Run your finger across any electrical appliance, shelf or skirting board, and the chances are you’ll get dust on your finger. Exactly how much depends on how often you’re able to clean.
Dust is the scourge of homes up and down the country, yet we know so little about it. We spend hours every week removing it, but there’s always some more waiting in the wings.
If you want to beat the dust in your home, you can’t – it’s impossible. However, by understanding it, you might be able to reduce it to a minimum.
WHAT IS DUST?
Dust can contain almost anything. While a lot of people think it’s mainly human skin, pet dander and dead mites, the truth is dust is made up of small, airborne particles that come to rest on absolutely everything. Exactly where these particles come from depends on the home.
Unfortunately, keeping your windows open will not reduce the amount of dust in your home; in fact, doing this could increase it. There is a lot of dust in the air outside, which is comprised of dirt, sand, pollen, spores, ‘bits’ of insects and a great deal more. Believe it or not, there is space rock in our atmospheric dust… there’s just no escaping it.
The dust we have in our homes has everything you’d find in outdoor dust, as well as a few more nasty surprises besides. As well as dead skin, house dust often contains pet hair, dander, dead mites, mite eggs and lint from clothing and fabrics.
WHY IS DUST UNDESIRABLE?
The obvious reason for removing dust is to keep your home clean and looking its best. However, there are more serious reasons for keeping it to a minimum. Dust can get into the workings of electrical appliances and interfere with their operation; serious accumulations can cause fires.
But the biggest threat posed by household dust involves allergies. The symptoms of asthma can be exacerbated by large amounts of dust in the home. Even people without specific allergies can develop itchy eyes, coughs, a runny nose and breathing difficulties. Worryingly, there are studies underway trying to research a possible link between high levels of dust and problems with brain development.
HOW TO MINIMISE THE AMOUNT OF DUST IN YOUR HOME
It is impossible to remove dust from your home completely, but there are things you can do to minimise it. You’ll still need to clean and dust regularly, but maybe not as often.
1. Keep your wardrobes and closets tidy
A lot of the dust in your home will be coming from the fibres in your clothing. Every time you open your wardrobe door, you’re disturbing these fibres and releasing them into the air. To stop this from happening, store as much as you can in drawers. Invest in some plastic storage boxes with lids for clothes you don’t wear regularly, and cover hanging clothes in garment bags.
2. Keep carpets to a minimum
While carpets can give a room warmth and a unique aesthetic, they harbour a lot of dust. Not only that, they actually create dust as their fibres break down over time. Stick to tiles, laminate and wood flooring wherever possible. And where you do have carpet, vacuum it at least twice a day.
One issue with vacuuming is that it can sometimes blow dust around – rather than capture it. But by using the Shark Lift-Away Light True Pet you can take the dust out of your home with the help of four innovative features.
- Anti-allergen complete seal technology captures and holds more than 99.9 percent of allergens
- Cyclonic technology means no loss of suction
- A no-touch dust cup makes emptying dust easy
- The Shark Power Brush has been designed specifically for picking up pet hair
3. Change your bedding regularly
Dust mites live in your bed, and they lay eggs – there’s very little you can do to stop this from happening. However, wrapping your mattress in a dust cover is a great start. You should also try to clean your bedding once a week.
4. Don’t use feather dusters
Feather dusters don’t remove dust; they merely move it around the home by dispersing it into the air. Trying to remove dust in this way could actually exacerbate allergies and respiratory problems. Instead, carefully ‘collect’ dust by wiping with a slightly damp microfibre cloth.
5. Work from the top
It’s important to dust every room in your home every day, but you should do so with the laws of gravity in mind. Dust will travel downwards when you disturb it, so you should always start dusting from the top – whether it’s the top of the house or the top of the room.
6. Use an air purifier
Air purifiers filter the air and remove airborne particles, which is a great way to protect people with allergies and respiratory problems. However, dust mites are not airborne, so you will still need to dust regularly.
7. Remove dust outside
It’s always a good idea to beat rugs, mats, pillows and duvets outside once a week. Doing so inside your home will simply launch dust into the air – where it will either be breathed in or settle somewhere else.
While there is no substitute for regular dusting and cleaning, taking these preventative measures to minimise dust in your home should make cleaning a great deal easier.