You need to get creative when it comes to killing dust mites. Not every items can be regularly washed, which makes dry cleaning an alternative. But, does it kill dust mites?
About Dust Mites
Dust mites are tiny bugs that feed on the dead skin cells people and their pets shed. In most cases, these dead skin cells are found in your bedding and carpeted areas in your home.
A single mattress could harbor tens of thousands of these microscopic bugs. About 100,000 of them can live in just a square meter of a carpet. Most people are oblivious to the presence of dust mites until they started getting allergies.
How Dry Cleaning Works?
Dry cleaning is very much like your regular bedding laundering, except instead of using water and detergent to clean the bedding, a liquid solvent that contains little or no water is used.
The process incorporates the use of large dry-cleaning machines that are computer-controlled and technically advanced which is why it’s so effective. The bedding will get wet but the liquid solvent used evaporates faster than water.
After the process, the solvent is not drained but is re-circulated, distilled, and completely purified before it’s used again. It’s not drained like soiled water usually is after laundry.
Does Dry Cleaning Kill Dust Mites?
Dry cleaning combines the use of expertise, heat, and sometimes, some special solutions that ensure your bedding, fabrics, or upholstery are completely sterilized. After the dry clean process, the items are treated with steam.
The steam applied is hot enough to kill living mites on the items. In short, it is safe to say that dry cleaning kills dust mites. It is proven that heat exceeding 55°C (131°F) is lethal to dust mites.
Does It Denature Dust Mite Allergen?
Dust mite allergen is a type of protein usually found in dust mite’s excretion. The allergen is what triggers allergic reactions in our body. Therefore, killing dust mites isn’t enough, but you’ll want to denature the allergen as well.
Can dry cleaning denature the allergen?
Yes. The heat applied at the end of the process not only destroys the mites but also deactivates the allergic-causing protein. Dry cleaning is a decent method in getting rid of dust mites in fabric, clothes, and bedding.
But, Is Dry Cleaning Safe?
Dry cleaning is a quick way to get rid of stubborn stain, thanks to tetrachloroethylene or PERC, the solvent used in the process. Apparently, tetrachloroethylene is a hazardous chemical that could potentially damage the liver, kidney, and other organs.
According to CDC, exposure to tetrachloroethylene may also cause cancer. The usage of this chemical also leads to environmental issues, when leaks or improper disposal occurs.
Therefore, dry cleaning isn’t an ideal method in killing dust mites, when safety is considered.
Dry Cleaning Alternative
Remember that it was only a specific part of the dry cleaning process that is responsible for killing dust mites.
It was the steam-treatment part. In dry cleaning, the cleaners use steam pressing machine to iron, steam, and deliver the finishing touch to the garment.
If the garment is not tainted by stubborn stains, getting a portable stream press is more than enough to kill dust mites.