Easy Tricks for a Dust-Free Home
It’s something that oftentimes gets missed when we’re writing out our cleaning list, but dusting is actually a very important part of your home cleaning and should be incorporated more into your cleaning routine than you think. Now you may think that the reason being is because dust can be unsightly, but it’s actually more than that! An accumulation of dust, especially in hard to reach areas of your home or in places that one does not see, could be negatively impacting your health. In the case of dust, out of sight out of mind is not the way you want to go. Dust build up in your home overtime could increase the toxicity level of your home and contribute to harmful air pollutants. Have we got your attention yet? Read more to find out just what dust is, where it could be lurking in your home, and how to effectively minimize the amount of dust in your house - because we guarantee you’re going to want to after reading this!
What is Dust?
So what exactly is dust? Dust is a collective term used to describe a variety of both organic and inorganic particles, from inside your home and the outside, that can collect on almost any surface of your home. The make up of dust in your home is pertinent to a variety of factors based on everything from whether you have pets, to the types of fibers in your carpet and upholstered furniture, to the number of people in your household - this means that there is no standard formula of what dust contains, it is unique and specific to each and every home. The amount of dust you have in certain areas of your home is also related to the rooms that you use the most - the ones that are used most often will have the most dust accumulation.
Dust can contain any or all of the following particles:
Skin cells: Probably the most common and most likely, the dust in your home contains dead skin cells that those living in your home have shed. Skin cells accumulate the most in fabric areas we spend lots of time using, such as our bedding, mattresses, and couches.
Dust mites: If the dust in your home contains skin cells, then it contains dust mites as well. Dust mites are tiny microscopic organisms that feed off dead skin cells. A dust mite allergy is common among many people and an accumulation of dust in your home could be contributing to an allergic reaction.
Pet dander: If you have a pet, then more than likely the dust in your home contains pet dander. Pet dander with fur or feathers shed. Dust mites also feed off of pet dander as well and an allergy to pet dander is also very common.
Pollen: Yes, pollen from the outside can make it inside your home! During pollen season, pollen from outside can come into your home from a variety of sources. They can come in from your doorways, from your vents or open windows. If your pets play outside, pollen can get trapped in their fur and they can bring pollen into your home when they come back inside. You can also be bringing pollen from outside into your home as well, on your clothes or in your hair.
Other particles that dust can be composed of include bacteria and viruses, fibers from upholstery, clothes and carpet, food or cooking debris, as well as dead plant or insect debris.
Where Can Dust Lurk in My Home?
Pretty much any surface in your home dust can lurk. It's common to find a thin layer of dust in areas that you clean more often (think your counters and table), however the areas of your home that are less noticeable and/or harder to reach are where the accumulation of dust can be quite high. These areas can include ceiling fans and lighting fixtures; the tops of shelves, paintings or fixtures on the walls; the tops of cabinets, windows, tv, and doors’ your blinds and curtains; baseboards, electronics, and your rugs and carpets. As we have mentioned before, dust can also accumulate on your bedding and mattress, your couch, and other fabric or upholstered areas of your home. And in case you didn’t know, dust attracts dust, so an area covered in dust accumulation will attract more dust.
How Do I Know I Need to Dust My Home?
While a clear indication that you need to dust is a visual indication of an accumulation or layer of dust in certain areas of your home, as we have mentioned sometimes dust can be unnoticed in some spaces. There are other indications that you need to dust however. If you or anyone in your household is experiencing unexplained sneezing, nasal congestion, or an itchy throat (especially at night, if it is in your mattress or bedding), it could be an indication there is high levels of dust in your home. Dust can also be stirred into the air of your home through vacuuming, open windows and doors, and the use of your air conditioning or heating unit. When it is circulating in your home it can contribute to air pollution and can be more easily breathed in.
What Other Health Risks Can Dust Pose?
Not only can you breathe in dust particles through your respiratory system, it can also be absorbed through your skin and ultrafine particles can be absorbed into your bloodstream as well. Depending on what is found in the dust in your home determines how toxic it can be and the effects that it can have on your health. Dust can be quite triggering for those with asthma, eczema or dermatitis, or who have an allergy to dust mites, pollen or pet dander (which are all very common allergens). A higher accumulation of dust can trigger an asthma attack or an allergic reaction. However, high dust levels in your home is a concern for everyone, not just those with asthma, skin conditions or allergies. Long term exposure to dust can have an overall impact on your health and can reduce the function of your lungs and contribute to chronic bronchitis and heart and lung disorders as well.
How Do I Reduce the Amount of Dust in My Home?
So you’re probably thinking, I really don’t want dust in my house, what are some ways that I can reduce the amount of dust lurking in my home? Well here are 12 things that you can do to help decrease dust levels and make your home more safe and healthy for everyone living in it! Here are some quick and easy tricks for eliminating and reducing the amount of dust from your home!1. Clean the Dust Accumulation
The first step is to clean the dust accumulation from every surface of your home, especially the hard to reach or often overlooked areas. There are some things that you should note when cleaning dust. The first is that you should not use a feather duster, as it does not collect all of the dust and most ends up getting lifted from the surface and pushed into the air, meaning it will later land somewhere else. The second is to use a damp cloth, to ensure that all dust is removed and collected. For special surfaces, use safe and natural cleaners such as method’s Glass Cleaner for glass and method’s Daily Wood Cleaner for floors and other wooden surfaces can effectively remove dust and dirt. Just spray on the surface and wipe clean!
2. Clean Areas of Your Home From Top to Bottom
The key to removing dust from your home is to clean from the top of a room to the bottom. Start with any ceiling fixtures and ceiling corners where dust has accumulated, working your way down to any fixtures or shelves on your walls. Then clean anything that is sitting on the floors and lastly, wipe down your baseboards and sweep or vacuum the floor. This routine will ensure that as much of the dust in a room is removed, while also limiting the amount that has drifted into the air and landed on a surface you have already cleaned.
3. Change Your Bedding Weekly and Vacuum Your Mattress Frequently
Changing and washing your bedding on a weekly basis can reduce the amount of shedded skin cells, dust particles and dust mites that accumulate in your sheets, comforter and pillow cases. However, frequently washing your bedding is not enough. Your mattress can hold higher levels of dust, as there’s a chance you do not clean it as often as you do your bedding. It is good to get into the habit of vacuuming both sides of your mattress to remove any dust particles and keep it as dust free as possible.
4. Dust Your Electronics
It’s easy to forget about dusting these, which in turn can result in higher levels of dust accumulation overtime - especially on the tops and behind your electronics, if they are fixed to the wall. To help prevent dust accumulation in these areas, add dusting the tops of and behind your electronics, such as your tv, to your cleaning checklist.
5. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
The purpose of the air filters in your home’s HVAC system is to catch any air pollutants and particles, including dust, dander and fibers. When the filters become dirty with an accumulation of these particles, it reduces the filters ability to work effectively, causing air to have difficulty passing through and reduces the amount of air circulation in your home.In order to ensure your HVAC system is working effectively and the filters are doing their job, it is recommended to change the air filters every one or two months.
6. Groom Your Pets on a Regular Basis
We all love our furry friends and grooming them not only creates a safe environment for us, but for them too! Brushing your pets on a regular basis can help to reduce the amount of pet dander and fur that accumulates on your clothes and other surfaces in your homes. It can reduce the amount of allergens in your home and also make the air in your home cleaner and easier to breathe for you and your pets too.
7. Circulate the Air in Your Home
Did you know that air that is free flowing is healthy air? Having good air circulation in your home prevents dust accumulation and prevents harmful allergens and air pollutants from multiplying and collecting on surfaces.
8. Purchase an Air Purifier
Air purifiers can play a big role in reducing the amount of impurities in your home and in cleaning and purifying your air from pollutants. Air purifiers are helpful for those with allergies and asthma, so if you or anyone in your household has either of these then investing in an air purifier for the bedroom or common spaces is a great way to reduce pollutants and the effects that dust can have.
9. Say No to Carpets and Rugs
Your carpets and rugs can harbor a large amount of dust particles deep into the fibers. By reducing or removing any carpeted areas in your home, you are eliminating the amount of dust in your home as well.
10. Vacuum regularly
If you must have carpets in your home, it is crucial to vacuum and clean them on a regular basis. This helps to reduce the amount of dust accumulation in your carpets and rugs, therefore reducing the amount of overall dust in your home.
11. Tidy and Reduce Clutter
The more items you have in your home, the more surfaces it creates for dust to build up. By reducing the amount of clutter and items in your home, you will also reduce the amount of areas that are dusty - it also reduces the amount of places you have to clean dust from too!
12. Create and Stick to a Cleaning Schedule
Creating and sticking to a weekly cleaning schedule is the best way to reduce the amount of dust in your home and therefore, reduces the amount of dust accumulation overtime. It helps to keep your home clean and safe and reduces the amount of air pollutants, making it safe for everyone!