As the weather is changing in our home I am finding my kid’s allergies are being triggered. One has eczema flare-ups at the moment, but most commonly their dust allergies are causing sneezing and itchy eyes which resemble cold-like symptoms. It’s from the changes we are making in our home because of the weather – getting blankets down that have been stored away in the tops of cupboards for months, turning on the heating in the house and dust flying through the air from the vents (despite regularly cleaning the filter). 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. Whilst the medication may relieve the symptoms, you do need to find the underlying cause. 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 on who belongs to which towel, read more here.
4. REMOVE CURTAINS
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: How to clean curtains and blinds.
5. 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.
6. CLEAN AIR CONDITIONING VENTS
Vaccum the filters and clean the air vents with a damp cloth to remove the dust build up.
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.
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.
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.
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 beds the prime habitat inside our mattresses. 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.