Dust mites are pretty much ignored until they start causing allergy problems to you or your loved ones. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before you launch a full-fledged war with these microscopic pests.
Sometimes, the arsenal that turns the tide in your favor is in the form of a common household product, the baking soda. Used by moms and chefs alike in making doughs to rise, baking soda may be what you need in killing the menacing dust mites.
What Is Baking Soda Made Of?
Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate. It is a naturally occurring substance in living things which helps them in the maintenance of their PH balance.
Specifically, sodium bicarbonate is produced in the pancreas to improve digestion. It is an acid salt that reacts as a mild alkali with other chemicals.
Baking soda is obtained in two ways. The first one is through the passing of ammonia and carbon dioxide through concentrated sodium chloride. It can also be mined where it comes in the form of an ore called trona.
Regardless of the process used in obtaining the baking soda, it is dissolved into a solution. Carbon dioxide is then bubbled through this solution. After that, sodium bicarbonate precipitates out from this process forming baking soda.
Some common uses of baking soda include:
- Freshening of breath
- Polishing teeth or as a natural toothpaste
- As a natural air freshener
- In exfoliating of the skin as it is gentle
- It is used as a safe antacid for relieving heartburns
- In relieving insect bites
- It can also be used as a floor cleaner
Is Baking Soda Effective In Killing Dust mites?
A study was conducted to test whether or not baking soda applied to the bedroom or living room carpets had an effect on dust mites allergen levels, lung function and medication use in asthma patients over a one year period.
The study showed that baking soda did not have much of an effect on the mean allergen levels. There wasn’t much of a change recorded in the patients’ lung function or use of medication by the patients.
This could perhaps be because of the frequency in which the test was done. Further studies need to be conducted to test the effectiveness of baking soda in killing dust mites but this should be done more frequently and over a longer period of time in order to get the right conclusion (1).
Dust mites are commonly found in beds. This is because we sleep on our beds with each passing day and as a result, sweat, dead cells and dust accumulate on the mattress. This provides for a perfect breeding ground for the dust mites and could lead to allergies.
Baking soda is an antiseptic and will, therefore, absorb the moisture as well as dirt. Furthermore, it has properties that will see to it that any bad odor present is eliminated and your bed will subsequently be fresh. That shows that there is a strong possibility that baking soda could be effective in killing dust mites. (2)
How To Use Baking Soda To Kill Dust Mites
There are a number of ways you can use to eliminate dust mites. One of them is using baking soda and vacuuming. This method is very effective for mattresses that have a fabric surface. It is however not advisable to use this method directly on latex or even memory foam core.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Get a pack of pure baking soda.
- Mix a cup of baking soda with a few drops of essential oil. There is a variety of essential oils around. The choice of oil is yours to make, but I suggest that you use these essential oils that kill dust mites.
- Sprinkle the baking soda on the mattress then allow it to sit for about fifteen minutes.
- Vacuum it all off. While doing this, use the hose attachment to completely suck up the baking soda. Doing this will ensure all the dust mites and the baking soda are sucked up completely. A vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter is the best for this task because it is very effective in picking up the dust mites and containing them compared to ordinary vacuum cleaners which will spread the dust mites around instead.
Using Baking Soda With Essential Oil To Eliminate Dust Mites
Using baking soda with essential oil is very effective in freshening your mattress. This is because you will be able to get benefits from both the baking soda and the essential oil. The best part is, in as much as expired essential oils are harmful when used on the skin, they are still very useful in cleaning products. So regardless of whether or not it is fresh, it is still very useful.
The essential oil will bring out a beautiful smell which will make your cleaning process feel like aromatherapy. The essential oil and baking soda mixture ensure that your home is safe from toxic chemicals because they are both natural cleaners.
Essential oils aside from just treating allergies can kill the primary source of the allergies, which are the dust mites. In order to get the best results, it is advisable to pick essential oils that naturally contain acaricides.
Some of the essential oils that you can use for this process include:
- Clove essential oil– According to Egyptian researchers, clove essential oil is the most effective one when it comes to the killing of the house dust mites because it has an abundance of Eugenol at 62%.
- Eucalyptus essential oil – According to a study by Australian researchers, eucalyptus essential oil reduced dust mites by a startling 97%. This is thanks to the 1.8- cineol present in it. The oil also reduces allergic reactions.
- Rosemary essential oil – The Egyptians also did a study that found rosemary oil very effective in killing dust mites, also because of the 1.8- cineol present in it.
- Tea tree oil – This essential oil is also very effective in the elimination of dust mites.
- Fennel essential oil – Fennel essential oil is also very effective in killing dust mites. However, it should be used moderately. It should also not be used around pregnant women or people with epilepsy.
Precautions When Using Baking Soda
Compared to many other cleaning products, baking soda is relatively safe. However, it could present a safety concern seeing that it could cause eye irritation. Seeing that it is mostly powdery, it is advisable to wear goggles when handling it.
It could also irritate the skin and therefore, protective gloves and even clothing should be worn when handling baking soda.
It will be far-fetched to claim that baking soda can totally eradicate dust mites in your home. The harsh truth is, you can’t kill off all the dust mites in your home, but it is possible to reduce them to a level where their presence is not triggered.
I hope you have great results eliminating dust mites with baking soda. Let me know how it fares for you.