Dealing With Household Dust

Dust happens and it does everywhere. It’s a universal truth that as soon as you dust your furniture, more dust will collect. But, that doesn’t mean that the battle has to end there. Dust can be – and should be – fought. Why? Dust creates lots of problems, from eye irritation to lingering colds and allergies to that annoying itchy or runny nose. More importantly, it makes a house dirty and that attracts more dust. Not only that, but as our homes become tighter – and more heavily electronic – the dust problem is an increasing one. Dust gets resuspended when it’s disturbed and will recirculate throughout the house, picking up substances before returning once more to the floor. It seems like you can never get rid of it, whether or not the windows are open — although closed windows can help to prevent pollen and other pollutants from entering. The amount of dust that accumulates depends on where you live and the time of year. Electronics, like those mammoth TVs, cable boxes, and players, not to
mention, attract and trap dust. Then, once it’s attracted, all that great insulation and tight-fitting windows keep it trapped in the house until you get rid of it. And even if you are the most meticulous housekeeper, dust will always come back to bother you. Some rooms have more dust than others too. The bedroom, with all its fabric in the mattress, pillows, bedding, curtains, blinds, and carpeting is one giant dust magnet, making dusting in the bedroom especially important. Have you ever noticed that when you go to bed, your nose suddenly gets stuffy and you reach for the breathing strips, antihistamine, or chest rub? A lot of people have this same “problem.” But the problem probably isn’t your sinuses, it’s dust.

The living room is also another dust magnifier with all the dust-magnet electronics and upholstered furniture. Lastly on the dust attraction list are the kitchen (top of the fridge scare you?) and the laundry room (just look behind that dryer), making these two more spots that need more frequent dusting. Fortunately, you can arm yourself with some dust-fighting tools and information.

What is dust made up of? Dust is made up of a variety of things from blowing dirt, bacteria, pollen, pollutants, molds, animal dander, hair, decomposing insects, fibers, dryer lint, insulation, dust mites and their excrement, and mostly, skin flakes that humans shed.

Where does dust come from? It comes from a variety of sources including plants, roads, wind, clothes dryers, electronics, attics, basements, air conditioning, and heating ducts and vents, pets, pollen, insects, carpeting, knick-knacks. If you live in the south, coastal states, desert, or Southwest, you have more than your fair share of dust due to excess pollen, windy, and dry conditions. But no matter where you live, dust will be a problem and it needs to be addressed.

Dust Collection Areas: As mentioned earlier, some places are dustier than others. When you are dusting make sure to concentrate on the following areas:

  • Mini blinds: These attract and trap dust. Vacuum regularly or spray them in the shower with “MiniMaids” blind hangers.
  • Electronics: Clean often and brush behind the TV with your vacuum
    brush attachment.
  • Tops: This includes tops of doors, window trim, cabinets, refrigerators
    and furniture.
  • Fixtures : Lighting and ceiling fans will attract dust, so clean them regularly.
  • Upholstery :Dust mites love upholstery. Vacuum as often as possible.
  • Stuff : This can range from knick knacks to silk plants to bookshelves. Streamline collectibles and eliminate as much clutter as possible.

Declare War On Dust

Use the right duster: Feather dusters are whimsical and push dust around. Do a better job with dusting by choosing a microfiber cloth instead. The microscopic fibers attract and trap dust particles without letting go. Plus, you can toss them in the washing machine and reuse it again and again.

Get rid of dust collectors: This one seems obvious. If you want to dust less, it’s time to get rid of all the little knick-knacks that tend to collect dust. Frames, figurines, books — these items all need to be dusted individually, which takes up a lot of precious time. Try a new tactic and reduce your collections by at least half, if not more. You’ll spend less time dusting and more time enjoying the special items you did decide to keep.

Try an air purifier: A quality air purifier can help to reduce air contaminants, trapping them on the filter. These devices are especially popular with allergy sufferers or anyone with pets. Like to leave the windows open? An air purifier also traps pollen particles and other outside elements that might blow in.

Clean in the right order: This one is a bit of common sense. You should always clean top to bottom, and that goes for dusting especially. Dust off your high shelves and furniture first, then vacuum the floors to collect up everything that fell to the floor.

Wash your bedding more often: Truth time: when’s the last time you washed your sheets? You should really be washing sheets at least once per week and washing the comforter and other blankets monthly. Fabrics collect skin particles while you sleep, plus the more textiles you have, the more likely they are to shed string and other small pieces. Wash these items frequently and reduce the total number you have lying around to generate less dust.

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