Does Dry Cleaning Kill Dust Mites

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Dust mites are tiny microscopic organism that lives on dead skin cells that people and their pets shed. Your carpets, beddings, coats, and other fabric items, are packed with dead skin. Machine-washing fabric will not kill dust mites. So, does dry cleaning kill dust mites?  

Yes. Dry cleaning kills all dust mites as it occurs at 220 degrees, hot enough to kill all the microorganisms. The chemical and temperature used for dry cleaning kill dust mites and their eggs within one cycle. Dust mites will die when the temperature increases above 130-degree Fahrenheit.  

Dry cleaning is an easy method to clean your bedding and clothes clean. Continue reading to find more details on eliminating dust mites.

Will Dry Cleaning Kill Dust Mites In Bedding?

Yes, dry cleaning completely eradicates dust mites. An efficient and time-saving trick to kill dust mites from your clothes, bedding, and carpet is to get them cleaned regularly by a professional dry cleaner. Dry cleaning kills dust mites by exposing them to a very high temperature.  

Typically, dry cleaners use pressed heat or dry heat at a temperature of up to 220 Fahrenheit, and dust mites usually die at a temperature of 140 Fahrenheit.

Dry cleaning beddings have a hundred percent mortality rate of dust mites and their eggs as mites are exposed to high heat for twenty-four hours or more.  

Does The Dryer Kill Dust Mites?

The dryer can kill dust mites only at high temperatures. Dust mites thrive in a hot and humid environment, but the hot temperature will kill them within minutes.

Washing laundry in ideally hot water can kill the mites and their eggs. However, the mortality rate will not be a hundred percent as humidity directly impacts mite survival rate.  

Higher the humidity, the higher the chance of mite survival. Therefore, run your tumble dryer at a temperature above 130 degrees Fahrenheit or above 54-degree Celsius for fifteen minutes to achieve desired results.

Regularly dry your bedding and other fabric items at a high temperature to keep mites and other allergens away.  

Can Dust Mites Survive Washing?

Dust mites live inside a warm dark, and humid environment. Therefore, your beddings, carpet, and coats are the favorite place of mites to live. Dust mites are tiny, microscopic insects barely visible to the human eye. But can cause skin irritation.

Therefore, simple washing of bedding or clothing items with mite infestation will not kill them. Instead, they will flourish in the humidity.  

Washing clothes in hot water of at least 54 degrees Celsius with detergent can kill ninety-seven percent of dust mites and their eggs. The warm water of thirty-six degrees Celsius will kill almost seven percent of dust mites, but cold water will not affect mites or other microscopic organisms.

Can Dust Mites Ruin Clothes?

Dust mites do not cause any damage to the clothes. They live in coats and clothing items for warm temperatures, highly humid environments, and dead skin cells. It is necessary to regularly vacuum your closet and upholstery, including carpets and curtains.  

After vacuuming, wash your clothes after every wear, especially during summer as it is the peak time for mites to grow. A warm environment and dead skin cells provide an ideal environment for mites to flourish. It will not cause any harm to the clothing but can cause skin irritation.  

Washing your laundry on time is equally important. Damp clothes and dead skin in worn clothes will increase the chance of dust mite infestation and other microorganisms. Also, clean your closet once in fifteen days, and pay special attention to the corners.  

Do Dust Mites Live In Towels?

Yes. Dust mites live inside towels. They thrive in bathrooms because of the wet, humid, and warm environment.

Towels provide ideal conditions for dust mites to live. Therefore, it is necessary to dry towels and bath mats after each use and wash them after two uses.  

It is better to get your towel dry cleaned rather than washed. Dry cleaning will kill mites and other organisms by exposing them to dry heat.

If you don’t have access to a dry cleaner, wash the towel in hot water of 54 degrees Celsius and dry it in the dryer at a temperature of at least 137 Fahrenheit.  

How Do You Know If You Have Dust Mites?

Dust mites are 0.25 mm long, and a tiny microscopic organism that lives inside your home. It feeds on dead skin cells of humans and pets from the warm surfaces in the house.

In an ideal environment, ten thousand dust mites can be present in one m2 of carpet.  

Similarly, thousands of bed mites thrive in bedding and clothes. Dust mites do not damage clothes, bedding, or furniture. Neither does it causes any disease in humans, but it can cause severe allergic reactions on human skin. Symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to the flu.  

It causes fever, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, cough, facial pressure, and pain. The symptoms can worsen if you have asthma, you will have an audible wheezing sound when exhaling, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

Dust mites are not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, see a doctor immediately when you have allergic symptoms.  

How Dry Cleaning Kills Dust Mites?

Dust mites flourish in a warm environment but cannot survive extreme temperatures. Dry cleaning washes clothes and other fabric items with a chemical solvent. It does not require water simply, exposing the clothes to a very high temperature of up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit to kill all the germs, including dust mites.  

High temperatures cause the denaturation of essential proteins in dust mites. Typically, it takes fifteen minutes for dust mites to die at a temperature of a minimum 130-degree Fahrenheit.

Increasing the temperature will increase the mortality rate of dust mites. Therefore, dry killing eliminates a hundred percent of dust mites from clothes, carpets, and bedding.  

Pediatric allergy book scientifically confirms that dry-cleaning kills dust mites, and so does tumble dry at temperatures above 131-degree Fahrenheit for a minimum of 20 minutes.  

What Are The Other Methods To Kill Dust Mites?

Dust mites are barely visible to the naked eye. Therefore, eliminating them from the house is slightly complicated but not impossible. Regular cleaning is essential if you don’t want microscopic organisms to live in your home. Dust mites are common in summer.  

They prefer living in dark corner spaces that are warm and humid, like inside your closets, bathrooms, bedding, and carpets. Washing the fabric items with warm or cold water will not kill them. Instead, it can provide them with a favorable environment to grow.  

Below are a few ways that help you to get rid of dust mites.  

Frequent Vacuuming

Frequent vacuuming and dusting reduce the chance of dust mite infestation in the house. Vacuum daily early in the morning when you are about to leave your room because the mites and other allergens can linger in the air for a while.

Start vacuuming the higher things and then gradually move to the lower items. Vacuum blankets and carpets at the very end as they contain more mites. Do not forget to vacuum the closets and ceiling fans.  

Change Bedding

Change bed covers at least once in three days. It is not only good for your skin but also eliminates all germs and mites. It is better to dry clean or tumble dry the beddings at a high temperature to have hundred percent results.  

Freezing

You can also freeze the bedding and clothes twenty-four hours before washing as high temperatures kill mites. Extremely hot or cold temperatures are effective in killing mites from the fabric. Freezing does not kill other allergens; it only eliminates mites.  

Add Another Layer Of Protection.

Mites feed on dead skin. Adding another layer of protective covering on the bed will decrease the chance of mite infestation. Box springs and pillow covers provide an extra layer of protection.  

Remove Wall-to-wall Carpet.

Typically, carpets are the breeding ground of dust mites. They contain a maximum number of dust mites. Therefore, wall-to-wall carpeting is not recommended.

If you have a mite infestation in the house, immediately remove wall-to-wall carpeting and replace it with floor lamination or tile.  

Use Hygrometer

Use a hygrometer inside the home to decrease humidity as dust mites live in a highly humid environment. Seventy to eight percent humidity is ideal for dust mites to grow.  

Install Air Conditioner

Install an air conditioner as keeping the house clean and dry will eliminate the dust mites. Lower room temperatures decrease the chance of dust mites surviving.  

Use Essential Oil

Essential oils are effective in killing dust mites. You can use essential oils while washing clothes and bedding to kill the dust mites concentrated in them. High temperature and essential oil work together effectively to eliminate all allergens.

Using an air diffuser will kill all the dust mites in the room. A recent study has proven that essential oils from various plants are an efficient substitute for killing several species of mites.

As per the research of Qing-Ming fu, pure essential oils, including eugenol, caryophyllene, and camphor, as well as crude essential oils, are effective in killing dust mites.  

Clean Bathroom

Dirty bathrooms are also a source of dust mites. Clean your bathroom once in two days. Take out and wash all the dirty clothes, towels, and mats. Use high-quality detergent to wash the walls and floors. Do not forget to clean the accessories as well. Steaming with hot water will also kill the dust mites.

Conclusion  

High temperature kills dust mites. Surprisingly dust mites thrive in warm and humid environments but cannot survive extreme hot or cold temperatures. Either dry cleaning or tumbling drying the clothes at a temperature of at least 131-degree Fahrenheit will kill the dust mites.

Dry cleaning the carpets, clothes, beddings, pillows, or any other fabric have a hundred percent dust mite mortality. However, washing clothes in hot water to kill dust mite is slightly complicated, and it does not give hundred percent results.

Other ways to eliminate dust mites are vacuuming, freezing, and regular cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms, and closets.  

References

E3S Web Conf. Volume 271, 20212021 2nd International Academic Conference on Energy Conservation, Environmental Protection and Energy Science (ICEPE 2021)

Miller, J.D. The Role of Dust Mites in AllergyClinic Rev Allerg Immunol 57, 312–329 (2019)

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