If you have allergy sufferers in your family, you’ve probably wondered how to reduce dust in your home. According to the makers of one furniture spray, the average house collects 40 lbs. of dust in one year. Forty pounds!
But where does it all come from?
We often hear that dust is mostly dead skin, but that’s not true. According to people who study such things, household dust is a mixture of animal dander, carpet fluff, clothing fibers, and dirt that gets tracked indoors.
While no amount of cleaning will completely remove the dust in your house, these seven proven ways will help.
How To Reduce Dust In Your Home
Usually, the fix for most household problems is going to the source. When it comes to reducing dust in the home, you really can’t address the cause without plastic-wrapping every surface. This guy tried that approach, and I think we can all agree he’s nuts.
Short of buying a truckload of plastic wrap, the best solution is to keep out as much dust as possible and regularly get rid of the rest through proper vacuuming and weekly cleaning. Then follow these seven easy steps.
In some parts of the country, it’s considered good manners to remove your shoes when you enter someone else’s home, but there are always people who balk at the thought of a No Shoe Policy. If they realized that up to 80 percent of the household dust enters on the bottom of peoples’ shoes, they’d probably rethink their reluctance.
(Related: How to Keep Your Carpets Clean.)
Stop Dirt at the Doors
Sturdy mats inside and outside of every entrance to your home give people a place to wipe their feet before entering. That practice alone will significantly cut down on the amount of dust tracked indoors even if people take their shoes off inside.
Shake the mats outside or clean them with a hand-vac every couple of days and you’ll notice a definite reduction of dust.
Change Your Filters
Most manufacturers advise changing your HVAC filter every three months, but changing them more often will significantly reduce dust in your home. Use inexpensive, disposable filters and replace them every 30 days.
Be sure to vacuum the area around your furnace, too. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit, you should also give it a good cleaning in Spring and Autumn. (Here’s a YouTube video showing how.)
Clean the Air Ducts
When was the last time you pulled the vent cover off of your floor register and took a peek? If you’ve got kids or pets, chances are you’ll find quite a few things down in the vents. So, keep the vents and ducts clean and you’ll see less dust floating around. (Related: How to Clean Your Air Ducts.)
Control Dust Mites in Your Bed
We’ve all seen the commercials about dead skin flakes, dander, and dust mites building up in a mattress over time. They build up in bedding and pillows, too. Reduce this by vacuuming your mattress seasonally, and laundering your bedding regularly. (Related: How to Clean a Mattress.)
Here’s how often to wash bedding:
- Weekly: sheets and pillowcases.
- Monthly: Mattress covers, duvet covers, and uncovered comforters.
- Seasonally: Duvet inserts, bed skirts, bedspreads, and pillows. (Related: How to Wash Pillows)
Vacuum the Right Way
A good vacuum is your best ally in the war on dust. How often you should vacuum depends on how many people live in your home. The general rule is to do each room thoroughly once a week, then go over high-traffic areas every other day. (Related: How to Vacuum Properly.)
Use the Right Equipment
Feather dusters are cute and retro, but they do a horrible job of removing dust. Even if you follow recommendations to stroke the surfaces with the feathers instead of “tickling” them, the dust will fall out of the feathers as you walk through the room.
Use your vacuum to dust. Your vacuum’s soft-bristled dusting attachment can do a fantastic job cleaning drapes or curtains, mini-blinds, and baseboards. (Related: How to Wash Curtains.)
Damp cloths work better than dry. For hard surfaces like tabletops or shelves, switch to a damp microfiber cloth. Lightly wet cloths hold onto dirt well rather than just moving it around. Be sure to rinse it frequently.
Use the dryer sheet trick. Some hard surfaces act like dust magnets even when surrounding furniture stays relatively dust-free. Rubberwood, in particular, does this. After wiping with a damp cloth, run a dryer sheet across the top of tables and shelves — the anti-static coating helps keep them dust-free longer.