Dust is a fact of life. Outside of high-tech factory clean rooms, a bit of dust is the norm, and health and comfort are usually not affected. Inside the home can be a different story, however. Enclosed spaces can cause the components of dust – tiny bits of cloth, paper, hair, pet dander, skin cells, dirt, and more – to build up, causing a cleaning nuisance and potentially triggering allergies. You can’t fully banish dust from your home, but you can minimize it to healthy and tidy levels. Here’s how.
Filter your air
One of the most effective ways to reduce dust in the home is to filter it right out of the air. If your home has a central heating or cooling system, installing quality air filters and replacing them as necessary will do much to combat dust. For the best results, use high-quality paper or pleated fabric filters that are disposable, and replace them every one to three months. Freestanding air purifiers can do the same job but are only effective at filtering the air in one room.
Clean your floors
The floors of your home are natural places for dust to accumulate, ready to be kicked up in to the air by your family’s footsteps. Limit this source by vacuuming, sweeping and mopping your floors as often as twice a week, especially for high-traffic areas. Ensure your vacuum cleaner is working perfectly, and ideally select a model with a HEPA filter. Carefully dispose of dust in the trash to prevent it from reentering your home.
Dust your surfaces
Dust is such a persistent cleaning problem that it even has its own verb! Be sure to dust the surfaces of your home as needed to prevent the stuff from reentering the air. Be sure to use a purpose-made duster (such as one made of microfiber) to ensure you’re collecting and not merely pushing dust. If you must use an ordinary cloth or rag, wetting it first is more effective, provided the surface you’re cleaning is safe for water. Dusting and cleaning your walls as often as every few months is also helpful. Clean or dispose of your duster according to its directions after use.
Cleanse your fabrics
Fabric is a prime place for dust to collect, especially when it’s in regular contact with people and pets. To minimize this issue, regularly clean your bedding, upholstery, drapes and rugs. Wash pillows and sheets once a week, and beat the dust out of rugs and cushions outdoors and clean drapes once a month.
Declutter your home
The more clutter there is in your home, the more places there are for dust to collect. If you can part with any of your trinkets or knickknacks, or can simply store them away, you’ll deny dust some of its hiding spaces and make cleaning easier. Magazines and books can break down into dust over time and should be kept in bookshelves or storage to limit their impact.
Groom your pets
Pets and their shedding habits are a major contributor to household dust. Keep your pets well-groomed to reduce the hair and dander they shed and keep the areas they frequent clean.