I’ve asked myself a million times, “why is my house so dusty?” Because it seems no matter how often I dust and mop, there is still dust on surfaces the very next day. But I found out it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can take a few steps to prevent dust from gathering in your home. Some of these steps are just cleaning techniques while others will change your decor. But the first step to take is to learn what you can about dust.
What Is Dust?
Most people have a general idea of what dust is but they might not know that it’s more than just dead skin cells. Though 50% of dust is dead skin cells, it also includes soil, pollen, fibers, and hair from pets and humans.
The exact ingredients in dust largely depend on your region and how rural your home is. Rural homes will have more soil and pollen whereas city dust will have more road dust, ash dust, and landfill dust.
Though city dust can be more dangerous than country dust, both types of dust are primarily skin cells and both types of dust affect those allergic equally. The only exception is pollen which is a unique allergen.
Is Dust Dangerous?
Dust can be dangerous, yes. But primarily to those who are allergic. What most people don’t realize though is that you can’t be allergic to dust itself, but rather the dust mites that are found in the air around dusty surfaces.
Dust mites can be quite annoying but if you keep dust at bay, then they won’t cause much damage. But it is a good idea to learn how to get rid of dust mites in a variety of ways. Because sometimes getting rid of dust just won’t work.
Where Does Dust Come From?
Dust can come from almost anywhere. It comes in through the door, on pets, and even from your own hair. But the main cause of dust is you! There’s not much you can do about that though because your skin cells will turn to dust.
The best way to prevent your dead skin cells from turning to dust all over your house is to stay clean and moisturized. However, you can also help a lot by cleaning your bedding regularly. At least once a week is best.
What Gathers The Most Dust?
Although dust can gather on almost any surface, there are a few surfaces that seem to collect it like it’s going out of style. These items gather and spread dust worse than any other. So keep them clean.
This spreads dust faster than anything else. HVAC units especially spread dust fast if they’re not clean because they take dust from each room, and outside, and spread it to every room in the house. Even if it wasn’t initially dusty.
It’s easy to fix this by making sure your filters are cleaned as often as recommended and by getting the correct filter for the unit. Don’t try to save money by getting cheap filters. Do it right and get the proper filter.
Carpet gathers dust unlike anything else. Because it covers large surfaces, it spreads dust over large surfaces. It can be very difficult to clean the dust out of carpet even if you vacuum and shampoo it often.
There’s no real way around carpet dust. The only way to completely prevent it is by forgoing the carpet and getting hardwood, laminate, or another type of flooring. Carpet is not good for people with asthma.
Curtains gather a lot of dust. The material of the curtain matters but almost any curtain or drape with gather dust. Especially if the curtains touch the ground. Then they get ground dust and air dust.
They also gather dust from windows, but we’ll talk more about that later. The best way to keep curtain dust at bay is to keep them off the ground and get a material that is naturally dust-resistant for your curtains.
Now, some furniture, even if upholstered, gathers less dust than others. But any type of upholstered furniture will gather some dust. However, some upholstered furniture, like leather, is easier to keep clean.
Though it may seem tricky, upholstered furniture is easier to clean than carpet. You can really deep clean it or just clean the surface as the upholstery isn’t as thick as carpet is so you can clean the entire thing.
The main cause of dust from outside is unsealed windows. Because the small cracks around the windowsill can indeed let dust in. If you feel air coming through then dust can easily get through the cracks.
The easiest way to get rid of this problem is to properly seal your windows. Learn to seal your windows well with window sealant. This isn’t just important for dust, but also for other pests and to keep your home weatherproof.
Signs You’re Allergic To Dust
Although dust won’t harm you if you’re not allergic to it, it can cause mild symptoms in anyone. But if you’re allergic, or if you have asthma, there are symptoms that are more severe and that can cause long-term damage.
Keep in mind that the problem may be deeper than a dust allergy. You could have asthma, which is a more serious issue. So check with a doctor if you experience any of the latter problems on the list.
Signs you are allergic to dust mites:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure and pain
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
- In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose
Signs the dust mites are causing asthmatic problems:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness or pain
- An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu
How To Dust Properly
Even if you do have dust-gatherers in your home, you can prevent the dust by cleaning your home well. Learn how to dust properly with this guide that will guide you through the steps with tips to keep the dust away.
Piece By Piece
Some people like to go over everything all at once. But it is important to remove each piece from shelves and to take apart anything you can. Dust each piece separately to ensure you get all of the dust off that you can.
Don’t leave your items on the shelves without dusting them too. Dust the furniture, but dust the small items too, or else the does will never disappear completely.
Use a Dusting Cloth
Instead of settling for some sort of washcloth that isn’t made for dusting, invest in a microfiber dusting cloth. These dusters work wonders and are much better than a feather duster which can spread more dust.
Dust Every Week
It may be tempting to wait until you see dust around your house before you start dusting. But the best way to clean is the preventative way. Instead of dusting the dust, dust the items before they gather dust.
Once a week is a good timeframe. But if you don’t have time for that, then once every other week can work too.
Deep Dust, Don’t Surface Dust
Whenever you do dust, don’t just wipe a rag over the area, really clean it. Imagine you can see the dust and germs even if you can’t. Wash every centimeter as if there is an invisible layer that you need to scrub off.
Wipe Your Feet
It can be a good idea, if you wear shoes indoors, to leave a good doormat made to collect dust and ask people to wipe their shoes before entering your house. This can work wonders for the mass dust that gathers.
We cannot praise air purifiers enough. So make sure that you have a couple around the house. Keep the filters cleaned and let them do their magic. They not only keep dust away but they can also help with breathing problems.
Should I Hire A Professional?
Hiring a professional cleaner can be useful if you can afford it. If you don’t have time to keep the dust at bay, it may be necessary for the health of your family. Especially if anyone in the family has allergies or asthma.
But if you don’t have anyone struggling with these issues, then the dust can wait for you to have time to take care of it. Just don’t let it go more than a couple of weeks or it will be more trouble than it was worth waiting for.
You don’t need to have it cleaned every day. But most people can afford a cleaning every two weeks which is a good schedule to set if you don’t have the time nor the money to have the house cleaned every week.