Owing to its antibacterial properties, Dettol is a widely used product globally. It is known to be a great antiseptic that kills germs, but can it kill dust mites as well? Dust mites often thrive in homes, especially in the bedroom around bedding and also in carpeting.
Below, we discuss Dettol’s components and applications to understand its effectiveness against these stubborn allergens.
What Is Dettol Made Of?
Dettol is made up of a combination of ingredients with the key active one being antiseptic phenol. This active ingredient exists in a concentration of 4.8 percent, that is of weight to volume, and is called chloroxylenol BP. Chloroxylenol gives it antibacterial properties and as such it kills bacteria, fungi, and micro bacterium.
In addition to this, Dettol is made up of other ingredients that add to its antiseptic nature, give it its color and make it soluble in water namely:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Pine oil
- Castor oil soap
- Caramel coloring
Isopropyl alcohol acts as a secondary antiseptic. It is colorless, flammable, and has a strong smell. This ingredient is often used in the disinfection of medical tools. It is however not used in sterilizing since it does not eliminate fungi.
The pine oil, upon dilution in water, ends up emulsifying and forming a cloudy liquid which is the same occurrence when Dettol is diluted in water. It is made from a combination of twigs, cones, and needles of pine trees. It is known to have mild antiseptic properties and is also a disinfectant. It is also responsible for the distinct smell Dettol has.
The castor oil soap is a product of castor bean oil. It contains ricinoleic acid in high concentration which holds the rest of the ingredients found in Dettol in a cohesive state until the Dettol is diluted in water.
The caramel coloring gives Dettol that yellow-brown color while the water serves as the diluent in the solution, holding all the ingredients.
Does Dettol Kill Dust Mites?
As mentioned above, dust mites are common pests that are known to find shelter, especially in bedding and carpeting around our homes. While they are very hard to get rid of, Dettol can be used to eliminate them.
While using hot water for laundry is recommended in the elimination of dust mites, it might not be possible to do so with certain fabrics. As such, the ingredients used in the making of Dettol, especially chloroxylenol and isopropyl alcohol come in handy. They have antibacterial and antiseptic properties that eliminate allergens such as dust mites.
Spraying Dettol on surfaces is also said to eliminate up to 90% of allergens, thus keeping you safe from any allergic reactions.
Precautions When Using Dettol for Dust mites
Just like many other disinfectants, use of Dettol calls for certain precautions which include:
Keeping Dettol away from the reach of children
While Dettol is relatively safer than a lot of other antiseptics and disinfectants, you need to keep it away from children’s reach. Store Dettol properly in a cool and dry place that is well ventilated. Also, avoid removing the label from the container as you do not want children to get confused and use it for purposes other than the recommended ones.
Remember, drinking it could be poisonous due to the chloroxylenol present in it.
Diluting Dettol in water
Dettol should be diluted in water to protect your skin whenever you are using it to wash your bedding. This is especially if you suffer from conditions such as eczema or have sensitive skin. The chloroxylenol can cause itching, redness, burning, rashes, or even swelling. You should also read the rest of the instructions on the bottle carefully before using it to kill dust mites.
Keeping it away from your face while opening it
As mentioned already, Dettol contains chloroxylenol which could cause an allergic reaction to the user. It is also poisonous which is why when opening the bottles containing Dettol, one must make sure the bottle is away from their face. Your eyes and mucous membranes should not be in contact with Dettol.
How to Use Dettol for To Kill Dust Mites
Dettol has antiseptic properties and generally works as a disinfectant. Whenever you are using it to wash your bedding, dilute it in water then soak your bedding in it for a few minutes. The soaking allows for the dust mites to come into contact with chloroxylenol and isopropyl alcohol which subsequently kill them.
You can also use Dettol to clean children’s toys to get rid of dust mites. Machine wash the toys on a hot cycle of above 55 degrees in which Dettol has been added. It is also effective in cleaning surfaces that might contain dust mite residue. All you need to do for this is spray some on the surface and wipe them thoroughly.
Is There A Better Way of Killing Dust Mites
While Dettol can be used to kill dust mites, there exist several other methods of killing these allergens that are even safer. They include:
Use of essential oils
Essential oils are a safer option when it comes to fighting and killing dust mites considering they come from plants. They have for many years been used in homes for a number of reasons including aromatherapy, among others. Rosemary, eucalyptus, clove, lavender, and tea tree oils are very effective in killing dust mites.
You can add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to either the detergent or your laundry washer. Remember, to protect your clothes and bedding, mix the oils in water, and avoid direct application to the clothes or bedding. After that, soak your clothes and bedding in the mixture containing the essential oil for about fifteen minutes before you proceed with the washing.
Use of natural dust mite sprays
While humans find essential oil refreshing, dust mites are repelled by their scents. As such, making dust mite repellant sprays using these essential oils is effective in keeping them at bay and is highly recommended, especially for people who suffer from dust mite allergies.
Creating a natural spray is a simple process that involves filling a spray bottle with water and then adding a few drops of these essential oils to it. Once made, mist your bedding using it and let it air dry for some minutes.
Keep your bedding clean and air them regularly
Dust mites are mostly found in bedding because they survive best in a warm and humid environment. Therefore, airing your bedding often makes it uncomfortable for them as it also helps in the evaporation of any humidity from your bed.
You should also wash your bedding in hot water weekly. Hot water is recommended because these dust mites are very resilient and can live in temperatures of up to 54 degrees Celcius. You can also make use of the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum your mattress every month.
Dettol spray is probably a potent solution for eliminating dust mites. If you’re going to use it, ensure that you take the proper precautions.
Will a spray of 1:20 diluted Dettol on mattresses, blankets and pillows be effective?
It should, although there are no studies on the efficacy rate. If possible, use hot water as heat is the most effective weapon against dust mites.