How can I keep my home free of dust mites?

Over the summer, the press reported an increase in dust mites in homes in the UK. The insects can be found in any soft furnishings such as sofas and armchairs but especially in mattresses and pillows.

If you are renting a part or fully furnished property it can be difficult to know how clean items really are. The best way to minimise the risk of dust mite infestation is to vacuum all soft furnishings regularly and wash your pillows and cushions. For a cheap and easy way to sanitise and freshen up your mattress without using harsh chemicals or wetting the fabric (note: this method may not be suitable for memory foam mattresses), you will need:

  • Bicarbonate of soda (available in all supermarkets in the baking aisle) 
  • A sieve (an icing sugar shaker/duster is even better)

Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over one side of your mattress using the sieve or shaker (add a little more over any soiled areas), aiming for an even layer. Leave this to settle for as long as you can, but at least 4 hours. The soda will absorb any dirt, moisture and odours out of the fabric. 

When ready, simply vacuum the powder away. You need to be really thorough to prevent clouds of powder residue every time you lay down. If you're not happy with the result, just repeat as required, but note that heavy stains may not come out using this process and will require the use of cleaning products. You could also invest in a mattress protector if one isn’t provided by your landlord and wash that regularly too.

For more information and advice on letting and renting, please contact our specialist Lettings team by calling 0113 264 2642 or emailing

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Written by

Wendy Croy

Lettings Team