Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kleen Free Review on Amazon

I spent so much of my time trying to get rid of my mite problem that I didn't have the energy to post hundreds of solutions that were not working. Perhaps if I had, someone might have alerted me to the dehumidifier solution and I might have used it and I might have eradicated the problem sooner.

Nevertheless, I am posting my review for Kleen Free on Amazon here.
I'd like to post all the responses... but I'm not sure I can do that without anyone's consent. So let me redirect you back to that review: Kleen Free Please read everyone's comments (on my review) as there are some great solutions recommended that I did not try myself.

My review follows:

12 January 2010

This review is targeted towards people who have had an ongoing issue with mites and are desperate to hear from someone who has tried something that worked. I have spent thousands of dollars on various methods over the last ten years to try to get rid of my bug problem. I have tried: moving house, fumigation, throwing out all bedding, beds, linen, various chemicals and powders, vacuuming daily, showering twice a day (washing my bedding daily), listerine, menthol crystals, diatimacious earth, neem oil, baking soda, windex... you name it, I've tried it.

A couple of years ago I kind of resolved to learn to live with the problem. But this year I found some websites on the internet with information from people who had beaten the problem so I spent 6 months trying a range of products that they recommended. I purchased many of the products on the internet and had them posted to me from America to Australia at great expense.

I tried so many things that I cannot be certain whether it was the combination of products that worked in the end or not. But what I can tell you is that this product seemed to make a very radical difference very quickly. It is the only product that I am certain kills the bugs in the wash. This is important to me as my clothing and bedding seemed to be the last battleground with the mites. After ten years I had mostly eradicated them from other areas of my house but I found that I kept reinfecting myself until I started using kleen free. I have only been using kleen for around one month.

I wish I had received this advice when I first got the problem. In fact one of the websites that I followed said that Kleen Free didn't work for them so I didn't bother to try it until I read testimonials on the Kleen Free website that sounded truthful. I doubted that it was going to make a shred of difference though when I bought it.

Again, I'm not certain it will work for you. We are all amateurs out there trying things through trial and error and I'm sure there are a million bugs out there that respond to different products differently. I just know that it worked for my bugs. The fact that it is non toxic is so important. I was using products that I knew were toxic but I had decided that I would take the risk and use the other products anyway because I was so desperate to get rid of the bugs.

If I had to start from scratch again, I would do this:

Cover your mattress and pillows in mattress and pillow protectors that are properly sealed (ones recommended for bed bugs etc, not the flimsy dust mite ones), or wrap in thick plastic and seal with thick tape. You'll get nowhere until you start doing this. Spray the mattress with Kleen Free first though!

Get rid of anything that is non-essential that you could live without (furniture, clothing, books etc.). And when I say "get rid of", I mean throw in the bin - do not donate to charities or sell on ebay - don't pass the problem onto someone else. I threw out 95% of my clothes and ALL my furniture. This was hard to do because I collect vintage clothing and it is hard to replace. I threw out all furniture because the bugs can go in deep and it seemed too hard to keep cleaning, vacuuming my favourite couch etc. I don't regret it. But I highly recommend not buying any new furniture until you have full confidence you have eliminated the problem, and if you do buy something, choose something you can wipe down with few crevices (like plastic chairs etc). (I did this before I came across Kleen Free)

Think of the creatures as you would dust. Wherever dust can reside, so can they. However difficult dust is to eliminate, so are they. This may seem extreme, and if you've only had the problem for a short while, you might think my advice is over the top - it is not. This "dust" also likes to breed! And can do so very quickly. What may start off as a minor problem can become a major and expensive problem within a week. Think of them as breeding dust that can lay eggs that can survive for years. When they do hatch, it takes them around a week to mature and start breeding again. So do the math... you could have millions within a week. And these are worse than dust because you can't see them and they can scurry away very quickly.

Vacuum clean EVERY DAY and everywhere. Use a vacuum with a hepa filter. Throw the bag out everyday if you can afford it. If not, put the bag in a plastic zip-lock back and put that bag in another zip-lock bag and put that bag in the freezer. (My experience makes me think that freezers kill mites but not their eggs). Handle the bag with disposable gloves.

Note: Try not to reinfect anything (as a general rule).

Wash your bedding everyday (in kleen free). Only use towels and clothing once and wash immediately. Put washing in a freezer (or sealed bags) until you can wash them.

Clean (with Kleen free) all areas where you plan to put your clean clothes, bedding etc. (cupboards, drawers etc)

Vacuum your whole house including floors, walls etc as much and often as you can. (This includes shoes).

Tell yourself that this will take you six months to beat! And that it requires planning, persistence and patience - (make that your mantra when you think it is unbearable and no believes you!!!). If it takes less than 6 months it will be a bonus. Also, tell yourself that it might take a month of mad cleaning before you start to notice a difference.

Follow the instructions on the kleen free bottle - bathe in it, spray the whole house etc for the first week then every second day in the second week.

Even if you don't buy this product, the vacuuming and washing of clothes (or disposal) is absolutely essential.
In fact, when I got bitten while wearing an item of clothing (before I discovered Kleen Free), I would take the item of clothing off immediately and throw it in the bin. I also did this with bedding. I would ask myself whether it is worth the trouble of trying to wash the bugs out or not... what is more costly? I bought myself heaps of cheap blankets, sheets and pillows I was willing to throw away every so often... but with Kleen Free, hopefully you won't have to do that. (I stopped doing it when I discovered this product!) I threw out expensive woolen coats etc. too. It's best to wash your clothing in the hottest water possible and in the hottest drier, so I started buying synthetic clothing that could handle such temperatures. Try to buy cheap, synthetic clothing and don't buy too much... throw it out if you're getting bitten too much.

Psychologically, what worked for me was that I tried to keep some kind of tally of how many bites I was getting on a daily basis. At first it was 50, then 20ish then 5, etc. As annoying as five new bites a night is, as least you know it's less than it was last month, so what you are doing is working, so persevere! I remember I used to count how many bites I'd get on the way to work... usually three or four, then down to two, then one. Then one day I remembered that I hadn't counted them for a couple of days. That equalled NO BITES on the way to work! Sure, I was being bitten at night still, but they were disappearing VERY slowly but surely.

As I write this review I am awaiting another bottle of Kleen Free to come from the USA. I didn't follow the instructions correctly when I first bought the product and I ran out of the product very quickly. I also didn't take the baths etc. (because I don't have a bath) I just bought myself an inflatable one on ebay! I have been getting the occasional bite (one these last three weeks). But I know it's because I have reinfected myself with something I haven't treated. I only wash my clothes in Kleen Free now, and I'm saving all that I have left for my washing. When I do the whole program properly, I will amend this review.

I'm writing this review because I feel compelled to help people who need somewhere to start. I know if I post on a bird mite board somewhere people might think I work for the company and not take my review seriously, so I'm posting here.

Good luck to those of you who have had the misfortune of a bird mite infestation!

Later edit:
I just read the review above mine that talked about a bedbug crawling straight through the product. I agree that that would be extremely disconcerting. My bug problem was probably a type of mite, not a bedbug. I don't know if that makes a difference to the effectiveness of the product. If you do have an "invisible" biting mite problem like I did, I would chance this product... it's a relatively cheap low risk. I'm only adding this footnote because if I had come across the negative review and not given it a go that would have been a shame and I wouldn't be experiencing the relief I'm experiencing now.

If you want to check out the ingredients of this product for product comparison's sake, do a google search by including the name of this (or any) product with "MSDS" (Material Safety Data Sheet). All companies by law, must list the ingredients and safety requirements of the product. You will then have the knowledge to make your own judgement. This information is abundantly available on the internet.

Even later update (Oct 2011):
I have practically eliminated the problem and I have run out of Kleen Free. All I do now to maintain my sanity is clean my clothes and bedding in hot water and dry them in a hot (laundromat/gas) dryer on a weekly basis. I also vacuum clean once a week. And this seems to be good enough. I had not been bitten for some months though. I recommend maintaining your routine until you haven't been bitten for three months. Just to be sure!

I recently walked into my garage and stepped on some old furniture and by the end of the night I was being bitten again. This time I didn't panic! I knew that if I stuck to my usual regime I would get rid of them eventually... and I did after two-three weeks.

But I am adding to this review because I came across another additional product that I believe assisted me on my journey and that is orange oil. I read somewhere that if insects lay their eggs too deeply in the skin of an orange, the eggs do not survive. Apparently when they come into contact with the d-limonene found in the peel of oranges (and some other citrus fruits) the eggs die. When I read that I decided to try dabbing orange oil wherever on my body I felt a bite. Be warned, this stuff is used as a cleaner because it is very corrosive. 99 % of the time I had no reaction to it but on occasion I did. It stung me and I believe it can burn your skin. So if you choose to try it out like I did use it very cautiously or mix it with another oil. I purchased it from a health food store and then in bulk from an essential oil supplier. Be very careful!!
But I do think it helps. You won't notice its effect immediately because I think it only kills eggs... but I think it does help in time.

Good luck to you all and I'm glad my review has assisted some of you.

[I just directed people back to this site so that discussion can ensue here uninhibited] 

Also, many many people commented on their success with dehumidifiers. Although I did not try them myself, if I had to start again, I would invest in one or two now. I'd actually try that first. It sure beats constant cleaning and vacuuming!!

Problem Solved

Well, I first started this blog in 2009 and let me tell you it was a war. A terrible war and I do believe I won. It took around 12 months I think for me to solve the problem. I tried so many things. I was attacking the problem every single day. Almost every spare moment was devoted to attacking the problem.

Most things I tried didn't work. The diatomaceous earth didn't work. The menthol crystals didn't work. Covering myself in coconut oil at night didn't work.

But after months and months of trying different things I did solve the problem.

I have written extensively about it on Amazon. I used a product, Kleen Free, which helped me enormously. You can read the review here: Kleen Free

Many people have commented and it is worth reading the whole thing.

I am going to try to direct traffic back to this site so that people can discuss their methods.


But one quick tip - many people have commented that a dehumidifier works. I did not try this method but if I had the problem now, I would go back and try that first.

In my next post I will copy and paste my review from Amazon.

Know this, it took me 12 months I believe, but I think it can take you less maybe, possibly 1-3 months.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'd Rather Have Scabies

Yes, well that's what I told the woman at the pharmacy when she offered me the scabies cream. I mean if I had scabies, I'd be able to cure it within a week wouldn't I? I wish I had scabies or fleas or something that I can see, then I could kill them. Then again, if I could see them and not kill them that would probably be scarier. What kind of scary would I prefer? Hmmm...

Enough! And on to important things. I decided today that I am going to treat this problem like a war. After all, it is a war, they have invaded my territory and I want to claim it back. Sure they've been there long enough that they feel they have rights. They've built their little cities, generations of mites have known no other world than other than my hair, my bed, MY BODY!!! Grrrr!

I have decided to blog my plan of attack because I am hoping that it will work... and if it works, I'm hoping that other people from around the world can follow my attack step by step and maybe even do it themselves and KILL THESE BASTARDS!!!!

So plan is to:

1. Have a plan. I'm not going to do it ad hoc. Not a bit of this and a bit of that. I'm taking my inspiration from Jacob's List. I'm going to try as much as what they did as I can because Jacob and his wife Shannon, actually managed to get rid of them. They only had the problem for 3 months... so I'm going with their method first.

2. I'm going to decide what strategies to undertake. What products to buy and how to implement them. I'm going for the most organic, non-toxic methods if I have a choice between two methods.

3. Buy the products. Stock up on them. This is not so easy... this is the step I'm at now. Many products on Jacob's List are American. So I have to go through the torturous task of working out what the active ingredients are and then finding a similar product in Australia.

4. Plan for my additional ideas. For example, I freeze my bedding but now that I've heard that the eggs can't survive without oxygen, I'm considering buying space bags to suck out all the oxygen - don't know how effective it will be coz there will probably still be enough in there to keep them alive. (I thought about putting all my stuff into large vats of jelly... anyone got ideas for oxygen deprivation? Co2 is another system but it's very dangerous so I won't do that. I'm liking the jelly... it's so crazy it just might work!)

4. Plan a systematic hour by hour or minute by minute methodology. I'll probably even rehearse it. I realised after I implemented a half baked plan one night that because I hadn't thought it through, I was reinfecting myself through carelessness. (ie The plastic bags I bought weren't sealable, so the mites could escape quite easily. My feet had been in the infected bed, so just by walking from room to room I could have been transferring eggs). I need a plan for my environment and a plan for my body. It has also been suggested that you should attack your car and workplace too! So much to do!

5. Make some big decisions. Am I going to do it to my garage as well, so that I don't have infected stuff coming back into the house? Am I going to get rid of (yet another) bed or try to save it? Am I going to attack the attic?

6. I'm going to devote a whole weekend to washing my clothes and cleaning my whole house from top to bottom. Another question: Am I going to rotate my clothes through the freezer? Jacob and Shannon wore every item of clothing only the one time every time. They washed their bedding every single day. Perhaps it was their persistence, rather than purely the method that worked.

I just bought myself a whole lot of products: windex, bird mite and lice spray, oils, witchhazel etc but I realised that because I didn't have a simple strategy, or a consistent one, I couldn't work out what was working and when. I sprayed my bed with windex (very bad I know) put borax and windex in a plastic bag with my bedding in a freezer (yet to see if that's worked) but for some reason I feel as though I'm being bitten MORE than before. I've certainly stirred something up in a bad way. (I've heard that essential oils can attract the critters so now I'm wondering whether my use of tea-tree oil etc. has been counterproductive). I don't really know. So now I want to plan what I'm doing so that I can assess whether it's actually working or not.

Here is a picture of some products I bought ad hoc:

I also bought some bird mite and lice spray but it's toxic and I didn't really think about how I was planning to actually use it. I'm going to research how other people are using the active ingredient of: pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide.

I'll post about the diatomaceous earth and menthol crystals I ordered on the internet today soon!

My long term plan - to buy myself a latex bed after I've not been bitten for 12 months! (They can't live in latex, and boy they're comfortable!

Friday, July 3, 2009

First Entry

This is what I posted on the yahoo group today.

Hi everyone,
I've just joined this forum. I will write my story in more detail eventually (maybe even blog it).

But for now - I just want to give you this tip coz it DRAMATICALLY reduced my problem so much that I even forget I have it sometimes.
(I know that doesn't sound promising).

Basically, I discovered that freezing the mites kills them. (I don't think it kills the eggs but I think it kills the adults and the nymphs.)

Over the years I have thrown out 3 beds, 5 mattresses and heaps of clothing (and moved 3 times). But I didn't have support whatsover (there was not much info on the web about it in those days) so I was coming up with my own strategies in isolation. I'm so happy that I've discovered both this site and coz I think with combined strategies I might be able to kick this thing once and for all.

When I first got the mites, my friend and I tried to work out why they only bit me after I'd been in bed for half an hour. We then guessed that maybe they sensed the heat of my body (I now know it is for that reason and many others). So we decided to put my bedding in the freezer with a bowl of hot water in an attempt to lure the mites out of the bedding and into the warm bowl. I don't know whether that actually worked or not but the side effect was that I noticed I was being bitten less and less every time I put the bedding in the freezer.

It then became a habit of mine to put my bedding in the freezer every morning without the water. (Try explaining that to your guests!)

I know it's tough if you have a big family but I would invest in a good quality deep freezer - I think it's worth it... I bought a second hand one for $150.

I would rip out carpets and systematically put all of my clothing and bedding, cushions (whatever you can) into the freezer.

I think freezing is more effective than washing (though I haven't tried the borax thing. I bought some borax and windex today and I feel powerful! :-)

My strategy now is if I am ever bitten (when not in bed). I immediately remove that piece of clothing and either throw it away or put it in the freezer for a few days.

It really really helps.

I'm pretty sure that I've managed to reduce the mites to just my bedding... I was almost free of them recently (I threw out another bed and the base). I was mite free for days. Then a friend came over and lay on a sheepskin rug I had and then on my bed. Only after he'd been there awhile did I realise that that rug had come from my previous (carpeted) apartment and that there were probably mites in it. I should have thrown it out. Needless to say - they were back.

As for freezing I know two things: 1. Museums freeze books/artifacts etc in an effort to kill any insects that might damage the item. They do for this for up to two weeks at a time. 2. Airports quarantine items that are imported by freezing them (again up to two weeks at a time).

I know that I can't reach the high temperatures I need to to kill the bugs and the eggs... but freezing is a good stop gap.

On a museum site I read ages ago, they talk about snap freezing because with a slow freeze, an insect will have the time to adapt to a reducing temperature. They also say the colder and longer you freeze the better the outcome.

I have been experimenting with freezing my bed linen for two weeks at a time (I have two lots). I won't wash my linen unless I've frozen it first. I'm now thinking I'll reduce it to 3-4 days, because I think I read somewhere that it takes 7 days for the eggs to become adults. So I'm thinking maybe I can kill them before they have time to lay new eggs.

Even though this doesn't destroy the eggs it allows me to get some sleep.

I also think I get three kinds of bites/sensations:
1. Crawling on skin.
2. small bites that sting immediately but don't last long
3. big bites that feel like a needle is going into your body (about 1/2-1 second in length) and leave a big welt. These ones can wake you up.

I still get 1 and 2 but they don't wake me up night. I don't get 2 and 3 at all during the day anymore. Actually, maybe no.2 on occasion. Type 3 I get once every couple of weeks, maybe even less.

I used to get type 3. at least 10-20 times a night and I remember how UNBEARABLE it used to be.

Also, after many doctors/dermatologists/people thinking I was delusional, I found a doctor who took a biopsy of my skin (around 9 years ago). The results showed "consistent with an insect bite" but he couldn't tell me which insect of course... but at least I could prove to my friends that I wasn't delusional.

In case you want to do the biopsy thing. He told me that I couldn't shower after a bite (I think they need the saliva). So I got a friend to draw circles around the old bites (with pen) before I went to bed, when I went to the doctor in the morning he could see which bites didn't have a ring around them so he took a biopsy of one of those.

I really feel for you all... and remember when people don't believe you... they didn't believe bacteria existed in the old days or that mosquitos could carry malaria. Some people are very closed minded and I think it's easier them to believe that you are delusional than to believe that blood sucking insects that you can't see but cause much distress are REAL!!!

I know one day we'l beat this thing. I can imagine people trying one strategy once... and they'll rid themselves of it... we'll get there.

Tania - MiteWar veteran

PS: I live in Melbourne, Australia