How to get rid of dust mites quickly in 7 simple ways

Woman cleaning with feather duster
Woman cleaning with feather duster (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re prone to indoor allergies, you’ll need to know how to get rid of dust mites in the home quickly. Dust mites are tiny, microscopic pests that live in dusty areas around the home. They feed off dead skin flakes shed by people and pets every day (gross!), and multiply quickly. 

Trouble is, these pesky insects are everywhere, hiding in your sofa and bed, and thriving in warm, humid environments. Even though we know how to clean every room in the home, there are hidden spots that often get missed. That’s why it’s vital to know how to get rid of dust mites quickly with the right steps.

What’s more, dust mites are a nightmare for allergy sufferers, causing sneezing, wheezing, asthma and other illnesses.  Although you can’t completely eliminate dust mites forever (sadly), there are ways you can reduce dust levels and prevent mites from breeding in numbers. So, if you want an allergen (and critter) free home, follow these top tips on how to get rid of dust mites quickly in the home.

 1. Clean and wash bedding often 

Cleaning mattress

Cleaning mattress (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Dust mites thrive in warm environments, especially in the bedroom. Start by washing your bedding, including pillowcases, sheets, and covers, in high temperatures every two weeks. The ideal temperature to wash your bedding is at least 130 degrees F, before drying them on a hot setting of 130 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

You can opt for an anti-allergen laundry detergent that contains active  ingredients to reduce dust mites. We can recommend The Ecology Works Anti Allergen Solution Laundry Detergent, 40 oz. ($18, Amazon) for cleaner laundry. Clean your mattress often with a steam cleaner, as the high temperature will kill any dust mites.

In addition, you can buy anti-allergy pillows like this Aller-Ease Allergy Cotton Pillow, 1 Count ($22, Amazon) or one of the best mattress protectors to reduce dust mites. 

2. Steam clean carpets, rugs and sofas

Steam cleaning blue carpet

Steam cleaning blue carpet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Vacuum carpets and rugs daily with one of the best vacuum cleaners that uses a HEPA filter. Bear in mind that dry vacuuming doesn't always pick up dust mites, so steam cleaning is more effective in killing the critters. Use a steam cleaner for your carpets, sofa, and soft furnishings once a week, as these tend to pick up dust daily. 

Most steam cleaners reach a temperature of 200 to 250 degrees F, which is even hotter than the temperatures in washing machines and dryers. In addition, steam also disinfects the home by killing bacteria and mold spores. 

3. Wipe your surfaces with a damp cloth

Cleaning with blue cloth

Cleaning with blue cloth (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Tackle dusty areas around the home regularly with a damp cloth. Dry cloths or feather dusters will only stir up the dust and spread the allergens into the air, while a damp cloth will contain it. Keep rinsing your cloth in clean, warm water throughout the process so you don’t spread the dust around. Make sure you do this for all furniture, bookshelves, windowsills and other items that quickly collect dust. 

4.  Buy a dehumidifier 

Midea dehumidifier

Humidifier on table (Image credit: Future)

Dust mites thrive in high humidity areas, so make sure you open windows on a daily basis and get good ventilation indoors. If you have rooms with high humidity, a good option is to invest in a dehumidifier that works to remove moisture from the air and improve the air quality. Dry temperature conditions will help to reduce the number of dust mites. 

5. …and lower your room temperatures 

Thermostat on wall

Thermostat on wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, keeping a cool temperature in your home will prevent dust mites from breeding and multiplying at a fast rate. Typically, dust mites thrive in temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, so set the temperature in your home no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit ideally. 

6. Get rid of heavy curtains  

Curtains on window

Curtains on a window (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Heavy fabrics or window treatments are the perfect, warm hiding place for dust mites. If you can’t machine-wash these, replace them with wooden blinds or window shutters that can be dusted more often - especially for those who suffer from allergies. These may not look so stylish for your bedroom interiors, but will save you from dusting all the time.

7. Make an essential oil spray 

Essential oil bottles

Essential oil bottles (Image credit: Shutterstock)

There are certain essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree oil that repels dust mites and most bugs. Make a spray solution by mixing two cups of distilled water with two tablespoons of tea tree oil and two tablespoons of eucalyptus oil. Then, pour the mixture into a dark spray bottle (to prevent light from spoiling the oils) before lightly spraying on your bed, pillows, and furniture. Not only will this get rid of dust mites, it will also disinfect and prevent viruses and fungi.  

Another tip is to combine a few drops of essential oil with baking soda and sprinkle it over the surfaces of fabric. Leave on for at least an hour before vacuuming the baking soda residue away. If you want to know what else you can clean with baking soda, check out these 10 things you didn’t know you could clean with baking soda for a sparkling home.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!