How to Kill Dust Mites With Steam

Updated November 21, 2016

Dust mites cause people who suffer from dust allergies much discomfort from runny noses to sneezing to coughing and itchy eyes. Dust mites live in clothing, pillows, bedspreads, couches and armchairs. Dust mites can be extremely hard to get rid of, and people will try everything from running their air conditioning to reduce the humidity in their houses to using dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses. One way people try to get rid of dust mites is by using steam. You can kill dust mites and their eggs with steam.

Purchase a steam vapour cleaner that has the right amount of pressure for your individual needs. Your vapour steam cleaner should have between 22.7 and 29.5 Kilogram per square inch (psi) of pressure. (Steam cleaners for commercial use may have higher than 65 psi.)

Put clean water into your vapour steam cleaner and add the correct attachment. The internal boiler temperature of the steam cleaner should be between 281 and 298 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, with a steam temperature of between 240 degrees and 270 degrees Fahrenheit at the nozzle tip. When the steam vapour cleaner is at this high temperature, it kills dust mites on contact. On average, cleaners with 50 psi will reach temperatures up to 138 degrees Celsius. If there is 65 psi, then the internal boiler temperature will reach 148 degrees Celsius.

Use the vapour steam cleaner at least every eight weeks on the areas of your home where you want to kill dust mites. The eggs can lay dormant for months in your carpet, and the best way to prevent these eggs from hatching into dust mites is to kill them with steam.

Clean your furniture and mattresses, too. Dust mites live in upholstery and cloth. To do a thorough cleaning of your house, you must use the vapour steam cleaner on items such as couches, armchairs, and beds as well as your carpet and tile.

Check the areas of your house for dust mite activity with a dust mite test kit. Dust mite kits take about an hour to detect how much dust mite allergen is left in your home after cleaning. The kits are easy to use at home, and they do not have to be sent to a laboratory to read.


Test a small portion of your furniture for any colour or fabric damage before you steam clean the entire piece.

Things You'll Need

  • Vapour steam cleaner
  • Water
  • Dust mite test kit (optional)
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