Things You'll Need
UV safety glasses
UV-C light wand
Use the free UV light that comes from the sun whenever possible. Hang bedding and rugs in direct sunlight for at least three hours, and then vacuum or shake them to remove the dead dust mites. Open blinds and allow sunlight to shine on mattresses and carpets that can not be easily or practically carried outside.
Some vacuum cleaners have UV-C lights built into attachments, designed to kill mites and remove them from mattresses, carpets and furniture. Always follow the manufacturer's directions when using these attachments.
Exposure to UV-C light can cause damage to skin and eyes. Never point a UV-C wand at another person, and be careful not to place hands or other body parts directly in the path of a UV-C light source.
Though too small to be seen with the naked eye, dust mites are present in most homes and live in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and carpet. They do not bite or harm humans, but some people are allergic to them and may experience asthma, dermatitis and other reactions when exposed to the mites. A study published in the "Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine" showed that exposure to ultraviolet C light -- UV-C -- can kill dust mites and their eggs. To reduce allergy symptoms, however, you must remove the dead dust mites and associated debris from your home via vacuuming or other means.
Put on safety glasses that offer protection from UV radiation. Many UV-C wands sold for household use automatically turn themselves off if the unit is held with the lamp up, but protect your eyes with goggles in case this safety device should fail for any reason.
Hold the UV wand as close to the surface to be cleaned as possible, with the lamp facing down, and then turn the unit on.
Move the UV wand across the surface you are cleaning slowly and evenly, keeping it as close to the surface as you can without touching it. Be sure to keep the wand level while you use it. For best results, repeat the process a second time.
Turn your UV wand off when you're finished using it, and store it out of the reach of children.
Sanitize the surfaces in your home when you clean them. Once you notice a fresh, clean smell in the sanitized area or see an improvement in your allergy symptoms, use the wand weekly to keep the dust mite population under control.
- Verilux, Inc.: UV-C Frequently Asked Questions
- AllergEnd Healthy Bedding Solutions: Tips to Reduce House Dust Mite Allergens -- Mite Dust
- United States Department of Agriculture: Integrated Management of House Dust Mites and Their Allergens for Prevention of Allergies and Asthma
- Bedford Hospital NHS Trust: Reducing House Dust Mites
- Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine: Effect of Germicidal UV-C Light(254 nm) on Eggs and Adult of House Dustmites, Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides Farinae (Astigmata: Pyroglyhidae)
Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.