Dust mites. They’re the creepy, spider-like micro organisms that live off the dead skin that sloughs off our bodies as we go about our daily lives. Most of the time, they are benign and co-exist with humans without causing the slightest problem. Unfortunately, as dust mites devour our dead skin cells, they excrete a protein that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Retailers, smelling green, have jumped on this issue of dust mites with a vengeance. I recently read an article that strongly suggested bed pillows be replaced every year, citing the fact that 10% of the weight of two-year-old bed pillow can be made up of the excrement left behind by dust mites. Videos are all over the internet; check out this one by Bissell that very effectively uses fear as a selling tool:
All this got me thinking:
Does this mean we should be buying new sheets every year?
What about mattress pads – don’t we need to replace those every year as well?
Oh – what about my mattress – maybe I should buy a new mattress every year.
Wait – what about that recliner in my living room that I sit in every day. I guess I should be buying new furniture every year, too.
At that point, it became ridiculous. The bedding, linen, vacuum cleaner, allergy, and cleaning industries, to name a few, have seized upon this issue to generate sales.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I WASH my pillows a couple of times a year in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer. Of course, that option doesn’t put any money in the pockets of the manufacturers, so it’s not likely to be a highly touted solution. Sometimes I wonder what happened to a little thing called common sense.