Eliminating dust in your home is nearly impossible. But there are steps you can take to make it accumulate less and easier to maintain!
Dusting is a task that doesn’t need to be done too often, but it can still be a chore that many of us put off. This can lead to unsightly – and unhealthy – build-ups of dust in our homes.
Where does dust come from?
Household dust can be made up of all kinds of matter. In fact, anything from loose clothing fibers to peeling household paint can lead to dust. That said, there are certain sources from which household dust is more common. Knowing these sources can help you to prevent more dust more easily. They include:
60% of the dust in our homes comes from outdoors. This is usually a combination of plant matter, dirt and pollution from vehicles. This may come in through windows or via the soles of our shoes. This is the dust that often contains pollen – which can cause hay fever for some people.
Dead skin cells
A large amount of dust in our homes is also made up of dead skin cells. Every day we’re shedding skin, which can end up in the air and on our floors. This is the type of dust that attracts dust mites – which some people are allergic to. Dust made up of dead skin cells can build up on bedsheets, sofas and carpets.
Pet dander refers to dust made from animal skin cells and animal hair. If you have a dog or a cat, they are likely to contribute a lot to the dust levels. Those that suffer from pet allergies are often allergic to this type of dust, usually because it contains animal saliva particulates as a result of these animals licking themselves.
The dangers of dust
Pile-ups of dust can make a home look dirty and neglected, which is likely to create a poor impression for guests and make your home less welcoming. However, dust can have much more negative effects than simply making your home less guest-friendly.
Dust can often create health problems. Exposure to high levels of dust is thought to increase the risk of developing asthma and respiratory allergies. People with hay fever are likely to suffer more serious symptoms in a dusty home. Meanwhile, those with dust mite allergies can get skin rashes and itchiness from living in a dusty home. High levels of dust have also been linked to nausea, migraines, eczema and more frequent nosebleeds.
Dust can also damage our possessions. It’s a major cause of hard-drive failure in computers and can clog up ports in other gadgets. It can even cause permanent damage to clothes and books.
How to stop dust piling up
If you want to stop dust from accumulating in your home, there are several measures that you can take. Here are just some of the ways to take care of dust.
Use microfiber cloths and dusters
Your average cloths and feather dusters aren’t particularly effective at getting rid of dust. While they may be able to remove dust from a surface, it’s likely that you’ll just be kicking up dust into the air and causing it to settle elsewhere.
A wet cloth or towelette is more likely to pick up the dust – you can then rinse out this cloth or towelette and wash away the dust. Microfiber cloths and dusters are some of the most effective options for picking up dust. This guide at Real Simple lists some of the best microfiber cloths for cleaning your home.
Use an air purifier
For helping to remove dust in the air, one of your best options is to use an air purifier. Air purifiers work by sucking air through a filter which removes any unwanted particles before pumping out clean air. On top of removing dust, air purifiers can help to get rid of bad smells, help fight disease and help fight mold.
Companies such as Molekule specialize in home air purification systems. Basic air purifier models use a filter that needs to be changed every month or two – these could be freestanding air purifiers or they could be built into your home’s air conditioning system. More advanced air purifiers may use technology such as ozone generators, electrostatic filters, carbon filters or UV light, which may be more effective at removing dust and killing bacteria.
Ventilate your home
Keeping your home ventilated encourages dust in the air to circulate. The most simple way to ventilate your home is to open a couple windows. This should allow air to pass through and should help prevent dust from settling.
Opening windows may not be very effective if there are major dust sources outside such a busy road or a field. In these instances, you may be better off using fans to circulate air within your home, while using extractor fans to pump unclean air out.
Take your shoes off
A lot of dust can come into our homes on the soles of our shoes. If you choose to keep your shoes on while indoors, you’ll be walking this dust around your home. Make a rule of taking your shoes off when you come in to prevent this dust spreading.
Keep pets groomed
If not groomed, certain pets will shed a lot of hair, which will add to the dust levels in your home. Certain breeds of dogs and long hair cats should be regularly brushed or combed to help remove excess hair. This is something you may be able to do at home or you may be able to simply pay for regular grooming services.Some owners even vacuum their dog or cat. There are vacuum attachments for pets as listed at sites like Pet Cat Friends that. These can help to suck up hair rather than transferring it into the air while you brush or comb. If your furry friend isn’t afraid of the vacuum cleaner, consider whether this could be an option.
Change your bedding
If you don’t regularly change your bedding, you’re likely to attract a lot of dust mites. For those with a dust mite allergy, this could result in skin irritation and wheezing at night.
Aim to change your bed at least once per week. It could be worth also using a hypoallergenic mattress protector – such mattress protectors can prevent dust mites from settling.
Consider your flooring for eliminating dust in your home
Flooring – especially carpets and rugs – can be a magnet for dust. If you don’t regularly clean your flooring, dust will accumulate which you are likely to kick up every time you walk over it. It will also create the perfect habitat for dust mites to live and breed.
A decent vacuum cleaner such as one with a double-layered microfilter bag or HEPA filter can be useful for getting rid of dust from carpets and rugs. Aim to vacuum regularly so that dust doesn’t have time to settle.
Declutter your home
Clutter makes dusting your home more difficult. It takes a couple seconds to run a microfiber cloth over a windowsill or a coffee table, but if the surface is piled with objects it will take a lot longer as you’ll have to dust under each object. Most people put off dusting a surface that is covered in objects, or simply dust around the objects (which often doesn’t remove all the dust).
If you’re dedicated to keeping your home dust-free, find the time to have a clear out so that you can remove all this unnecessary clutter. Storage solutions that allow you to hide clutter away such as chests and drawers can be better at preventing dust than shelves. Eliminating dust in your home is much easier with less stuff!
Reduce the humidity in your home
A high level of humidity in your home can increase the amount of harmful dust in your home. Humidity can help dust mites to breed – these dust mites create faecal matter, which adds to dust levels. A humid home can also lead to a growth of mold spores in the air, which can be harmful if breathed in. Using a dehumidifier in your home could help to keep humidity levels low.
That said, you don’t want the air to be too dry either. Dry air can cause dust to become airborne, which can include dust containing dust mites and pollen. With less moisture in the air, this dust is likely to cause more irritation to the mouth and lungs when breathed in – causing a dry mouth, coughing and wheezing. In such cases, a humidifier may be necessary for ensuring that there is some moisture in the air.
What are your tips for eliminating dust in your home? Share with us below!