Why your Home is SO Dusty & How to Freshen it Up!

Researched & Written by Craig

We all know that feeling of having done a full dust of our homes, only to turn around after what feels like minutes, and every surface is coated in a mocking layer of dust!

I’m sure you get the picture, and have experienced the same feelings of frustration! 

Let’s tackle this together.

Common Sources of Household Dust

Every home gets dusty – not just yours. There’s a bunch of sources that dust can come from. A ton, actually. Having too many of these run riot can make your home feel like you’re surfing on an ocean of dust.

The causes to why your house is so dusty are likely:

  • Dandruff (human & animal)         
  • Hair (human & animal)
  • Pollen
  • Textile fibers
  • Paper fibers
  • Soil and plant material
  • Metal and mineral elements

Now we’ve covered the why part of the dust issue, let’s tackle the solutions.

How To Stop Dust In Its Tracks

We all know that prevention is better than cure, so let’s cover how to solve each of the sources.

DUST SOURCESOLUTION
  
Pet hair and dandruffA daily routine of grooming performed OUTSIDE of your living areas
Human hair and dandruffA good hygiene routine and regular cleaning of plug/sink holes and debris traps and filters
Loose fibers – fabric, paper etc.Regular sweeping/vacuuming and usage of tools such as lint rollers
Soil particles and plant matterRemoval of shoes prior to entering the home and/or a feet wiping mat made of durable natural fiber at the door
Trace amounts of metals and chemicalsAir filters and window screens
Pollens and mold sporesAir filters, treated window screens, early elimination of mold forming within the home, using hypoallergenic materials

Pro Tips for Dusting A Home

  • Groom pets out of doors/away from open doors and windows to prevent loose hair and dirt from getting back in.  A slightly wet brush is better at removing dead hair.  Next, wipe the animal down with a damp cloth and rinse the cloth out thoroughly, outside, after each use.  Keep grooming equipment outside and clean these items regularly.
  • Replace sponges/loofahs regularly and rinse well after each use to avoid the accumulation of dust particles.  Remove hair build up from hairbrushes regularly and discard this.  This is easiest done with wet hands – pull out the loose hair, roll into a ball between your hands, and discard.
  • When cleaning, always work from the top down.  Dust will fall downwards as you clean, so start at the top!
  • Cleaning equipment itself needs to be kept clean and in good repair.  Clean out broom bristles after use and rinse out dust cloths thoroughly – a damp dust cloth will collect FAR more dust than a dry one will as it traps the dust in the moisture on the cloth.  The damp cloth can then be easily rinsed out to discard any accumulated dust. 
  • Check and clean or replace vacuum bags and filters on a regular basis.  A clean filtration system makes for a happy vacuum cleaner and it will not only perform better, but save wear and tear on the motor too.
  • Water filtration vacuum machines that trap the dirt and dust in water as opposed to in a filter bag are without a doubt more efficient at both removing dust and then discarding it cleanly and easily.  If anyone within the home suffers from respiratory conditions or allergies, these machines are hard to beat for performance and the improving of air quality. 
  • Plants within the home?  Keep the soil within your potting containers slightly damp = much less dry and loose soil getting into the air to be distributed by draughts.  Loose bits of foliage or dead material?  Trim these off.  Your leafy friends will thank you for the extra care and attention and will reward you with luxuriant growth and better air quality.
Taking care of your plants mean they can help, not hinder, a dust issue.

Following these basic tips outlined will keep your winning the war on dust, and enjoying a better quality of air and living within your home.

Do You Have A Dust Mite Allergy?

Simply put, some people are allergic to the waste products and body parts of dust mites, and this allergy can give them miserable symptoms including:  sneezing; coughing; post nasal drip; runny nose; itchy nose, mouth or throat; itchy skin; or inflamed, itchy and running eyes.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and feel that dust mites might be the cause, there are 2 common tests available from your doctor –

Skin Prick Test (SPT)       OR    Specific IgE Blood Test

Both of these tests can be performed by at your local doctor’s office, and both are minimally invasive.  If you are absolutely needle – shy the SPT test does NOT require the drawing of blood or any injections, although the surface of your skin may be pricked or scratched slightly with a sterile needle.  This is useful to know as the Specific IgE Blood Test will require a blood sample to be drawn.  For this reason the SPT test is often used for children or needle – phobes. 

Once you’ve been diagnosed with a dust mite allergy, here are some recommended symptom relievers to discuss with your physician –

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal Corticosteroids (nose spray)
  • Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists
  • Cromolyn Sodium
  • Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

For comprehensive and specialist allergy advice, do check out www.aafa.org

All of us, whether allergy sufferers or not, appreciate a fresh smelling environment and clean air.  What are some simple ways to achieve this within the home?

  • If possible keep windows open at least part of the day
  • Restrict smoking (of any substance) to outside
  • Clean your lightbulbs.  Dirt and oil accumulate on the surface of your lightbulbs and the heat then intensifies their odor.  Wait until the lightbulb is cool then wipe off with a damp cloth.
  • Filters – clean and change these in heating and cooling systems to better your air quality and give these appliances a longer life – span
  • Smelly Fridge – an open container of ordinary baking soda left in the fridge will absorb food related odors
  • Sink and Garbage Disposal Odors – pour half a cup of salt down the sink hole and turn on the disposal.  The abrasive nature of salt will loosen tough grime and salt is also antibacterial. 

We’ve mentioned plants before, but they’re doing double duty in this article as air purifiers.  See below for a chart showing the leading air purifying plants from NASA’s Clean Air Study of 1989 (yes, that NASA!).  Visit your local nursery or raid your friends’ gardens (ask first) to find these beauties.

These plants are proven to help purify your air.

Conclusion

I hope that this brief overview of dust, allergies and odor control within the home has been helpful to you.  Although certainly not exhaustive, these tips and tricks were compiled with your health and happiness in mind.

If this content helped you, please consider checking out our related articles below.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!