Managing dust in your home can feel like a losing battle. You wipe down all your dusty surfaces only to find that more have settled the next day. When you try to clean it, it can end up everywhere at the slightest breezy disturbance.
Unfortunately, dust is a fact of life, and you’ll never be able to escape it completely. However, there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of it floating around your home, polluting your air, clogging up your electronics and making your décor look like you just pulled it out of storage.
Where Is It Coming From?
You may have heard the popular claim that house dust is mostly dead skin, which is, well, gross. However, that’s only a small part of the picture. Skin cells are part of the cocktail that makes up the dust in your home, but so is pet dander, cloth fibers from carpets and furniture, soil particles tracked inside on your shoes and even harmful pollutants and chemicals.
The particular makeup of the dust in your home can especially be a cause for concern among those who deal with asthma or allergies, as pollutants in the home can act as a trigger for these conditions. It can also be an issue for those who have small children that spend a lot of time on the ground – where dust tends to migrate – and are prone to putting anything and everything in their mouths.
Being able to make an educated guess on what’s in your dust can help guide you on how to best minimize it. For example, if you know that a good portion of your dust issues stem from your heavy-shedding dog, you can start reducing the amount of pet dander in your home by making sure to give your pooch a thorough brushing every day.
Know Where It Lurks
Some areas and items in your home are going to be bigger dust magnets than others. We’ve listed some common dust-prone areas below, but ultimately, you’re the expert, as this can vary depending on the home.
In general, places that are going to be more dust-friendly include carpets, closets, vents, fans, blinds, electronics and any fabric-heavy areas, like your bedroom or living room. These spots will likely require more frequent care to keep the amount of dust buildup manageable.
Do Not Disturb
You might be surprised by how much your dust-cleaning process is actually reintroducing that dust back into the air for it to settle somewhere else. If you haven’t updated your dusting tools in years, it may be time to trade out that feather duster for something more effective so that you can clean the dust without disturbing it so much that it gets blown around.
Microfiber cloths are great for this. If you don’t have microfiber cloths, a regular damp washcloth will also do the trick.
Keep in mind that while vacuuming is an important part of your dust-management process, it can also exacerbate the problem by blowing dust around rather than sucking it up. To minimize this, get a vacuum that utilizes a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which will capture even the smallest of dust particles.
Another good idea is to clean from top to bottom, starting with the higher-up items in your home before tackling the floors, so you don’t have to keep going back to clean up after yourself when dust falls from higher areas.
Speaking of which, ceiling fans can be a big magnet for dust, and an even bigger pain to clean. To easily clean fan blades without leaving a huge fallout on the floor below, try using old pillowcases to clear off dust. Simply stick the pillowcase around the fan blade and then pull it off, wiping off the dust so it falls into the pillowcase.
Too Many Textiles
Fabric creates and traps a lot of dust. Paying special attention to the textiles in your home can help minimize the dust you have to deal with.
Whenever you vacuum (most experts say to aim for about once a week, more often if you have kids or pets), make sure you’re using those attachments and running them over your furniture. If your furniture has removeable cushions, take them outside every once in a while and shake them out or beat them with a broom to get rid of dust. Same goes for rugs.
Storing out-of-season clothing in plastic bags or bins can cut down on closet dust.
If the amount of dust in your home is really bothering you, you might consider choosing less dust-friendly furniture with materials like leather or vinyl. Likewise, pulling up your carpeting and installing wood or tile flooring will also cut down on dust.
Protect Your Electronics
DVD players, gaming consoles, desktop computers, televisions and other similar devices are all prone to attracting a lot of dust. Dust on these items isn’t just unsightly – it could also be slowly killing their motors.
Allowing dust to build up on an electronic item can shorten its lifespan by clogging up its inner components, so it’s important to dust your tech from time to time.
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe dust off the item’s exterior, paying special attention to any fans or vents that provide a portal for dust to get inside. Cotton swabs or a can of compressed air will help you remove dust from some of the harder-to-reach nooks and crannies.
Try an Air Purifier
If one of your home’s inhabitants has allergies or a respiratory condition of some kind, the battle against dust can feel especially crucial. If you’re worried about air quality, you might consider purchasing an air purifier.
Air purifiers can help capture the dust that pollutes your air. They can be a significant investment, so be sure to do your research and make sure you’re getting one that suits your needs.
If you’re having specific issues with allergies or asthma, a purifier may help. However, it might be worth it to check out other possible solutions first and see if there’s a specific environmental trigger that could be easily removed before investing in an air purifier, as there’s little hard evidence that these devices will actually alleviate your symptoms.
If you do decide an air purifier is right for you, it should still be used in conjunction with regular cleaning and dusting to keep the amount of dust in your home to a minimum.
How do you deal with dust in your home? Share your tips in the comments!
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