What Will Kill Dust Mites?

If you’ve got dust mite allergies, you don’t want dust mites. But how do you kill dust mites if they are too small to be seen or felt? There are just a few ways to kill dust mites.

freezing kills dust mites
Dust Mite Magnified

Freezing temperatures kills dust mites

Dust mites can’t stand temperatures below freezing. You can kill dust mites by placing them in freezing cold. Put pillows in the freezer overnight and any dust mites in the pillow die. Of course, your freezer wasn’t really made for storing bed linens. The chicken parts and ice cream might object.

boiling water  will kill dust mitesBoiling water kills dust mites

You can kill dust mites by boiling them in hot water.  Actually, exposure to water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit will kill mites. You could try boiling your sheets and blankets. Of course you need to find a pot large enough first.

Desiccants kill dust mites

Dust mites don’t drink water. They absorb moisture form the environment around them. It’s why they like areas that are damp. Keeps them from feeling “thirsty”. Desiccants remove humidity and moisture from the environment. Common household desiccants  are borax, calcium chloride, and silica gel.

Borax is the traditional washing additive found in 20 Mule Team Borax. Find it in the laundry aisle of the grocery store. Calcium chloride is the stuff you add to pickles to make them crunchy. Just read the label on a jar of Claussen pickles. Buy it where you find canning supplies. Ball sells it as “pickle crisp granules”. Silica gel is used by crafters to dry out flowers. You can find it at a craft shop.

Spread desiccants where you want to kill dust mites.

What really gets rid of dust mite allergies?

The problem with all this dust mite killing is it doesn’t help dust mite allergies. The allergens from dust mites are found in the body and feces. Killing dust mites doesn’t stop the allergen. It actually hastens the release of the allergen. Dead dust mites make you just as sick as living mites. It doesn’t help to kill them.

Zippered mattress covers control dust mites
Zippered mattress covers control dust mites

So what does help control dust mites?

Removing dust and dust catchers. Wipe down all hard surfaces at least every 7 days with a damp rag. This removes allergens. Keep dust catching items like knickknacks and books to a minimum.

Replace rugs and carpets where dust mites live and die with hard surface floors.

Don’t stick the pillows in the freezer or boil your sheets. Encase your pillows, mattress and boxspring in zippered dust mite proof covers.  Wash sheets every 7 days with De-Mite Laundry Additive, Allergen Wash, or 140°F water.

So forget killing dust mites, it doesn’t provide allergy relief. Instead, focus on controlling dust mite allergen in the home. You will sleep better and feel better.

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Air Fresheners – Bad for Your Health

Whether it’s at home, in the office or inside the car, many of us use air fresheners, deodorizers, and scented candles to make our space smell cleaner and more pleasant. But the question is: are the chemicals in these products safe?

Air Fresheners Toxic For Allergy SufferesAccording  to Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist with Emory University and the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic, said that the chemical additives in some of these products may trigger allergic reactions, which can lead to the appearance of symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose.

They also have good data to support the assumption that asthmatics may suffer significantly when they are exposed to these products because some of the chemical compounds that are used can change and deteriorate lung function.

For example, many scented air fresheners contain harmful volatile organic compounds such as petroleum, formaldehyde, limonene, and benzene. These compounds are known to trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions, as well as eye irritation. In severe but very rare cases, these chemicals may cause bone damage and even leukemia.

Sure enough, you’re probably thinking of changing your usual air fresheners to their “natural” labeled counterparts. But wait, unlike Zeolite odor control products, some of these so called “natural” products may also contain harmful ingredients. Yes, that’s right. Those “naturally” scented air fresheners you see on the shelves contain chemicals like phthalates and camphor which can cause allergies, respiratory symptoms and other health problems such as migraines, dizziness, and vomiting.

That’s the reason why it is always a good idea to verify all ingredients with product manufacturers before you start purchasing them, even the “natural” ones, to make sure they are safe and won’t do a number on your allergies or asthma.

Instead of trying to hide the troublesome odors we need to find the source and get rid of it! The Allergy Store has been helping it’s customer eliminate odors from pets, mold, dirty diapers,  smoke, sewage and chemicals for years. Give us a call at 800 771-2246.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

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Wash Your Allergy Mattress Covers

Its time to wash my allergy mattress covers again.  Thank goodness it doesn’t need to be done very often.  When is the last time you washed your allergy mattress covers?

People often ask if they need to wash the allergy mattress cover every week, just like their sheets.  No!  What a hassle that would be!

How often should you wash your allergy covers?

It’s already tough enough to have the discipline to wash sheets, blankets, and pillowcases every 7 days.allergy mattress covers with zippers Can you image if you had to wash your allergy mattress cover every week?

We recommend that you wash allergy covers at least once or twice a year, IF you are good about washing the other bedding weekly. That is a big “if”.  If you don’t wash your sheets often, you must wash your allergy mattress cover more often.

Yes, it is a chore to get the cover off and on the mattress, but it is necessary.  I wash mine several times a year.

How do you know when your allergy mattress covers need washing?

Let your nose be your guide.  If you have an allergy mattress cover on your bed, it is probably because you are allergic to dust mites.  Dust mites cause respiratory symptoms and eczema.  If you notice  your symptoms are returning even with weekly washing of the other bedding, it is time to wash your cover.

I also wash my cover when I do the big spring and fall cleaning in my house.  I pull everything off the bed, including my wool mattress pad and quilt and steam everything thoroughly with my Vapamore steam cleaner. It is also a great time to spray the box spring with ADMS and wash the dust ruffle. Since the bed is already taken apart, it is not a big deal to throw the cover in the wash with my sheets.  Be careful not to overcrowd the washing machine when you launder your cover.  Most of our allergy mattress covers can be washed in water up to 140°F, but we don’t recommend it.

How to wash your allergy covers

We recommend that you wash in cooler temps with De-Mite (the product I personally like) or Allergen Wash. It is just as effective as hot water (even more so) and it is much kinder to the fabric. If you have a cover made  of the urethane coated fabrics, it is important that you do not use liquid chlorine bleach when you wash your allergy mattress De-Mite contains tea tree oilcover.  Bleach will damage the urethane backing.

 

Make sure that your mattress, your allergy mattress covers, and all the bedding is completely dry before you put the bed back together.  You don’t want anything damp as that could promote mold growth, not a good thing!  The best night’s sleep is that first night in bed after everything has been scrubbed and washed.  What a great feeling!

Til Next Time

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