Are you an allergic person? Then you need to keep your linens clean. But how to wash linens to reduce dust mites? Yes, you are at the right place to gain knowledge. Let’s dive in more. Dust mites can be terrible nuisances to deal with. They can cause severe allergies and cause itchiness and sneezing.
The fact that these insects tend to inhabit our carpets, blankets, bedsheet linens, and pillowcases, does not make sleeping in them any easier on us. Which brings us to the primary question of this article: how to wash linens to reduce dust mites?
Typically, these mites only occupy spaces where they can find sustenance and food for themselves. Environments rich in moisture, dead human skin cells, waste, and other such organic matter are where dust mites would thrive. Now, since your household linens satisfy all of these requirements, dust mites are most likely to settle down in them.
In this article, we will understand the right way to wash and care for your linens to stay clear of dust mites and dust mite allergies altogether!
Where Do Dust Mites Set Up Shop?
The most common place you will find dust mites is in the bed linens, rugs, and fabrics that you use in your bedroom. The principal requirements for a dust mite colony’s survival are sustenance, heat, dead skin cells, and places to hide.
Now, dust mites can also infest soft toys or even the fur of your pets. Therefore, if your pet spends a lot of time in your bed, you might want to take extra care of your rugs and comforters to ensure that you don’t suffer from an allergic reaction to these pesky dust mites!
Given the fact that dust mites obviously love any place where we sleep or rest, it is vital that you know how to get rid of and effectively kill dust mites! Given below are the most popular spaces where dust mites set up shop!
In your bed, linens, and mattresses
You’ll spend nearly seven hours in your bed linens. Overnight, you shed millions of dead skin cells and sweat on your linens and pillowcases.
And once you have gotten out of bed, dust mites still have plenty of places to hide and avoid being visible to the naked eye. All of these factors make your bed linens and mattresses a highly suitable place for dust mites to infest!
In your bath towels
When you wipe your body dry with a towel after bathing, many of your skin cells will cling to the towel. Now, the availability of food along with the high moisture content is likely to attract dust mites to your towel too.
To avoid this, you should simply leave damp cloths like your towel to dry as soon as you can. Washing it every two or three uses can also be extremely helpful in keeping these mites at bay.
In your curtains, window shades, and upholstery
Your curtains, window shades, and upholstery have the tendency to collect dust unless you clean them with a vacuum cleaner regularly and run them through a washing machine every once in a while. This offers a good hiding place to dust mites.
Now, unless you maintain stellar hygiene with respect to your curtains, you will be susceptible to pollen allergies and asthma attacks.
How to Wash Linens to Reduce Dust Mites?
Washing your linens is your absolute best bet when it comes to reducing and killing dust mites. However, there is a proper way to do so. Running your bed linens through the water simply will not give you the results that you need.
I have highlighted the best ways to wash linens with the targeted approach to reducing dust mite infestations in them below! Keep reading to understand these methods and use them the next time you want to give your bed linens a thorough washing!
Use eucalyptus essential oil or tea tree oil.
Essential oils like eucalyptus and tea tree oils are excellent repellants for bugs and pests like dust mites. The strong scent is generally enough to drive away these insects and to keep your linens smelling super-fresh.
To wash your linens using essential oils, you simply need to add these oils to the water in which you want to throw pillows and other linens. Make sure that you don’t stain the fabrics by allowing the oil to fall directly onto them.
Instead, you should simply add it to the water and then only add the fabrics to the water after mixing the oil in it.
Once you’re done washing them, make sure you put them out to dry immediately.
Use hot water to wash the linens.
Using extremely hot water to wash your linens can help kill dust mites and wash away dead mites and their feces. Research shows that temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit are lethal for these pests.
However, there is a catch when using hot water to wash your linens. For starters, not all fabrics are suitable to be washed with hot water. Secondly, even if they are, it might not be suitable to wash them frequently.
Therefore, if you do intend on implementing the use of hot water to kill and wash away dust mites, you might want to buy only frequently and easily washable fabrics.
Investing in quality laundry detergents that can protect the integrity and color of your linens can also go a long way in reducing long-term expenditure on bed linens and mattress covers.
Freeze the linens before dropping them in the washing Machine.
Freezing works just as well as hot water does in killing dust mites. However, it is not as quick a process as washing with hot water is. To get rid of dust mites, simply put your linens and pillowcases into your freezer and forget about them for about half a day.
You could put them in a plastic bag so as to isolate any dust mites that crawl out or die and fall off in the freezer itself.
After having frozen the fabrics for half a day, follow your regular washing cycle and put the fabrics out to dry.
Easy Tips to Prevent Dust Mites In Your House
Apart from washing your linens properly, there are a few other things that you can do to keep dust mites out of your linens and life. Here are the three best tips to implement when it comes to keeping your house free of dust mites.
Keep both hard surfaces and fabrics free of dust.
Most house dust mites are attracted to households that have a lot of dust resting on their surfaces. In order to prevent dust mites from even entering your house, you must keep your house free of dust.
Vacuuming on a regular basis and wiping surfaces with a damp mop or even a dry cloth will help you immensely in keeping your house dust-free.
Use a dehumidifier to eliminate a possible breeding ground in your house.
A dehumidifier is sure to be a great tool in your arsenal since dust mites thrive in high humidity environments. Setting your dehumidifier up to reduce the relative humidity in your bedroom is quite helpful in preventing dust mite infestation.
Further, controlling the humidity level in your house can also help you combat allergic reactions to dust mites such as nasal congestion or a runny nose.
Use a high-efficiency particulate air filter in your air conditioning units.
Dust mites typically travel through the air and via airborne particles of dust. Installing a good HEPA filter in your AC can help reduce the amount of dust that enters your house in the first place.
Knowing how to wash your linens to clear out dust mites effectively and their feces is crucial to preventing day-to-day allergic reactions caused by these bugs.
In summary, remember that essential oils, hot water above a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezing temperatures are the best companions to a good wash of your linens.
Can Dust Mites Bite You?
No, dust mites can’t actually bite you. However, dust mite allergens can cause allergic reactions that may be localized to your skin or more severe, like an asthmatic reaction. If the reaction is localized to your skin, you will develop redness and itchiness in a spot.
Will Dust Mites Die In The Dryer?
Dust mites will die in the dryer only if you ensure that the temperature is around 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not hot enough in the dryer, then dust mites are unlikely to die in it. Washing the fabrics in hot water before subjecting them to high temperatures in the dryer can be a great way to foolproof your process of killing dust mites.
What are some common symptoms of a dust mite allergy?
Some common symptoms of an allergy caused by dust mites are a runny nose, nasal congestion, rashes on the skin, coughing, excessive mucus secretion in your nose, and sneezing. Sometimes, people can also experience slightly more severe allergic reactions like asthma. In such a situation, you must seek medical help instantly.