To keep dust under control, experts suggest dusting once or twice per week so that the dust doesn’t collect in the air.
Dust is unescapable in most households. It accumulates on surfaces, floats in the air and can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions when inhaled. Getting rid of dust may seem like an endless battle, but regular cleaning can help reduce the dust in your home.
Whether you have a busy household, pets or live in a particularly dusty area, these tips can help you maintain a more dust-free home.
- What is dust?
- What are dust mites?
- How often should I dust?
- Must-have dusting tools.
- How to get rid of the dust on hard surfaces.
- How to get rid of dust in carpets, linens, and furniture.
- How to get rid of dust in the air.
Dust is an assortment of tiny particles from inside and outside your home. Household dust is typically made of dead skin cells, hair, dirt, clothing fibers, dust mites, dead insect particles, pollen, bacteria and microscopic bits of plastic.
Pollutants make their way into homes through open windows, pets, and the soles of our shoes. Hair, skin cells, and fibers can soak up contaminants from consumer products we use around the house.
When dust moves around the air, it accumulates a positive or negative static electric charge. This is why it builds up on some surfaces more than others, such as carpeting, lampshades, and light bulbs.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that belong to the spider and tick family. They feed mostly on flakes of dead skin and dander shed by people and animals and thrive in warm, humid environments. You can find them where dust accumulates, like on carpet, upholstered furniture, and bedding.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dust mites and their waste are one of the most common triggers of allergies and asthma, ranging from mild to severe. Experts recommend frequent cleaning and dusting to improve your home’s overall indoor air quality and protect against dust mites.
To keep dust under control, Johnny Pallares, owner of De La Rosa House Cleaning in Phoenix, Arizona, suggests dusting once or twice per week so that the dust doesn’t collect in the air.
“Alternating rooms is also a great way to dust,” Pallares adds. “Dust the living room one day and then dust the bedrooms on another day to break up your cleaning so it doesn’t seem like such an overwhelming process.”
Chris Willatt, founder and owner of Alpine Maids in Denver, Colorado, recommends microfiber towels and Swiffer Dusters for picking up dust around the home.
“(Microfiber towels) really pick up dust and dirt off surfaces. If you have an area with a lot of knick-knacks or picture frames, I suggest using a Swiffer Duster,” Willatt says. “They are great at getting into those crowded areas and picking up dust easily without just moving it around like feather dusters.”
Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company, also swears by microfiber towels as a dusting tool: “One of the best-kept secrets to a dust-free house is a damp, clean, microfiber cloth,” she says.
She suggests dampening it first to help you clean it more efficiently. A damp microfiber cloth significantly reduces the amount of lint or dust left behind compared to other dusting cloths.
The best way to get rid of dust in the home is to develop a cleaning routine. Willatt suggests a biweekly cleaning routine
“Clean your home in the right order,” he says. “Start at the ceilings and work your way down. By starting at the top, you are cleaning those surfaces and the extra dust that falls will be cleaned up as you work your way down to the floor. Never start at the bottom. This will only dirty up the area you already cleaned as you move upwards.”
Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down all surfaces, including tabletops, lamps, windowsills, entertainment equipment, and baseboards.
Dryer sheets are another excellent cleaning hack. Peterson says to use them on computers and TV screens because they attract dust particles. Another helpful tool is a lint roller, which Peterson says can also be very effective for dusting awkward areas like lampshades.
Pallares says you can also use a disinfectant if you’re worried about germ buildup. “This is especially important if you have small children or are immune compromised,” he adds.
Most dust in the home comes from the carpet, so Willatt recommends vacuuming at least twice a week to keep the dust down. Cleaning regularly prevents dust and other debris from getting deep into the carpet fibers.
Use a hand vacuum or the brush attachment to clean upholstery and wipe down non-fabric parts with a damp microfiber cloth. Change your bedding at least once a week or more if you’re sensitive to dust mites. You may also want to consider hypoallergenic mattress covers, pillow covers or blankets to reduce your exposure to dust mites.
Furnace filters help keep debris out of your forced-air system, but they also help keep your indoor hair quality in check.
“Check your air filters,” Willatt says. “Most people only check their air filters every six months. I recommend checking them every 60 to 90 days. Change them out regularly to keep dust from coming out of your vents when you have the air on. You’d be surprised how much dust the filters collect even in a short time.”
Pallares also says to spray furniture polish on your air filter to help it collect dust in the air – it can also help the filter last longer.
HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate air filters) can remove at least 99.97% of dust and other particles from the air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“You can use HEPA filters in your existing air ducts, but I recommend buying a separate HEPA Air Purifier,” Willatt says.