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Stuffed animals are found in just about every home with children. They are cute, cuddly best friends for tots, and they are probably full of dust mites. The waste products of dust mites can cause allergies and asthma, and although that is bad, there's also the fact that the idea of breathing mite waste is just stomach turning. While these microscopic critters aren't visible to the naked eye, they feed on shed human skin cells and are found on most bedding, furniture and carpets. Luckily, there are preventive steps you can take as well as sure-fire methods for removing dust mites from stuffed animals.
How to Remove Dust Mites from Stuffed Animals
If the stuff animals are washable, wash them in the washing machine with all hot water. Hot water will kill the dust mites on the surface and inside, where other methods won't reach, as well as was away much of the waste product from the mites.
Place the stuffed animals in the dryer on high heat to ensure that the dust mites are dead, and to help remove them and their waste product from the fibers of the stuffed animal. Clean your lint screen right away.
If the stuffed animals can't be washed in the washing machine, you can place them in freezer bags or plastic wrap and put them in the freezer overnight. Then unwrap them and run them through the dryer on high heat, or vacuum them with hand-held attachments to remove the dead mites and waste.
Vacuum the stuffed animals regularly to collect mites and waste in between washings. The waste that causes allergic reactions and asthma is an ongoing cycle, and you will need to be active in breaking the cycle.
Running the stuffed animal through a high heat dryer cycle weekly will help kill and remove dust mites and their leavings from the surface of the stuffed animal. Statistics from the Environmental Health and Safety (See resources below) show that a typical mattress can have 10 million dust mites living inside it, so you can imagine how infested a stuffed animal can be.
Remember that a high-heat dryer cycle helps only on the surface, so while it is a good idea to do so weekly, you should definitely either wash or freeze stuffed animals once a month.