Declare War on Household Dust This Spring

Tops on my spring cleaning list this year is clearing away clutter, and then, tackling dust. Dust is important because the amount we have can impact our health and wellbeing. We actually do have more dust than we used to – you’ll read why further on – so you’re not imagining it and your housekeeping skills aren’t slipping.

Dust Makes You Sick

I should know. A couple weeks ago, I was very sick. As I was resting in my media room, I couldn’t stop coughing. So, I took cough medicine. Then, I went back to the media room. What I noticed was that I couldn’t stop coughing in the media room, but amazingly, as soon as I walked out, the coughing stopped.

So, I opened the shutters, turned on all the lights, and stood back in horror. The entire media room was completely coated in dust – from the ceiling, TV, walls, fixtures, everything – and I clean it every week. But, I don’t clean the walls and ceilings. But I did that day. Now, let’s dive headlong into dust…

Dust happens.
You know that as soon as you dust, more dust will collect. Dust can be – and should be – fought. Why? Dust creates problems, from eye irritation to lingering colds and allergies. More importantly, it makes a house dirty and that attracts more dust. Not only that, but as our houses become tighter – and more heavily electronic – the dust problem is an increasing one. Strange weather patterns, tight houses, more electronics and indoor pets than ever before, means more dust.

Some rooms also have more dust than others do. 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 vital. Have you ever noticed at bedtime, your nose suddenly gets stuffy and you reach for the breathing strips, antihistamine, or chest rub?

The problem probably isn’t your sinuses, it’s dust. Just look behind your bed’s headboard. The living room is another dust magnifier with all the electronics and upholstered furniture. Fortunately, you can arm yourself with some dust-fighting tools and information.

What’s 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, human skin flakes. It’s not a pretty mix.

Where does dust come from?
It comes from a variety of sources including plants, roads, wind, clothes dryers, electronics, attics, basements, air conditioning ducts and vents, pets, pollen, insects, carpeting, and knick knacks.

Vacuum your dust
Declare war on dust with your vacuum. A good quality vacuum will provide you with the suction and onboard tools you need to get the dusting and cleaning job done. An old, poorly maintained vacuum, with an over-filled bag will actually make the house dustier. Use the edge and crevice tool to vacuum the edge where the wall meets the floor – a serious dust collection area. Use the brush on electronics, blinds, and lampshades, and the upholstery tool to go over mattresses, drapes, and upholstered furniture.

Make sure you have extra bags or that you empty the dust collection cup at every use to keep suction power at its maximum. Other dust-fighting tools include the oversized Swiffer Max. The large head makes dusting walls a snap. Microfiber is the best cloth for dusting because the cloths are electrostatic to attract dust, and the fine fibers, trap it.

Dust or vacuum first?
This age-old housekeeping question is an important one. Definitely dust first, and then vacuum, so you vacuum up anything that’s been knocked to the floor while you’re cleaning or dusting.