What’s that lurking in your couch? Is it an ant? Maybe a spider? Possibly a stale chip? Chances are it’s something worse. If your house is like most American homes than dust mites thrive in your pillows and in your upholstery. To make matters worse, during its 80-day lifespan, the average dust mite produces about 1,000 allergen waste particles. These waste particulates can cause serious harm to those who suffer from allergies and respiratory illnesses.
Dust mites – the most common cause of asthma and allergies – thrive in warm, dark areas of the home including carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, curtains and mattresses. A good, thorough house cleaning that includes those areas typically cleaned less often can reduce the allergic triggers caused by dust mites and reduces other health risks for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies. To remove the unwanted dirt, allergens and germs that have been lingering and breeding all winter, Chem-Dry, the world’s leading carpet and upholstery cleaning service, has made it their mission to educate families on proper cleaning methods to ensure the health and well-being of their home and loved ones.
The experts at Chem-Dry recommend the following techniques for overlooked germ hotspots to help minimize germs and reduce allergens.
- Furniture Upholstery. Upholstered furniture including sofas, love seats, recliners and dining room chairs provide a cozy haven for dust mites. To reduce dust build-up, thoroughly vacuum fabric-covered furniture and wash removable upholstery covers in hot water, letting them air dry.
- Carpets, Rugs and Mats. Carpeting, rugs and mats accumulate dust and can become a feeding ground for microscopic dust mites. They pick up everything from pet urine to toenails and can hold approximately 200,000 bacteria per square inch. So it’s important to deep clean the area underneath rugs and mats as well. Bacteria and germs hiding in carpet fibers are not killed by vacuuming alone. You should consider a carpet and oriental rug cleaning by a professional at least three times a year.
- Curtains and Blinds. Window curtains and blinds collect dust and dirt easily. Remove dust build-up by shutting blinds and dusting with a microfiber cloth. Next, close the blinds in the opposite direction for a quick, thorough wipe-down using a non-toxic window cleaner and a clean cloth.
- Mattress. The average bed holds up to 10,000 dust mites, which can cause hay fever, asthma and allergies. Mattresses are a dust mite’s paradise as people sweat up to a half pint of moisture each night and shed up to nine pounds of skin each year while they sleep. Vacuum the mattress thoroughly and turn it over. Mattresses should be vacuumed at least once a month and turned over every six months to reduce dust mites.
- On Top of Furniture. The tops and surfaces of furniture can be overlooked and easily collect dust. When cleaning surfaces such as table tops and shelves, use a dryer sheet as a dust cloth; not only will it pick up dust mites, but it will eliminate static and make it harder for particles to adhere to the surface. To save time, dust before vacuuming the floors since dust and debris will fall to the floor.
- Behind Stove and Refrigerator. Over time, crumbs, grease and other unwanted particles accumulate in these areas, providing a food source for insects and other pests. If possible, move the appliance out from the wall and unplug. Using a long-handled, slightly damp sponge, mop the back of the appliance to lift dust from the surface and then wipe the floor and walls with hot soapy water.
To increase the cleanliness and healthfulness of the home, the EPA recommends that most homes have their carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned at least two to three times per year while bathrooms, kitchens, walls and tile or stone surfaces are generally recommended for a professional cleaning every 12 months to maintain a happier and healthier home. Using Chem-Dry’s proprietary Hot Carbonating Extraction method, you can remove dust mites from your house in as little as one day. Call for a free quote today!