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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What is Healthy Sleep?

healthy sleep leaves you refreshed
Dust Mites in Your Bed?

We spend one-third of our life asleep. Everybody wants a good night’s rest. Everybody wants to sleep healthy. We all agree on that. But what is “healthy sleep”?

The National Sleep Foundation defines “healthy sleep” as sleep that meets the following:

 

 

  • You fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down
  • You regularly sleep a total of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.
  • While in bed, your sleep is continuous—you don’t have long periods of lying awake when you wish to be sleeping.
  • You wake up feeling refreshed.
  • You feel alert and are able to be fully productive throughout the waking hours.
  • Your partner or family members do not notice any disturbing or out of the ordinary behavior from you while you sleep, such as snoring, pauses in breathing, restlessness, or otherwise nighttime behaviors.

The Harvard Medical School devotes significant resources to studying sleep and promoting healthy sleep. They have an extensive video library here if you would like to hear from medical experts about the importance of healthy sleep.

Tips for Healthy Sleep

Most experts agree that there are steps you can take to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

  • Avoid caffeine late in the day
  • Limit your exposure to light
  • Establish a bedtime routine and keep it
  • Exercise daily, but not just before bedtime
  • Keep your room dark and cool
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and heavy meals just before bedtime

Healthy Sleep Hygiene

The debate rages about whether to shower or bathe at night before fight over shower at night or in morningyou go to bed or in the morning when you rise. That is one sleep hygiene fight we will not wade into. If it helps you sleep, bathe or shower before you sleep. If not, do it in the morning.

However, bathing at night does reduce the amount of skin and body oils in your bed. Those are just food for dust mites. 

Speaking of dust mites, it is important to control their population if sneezing, wheezing, or coughing keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep. So, be sure to wash your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets every 7 days in hot water. This will remove the skin cells that are food for the dust mites as well as removing the dust mites themselves.

Protect your mattress and pillows with zippered dust mite-proof covers. You’ll extend the life of your mattress and pillows and make it much easier to keep your bed clean.

zippered mattress covers promote healthy sleepFor temperature regulating comfort, choose natural fibers for sleeping. Cotton wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Both silk and wool fibers work to regulate body temperature as well. This makes these fibers great choices for comforters, blankets, and duvets.

If you’ve got any bedtime routines that work for you, drop us a line. We would love to hear what you do to get a healthy sleep.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

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What Does Pore Size Mean in Allergy Proof Bedding

If you are diagnosed with dust mite allergies, the doctor will tell you to encase your bed in dust mite proof covers. That’s great advice. But, it isn’t all the information you need to make an informed buying decision. I know. That’s because we field lots of calls from people that want to know about pore sizes, microweaves, and laminated or coated allergy proof bedding. They are confused and looking for answers. We’re here to help.

get your allergy zippered mattress covers protect against sick bed syndromeThe Role of Allergy Proof Bedding in Keeping Allergens at Bay

The doctor tells you to use allergy proof bedding because it protects you from allergens that are too small to be seen. Dust mites, dust mite feces, bits of pollen and animal allergens collect in and on fiber surfaces. Your mattress, pillows, duvet or comforter are all places for allergens to collect.

Allergy proof bedding puts a barrier between you and the allergens. If you can’t breathe the allergen, it won’t make you sick.

As long as you wash your sheets every 7 days in 140ºF water, allergens won’t build up on top of your allergy covers.  The special zippered covers and the hot water washing keep the allergens at bay.

allergy proof bedding is 25% offWhat Makes Bedding Allergy Proof?

So, now we understand why we need allergy-proof bedding, but what is it that makes bedding allergy proof?

There are two ways to approach making a fabric allergy-proof: laminate it or weave it tightly.

Laminated fabrics are just a traditional bed linen fabric that has been bonded to a material that makes the fabric impenetrable to allergens. These fabrics can be cotton, synthetic, or a blend of the two.  It’s not the fabric that is allergy-proof, it’s the laminated backing. The laminate is some form of plastic. Heats bonds the plastic to the fabric.  Laminated fabrics don’t depend on the fabric to provide protection; they rely on the laminate. Laminates don’t have a pore size.

Microweave fabrics provide a barrier that allergens can’t get through. That’s because they have a very tight weave. The space between the fibers used to weave the fabric is the pore size. The larger the pore size, the more allergens that can get through. The smaller the pore size, the more particles the fabric can stop.

dust mites cause dust allergy
Small Pore Sizes Keep Dust Mites Out

Effective Pore Sizes

The pore size is determined by how tightly the fabric is woven.  Natural fibers like cotton are not very strong. You can’t weave cotton tightly. Polyester is a very strong fiber. It’s perfect for tight microweaves.

Allergy proof bedding with the smallest pore size will be all polyester. All cotton allergy proof bedding will have a larger pore size. Cotton/polyester blends are in the middle when it comes to pore sizes.

Dust mite fecal matter and/or body parts (we don’t actually breathe in whole dust mites) are as large as 10 microns. Pet allergen and mold spores are about 3 microns. In order for a microweave mattress encasing to be effective against dust mites it needs a pore size of 10 microns or less and 3 microns or less to be effective against mold and dander.

With that being said, all laminated mattress encasings are effective against dust mite, animal dander and mold allergens because they are a total barrier. They are water-proof too.

Differences in Allergy Proof Bedding

Microweaves and laminates are both effective in protecting against allergens. Which one you choose boils down to personal preference and budget.

Laminates are waterproof, microweaves are not.

Microweaves are generally cooler than laminated fabrics.

Laminated fabrics usually cost less.

Both fabrics require special care when washing. You can’t use high temperatures or chlorine bleach on laminates. Microweaves need gentle agitation to protect the weave.

Hope this clears up the pore size question. Have other questions about bedding? Just enter your question in the comments below.

Wishing you the best of health
Mike Krause

AllergyStore.com

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