Dust mites are microscopic, but live by the millions in most households. They live on pet dander, organic materials such as wool and human skin cells. Although they don't bite humans, the dust created by their activity causes allergic reactions ranging from minor respiratory symptoms to asthma, and even depression. They are most commonly found in beds, but may also live in furniture, carpets and stuffed animals. Washing soft surfaces, such as bedding, in hot water very effectively kills them, but you'll need other strategies for dealing with dust mites in a leather couch. Your strategies should include cleaning the couch itself, as well as cleaning the air.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vacuum with brush attachment
- Damp cloth
- Air purifier
Vacuum the leather couch weekly using a vacuum with a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter or water filter. Remove the cushions and vacuum in all the crevices, working slowly and thoroughly. The vacuum will remove not only dust mites, but the dust they feed on.
Wipe the couch after vacuuming with a slightly damp cloth to remove any remaining mites.
Decrease the humidity in your home by running an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Mites thrive when air temperatures are between 21.1 and 26.7 degrees Celsius and the humidity level is above 70 per cent. Homes that use an air conditioner have 10 times fewer dust mites than those without an air conditioner, according to the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Run an air purifier with a HEPA filter, rather than an ion-generating filter. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter clean the air more efficiently. Ion-generating filters also produce ozone, which can cause lung irritation and aggravate allergy-related illnesses.
Tips and warnings
- Don't allow pets to sit on the leather couch. Their fur increases dust in the room and also provides food for mites.
- Store the couch in a cold location, such as an unheated garage or basement, for several days. Wrap the couch tightly in plastic, such as packing plastic used by movers, to suffocate the dust mites.
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