The dangers of dust mites and how to get rid of them
How often do you wash your bedsheets? We asked the nation this question and the answers were a bit of surprise.
Washing and changing your bedsheets once a week is what the experts recommend, but, according to our nationwide poll, more than two in three people in the UK (67%) don’t get round to cleaning their sheets so frequently. In fact, one in five (20%) Brits only wash their sheets once a month and, for 8% of the nation, bedsheets are changed only four times a year or less!
- Manchester – every 4.8 weeks
- Sheffield – 3.7 weeks
- Norwich – 3.6 weeks
- Belfast – 3.5 weeks
- London – 3.4 weeks
- Bristol – 3.4 weeks
- Cardiff – 3.4 weeks
- Newcastle – 2.9 weeks
- Birmingham – 2.9 weeks
- Leeds – 2.8 weeks
Aside from being a bit gross, not changing and washing your sheets also has the disadvantage of allowing dust mites and bacteria to fester. Tiny bugs that can only be seen under a microscope, dust mites feed off dead skin cells in the air or on surfaces in the home, and they tend to live in mattresses.
An invisible enemy, dust mites are not only a trigger for allergies, but they can also wreak havoc for those with those asthma, worsening the symptoms and making asthma attacks more likely. For those with allergies, they can make you wheezy, can give you a runny nose or make you feel bunged up, can cause sneezing and coughing, and can even give some people a nasty rash. That’s quite a lot of damage caused by bugs that you can’t even see!
But how do we keep dust mites at bay in the bedroom?
For expert advice on dealing with dust mites, we spoke to Dean Davies, a Cleaning Specialist at online cleaning and maintenance provider, Fantastic Services:
- Use hypoallergenic bedding
Hypoallergenic sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases give you quite an edge in the fight against dust mites as the tightly woven design and tiny pore size of the fabric prevents them from penetrating through the material. This type of bedding is a safe and affordable solution for protecting yourself from unwanted dust mites, micro toxins, mould and even bed bugs.
- Keep humidity low
Dust mites dislike dry environments. If you keep the humidity below 60% in your home, the chances of dust mites spreading rapidly will drop significantly. To do this, you’ll probably need a dehumidifier, which will help keep moisture levels low. An added benefit of dehumidifiers is that they combat the growth of mould inside your home.
- Avoid carpeting where possible
Replacing your carpets with hard floor surfaces will substantially reduce the dust mite population inside your home. This is because hard floors are easier to clean and create a less-favourable environment for dust mites.
- Dust off surfaces with a damp rag
Unsurprisingly, getting rid of dust helps combat dust mites in the home. It’s important to keep on top of dusting but use a damp rag rather than a feather duster. Dusters tend to stir up the particles and mites on surfaces, while a damp cloth gets rid of the dust mites more effectively.
- Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter
Since dust mite particles are often suspended in the air, it helps to have a quality air purifier in the room. Purifiers with a HEPA filter catch dust mites and other allergens from the air and remove them, blowing out clean air.
- Wash your bedding
Changing your bedding once a week means that you are regularly removing the dust that comes from dead skin cells and the dust mites that might have rested there. Make sure you wash your sheets, pillowcases and duvets at 60 degrees to kill dust mites and bacteria so they are fresh when you put them back on your bed.
In addition to the above tips, it’s important to change your mattress every six to eight years. Check out our range of comfortable and affordable mattresses with next day delivery.