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These preventative steps will help stop allergens from accumulating in your home.
Pillow protectors / dust mite covers
To keep dust mites out of your bed, purchase specially made "dust mite covers" for pillows and mattresses. While you can't get rid of mites entirely, these zippered protectors provide a barrier for dust mites so they can't get inside and make themselves at home where you can't get them out. Wash the covers weekly to cleanse them of mite droppings.
It's important to have your sheets and pillows cleaned regularly to reduce allergens. See our "Pillows and Comforters" section for info on how to safely clean all different kinds of bedding.
Dust mites don't just hide in your bed, they love furniture too. Slipcovers provide another barrier to the stuffing to help keep mites out, and unlike your whole couch, you can easily take them to the dry cleaner. In addition to protecting against allergens, slipcovers also protect your upholstery from spills, perspiration, and skin oil.
You may not be able to see it, but your sheets absorb a lot of perspiration and skin and hair oils. Regular washing is enough to remove any unseen bacteria, but if your allergies are severe, or if you don't have time to wash your bedding as often as you'd like, consider investing in bamboo sheets. Bamboo has naturally occurring antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and also wicks away moisture. This means bacteria can't survive on the fabric for very long, and it is harder for mildew to grow. For more information about bamboo fabric, see our "Eco-Style" section.
If you live in a humid area and don't already have a dehumidifier in your home, consider getting one. Dust mites, mold, and mildew all thrive in warm, moist conditions. Always turn on the bathroom fan when taking a hot shower for the same reasons.
Dust may look like it's just sitting there, but it's not. It circulates around your home and collects in heating and cooling vents. You can buy filters to place right under the vent to trap allergens. For maximum dust control, you can install an electrostatic filter directly in your air conditioner or furnace. Talk to your heating and cooling professional about what the best method is for your home.