The waste products of microscopic creatures called dust mites make millions of people sneeze and cough. Reducing dust in the bedroom helps lessen symptoms.
Dust mites eat the skin cells shed by people. They thrive in a warm moist environment which makes the bedroom an inviting place for them to live. Box springs and mattresses are perfect for dust-mite reproduction. Carpets, curtains, stuffed animals, and comforters provide ideal conditions for the dust mite to survive and thrive. For those suffering from a dust allergy, cleaning out the bedroom is crucial to managing the allergy.
Steps to Get Rid of Dust Mites Forever
- Encase pillows, mattress, and box spring in special allergy covers.
- Make sure that pillows are made from a synthetic material, rather than feather and foam rubber which retain moisture and increase dust mite production.
- Remove carpeting and replace with wood or other non-porous floorings. If unable to remove carpet, use tannic acid to denature the allergen or use a miticide to kill the dust mites.
- If unable to remove carpeting, use a HEPA vacuum cleaner. The person with the allergy should not do the vacuuming and should stay out of the room for at least an hour after the vacuuming is completed.
- Replace curtains with easy-to-clean blinds or shades. If unable to remove curtains, hang machine washable curtains and launder them every week in hot water.
- Wash all bedding (sheets, comforters, spreads, blankets) every two weeks in hot water (over 130 degrees). All stuffed animals should be washed every two weeks as well. Another option for stuffed animals is to place them all in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for several hours to kill the mites.
- Dust all surfaces- don’t forget ceiling fans, light fixtures, and window sills- at least twice a week with a pretreated or damp cloth.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom at all times.
- Keep humidity in the room as close to 50% as possible. A dehumidifier may be needed.
- Books and toys are prime dust catchers. Use cabinets with doors or closed plastic bins to store these items. Avoid framed pictures that also trap dust.
- Install a high-efficiency filter in the furnace and air conditioner unit. Change the filter every three months. Consider an electrostatic filter for the vent opening or close the vents in the bedroom and use an electric heater.
- Ban upholstered furniture from the bedroom. Use leather, wood, plastic, or vinyl furnishings.
While these measures may seem harsh there are many ways to warm up a bedroom and keep dust mites at bay. Use bold paint colors or wallpaper to bolster a sparse room. Stencils or murals also add to the decor without contributing to a dust mite problem.
Floors are available in many colors and a few small washable rugs will further add to the warmth of the room. Install roller shades and paint a stencil or design on them to match the room. Use glass doors on bookshelves to show off books, toys, or collectibles.
With a little planning, it is possible to have a dust-free, yet beautifully decorated sneeze-free bedroom.