Get Rid of Dust Mites – Warfare Part 4

In this series we have waged war on dust mites and their allergens.

We killed them by starvation in Part 1 by putting a barrier between them and their food source with a zippered dust mite cover on the mattress, boxspring, and pillow.  In Part 2 we took to the laundry room to eliminate dust mites from anything washable using De-Mite or Allergen Wash.  In our last installment, we used a HEPA filter to eradicate dust mites from the breathing area as we sleep. Today we bring the dust mite to its proverbial knees (since they don’t have real knees) as we get rid of dust mite allergens in areas we can’t encase, filter, or wash.

To get rid of dust mites in these surfaces we can take a multi-prong approach.  While you don’t have loads of dust mites actively living and breeding in your carpets, carpets hold the dead body parts that are a normal part of household dust as well as dust mite feces. Try as you may, you can’t really clean carpet.  Imagine you took your favorite cotton button down shirt…tossed it on the floor, walked on it for 6 to 9 months, then splashed a little water and soap on it and vacuumed it up.  Would that shirt be what you called, ahem, “clean”?  I don’t think so.  That is exactly what “carpet cleaning” is all about.  You can spend money on carpet cleaning, but you can’t really clean carpet.  That is why allergists agree that the best surface for flooring is a hard surface.

What do you do if you can’t get rid of the carpet?  You can still work to get rid of the dust mites and allergens in the carpet if you use a sealed-system cannister vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, post motor and periodically treat the surfaces with a denaturing agent.  Forget those bagless vacuum cleaners.  What good does it do to suck up the dust mite allergens into a container where they can be concentrated and will form an allergen cloud when you empty the container?  The whole idea is to reduce your exposure, not give you a concentrated dose!

Miele makes a variety of vacuum cleaners that will help you get rid of the dust mite allergens in carpets.  Just make sure you select one of the sealed cannisters and get a HEPA filter.  On most Miele vacuums the HEPA filter is standard, you just have to be sure to ask.  Even though I have hard surfaces in my home, I have had a Miele for many years.  My first Miele was a 1998 Medi-Vac and it is still going strong.  When my daughter went to college, it went with her and I replaced my Medi-Vac with the Crystal model.  I gave my son an Antares when he moved into his first college apartment.  That Antares is still hard at work helping my daughter-in-law keep her family’s home clean. Miele HEPA filtered vacuums will get rid of dust mite allergens in the carpet and do so for many years.

In addition to thorough vacuuming, you can treat fiber surfaces such as rugs, carpets, draperies, and upholstered furniture with a denaturing agent like ADMS by AllerSearch.  Denaturing agents don’t get rid of the dust mites, but they do get rid of the dust mite allergens.  These allergens are proteins and proteins can be broken down (or denatured) by the use of acids, alkalis, and extreme heat.  This is why temperatures of 140°F in the wash will denature mite allergens.  Unfortunately, temperatures as high as 140°F will also destroy most surfaces in which they come in contact.  Fortunately, there are a variety of acids and alkalis that can be used to safely denature without the use of heat. In the beginning, people use tannic acid as a denaturing agent.  It is still very popular and its use is encouraged by television’s Dr. Oz.  That being said, our ADS Solution with tannic acid is still popular for those that want to get rid of dust mites in carpets, rugs, drapes, and furniture.

In the last few years, the maker of the most popular tannic acid solution, ADS, has also formulated a powerful denaturing agent that does not contain tannic acid.  ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray will safely get rid of those dust mite allergens on just about any surface. It is safe for all fabrics and will not stain.

 

While it may seem that the war on dust mites never ends….each campaign makes the next battle a little easier to win.  And once the enemy dust mite is on the run, it is really much easier to keep their allergens at bay.

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