Cleaning mattresses as an effective strategy against mites
Dust mites particularly like to live in mattresses and feed here on the 1 – 2 grams of skin scales that everyone loses every day. They are not dangerous per se, as they do not transmit diseases and can neither sting nor bite. Nevertheless, many people have an allergy to them, in Germany seven percent of the population. How professional mattress cleaning can help to combat the problem and what measures can be taken for allergy sufferers is explained below.
Mites are found in every mattress, in an average mattress there are about two million. But they also live in bedding, pillows and upholstery. However, this has nothing to do with a lack of hygiene, because these little animals are found in almost every home. At 0.1 – 0.5 mm they are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
The allergy is the second most common in Germany and is caused by the excrements of the animals. Every animal produces up to 20 pellets of excrement daily, which are inhaled in the form of fine dust. Allergy sufferers then react with shortness of breath, watery and irritated eyes, sneezing fits, skin rashes or even itching. As the symptoms are similar to those of a cold, an allergy can go undetected, which can have serious consequences and can lead to asthma, for example.
Measures to reduce the mite burden
Keeping the mite burden low need not be a difficult task. A first measure should be to keep the temperature in the bedrooms between 18 – 20 °C. In addition, the humidity should not be higher than 45 – 55 %. To avoid unnecessary humidity, it is advisable not to have plants in the bedroom. In addition, the rooms should be ventilated several times a day. Any dust traps should be removed, chests of drawers and cupboards closed. Before heating is started again in the cold months, the heaters should be cleaned. Duvet covers, pillows and curtains should be washed at 60°C to reduce mite exposure. If one of the materials must not be washed so hot, it can be placed in the freezer for a few hours.
Professional mattress cleaning
Neither the mites nor their excrement can be removed with a standard vacuum cleaner, so cleaning the mattress at home is often complicated. A vacuum cleaner would even have a rather negative effect, as it would also stir up dust.
In professional mattress cleaning, powerful UVC lamps are used to get rid of the little animals. It not only kills the mites, but also bacteria, other germs and fungal spores. A special vacuum cleaner, which works with a fine filter, special dust bags and high vacuum, then removes the dead little animals together with excrement and mite eggs. Due to the high suction power, the interior is also reliably cleaned of allergens and other dirt. Thanks to the UVC light, there is no need for chemical cleaning agents, which would otherwise further strain the respiratory tract.
Encasing bed covers
Allergic mattresses could not really improve the problem. Adding mite-impermeable protective covers, so-called encasing bed covers, can help to alleviate the symptoms of the allergy if the mattress has been properly cleaned beforehand. It protects above all through the fine-meshed fabric, through which no allergens can reach the skin. It should be remembered here that bed linen should not be washed too often, as this can cause it to lose its effectiveness. It is sufficient to put them in the washing machine once every three months, as it is best to wash them separately.
If possible, a person who is not allergic to the mites should take care of removing and changing the bed, as many particles are stirred up. It is recommended that allergy sufferers wear a mask. Incidentally, the costs for the special bed cover can be covered by the health insurance company in particularly severe cases.
In order to effectively reduce the number of mites in the bedroom, you should consider professional cleaning of the mattress in addition to some measures that you can take yourself, as this is an efficient way to reduce suffering.
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