Does Chlorine Bleach Kill Dust Mites in Laundry?

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Are you allergic to dust mites? You are not alone! These annoying creatures are a common allergen. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin cells and other components that make up household dust. The proteins in their faces and feces can trigger asthma and allergies in humans as well as dogs and cats.

Obviously, allergy sufferers need to reduce the dust mites in their homes so that they can breathe better! While you cannot eliminate dust mites, you can take measures to keep their numbers low. One way to do this is by using bleach in your laundry.

Where to Dust Mites Hide?

Dust mites hide wherever they can find a place to hang out with household dust. Carpet, books, and drapes are places where dust mites can lay low while they eat and reproduce. It’s important to keep your home as dust-free as possible if anyone in your house suffers from dust mite allergies.

Since clothing often provides a cozy home for dust mites, allergy sufferers should try to keep dust mites out of their clothes as well as bedding and other textiles around the house.

Using Chlorine Bleach

One popular dust mite removal method is using chlorine bleach in laundry. Does this actually work? The jury is still out, but it’s worth researching to see if it could work for you. Fortunately for you, we’ve already done the hard part of the research!

Read on to learn what the experts have to say about using chlorine bleach to kill dust mites in your laundry.

How Does Chlorine Bleach Work?

When you wash normal loads of clothes, you usually clean your clothes in a temperature setting of either cold or warm. Lately, lower temperatures have become standard for laundry—which is good news for the environment and bad news for dust mite allergy sufferers.

Since dust mites won’t die under temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study done on dust mite laundering, you can’t expect to take care of dust mites in textiles by normal washer cycles. Some people choose to add bleach to their laundry or use detergents that include bleach, since bleach kills harmful organisms.

Using a Bleach Activator

It is possible to intensify the organism-killing effects of bleach by using a bleach activator. Studies have shown that bleach intensifiers, such as sodium lauroyloxybenzene, can heighten the effects of bleach and provide significant, measurable results in dust mite reduction.

What Do Bleach Activators Do?

If you’re looking for a scientific explanation of how bleach activators work, here’s a little bit about these compounds react with bleach. Bleach activators react with hydrogen peroxide to create peroxy acids. Peroxy acids are a type of bleach, but they are more powerful and effective than other types.

Where Can You Find Bleach Activators

Luckily for us, scientists have already worked with detergent companies to create laundry soaps that have built-in bleach activators. Powdered laundry detergents with bleach in the ingredients almost always also include a bleach activator. You didn’t know your laundry soap was so smart, did you?

Does Using Bleach to Kill Dust Mites Really Help?

If you use bleach and bleach activators in your laundry, you can kill the dust mites in your bedding and clothing. Does this make a difference? Yes, but not as much as you might think, so don’t get too excited yet.

Washing your clothes in water—as opposed to dry cleaning—gets rid of some of the things dust mites leave behind, like feces. However, water alone does not kill dust mites. This is why bleach is important—it does kill dust mites. Add a bleach activator, and you’ll really make a difference.

It’s important to kill the dust mites in your home, because this will keep them from reproducing and excreting. However, dead dust mites can still pose a problem. Why? Because if you are allergic to dust mites, you are allergic to them whether they are alive or dead!

Proteins in the faces of dust mites are what cause allergy sufferers’ immune systems to overreact and cause allergy symptoms. Dust mites that are dead but still present pose the same allergy hazard as live dust mites.

Is It Worth It to Kill Dust Mites With Bleach?

If dead dust mites are still allergens, is it worth it to kill them at all? The answer is yes. Dead dust mites can’t reproduce, so killing them will lessen the number of dust mites in your home. While using bleach in your laundry won’t eradicate your problem, it will help, so it’s definitely worth it.

Bleach Products that Kill Dust Mites in Laundry

Clorox products contain bleach that can reduce the number of dust mites in your home and give you allergy relief.

Clorox 2 Stain Remover and Color Booster comes in a pack of 20 tabs that you can add to your laundry. Not only will this kill the dust mites, it will also keep your clothes brightly colored and stain-free! You can also buy this liquid in a jug to use in your washing machine.

If you want to stick to the classics, Clorox Regular Bleach is the tried-and-true bleach product that you are sure to recognize. You can get it in a huge, white jug or a small bottle.

All you have to do is add it to your laundry when you wash each load. You can also buy Clorox in other scents, if you don’t like the bleach smell. Fresh Meadow and lavender are two of the most popular.


If you suffer from dust mite allergies, you know it’s no fun to live in a place where your allergy trigger also lives! While you can’t eliminate dust mites, you can reduce their numbers. Anything you do helps, so it is worth it to use bleach in your laundry to kill dust mites.

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