How Do I Store Clothes to Avoid Dust Mites and Mold?
Dust mites are pesky microscopic creatures that are part of the arachnid or spider family. These mites are unfortunately, invisible to the eye and can travel through the air. They thrive in warm and moist environments and can be found in almost every corner of the house. Dust mites feed on dead skin flakes of humans and animals as well as mold spores. They are considered as one of the major causes of indoor air pollution, which leads to numerous health problems including allergies, congestion, dizziness, runny noses, sleeping problems, and watery eyes. These mites are health hazards, especially for people with allergies and asthma.
Dust Mites in the House
Dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. There are at least 12 species of dust mites that can be found in almost every part of the house. The female dust mite reproduces every 30 days and usually have a month-long life span. Their population normally increases during the humid summer months and then wanes at winter time. Dust mites are immune to poisons such as insecticides when they are in their dormant stage.
Common Breeding Grounds for Dust Mites at Home
Dust mites are commonly found in the following fixtures or areas at home:
Beddings, Couches, and Cushions
This means that comforters, mattresses, pillows, and sheets are not safe. You are literally sleeping with the enemy since the warm temperature of the bed makes it a perfect breeding ground for dust mites.
If you constantly suffer from allergies, then it is not advisable to install carpets at home. There could be at least a million dust mites living all over the carpet.
Dust mites can even enter your closet and stick to your clothes. That’s why sometimes when you wear your clothes, it itches a little. Dust mites will surely thrive especially through items that are often used.
How to Keep Dust Mites away from Clothes
Unfortunately, there is no part of the house that is safe from dust mites. These creatures can find their way to your closet and live off on your clothes and other personal items. There may be a little difficult to get rid of, but there are a few tips on how to prevent them:
Clean your closet
Take out all the clothes or other items and clean the closet from the inside. You can use a vacuum cleaner or manually wipe off traces of dust or dirt on the surface. Pay close attention to the corners of the closet and make sure that there are no dust bunnies present or huddled up in the corner. Do not forget to clean or wipe everything including the front just to be on the safe side.
Place your closet in an area where natural sunlight can come through. Direct sunlight can actually kill dust mites while the regular use of dehumidifier can help prevent the spread of dust mites too.
Organize your closet
This means that you need to throw away all out of style clothes or those that you no longer wear. Make a quick inventory and check which clothes are still in good shape. Old clothes are prone to molds or mildew and other nasty stuff so make sure to throw them away. Reduce all items or clothing that will just gather dust to minimize the risk of dust mites living in the closet or in the space.
It is also advisable to store clothes for special occasions or seasonal clothes in an airtight container to avoid dust mites.
Make sure that your clothes are clean when you keep them
Always make sure that your clothes are clean before storing them. Separate worn clothes by placing them in a hamper ready for laundry. Use effective detergent and other cleaning materials to get rid of all allergens. If you have known allergies though, choose a detergent won’t harm both your skin and the fabric of your clothes.
This process will surely get rid of all allergens and dust mites that are still lurking in your closet. Steam cleaning the clothes will not only freshen them but the process can also kill all dust mites and other insects that have made your clothes their home.