Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live on fibrous surfaces like curtains and carpeting. They feed off of dead skin cells, so where ever there are people and there is dust, there are dust mites. Dust mite allergy is common, and can range from mild to severe. People who suffer from dust mite allergies can suffer from sneezing, runny nose, facial pressure, runny eyes and more.
This means that the more dust mites you have in your office, the less healthy your work environment. If your office has too many dust mites, this can impact employee wellness and happiness. Dust mites can also lead to employee absenteeism.
Preventing dust mites is easier if you keep a clean environment, and follow the tips provided in this article. If you’re a manager of an office or own an office building, here’s what you need to know about dust mites.
Removing Dust Mites from Curtains
Curtains aren’t common in offices, and there’s a good reason for that. Curtains can easily harbor dust and make a good home for dust mites. Dust is especially common at the tops of the curtains, which are rarely touched by people. Removing curtains is one of the ways that you can keep your office cleaner, with fewer dust mites. Hang blinds in place of curtains.
If you must have curtains in your office, have them steam cleaned on a regular basis. Vacuum your curtains with a vacuum extension, especially around the top of the curtains.
Removing Dust Mites from Upholstery
Upholstery is an unavoidable feature in an office – or is it? Although office furniture is a must, upholstery isn’t. Replacing your upholstered office furniture with leather or faux leather furniture can help keep dust mites at bay. These surfaces are less likely to harbor dust mites, and also are easier to clean. To clean your leather or faux leather furniture, simply wipe down the leather with a cleaning solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
If you do have upholstery, then it’s important to keep it clean. Vacuum your upholstery on a regular basis, using the extension for your vacuum cleaner. Clean your upholstery at least once every two weeks, if not more frequently, to get rid of dust. Clean the backs of chairs, in the corners of sofas, and in the areas around seams and buttons on your upholstery. To be extra sure the dust mites are gone, use a dust mite spray on all upholstered surfaces.
Removing Dust Mites from Carpet
Again, one of the best ways to keep dust mites out of your carpeting is to get rid of the carpeting! However, many offices have carpet and don’t want to give it up. If you’re not ready to get rid of your carpeting and replace it with tile, then the following tips can help you get rid of the dust mites from your carpet.
- Vacuum daily. Use a vacuum cleaner daily to clean your office. If you don’t have time to vacuum the entire office every day, then clean a portion of the office every day, making a full cleaning cycle of the office at least once per week.
- Wash area rugs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wash your area rugs regularly. Replace small welcome mats on a regular basis.
- Deep clean the office regularly. Deep clean your carpeting on a regular basis, either with steam cleaning or shampooing. Work with your commercial cleaning company to get this work done.
- Use dust mite spray. Just like with the upholstery, use dust mite spray on all carpeted surfaces.
Tips to Prevent Dust Mites
In addition to the tips above, there are many things that you can do to prevent dust mites in your office.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Air ducts get dirty easily, because they circulate the air through your office. Cleaning your air ducts every other year or as needed can help prevent the dust in the air from accumulating in your air ducts. Work with a qualified HVAC repair company to get your ducts cleaned.
Filter the Air
Most likely, your office HVAC system has a filter that cleans the air circulating through the ducts. However, not all air filters are designed to remove the tiniest allergens (like dust mites). Use a HEPA filter in your office air filters to keep the air in your office clean.
Dust mites thrive in humid environments. Reduce the humidity in your office to 50 percent or less.