Freezing, hot tumble drying and washing with eucalyptus oil all reduce incidence of dust mite in soft toys

A study published in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology has found three effective methods for reducing the instance of house dust mite (HDM) in soft toys, which are particularly susceptible to gathering infestations, added to which children sleep all night next to them which risks increasing their sensitisation to HDM.

Thirty-six toys were analysed for live HDM by the heat escape method, before being divided into three groups of 12 and subjected to either freezing overnight, hot tumble drying for one hour, or being washed with between 0.2%-0.4% eucalyptus oil. Freezing and washing with eucalyptus oil resulted in 95.1% reduction of the presence of live HDM, and hot tumble drying reduced the HDM live presence by 89.1%, thus giving parents effective and practical methods of limiting HDM exposure.

Source: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

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First Published in 2011

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