Dust mites are tiny insects that feed off dead skin flakes found on sheets, pillows, fabric and dust around your home. It is the dust mite droppings and pieces of dead dust mites that can aggravate allergies.
Fortunately, you can decrease the number of dust mite droppings by doing laundry often and correctly.
How to Reduce Dust MitesBed Linens
We spend a great deal of time in the bedroom with direct skin contact with bed linens where dust mites thrive. Bedding - sheets, blankets and bed covers - should be washed weekly in hot water (130-140 degrees F.) to kill dust mites. Cold water will not always remove the allergens.
If you prefer to use cold water, be sure to dry the linens for at least ten consecutive minutes at 130 degrees F. to kill the mites.
Pillows should also be washed frequently. Directions for cleaning feather, foam and polyester-filled pillows can be found here.Towels and Bathmats
Even though the humidity of the bathroom helps reduce dry skin, dust mites can still thrive. Towels and bathmats should be washed after two or three uses in hot water.Stuffed Toys
If you have a child with allergies, stuffed toys should be washed frequently - especially if the child sleeps with the toy. Most toys can be cleaned following these tips.Curtains and Household Fabrics
In addition to regular vacuuming and dusting, all fabrics that can be washed should be done frequently including throw rugs and curtains.