Monday, April 12, 2010

Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil Remedy to Kill Dust Mites | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil Remedy to Kill Dust Mites | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Thousands of Dust Mites living in your bedding and feeding off your dead skin sounds like the theme of a horror movie -- but it is actual reality! Dust mites, near microscopic spiders, live in and around our mattresses and pillows. Their waste matter is the source of allergic reactions for many people!

Puffy, itchy eyes or a sluggish start in the morning might not be just from your escapades the night before -- they could be the sign of a dust mite allergy.

What To Do?
Vacuuming mattresses helps remove dust, their habitat per se, and the dust mite fecal matter, but not them! Dust mites have "sticky feet" and can resist the suction power of the typical household vacuum. A great, natural cleaning option I have learned is to treat mattresses and bedding with tea tree or eucalyptus oil, which has been proven to kill dust mites.

Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils: Natural Antiseptic, Germicide, Antibacterial, Fungicide
Some people swear sunlight will rid your clothes, carpets and bedding of dust mites. But Dr Euan Tovey, an allergy researcher from Sydney University, says it's not a straightforward solution.
Tovey says leaving your rugs or carpets in the sun to 'bake' for three hours will kill all the dust mites, but it won't get rid of the allergen. Plus, it will quickly fade your fabrics!!

"Killing the mites alone doesn't stop any of the exposure to allergens – all it does is kill the mites, which will over a period of time just re-establish themselves anyway. So you do need to get rid of the allergen," he says. "What I do is wash my Persian carpets once or twice a year – I hose them down, scrub them with soap and water, put them on the trampoline and leave them in the sun for a day."

The best thing for bedding and clothes is regular washing in the machine. Tovey says dust mite allergen is highly soluble, and washing in warm water with normal laundry detergent removes close to 97 per cent of the allergen. "Most websites advocate washing bedding at 73 degrees – that's very hot water. Most systems don't have water that hot and I don't think it's worth the trouble – you're better to wash it more frequently," he said.

"Washing alone will only get rid of 2.4% of the dust mites. 99% of dust mites can be eliminated from your bedding by the simple addition of a long soak in Eucalyptus essential oil." The research work with this eucalyptus oil solution for dust mites was done at the University of Sydney in Australia.

The Eucalyptus Oil Natural Cleaning Recipe:
Soak blankets, sheets or bedding for one full hour in the following solution:

6 T ( Eucalyptus oil (0.4% concentration) 
1.5 T liquid laundry detergent in 
13 gallons of water 

Mix the Eucalyptus oil and the detergent together to make an emulsion, add it to the water and then add the bedding. Soak for 1 hour. Then wash the bedding or blankets as normal.You can also substitute Tea Tree oil for the Eucalyptus oil. There will be no lingering Tea Tree oil aroma after the rinse cycle. The heat from the dryer should finish off the rest. 

Vacuum mattress surface with hose attachment, then wipe with a cloth dampened by Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil, let dry completely. Replace cleaned sheets and other bedding.

Other Pointers
  • Vacuum pillows on both sides with vacuum hose attachment. Place in a new garbage bag or other recycled plastic bag. Set in Freezer for 8-12 hours. This will also kill all or almost all dust mites. This also works for stuffed animals!  
  • For family members with severe dust mite allergy, which is 20% of the population, cover the mattress and pillows with hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers. Remove carpet and drapes from the bedroom. Minimize stuffed toys and pillows. 
  • Washing bedding in hot water also helps to kill dust mites, but the eucalyptus or tea tree oil remedy is the most energy-efficient, needing only cold water to do the job. 
  • Keep humidity in bedroom low, under 35% if possible. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments. 
  • Running a HEPA filter during the night is also a big help in minimizing dust build-up.

My Take on Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oil Natural Cleaning Remedies
Double Thumbs Up! This works GREAT! I am one of those people who is allergic to dust mites and is also weirded out by the thought of them! Washing bedding in a eucalptus or tea tree oil soak/wash really does work better than just a regular and hot wash. Try it, you will definitely sleep better with comfy, clean, fresh-washed bedding.

Sweet Dreams with Natural Cleaning Products! --Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Image Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology


  1. it is not only to can also kill germs and fights mold.

    tea tree essential oil

  2. Thanks Cheryll, I did not know about its mold fighting ability!

  3. Dust mites are definitely not wanted around the house.Good that I now know various ways to deal with the, keeping out in a sunlight is a very old practice.

  4. Hey nice work u do i like it .....Thanks for sharing
    Green Cleaning

  5. Before, our house has a lot of dust mites that I've developed an allergic reaction to it. So I employed the services of a carpet cleaning (Carrollton, GA) company to clean our carpets. I would like to try this solution to our carpets as a preventive measure so dust mites won't breed a lot anymore.

  6. Ordinary carpet-cleaning tools will not get rid off the germs and the bugs. Honestly, I don't have carpet cleaning tools in my home because I always call for someone who will do the carpet cleaning. In Ottawa, cleaning personnel have different tools that will make our home, especially our carpets germ and pest-free. So I always give my trust to them when it comes to cleaning my home.

  7. Dust mites... scary creatures indeed. Thankfully they're not bigger! :S

    I use steam cleaners to get rid of those buggers.. eek

    steam cleaner reviews

  8. Hi

    In our day-to-day life, sanitation is basic to show the way a healthy life. We must keep our city clean to smooth our lifestyle. One of the things that get crooked easier is the carpet. Carpets can be set aside clean by cleaning the carpets using vacuum cleaners.


  9. This is all excellent, but my question is just regular eucalyptus essential oil as part of the recipe to soak the bedding? if so it would take about 50 dollars every time you soak things for the amount of tablespoons of eucalyptus!! Is this right or am I reading this wrong? Thanks!

  10. Krista: Not quite! Sorry I wasn't clearer. I found Eucalyptus EO online for $18 for a 4 oz. bottle. Soak your bedding for @ 1 hour in 3 gals. of hot water and 1.5 oz. of Eucalyptus EO. Then wash in the washing machine as normal. It is cheaper and 99% effective kill rate per this research in Sydney Australia.
    You can do 3 loads this way for $6 per load, plus the reg. cost of washing.

  11. Please clarify --
    Very confusing instructions for how much Eucalyptus oil to use. Recipe in the article says to use:
    6 T (Tablespoons?) Eucalyptus oil and 13 gallons of water along with detergent, but your answer to Krista's question above says to use:
    1.5oz of Eucalyptus oil and 3 gallons of water.
    Please, please give us accurate amounts of each to use.
    Thank you.

  12. I think the confusion is in the difference between Eucalyptus oil and Eucalyptus Essential Oil (or Eucalyptus EO) which is much more potent. The research referred to from Australia used Eucalyptus EO in their research. Hope that helps!

  13. I was told my the doctor that papers and books are full of dust mites. How do I treat that? Are eucalyptus candles of any use?

  14. Eucalyptus essential oil is used in aromatherapy for various reasons, such as an antiseptic. I'm not aware of research on it as an airborne disinfectant, but I think it could work in theory. You could choose to keep books out of a bedroom or cover the bookshelf with glass to minimize dust. Hope that helps.