10 natural and non-toxic remedies to remove dust mites from your home, and help relieve allergies that your family may be suffering from.
When the weather changes in our home, my kids’ allergies are often triggered. There are often eczema flare-ups, but most commonly their dust allergies cause sneezing and itchy eyes which resemble cold-like symptoms. It’s not uncommon to find dust mites in the cleanest of homes and surprisingly they don’t just hide in dust. For my kids (I have two with dust mite allergies), simply sweeping or vacuuming can set off their allergies. Allergies are typically treated with over the counter medication, however, I have some non-toxic dust mite remedies that I use around the home to keep it (predominately) dust-free.
The onset of my kids’ allergies in winter often comes from the changes we make in our home because of the weather – blankets that have been stored away in the tops of cupboards for months are pulled out, and the heating is turned on which sends dust flying through the air from the vents (despite regularly cleaning the filter). Whilst the medication may relieve the symptoms, you do need to find the underlying cause, and with a few little tweaks, you may be able to minimise dust mites in your home.
1. USE PROTECTIVE CASES
Mattresses and pillows require protection from moisture so that it does not become a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites which are common causes of asthma and hay fever. Wash protectors monthly in hot water.
2. WASH BEDDING REGULARLY
Dust mites like to feed off dead skin flakes found on sheets and pillows, which then aggravate allergies. Wash all your bed linens weekly in hot water to kill the dust mites.
Read more about my ‘washing the bed sheet routine’ here. Funny story why I shared this post.
I have this schedule framed in my laundry, it helps me keep on top of the washing and reminds me which load needs to be run each day, saving my sanity so I don’t have to deal with Mt Washmore.
Instant download – available in various colours.
3. HANG TOWELS AND BATHMATS
Towels and bathmats should be hung up to dry thoroughly as quickly as possible after each use. Towels should be washed 1-2 times each week, I typically wash ours once a week. It is recommended to wash them in hot water, however, I prefer to wash our towels in cold water, but I dry them in the sunshine which also helps to eliminate the dust mites.
I colour code my kids bath towels to avoid confusion of which towel belongs to who, read more here.
4. REMOVE CURTAINS + DUST BLINDS
The key to controlling dust mites is to reduce the number of places they can thrive, such as within the fabrics of curtains. To combat this, choose easy washable curtains or blinds (read more on How to clean curtains and blinds here). To clean horizontal blinds you can use this trendy Mini Blind Duster (which is now available in my shop here).
5. CLEAN AIR CONDITIONING VENTS
Vacuum the filters and clean the air vents with a damp cloth to remove the dust build up.
6. WASH STUFFED TOYS
Wash soft toys and teddies that sit on a shelf monthly, and the teddy that your child sleeps with every 1-2 weeks. I add 4-6 drops of eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil in a wash cycle with my regular detergent to help kill the dust mites.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and deodoriser. It is available in my shop here.
7. USE ESSENTIAL OILS
From Dr. Axe: One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic dust mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked amongst some of the most potent. Essential oils work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack.
Lavender essential oil – Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and can be used to treat respiratory disorders like dust allergy and help you sleep better with its sedative nature. Lavender essential oil is available in my shop here.
Eucalyptus essential oil – You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in a variety of ways:
- You can put several drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a diffuser, or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.
- For an eco-friendly, biodegradable addition to your natural detergents, add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load of wash during allergy season – especially if you or the kids are running around outside.
- If your allergy symptoms are going strong, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rub it on your chest and behind your ears and diffuse it in the air during the day and while sleeping. Eucalyptus essential oil is available in my shop here.
8. VACUUM RUGS
Vacuum rugs 1-2 times each week to pick up all dust. If possible, place rugs outside for 3 hours in direct strong sunlight to kill the dust mites. Hang the rug over a fence, pool fence or some chairs. After sunning, beat rugs with a broom outside to dislodge the dead mites and allergens.
I like to use my Neato Botvac D5 (my nifty robotic vacuum cleaner!) twice a week to keep the house dust-free with minimal effort. I can create invisible barriers so it knows what areas to clean and what ones to avoid.
9. AIR OUT YOUR BED
When we get out of bed we pull back the sheets to allow the sheets and mattress to breathe, helping the humidity evaporate from the bed while I shower and get dressed. Before I leave my room I make my bed as this instantly sets the tone of the room making it look tidier, which gives an energised start to the day.
I make my bed every day. It’s unbelievable how such a simple 2-minute task can put you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day, read more here.
10. MATTRESS SPRAY
Human and animal skin flakes, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in mattresses which can contain tens of thousands of dust mites, making inside our mattresses the prime habitat for dust mites. Gross right?! Enclosing your mattress in a protector will effectively eliminate most dust mites. I have mattress protectors on our beds and I use this anti-allergy protector on them, however, our mattress protectors are not waterproof (I find them uncomfortable) so moisture (sweat) does go through to the mattress. So I spray our mattresses every 1-2 weeks with my natural DIY Mattress Spray which is so easy to make and uses all natural ingredients.
Find my recipe for DIY Natural Mattress Spray here.
Do you have any non-toxic dust mite remedies you use in your home?
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