Does Rubbing Alcohol Or Vinegar Kill Dust Mites (Read Before Using!)

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Rubbing alcohol and vinegar are two useful liquids that can be used in the home. These two ingredients are used for DIY projects across the world to clean, sterilize, and polish everything from sinks to bathrooms, and floors. But did you know rubbing alcohol and vinegar could be a viable way to kill dust mites?

Ever since I was diagnosed with dust mite allergies I’ve battled dust mites. I’ve tried every spray and cleaning solution under the sun.

In the sections below I’ll share about my experience using rubbing alcohol and vinegar to kill dust mites plus I’ll share the method I like best (hint: it’s not either of these).

About Rubbing Alcohol And Vinegar

Rubbing alcohol has long been used on beds to combat a larger cousin of the dust mite, the bed bug. If rubbing alcohol is effective against a larger arachnid, then it would surely kill dust mites too, right?

Rubbing alcohol is convenient to use because it’s inexpensive and doesn’t have an odor. It’s also a great disinfectant that kills bacteria.

Vinegar also has insecticide and herbicide benefits. For example, vinegar has been used to kill weeds and deter ants (not kill ants). But vinegar isn’t a very strong insecticide because it’s usually diluted.

Vinegar is technically acetic acid. The name “vinegar” is used for concentrations of 8% acetic acid or less. Acetic acid is the proper name when the concentration is 8% or more. Acetic acid is very strong and would probably work great as an insecticide but we tend to use vinegar for DIY cleaning projects in our homes.

Benefits of Using Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar To Kill Dust Mites

If you’re interested in using rubbing alcohol or vinegar to kill dust mites it’s probably for a few reasons. These include:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Organic
  • Chemical free and safe for family
  • Inexpensive
  • Disinfectant and Antimicrobial
  • You enjoy DIY projects

Whenever possible I like using natural substances to clean my home. I use vinegar in the bathroom and around my sinks. I even put vinegar in spray bottles for cleaning and killing weeds outside.

I usually save rubbing alcohol for disinfecting bacterial laden areas like door handles, toilet seats, and sinks.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol Or Vinegar To Kill Dust Mites

Rubbing alcohol and vinegar can be effective solutions to kill dust mites on floors and on shelving.  They will both work on hard surfaces.

Vinegar is particularly useful because of the acid eats-away substances and even if it doesn’t kill dust mites that are alive, it will help destroy dead dust mites and fecal matter. You might be wondering why it’s important to destroy dead dust mites and fecal matter.

The answer is simple. Dust mites contain a protein that can be highly allergic in some people. If you have allergies, it’s not just the live dust mites that are bothering you. Their poop and dead dust mites still contain that protein. Vinegar helps break it down!

How To Use On Fabrics (couches, beds, pillows)

But here lies the problem. What about dust mites that are in your bed and on your couches? Should you apply vinegar or rubbing alcohol to them?

Rubbing alcohol won’t pose a problem for couches and beds. It dries quickly and has no scent. In fact, a few sprays of rubbing alcohol might be great for your pillow to kill bacteria.

However, dust mites live deep in your mattresses and pillows and spraying rubbing alcohol or vinegar on them won’t get rid of them.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol Or Vinegar When Washing

When washing pillows, sheets, and clothes you can add a small amount (2 tablespoons) of vinegar or rubbing alcohol to the wash.

The rubbing alcohol will kill bacteria in the fabric and in the machine and the vinegar will break down any dead dust mites or fecal matter. Using these in my washing machine is my preferred method.

Why Rubbing Alcohol And Vinegar Aren’t The Best Options

I mentioned above why rubbing alcohol and vinegar aren’t your best options to kill dust mites. The main reasons are because dust mites hide in our carpets, couches, and beds.

Sure, rubbing alcohol and vinegar my get rid of the allergens on the superficial layers of the fabric, but they won’t penetrate into the deeper layers where dust mites thrive.

A few other reasons why these two options aren’t the best for killing dust mites are:

  • Smell

Vinegar can smell and you don’t want that smell on your fabric

  • Stain

While white vinegar and rubbing alcohol won’t stain, apple cider vinegar might stain. Be careful of the type of vinegar you use.

  • Okay For Fabrics

In addition, I’m unsure if these two liquids are good for the integrity of fabric couches, carpets, and beds (you can read more about that here)

What Works Better Than Rubbing Alcohol And Vinegar

My go-to liquid for killing dust mites is using essential oils. Essential oils are strong natural liquids that need to be diluted before using. Dust mites hate essential oils and they smell great.

Essential oils act as a killer and as a deterrent. They can also be added to the laundry, or added to a spray bottle and used as an air freshener. Read my article on essential oils here.

Other Ways To Kill Dust Mites

Dust mites can also be managed in other ways. Since I found out I was allergic to dust mites I’ve utilized dust mite proof covers on my mattress and pillows (yes, it kills traps them inside the pillow and mattress).

I’ve also used a special HEPA vacuum. I found upgrading my regular filter to an HVAC allergy filter did a great job of cleaning dust mite allergens out of the air and I can feel the difference.

In addition to liquid, there are plenty of options to use in your home that will kill dust mites. I use a few!


Rubbing alcohol and vinegar are both great for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. They are two of the best all-around items for DIYer.

They can also be used to kill dust mites however they both have their limits and vinegar isn’t the best option to apply to beds, couches, and carpets.

Rubbing alcohol is ideal for sanitizing and vinegar is great for breaking down proteins that may cause an allergic response. Feel free to use these liquids but also consider using essential oils that deter and kill dust mites.

One option is to add essential oils to rubbing alcohol or to vinegar!

10 thoughts on “Does Rubbing Alcohol Or Vinegar Kill Dust Mites (Read Before Using!)”

    • I can’t say exactly how much you should use, but when I make my own spray (using a spray bottle), I only use about 10 drops of essential oil per full spray bottle (the rest water). If you are going to try this, I recommend doing a sample area (3 sq ft) first to see how it turns out. Thanks for the comment!

  1. I tried the essential oil lavender it didnt kill the blood suckers. Is there other solutions that will kill on contact?

    • Dust mites aren’t “bloodsuckers” and because you can’t see dust mites you won’t know if they are dead. If you see pests in your bed, those are likely “bed bugs” a much different, and likely more serious problem. Best of luck to you!

    • I’m in the process of disinfecting & trying to kill eggs & other pests in my home. Spider mites is 1. Ive been mixing 50%vinegar, 50%rubbing alcohol & an ounce of color safe bleach. with 5- 10 drops of tea tree oil in a 1 Liter spray bottle. Us as a contact Spray for pest & bugs u can see. Great To clean dust & mites & fecal matter. spray & vac a few days after. Spray carpeted areas, shelves
      baseboards, cracks, floors, closets, cupboards, bed seems, under bed on floor & box spring, mattress, sofa too. Have not seen anything live after. Use 100% allergen vacuum bags to o. Vacuum mattress & sides of box spring mthly, flip every 3 & repeat the spray… clean sheets once a wk in hot water & dry on hottest setting.

  2. Thank you very much for this article. It sure is a good source of information for getting rid of dust mites. You gave me an idea! And it’s economical, too, not having to buy expensive sprays and chemicals. Would like to read more of your useful articles. Thanks a lot!


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