As we gear up for warmer weather, the tendency to do some Spring cleaning kicks in. For those who have dust mite allergies this can be a problem. Dust mites feed on shed skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments. They particularly like carpet, bedding and mattresses, pillows, drapes, and other fabrics. Obviously you can’t eliminate all of these things from your home. See our tips below to help avoid an allergy, and possible asthma, flare up while deep cleaning and maintaining a dust free home, or as close as you can get.
- Encase pillows and mattresses in zippered allergen-impermeable covers.
- If possible, replace upholstered furniture with leather, vinyl, wood, or plastic.
- Vacuum carpet twice a week with a HEPA filter.
- If possible, replace carpet with wood, laminates, tile, or linoleum.
- Wear a mask when dusting and vacuuming. Allow dust particles to resettle, about 20 minutes, before returning to a room.
- Use a damp mop or cloth or a Swifter style duster to decrease stirring up dust.
- Keep the humidity in your home below 50%.
- Check furnace filters and replace as recommended. HEPA air cleaners may be used to remove dust allergens from the air.
- Wash bed linens weekly in hot water, at least 130°F.
- Stuffed animals or pillows that cannot be machine-washed may be wrapped in plastic and placed in freezer for 24 hours to kill the dust mites.
It is impossible to avoid all dust, so remember to take the allergy and asthma medications recommended by your provider. Perform saline nasal rinses after cleaning your home to flush out the dust particles and allergens. We hope this information helps you enjoy your Spring instead of being sick in the bed!