When you have dust mites problems to deal with, one of the commonly-mentioned remedies is using tannic acid. However, the term tannic acid may be unfamiliar to many and its efficacy unknown.
After dealing with my son’s dust mite allergy for more than 1 year, I’ve scoured the internet for more information on tannic acid, and more importantly, is it safe and effective in getting rid of dust mites.
What Is Tannic Acid?
Tannic acid is a form of plant polyphenol or tannin. It is a form of an organic compound found in plants. Tannic acid is used commercially and usually derived from Tara pods, gallnuts, and Sicilian Sumac leaves.
The use of tannic acid is quite common in various industries. It is a primary component to produce staining of woods. Tannic acid is also used in the textile industry as a dyeing agent.
In the food industry, tannic acid is a commonly used compound especially in beer, soft drinks, and wine production. The use of tannic acid is regulated by the FDA and it is generally categorized as safe by the body.
There are also suggestions that tannic acid is an effective agent against dust mites. As such, some dust mites spray and cleaning agents contain tannic acid.
Does Tannic Acid Kill Dust Mites?
Tannic acid has proved to be a lethal weapon against dust mites allergen. It functions by neutralizing the protein found in dust mites and their excretion. The protein is the root cause of the allergy symptoms developed by highly-sensitive individuals.
The use of tannic acid as a dust mite killing agent has been studied by researchers. A study was conducted by the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center to evaluate the effect of various chemical treatments against dust mites, including tannic acid.
In the study, the 3% tannic acid spray was used to treat 17 carpets. The carpets were treated twice in a space of 28 days and 6 samples were collected. It was found that tannic acid spray causes a remarkable 64% reduction in dust mites allergen.
The Humboldt University in Berlin conducted another study by applying 1% tannic acid on carpets containing two different species of dust mites. In this double-blind placebo-controlled test, the tannic acid solution was found to reduce the amount of allergen on carpets although by less than 20%.
While the numbers differ in both studies, the fact points to the effectiveness of tannic acid in neutralizing dust mites allergen. Does tannic acid kill the mites itself? There isn’t any study that suggests it does.
Potential Hazards Of Using Tannic Acids
While tannic acid is safe when taken in food-amount recommended by the FDA, excessive exposure on the skin may cause nausea, stomach irritation, vomiting, and liver damage.
Tannic Acids Based Products For Killing Dust Mites
Dust mites infestation can be frustrating. If you need extra firepower in killing dust mites, here are a couple of proven tannic-based commercial products that help.
1. Allersearch ADS Anti-Allergen Dust Spray
The Allersearch ADS dust spray uses tannic acid as its primary ingredient. It neutralizes the dust mites protein when sprayed on surfaces suspected to be the breeding spots of dust mites. You don’t have to use the spray frequently, as the effect will last for up to 90 days.
A single 32 oz. Allersearch spray will be sufficient for up to 600 sq feet of treatment. It is suitable for carpets, rugs, and upholsteries. There’s no worry about your pets or children as the Allersearch anti-allergen spray is rated safe for humans and pets. It’s also formulated to be environmentally-friendly.
2. Allersearch X-Mite Anti-Allergen Moist Powder Carpet Cleaner
Carpets can host hundreds of thousands of dust mites. The X-Mite moist powder is formulated with tannic acid to get rid of dust mites. It is a hassle-free solution where you don’t have to mix with shampoo or water. There’s no sticky residue in the aftermath of using the X-Mite.
Like the Allersearch dust spray, the X-mite is manufactured to be safe for humans, pets, and the earth. For optimal results, apply the X-mite every 90 days to keep dust mites allergen at a minimal.
Tannic Acid May Cause Staining In Carpets And Fabrics
It was mentioned that tannic acid is used for staining in the wood and textile industries. This means that using tannic-acid sprays or powders may stain carpets or fabrics. To be safe, you’ll want to avoid using tannic-acids on light-colored carpets and rugs. Instead, use Allersearch’s non-tannic acid formulated ADMS dust mite spray.
Controlling dust mites in your home is an arduous affair. While I’m not fond of tannic acid, I hope I’ve given you sufficient information to make an informed decision.