Dust can be a big deal for parents with children at home or people suffering from asthma and allergies. But for people without any specific health conditions, you must be cautious with this invisible matter. Removing completely the dust may sound impossible and can cause you a headache for overthinking how to remove it but you can reduce and prevent it. In order to reduce dust easily, you must be aware of what is dust and its forms, where does it come from or where does it usually settles inside your home.
What is dust?
Dust is any material present in the air and it usually has a diameter of ten to fifty microns, generated by activities such as grinding, detonation, cutting, crushing, and handling of inorganic and organic matter such as grain, rock, wood, coal, metal, and ore. Dust are small particles which you may not notice sometimes. Since they are too small to notice, they might embed in your lungs which later can cause serious health problems.
What is dust made of?
You may not realize this all the time but when you pass by a beam of light or you slap a couch, you will notice the dust particles that will appear. It would often look like grey dirt when you have seen it on a certain part of your house. But what exactly is dust made of? Dust can be composed of different things depending on the environment that it is in. It is actually a collection of many different tiny particles that come from a number of various sources.
The common myth about dust is that it is mostly composed of a person’s dead skin. So now, let’s correct that myth at this point. Well, yes, dead skin follicles can contribute to a particle of the dust but not all the dust comes from it. That myth is definitely not true. Dead skin follicle is in no way the majority of the dust. Now that the myth is clear, let’s continue about what dust is made of.
First, let’s identify where does dust can come from. Basically, dust comes out from one of two places: the outdoors and the indoors.
Outside dust: They are particles generated from outdoor places. They can come from pollen, soil particles, vehicular matter like tire particles, exhaust, or even in insect particles or parts. These may be harmless to most people but can be dangerous to people with health conditions of asthma and allergies once they are triggered by contact or inhalation of the outside particles.
Outdoor dust may also come from dangerous sources like lead that comes from the wall paint, arsenic that comes from mining, smelting, burning fossil fuels and other industrial processes while one-third of it comes from natural sources, and small trace amounts of pesticides. Cigarette smoke can contribute to dust as well.
Indoor dust: Indoor dust is composed of the things found inside the four corners of your home. Besides a person’s dead skin follicles, inside dust is made of animal hair, pet dander and fur, human hair, textile fibers, paper fibers, and even messy cooking can cause and contribute to dust as well as food particles spatter in your kitchen. Dust mites from your mattresses and cockroaches and flies from left-over food and trash are also contributors of the dust inside your home. In addition, soil and other particles in your shoes can contribute to inside dust when you walk inside your house with your shoes on.
Actually, most homes contain a combination of outdoor and indoor dust. It’s just that in each home, there will be a different ratio of dust.
Could dust be dangerous?
Besides the fact that dust can make your home feel dirty and gross, having too much dust inside your home can have a negative impact on your health. It may concern your health and the health of your family especially when you have babies and children inside the home or someone suffering from allergies and asthma.
The large dust particles can be trapped in your nose or mouth but can be easily breathed out but smaller particles may pose some risks. They are able to penetrate your lungs and if ultra-fine particles, they can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. They can cause potential toxic that will spread to your body parts such as the brain and the kidney.
To be aware of when you are already allergic to dust, here are some signs that you may be allergic to dust in your home: sneezy, runny nose, itchy, red teary eyes, skin irritation, and coughing. At higher risk, when not cautioned, dust can lead to common and serious lung diseases such as Silicosis, Hard Metal Disease, Asbestosis, Coal Pneumoconiosis, and Siderosis.
The amount of dust you inhale and how long you are exposed to it are other factors that can impact your health and your family’s health. Even if you are a person with no specific allergies, you may be allergic to dust at some point and when you inhale a large amount of dust, it can be a threat to your health so better be cautious. Prevention is always better than cure.
12 Tips to keep dust out of your house
While it may be impossible to completely remove the dust inside your home, you can reduce and prevent them. As it was discussed earlier that components that dust is made of can result in serious health problems, can make your home look gross and dirty, and can pollute the air quality you breathe, do not procrastinate and do not be idle! Stand up and do what should be done. To help you in your goal in reducing the dust inside your home, here are some of the many effective ways to adapt.
- Remove your shoes – Remember that most of the homes contain a combination of outdoor and indoor dust particles? Shoes you wear outside your home can contribute to dust when you walk them in inside your home. So better take off your shoes when entering your own home and in other people’s homes to prevent dust. Instead, have your feet your house slippers inside your home. But how about when you invited guests in your home? The ideal thing you can do about that is to prepare a rack with washable slippers or house slippers beside the front door for the guests’ use.
- Close your window – Basically, every time you open your door or your window, you are welcoming dust particles to come inside your home. One option is to close your door and window to prevent the outside dust particles from coming in.
- Clean from top to bottom – When you plan to clean your home, make sure to clean it from top to bottom and not the other way around. Start with the ceiling, then fans that contain specks of dust, the upper cabinets, then the tables and chairs, the lower cabinets and lastly, clean the floor. This will prevent you from spreading dust at your home and can save time because dust can be collected at one particular place in your home.
- Clean with a damp microfiber – While feather duster used in cleaning may look sophisticated, it only scatters dust from one area to another, not helping you in reducing dust at your home. Damp rags or recycled clothes will work much better than feather dusters because they attract and hold dust with an electrostatic charge.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with dust attachment – Another option instead of using feather dusters is using a handeld vacuum cleaner with dust attachment for stairs, furniture, curtains, mini blinds, and baseboards. If you are too busy and have no time to vacuum, a robot vacuum is an option out there. However, robot vacuums can be expensive and rather basic.
- Clean and sterilize – Another effective way to reduce dust at your home is cleaning and sterilizing tiles and laminated floors with a mop steamer. It glides on the floor and picks up dirt and pet danders and hair effortlessly. It requires less water which makes it best to use for laminated floors. It can cover large areas, under the chairs and tables without any hardship. This is one way for easy prevention and reduction of dust.
- Change bedding weekly – Dust can multiply like bunnies. Dust mites, pet dander, and dead skin can be collected in your mattresses and bedding. At least once a week, change your bedding. Wash them with warm water to help eliminate dust and keep dust mites under your control. Changing bedding once a week will reduce dust in your bedroom and will prevent dust from going out and spreading in other parts of your home.If you have any spare bedding, blankets, and pillowcases, it will be easy for you to change them weekly but what if there’s only one-bed sheet? You can bring it to laundry shops to wash and dry or clean services. For your non-washable items, you can bring them outside your home and then do the beating there.
- Use air purifiers for dust – You can consider using an air purifier to prevent dust from settling inside your home. Air purifiers can capture dust floating in the air before it settles on a certain surface at your home. It is good for people suffering from asthma and allergies and for parents who have children and babies. It can produce clean and fresh air inside your home while preventing dust.
- Keep closets clean – You might think that closets are no way dirty since they are full of clean towels, clothes, and bedsheets. Also, they are not exposed to outside dirt particles that much. But do you know that they are still prone to dust? Dust loves to stay inside your closets, too without you noticing it. Closets are full of fibers from your towels, clothes, and bed sheets that will later be formed into dust.You may not prevent them from shedding fibers but there’s a way to prevent dust formation inside your closets. To help you with this matter, a suggestion of storing your things in a plastic box or plastic containers will be of great help. Transparent plastic containers seem to be the best because they can lock in fiber and let out the dust. Also, you can clearly see the clothes that you want to wear on a particular day and occasion.
- No to carpeting – While carpets make your home look gorgeous and nice, they are like sponges full of dust. Gross. Additionally, cleaning carpets can consume too much of your time. It needs a lot of careful monitoring and cleaning.You must be keen to every detail where could dust be. “But I can vacuum them daily!” Oh yes, you are lucky if you can do that every day but what if, if you have no time to clean it daily or have no maid to keep the maintenance of your carpets? Well, it will be hard for sure. You might get home with an invisible dust storm welcoming you, “Welcome home, Master! Clean me now, please!” What a horrible thing it could be.Carpets are not advisable for people with health conditions of asthma and allergies and also to parents with babies and children at their homes. Yes, you can vacuum carpets every day but that is not enough. “But I love my carpets! I am so into them! What should I do?” If you really insist on carpeting, at least provide your home with a double-layered microfilter bag or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that prevents dust from going in.
- Groom your pets – Dust can be made of pet dander and fur. If you have pets inside or even outside, your home is prone to dust. You cannot pick up your pet’s dander and fur or monitor them every minute, every second. Nothing can stop the shedding but there are ways to control the spreading. The best thing to do with this matter is to keep your pets well-groomed often.Consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding how often you should brush and bathe your pet, and if you have the right shampoo for him/her. Since some shampoos can dry the skin of your pets, this will lead to often and more shedding of dander and fur.In order not to spread the dander and fur around your home, try to avoid your pets from going inside some specific rooms such as your bedroom or your children’s room. Dust mites, fibers, and your hair already are there in those rooms, then why add more something that would contribute to dust? Block kitchen and dining rooms also if you do not want to add more mess in the kitchen or if you do not want to re-wash your dishes before every meal.
- Change and upgrade your furnace filter – While most manufacturers advise changing your filter every three months, it is good to change and upgrade them more often to reduce the dust at your home. You can use disposable and inexpensive filters then change them every 30 days. Additionally, make sure to vacuum the surface of your furnace, too. Have a forced-air heating and cooling systems to control and reduce dust by filtering the air. The most effective system to eliminate dust is the electrostatic filter that is connected to your ductwork. But the sad thing is, a professional is needed to install it and that would cost about $700 to $1,500.If you cannot avail it, standard fiberglass filter can be an alternative to new furnace filter. It can trap large dust particles, thus, it can largely reduce dust from your furnace but has a small chance to reduce household dust. You can also use an air purifier with a pleated filter. This can greatly help in reducing dust. If you will use a pleated filter, it is advisable to change them at least once in every three months. In addition, an air purifier with a pleated filter can reduce allergy symptoms.
There are so many ways to prevent and reduce dust at your home. Do not be disappointed if you cannot remove the dust completely. What is better, is you take action for the reduction of dust at your home. Small changes can bring to pass a difference. Just regularly follow these tips and your life will be a lot easier than you think. Not only regular and thorough cleaning can eliminate dust at your home, but it can also give you and your family fresh air to breathe, thus, making your family not prone to sickness and allergies.