How to Kill Dust Mites

How to Kill Dust Mites

Shannon Potenzo

Dust mite allergies are never fun, no matter how mild or severe. Nobody likes congestion, or the headaches accompanying that congestion, or any of the other fun symptoms that come with most allergies. The problem is it’s really hard to get away from a dust mite allergy! Dust mites abound in every home. They are in our clothes, bedding, furniture, curtains, lampshades, carpet, toys, and so much more. They are tiny and they thrive in our environment.

Luckily, all hope is not lost! There are tried and true ways to kill dust mites. The trick is being diligent enough to keep them at bay, so they don’t exacerbate your allergies. Although, please keep in mind there is no way to completely rid your house of dust mites. However, there are several ways to significantly reduce their impact in your home, and first way kills them.

Expose Dust Mites to Extreme Temperatures

Exposing dust mites to extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, will kill them. You can wash your sheets, pillowcases, clothes, curtains, drapes, toys, pet bedding, or any other washable fabrics through your washer’s highest heat wash setting (hopefully above 130°F). This kills the mites and removes their fecal matter and skin particles. When drying, use the highest heat setting and allow the fabrics to dry completely at this temperature before removing. The heat from the dryer will take care of any remaining mites that may have survived the wash.

It's important to wash the fabrics you can in a hot washer and dryer weekly. This minimizes their population. You will want to pay extra close attention to your bedding. Even if you keep your home at a lower humidity and temperature, your body is humid and hot, making your bed an ideal environment for mites. Plus, that’s where you shed a lot of dead skin cells (read: dust mite food). If your allergy is severe enough, or you just want extra protection, look into getting allergen-proof bed covers.

For items that can’t make it through a hot wash, you can use the other extreme temperature to kill dust mites. Place these items in a plastic bag and in your freezer for at least 24 hours. This will surely kill all the dust mites. However, it won’t get rid of their droppings or skin cells (which is what actually causes dust mite allergies). You will need to take these items outside after freezing and vigorously shake them to rid them of the unwanted leavings.

Steam Cleanings

Steam cleanings are a great way to kill dust mites in areas that can’t be put into the washer, dryer, or freezer. Things like your carpet, upholstered furniture, bed and box spring, and cushions. Steam cleaners can reach temperatures up to 250°F, making them ideal for killing mites. Just remember, that steam cleaners only kill the mites, they don’t remove them. Be sure to vacuum (with a HEPA filter) after steam cleaning to remove their bodies and other leavings.

Additional Tips

Hostile Environments

Dust mites love a nice tropical (humid) climate that is warm and snuggly for them to reproduce and go about living their lives. While you can reduce the humidity and temperature in your home (keeping it at or below 50% humidity and 70°F) this doesn’t necessarily kill the dust mites. It just makes the environment more hostile for them to live and slows down their breeding process, yet they still prevail.

Remove Dust Regularly

Dust may be one of the biggest contributors to a dust mite allergy, only because it provides dust mites with their source of food. By removing their food supply, you can reduce the amount of dust mites in your home. It’s important to not use a traditional duster; they fling dust around and can suspend dust in the air, making it more likely you will breathe in more dust mites. The Dust Bender removes dust from your home! It literally takes the dust and puts it into your vacuum cleaner.

This is great because there are so many places that collect dust and one of the best ways to get rid of dust for good is by trapping it in your HEPA-filtered vacuum. The Dust Bender makes dusting easy, allowing you to keep all your belongings in place while removing the dust around them. Make dusting easy by making a list of all the places you can dust with the Dust Bender; if there are any places you can’t, be sure to use a wet rag to trap the dust and not fling it into the air.


All allergies are a pain, but we should be able to escape them in the comfort of our own home. There are easy ways to reduce symptoms, you just have to know how! Your best option is to kill dust mites when and where you can and do your best to make it hard for them to thrive elsewhere. The Dust Bender is an easy to use tool you can add to your weekly (or daily) routine. It makes dusting fun. Try one today and maybe you too can become a Dust Bender! Use our code “DustFree” to get 10% off your order and free shipping!