How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites On Couch: Here Are 9 Simple Ways

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 20 million people in the US have a dust mite allergy. Dust mites are hard to get rid of because they’re too small to see with your eyes, and they live on dead skin cells that people and pets shed, making the couch a primary spot for mites to hide. While dust mites don’t bite or spread disease, an allergy to them can aggravate allergies and asthma. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get rid of dust mites on couch, from Lysol to steam cleaning, sunlight, and more.

Table Of Contents

What Are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged relatives of spiders. Their residue is allergic to many people, but they rarely transmit disease. What do dust mites look like? Invisible to the human eye, dust mites look like tiny, white spiders under a microscope.

How To Know If You Have Dust Mites

Here’s how to know if you have dust mites: where there’s dust, there are almost always dust mites. Dust mites’ food source is dead skin cells, which humans are constantly shedding.

Dust mites live in our homes in high concentrations in areas where we spend most of our time. They also tend to accumulate on surfaces that trap dust, such as carpeting, mattresses, and fabrics that are difficult to wash regularly. Dust mites thrive in warmth and humidity, and they reproduce quickly.

There are many ways to eliminate dust mites, but it’s an ongoing process. Regular cleaning to reduce dust is essential.

9 Ways To Kill Dust Mites On Couch

1. Vacuum

To minimize dust buildup in your home, vacuum your carpet and couch at least once a week, especially if you can’t wash them. Use your vacuum’s crevice tool or upholstery attachment to reach tight corners. Lift each cushion and vacuum underneath.

To combat dust, use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter and a double-layered microfilter bag. A HEPA filter will prevent small particles from escaping the vacuum’s filter system and contaminating the rest of the room. Be careful when emptying the vacuum to minimize dust returning into the air; you can take the vacuum outside to empty it straight into an outdoor trash can.

2. Steam Clean

dust mites steam cleaning

Use a steam cleaner two to three times a year to kill dust mites. To ensure the steam cleaner is safe for your upholstery fabric, always test it in an inconspicuous spot before you steam the whole sofa.

3. Remove And Wash Couch Covers

Per the Mayo Clinic’s data: If your couch covers are removable, wash them in hot water at least 130°F (54.4°C). If they can’t withstand a hot wash, dry them at over 130°F (54.4°C). You can also freeze non-washable items for 24 hours to kill dust mites.

4. Let Cushions Sit In The Sun

If possible, put your couch cushions and upholstery in direct sunlight for three to six hours, which can kill dust mites. Sunlight doesn’t eliminate the dust mites’ residue, however, which causes allergies. So make sure to wash your cushions, too.

5. Spray With Essential Oils To Get Rid Of Dust Mites Naturally

make your own dust mite spray with essential oils to get rid of dust mites naturally

What kills dust mites naturally? Essential oils. There are four essential oils that researchers have found to kill dust mites: clove, matrecary (chamomile), chenopodium, and fennel. Add 20 drops of one of these essential oils to four ounces of witch hazel and spray your sofa.

6. Keep Humidity Down

Mites thrive on humidity, so keep your home’s humidity level below 50%. You can use your air conditioner or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity.

7. Put Air Purifier Next To Sofa

air purifier dust mites

You can put an air purifier next to your couch to reduce allergic reactions. This will remove microscopic dust mite droppings and bodies from the air that can be released when you move around on the sofa or rotate cushions. Make sure to get one with a HEPA filter that can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.

8. Reduce Couch Clutter

Clutter tends to attract dust, which attracts dust mites. Try not to let clutter like books, remotes, video game controllers, pillows, and blankets pile up on your couch without frequent cleaning.

9. Get Rid Of Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

dust mites carpet

Dust mites love wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet fibers are more likely to attract and hold onto dead skin cells than hard surfaces, and carpet is much harder to clean thoroughly than hard-surface floors are. Your job of killing dust mites in upholstered furniture will be much more difficult if that furniture is surrounded by mite-attracting carpet.

It’s best to remove wall-to-wall carpeting to eliminate as many dust mites as possible. You can replace the carpet with vinyl, wood, tile, or laminate that you can mop daily. For comfort walking around your house, you can add washable area rugs.

What Kills Dust Mites?

what kills dust mites

Does Lysol Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, Lysol spray kills dust mites. Try spraying a little Lysol onto a small, inconspicuous area of your couch. If the fabric doesn’t discolor, spray it on the rest of the sofa. Let it dry, then thoroughly vacuum to remove the dead mites and residue.

Does Febreze Kill Dust Mites?

Febreze claims that its allergen spray reduces allergens by 75%, but it doesn’t specify dust mites, and I haven’t found any proof of this claim.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, rubbing alcohol kills dust mites. Mix five tablespoons of rubbing alcohol with water in a spray bottle. Spray on the couch (after testing that it doesn’t discolor the fabric).

Does Baking Soda Kill Dust Mites?

No, baking soda doesn’t kill dust mites. Instead, it’s more effective for removing odors.

Does Bleach Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, bleach kills mites, but studies haven’t proven it to kill their eggs and larvae. Bleach is also a harsh chemical that irritates the skin and discolors fabric, so I don’t recommend using it on your couch.

Does Vinegar Kill Dust Mites?

No studies show that vinegar kills dust mites, but vinegar may discourage mites from coming back to a spot where it’s been sprayed.

Does The Dryer Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, putting items in the dryer at a temperature over 130°F (54.4°C) for at least 15 minutes will kill dust mites.

Does Sunlight Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, if you put them in direct sunlight for three to six hours. However, the dust mites’ residue and dead bodies will still be there, so you’ll need to vacuum afterward.

Does Vacuuming Get Rid Of Dust Mites?

Yes, a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a double-layered microfilter bag can get rid of dust mites. 

Does Steamer Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, steaming at temperatures over 130°F will kill most dust mites in your upholstery. However, steaming alone won’t completely eliminate mites, so you should follow up with allergy spray for couch.

Does Heat Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, heat over 130°F kills dust mites.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Dust Mites?

There’s no research proving that hydrogen peroxide kills dust mites, but it may be worth a try if you don’t want to use harsh cleaners like Lysol.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, diatomaceous earth pierces the exoskeleton of dust mites as they move through it, which kills them. It also works on bed bugs and other pests and is not generally harmful to pets. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, however, It can irritate the skin, and if humans or animals inhale large amounts, it can irritate the lungs.

Does Borax Kill Dust Mites?

Yes, borax kills mites like diatomaceous earth, but it can harm your skin, nose, throat, and more.

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Lucy Henderson is a Seattle-based home décor expert and creator of Palladio Interiors. She loves writing about design trends, home-interior inspiration, and home-decorating tips. She's a fan of coziness and simplicity.