Who are you sleeping with tonight?
Mattresses can be a major source of dust mites as well as their allergens. Other contaminants can include bacteria, viruses, mould spores, fleas, pollen spores and pet dander. You are sleeping with this all night long, each night! So how do you clean your mattress and keep your bedding as hygienically clean as you can, while staying dust mite free is essential to your family’s health.
Most of the dust collected from your mattress, pillows and doonas contain flakes of dead skin from you and your partner, about a kilo annually. The dust also includes dust mites feeding on the dead skin cells you shed throughout the night in addition to their droppings. Take a moment, you breathe this in each and every night when you place your head down to sleep!
Pillows are one of the dirtiest items on the bed and need to be replaced regularly. Perspiration, oils from your head and hair care products end up on the pillows, leaving them contaminated with bacteria, odours and badly stained. Synthetic foam or polyester / acrylic filled bedding is preferable for usage by allergy sufferers being more resilient to house dust mite infestation and dust mites allergy prevention. However, these material mattresses should nevertheless be replaced 6 monthly to minimise severe mould infestation.
Tests performed at the University of Adelaide, South Australia established that over 700 litres of body liquids pass through the average couples quilt over three to four years, the perfect breeding ground for dustmites. A grownup perspires and breathes around half a litre of moisture nightly. Over time, the soiled filling, particularly in your quilt, clumps together meaning it holds less air and makes your quilt flatter and colder.
As time passes, stains and mainly perspiration forms in and on quilts along with their outer casing. They need regular cleaning like your pillow cases and sheets.
During washing, feather and down doonas need a solution free from enzymes, water conditioners, dye stuffs, alkaline and silicilates that are within normal washing detergents. These additives strip feather and down of their natural oils, leaving them brittle, accelerating their breakdown. The fine dust becomes airborne, you breathe it in and what the nose does not filter (the minute particles) can eventually settle in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing, excessive phlegm or perhaps an irritating tickle inside the back of the throat.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to dust mites mattress. The dead skin cells which the dust mites feast upon, moisture which sustains dust mites, mould and mildew and irregular mattress cleaning, if any at all.
Regular washing of sheets, pillow and doona cases in hot water weekly provides you with welcome respite from this major source of allergen. Mattresses, doonas and pillows likewise need regular attention, just like your sheets.