Clean drawers, closets, and surfaces with a treated cloth. On a side note: make sure to wear a well fitting face mask when doing housecleaning or other chores to avoid exposure. This is where decluttering will come in handy!
#12 Avoid over-humidification
If using a humidifier in the winter, avoid over-humidification. Mites grow best at 75-80% relative humidity and cannot live at under 50% humidity. The ideal relative humidity is 40-50%. Use a humidity gauge to monitor levels.
#13 Shut you things up
Keep all clothing in a closet or dresser with the door shut. This helps avoid dust mites which could be clinging to your clothes.
#14 Vacuum well
When vacuuming, if you’re allergic, use a vacuum cleaner with high allergen containment or use a multi-layer dust bag and exhaust filter to reduce the amount of allergens getting back into your home.