Why Prevent Dust? Cue the Dreaded Dust Mite.What are dust mites? They’re the microscopic, 8-legged bugs that feed on the tiny flakes of skin shed by the humans in your household. Dust mites can live anywhere that dust accumulates, but they especially love bedding, carpets and (nooo!) even your kiddo’s beloved stuffed animals. Did you know? The amount of skin an average person sheds each day (1.5 grams) can feed one million dust mites. Contrary to popular belief, dust mites DO NOT BITE. It’s the mite’s waste that triggers allergic reactions. If fact, dust mites are the most common cause of year-round allergies.
Dust mite allergy symptoms:
- Itchy, watering eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Irritation of the mouth or throat
- Postnasal drip
6 Tips to Get Rid of Dust in Your Home
1. Keep Your Closets Neat & TidyIf you’re like us, your closets could probably use some reorganizing anyway, right? And the bonus is enjoying a dust-free home! Closets are dust magnets, as they’re filled with all kinds of fabrics that shed fibers. Whenever you open and close a closet door, you kick up an invisible dust storm. What you can do to control dust in your closet:
- Box or bag items in clear containers
- Keep seasonal coats in garment bags
- Invest in a shelf to get your shoes off the ground
- Keep the floor clear of clutter so dust doesn't settle on top
2. Wash Your Bedding Once a WeekAh, there’s nothing quite like burrowing down into freshly laundered bedding. Turns out, this isn’t just good for our sleep – it’s also a great way to prevent dust mites. Why? Humans lose between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells every single hour. Multiply that by the number of hours you spend in bed each night, and it’s easy to see why our cozy cocoons are a favorite place for dust mites to gather. Make the commitment to wash your pillowcases and sheets once a week in hot water. For bulky blankets and bedspreads that are a pain to launder, just give them a good shake outdoors. Also, if you’re allergic to dust mites, consider investing in an “anti-allergy” mattress cover.
3. Ditch Your Feather Duster & Dry ClothsIs it time to break up with your beloved feather duster and dry cloths? If you want a dust-free home, then yes! Feather dusters and dry cloths simply stir up mite allergens and spread the dust around rather than collecting it. Instead, use a damp rag or microfiber cloth.
4. Adjust Your ThermostatDust mites love warm, humid environments. They thrive in temperatures between 75°F and 80°F and relative humidity around 70-80 percent. Temps and humidity outside those ranges will slow down their breeding. So keep the temp inside your house at 70°F or cooler. You’ll cut down on dust mites AND heating costs!
5. Consider Your Carpets & CurtainsDrastic dust problems call for drastic measures. Carpets are havens for dust mites. If you have a dust mite allergy, you may want to make the switch to hardwood flooring, especially in the bedroom. If you can’t part with your carpet, it’s best to vacuum daily with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which will prevent dust from recirculating into the air. You can also stop dust mites by swapping out your curtains with easy-to-clean blinds.
6. Kick Fido Out of the BedroomWe know, we know – the look on Fido’s face may just break your heart, but if you want to get rid of dust mites, keep your pets out of the bedroom. Dust mites love pet dander!
Ready to Breathe Easier?
Now that you know the dirt on dust, put these 6 tips into action and get on your way to a dust-free home. Your home – and all the people in it – will thank you!