For any house cleaning adventure, the abundance of dust can be the most annoying thing to deal with. Apart from covering every surface, floating in the air, and ruining an otherwise clean appearance, it can cause respiratory problems, heighten pre-existing allergies, or bring dust mites into the home to share a residence.
What does dust come from?
Dust comes from dead skin cells, pollen, and fibers fallen off of clothes and furniture; as such, it’s almost impossible to keep a house constantly dust-free. Still, there are ways to efficiently get rid of dust and prevent future buildups.
Before beginning, make sure to have a damp cloth and a dusting wand with microfibers. Feather dusters or dry rags will simply push dust around or send it into the air, not trap it. Always start at the top--the ceiling, high shelves, etc--and work down to catch any dust that falls during the process. Wipe down everything, from empty space to electronics to lamps to small objects. Make sure to be thorough by wiping underneath and behind things as well. Rotate through several clothes to keep them clean or wash one every time it gets too saturated with dust.
Vacuums can be a large help, but they can also spread a lot of dust right back into the air. Use a high-quality vacuum with a double-layered filter bag and turn the thermostat’s fan on so it will filter the dust from the air as it appears. If possible, use different nozzle attachments to reach dust hidden in hard to reach places and move furniture to ensure full coverage.
With dust usually comes dust mites; these are harder to get rid of permanently, but it is possible to reduce their numbers and keep them from multiplying. Dust mites like to make their homes in bedding, so either freeze sheets overnight or wash in hot water to kill them. Freezing works for non-washable things too, like delicate pillows or stuffed animals. Dust mites also thrive in humid weather, so consider investing in a dehumidifier to discourage them from staying. For a fresh start, call a professional to exterminate them completely.
Ridding the house of dust and mites once isn’t enough to keep it free forever. Prevention is essential to make sure as little dust returns as possible. Dust builds up quickly and the bed is one of the first and worst places it accumulates, so start dust-proofing by washing bedding at least once a week and buying a waterproof cover for mattresses. For carpets, consider replacing them with hardwood or tile. Otherwise, vacuum daily to keep them fresh. Keep the air clean with a dehumidifier and a strong furnace filter.
Keep rooms clean
Keeping rooms clean and orderly helps as well, by reducing small areas where dust can be trapped and making it easier to maintain cleanliness. Organize closets with plastic bags or containers to reduce shredded fibers from entering the air and settling, and keep shelves neat and clutter-free to minimize the amount of dust blown around when searching for something. Several surface cleaners and polishes on the market will also repel dust for a short time, so think about purchasing some for extra protection after a clean.
Most dust comes from dead skin or is brought in from outside, so it’s also important to reduce both of those outlets. Don’t leave doors and windows open for long, and shower and do laundry often to get rid of pollen from outside. A clean car prevents outside dust from entering the home as well.
Remember to groom any pets outside to keep their dander and skin out. Dust can be tricky to deal with and even trickier to keep away, but a dust-free home is a happy home. Cleaning and proofing the house will make it look well-kept and cared for as well as keep allergens from attacking guests.
Rather than letting it build up and getting rid of all of it at once, it’s better to be constantly clearing it away with small daily or weekly actions and good organization. With practice and routine, having a dustless home can be simple, easy, and fast.