Does Steam Cleaning Kill Dust Mites?


Does Steam Cleaning Kill Dust Mites?

From time to time, we are asked the question “does steam cleaning kill dust mites?” First, here is a little information as to what we are dealing with…

What are dust mites?

does steam cleaning kill dust mites?

Dust mites are tiny microscopic bugs which mostly feed on dead skin cells from humans or pets and live on soft furnishings and carpets. You can’t see them, but they are the main cause of year-round allergies for some people. While they aren’t harmful in small numbers, larger numbers and their faeces can cause problems for people with allergies or asthma.

A cause of Allergies and Asthma

In recent studies, dust mites and their faeces have been found to be a significant cause of allergies and asthma attacks, and research has discovered that 81% of asthmatics tested have been triggered into attacks by these bugs and their faeces. A few symptoms related to these nasal allergies from dust mites include:

  • Sneezing
  • Running nose
  • Itchy, watery or red eyes
  • Congested nasal cavities
  • Itchiness in the nose, mouth or throat
  • Coughing
  • Pressure and pain in the face
  • Swollen, blue-coloured skin under your eyes
  • In children, upward rubbing of the nose

If you suspect you may have dust mites, it would be wise to take some necessary precautions just in case and see if this relieves your symptoms.

Does steam cleaning kill dust mites?

You can never fully eliminate all the dust mites from your home, but you can drastically reduce them by getting your carpets in your home steam cleaned.

The heat of the water used in steam cleaning is often high enough to kill dust mites and can be hotter than the temperatures used in washing machines and dryers which are advised to be used to kill dust mites in fabrics. The steam cleaning also naturally disinfects by killing bacteria and mould spores. It is important to observe that while the steam cleaning can kill the dust mites, some of the faeces and leftover bodies are what actually stimulate the allergies and bring about the symptoms may remain. So, after cleaning and the carpet had dried, it’s best to go over it again with a vacuum to make sure it’s all pulled out of the carpet.

Regular vacuuming is also important, not only to remove allergens but also to maintain the carpet and help to keep it looking good.

Additionally, according to a study at the University of Sydney Australia, adding Eucalyptus essential oil to your laundry will eliminate almost all of dust mites from your bedding. The heat from the dryer should kill off the rest.