It is common knowledge that polluted air causes health problems. We often complain about the poor environmental situation but we completely forget that at home, where we spend much more time, the air is not much cleaner than outside. Even though we cannot really influence the ecology of the city but we can easily purify the air and remove dust at home.
What causes a lot of dust in your house? Carpets on the floors, food, animal fur, dirt from the street, pollen of plants and other factors cause a lot of dust in your house. Ecologists also note that dead cells of human skin prevail in the composition of the dust.
Where does the dust come from in the apartment if it is constantly wet cleaning and there are no pets? The appearance of dust here is associated with the decomposition of the materials from which the furniture is made. Also, dirty kitchen hoods and heavy curtains on the windows are considered the cause of the formation of an unpleasant grey plaque.
Since dust is very bad for your health, you must purify the air in your house and regularly clean your house from dust. Here is the ultimate guide on how to do this.
How Can I Reduce the Dust in My House?
You cannot remove large sources of dust from your life such as clothes, furniture, carpets and, in fact, human skin. However, you can use good house cleaning methods. Then the amount of dust will be significantly reduced.
- Wipe the dust from top to bottom. Otherwise, dirt from surfaces that are above the rest will settle on the already cleaned furniture.
- Do not forget about your carpets. Carpets are the worst dust collectors because when you step on them, they “throw” dust back into the air. Therefore, all carpets in the apartment must be thoroughly vacuumed at least once every few days. During general cleaning, you can use a steam mop or steam cleaner, thanks to which the carpet not only freshens up and regains its former attractiveness, but also clears out bacteria.
- Furniture and curtains must also be taken care of. For example, sofa cushions just like carpets create, collect and spew dust into the air when you sit on them. Sofas, beds, armchairs can be vacuumed or wiped with a thick damp cloth. Also, pay attention to curtains: they need to be washed and ironed regularly. However, not all curtains can be washed in the washing machine and ironed. Check out my article on fabric for curtains and see which one can and cannot be washed.
- Regularly wash your bedding. Dust mites live in almost every home because they like a warm and humid environment. They multiply in bedding and other places where there are a lot of epidermal particles and contribute their waste products to the overall dust level. In most cases, this is not a problem: just wash your bed linen regularly and take care of upholstered furniture.
- Get rid of the old stuff in your house. Some things can be thrown away while some things can be replaced. Do you have feather pillows? Maybe you need to consider getting polyester ones that do not collect dust as much. Do you have a lot of old clothes that you no longer wear? Great, give them to someone who needs them. The same thing works for old stuffed animal toys — wash them and give to someone in need or just throw away. All the things that you do not use anymore only collect dust and take up space in your house.
- Wash your clothes more often. You do not even realise how much dust your clothes bring from the street — we use public transport, go to shops and markets. Pay special attention to your jeans and jackets. And, of course, you must not forget about your shoes as they bring the most dust in your house.
- Replace your feather pillows. Old feather pillows are a breeding ground for dust mites. For this reason, instead of a natural filler, it is worth using a synthetic one as it is soft, eco-friendly and hypoallergenic and resistant to moisture and wearing off.
- Take care of the tightness of the windows. This is really important because dust mostly comes from the street. If you fix your windows or maybe replace your old wooden ones with tight plastic windows, not only will you reduce the dust in your house but also save on the bills for heating.
- Clean ventilation and fireplace. Remove soot from the fireplace if you have a private house or cottage and periodically look into the ventilation since it accumulates a lot of dirt which is then carried with the air in the apartment.
- Add live plants. Living plants add oxygen and make the air cleaner as well as combat dust. It is believed that the Chlorophytum plant is the main “fighter” when it comes to dealing with dust. It is enough to spray its leaves with water and the dust will be significantly reduced.
- Keep wardrobe and drawer doors closed. This preventive measure will help to reduce the amount of dust on the shelves inside. However, you will not remove all the dust, since the doors do not close tightly.
- Keep the wardrobe clean and neat. Hang all your clothes on hangers and put all of the shoes into separate boxes. Put all the clothes that you do not wear now in plastic bags as they will protect them from dust. Try to wipe the dust in the wardrobe at least once a month.
- Use microfiber cloths to wipe the dust. They are the best at handling dust. Are you used to wiping the dust with your old sweater or T-shirt? Forget about it. Such “wipes” will just raise the dust in the air and after a while, it will settle again on the surface of nightstands, shelves and other furniture. Microfiber is specially designed to make the dust stick to it. Moisten it with water before use for maximum effectiveness and remember to rinse afterwards to remove the dirt. After you have finished wiping the dust, just dry a microfiber cloth on a radiator.
- Take care of your appliances. Clean the grill of the air conditioner as a lot of dust gets into the apartment through it, and do not forget to clean the vacuum cleaner filters. If you don’t do this, all your attempts to remove dust with a vacuum cleaner will be in vain.
- Clean the walls. Yes, they also collect a lot of dust. Simply vacuum your walls once a month or wipe them with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Take care of your pets. Cats and dogs leave a lot of furs and even dandruff in your house. That is why you need to comb their fur and give them a bath if they do not mind. If you walk with your dog outside, you need to wash their paws every time you come back home.
- Ventilate your house or apartment more often. You need to make sure you get rid of stuffy air in your house. Does opening windows reduce dust? Opening windows will reduce dust only if it is not dusty outside. If you live in the centre of a big city, opening windows will only bring more dust in your apartment. However, it does not mean that you should not ventilate your apartment. Just do it when it is not very dusty outside. for example, at night or after the rain or early in the morning to get some fresh air while you are getting ready to go to work.
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How Do You Stop Dust from Forming?
It is impossible to get rid of dust completely, however, we can reduce the dust significantly. If you want to stop dust from forming, you need to do the following things:
- Regular cleaning. This is probably the most obvious rule, however, it is the most effective one to stop the dust from forming in your house.
- Minimalistic interior. The lack of detailed decor and unnecessary furniture, smooth monolithic surfaces, practical and easy-to-maintain materials are all characteristics of one of the popular modern styles that not only will make your house stylish, but also help you to stop dust from forming.
- Choosing the right decor. If the ascetic principles of minimalism in the interior are not in your taste then you can choose some other design for your house. However, you need to get rid of dust-collectors in your house. These can be stuffed toys, cushions that you do not use or maybe a carpet that you do not really like. Of course, you do not need to throw away all of your things in the house but you need to make sure you get rid of the objects you do not use.
- Choose the right flooring and upholstery. Remember that when it comes to cleaning, parquet flooring is preferred over the carpet (here is the guide on the pros and cons of laminate and tile flooring) and leather sofa upholstery is preferred over the fabric (here is the guide on the pros and cons of leather and fabric sofas.) It is easier to remove dust from smooth surfaces than from embossed or fluffy ones as you can just wipe them with a damp cloth.
- Put a rug in the hallway. If it seems to you that the presence of a rug in the hallway is not compatible with the stylistic concept of your interior, remember that it is not only a decorative but also a functional element. The rug in the hallway prevents street dust carried on the shoes from getting in your house.
- Freeze things. If you do not have the opportunity to regularly clean the things that collect dust, then you just need to simply freeze them. Allergists say that if you put, for example, stuffed toys in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a couple of days, and then let them thaw naturally, all dust mites living in them will be destroyed.
- Raise your pets properly. As much as you love a cat, dog, or another animal that lives in your home, you will need to try to limit them a little bit. Pets bring a lot of dust in the house, so if you are allergic, you will need to prohibit them to sleep in your bed and, of course, do not forget about combing their fur.
- Clean your pillows. Washing your pillowcases and pillowcases on a regular basis is not enough to effectively reduce dust. The pillows themselves must be cleaned or replaced every six months. Otherwise, they become a cosy home to dust mites.
- Buy a good quality mattress. Cleaning or replacing a mattress can be annoying. Therefore, in order to avoid dust accumulation in your mattress, you should choose a quality product. Modern manufacturers offer mattresses with a variety of filling options that prevent the growth of dust mites. It is also recommended to have a set of quality replacement mattress covers.
- Wash the bedding regularly. Bed linen is recommended to be changed at least once every seven days. To prevent frequent washings from causing premature wear of the fabric, it is recommended to choose a delicate cycle. Even a short wash in warm water is enough to kill dust mites.
- Close your doors. Close the doors of your wardrobes and nightstands to avoid dust circulation in the air. This is the most simple rule but it will help you to reduce dust significantly.
- Regulate the humidity in the house. Low air humidity encourages dust travel while high humidity creates an optimal breeding environment for dust mites. Therefore, it is so important to be able to independently adjust the mentioned indicator.
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What Repels Dust from Furniture?
As you know, microparticles have a small electric charge and are attracted to a surface charged with the opposite charge. Antistatic agents are used for repelling dust from furniture as they reduce the ability of objects to accumulate static electricity and dust simply does not settle on furniture and household appliances.
- Anti-dust polish. To repel dust from settling on furniture for a long time you need to use an anti-dust polish. It contains antistatic agents for furniture to repel dust. Also, polish gives shine to furniture. Thus, dust does not settle on the armrests or the table, but simply “slides” off them. Nevertheless, anti-dust for furniture is not a panacea as you will still have to do wet cleaning but at least not so often.
- Antistatic agents. There are special antistatic agents for TVs and computer monitors that remove dust and dirt. It is best to choose an antistatic agent that can be used with the equipment turned on and that does not need further wiping with a napkin or a cloth.
- Sprays. Some sprays eliminate static electricity and kill dust mites. They should be used no more than once every six months. Basically, they are used to repel dust from walls, carpets and textiles.
- Vinegar. Add 50-75 ml of vinegar, two teaspoons of olive oil and a couple of drops of any essential oil to a glass of cool water. Then pour the resulting solution into a spray bottle and treat the furniture with it. This method also destroys unpleasant odours.
The main thing when choosing household chemicals is to carefully select the composition of the product. Avoid names of toxic substances on the packaging such as chlorine, ammonium, phosphates, triclosan. Also, remember that many cleaning products are irritating to the skin and respiratory tract, so you need to wear rubber gloves and a face mask.
Nowadays the market is flooded with a wide variety of cleaning products with very different degrees of effectiveness. To choose the best product that repels dust from furniture, you need to know what each one is for and read the instructions carefully.
How to Refresh Air at Home?
- Use a vacuum cleaner with filters. Those vacuum cleaners that do not have special HEPA filters will not remove all the dust. HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners prevent dust, allergens and pollen from flowers from getting back into the air. If there are animals in the house, then you should think about buying a model with a mode for cleaning wool.
- Use an air conditioner. A lot of air conditioners have a built-in air purification system. That will allow you not only to cool your house but also remove dust and other harmful substances.In addition, the air conditioner can reduce the humidity level in the room, thereby slowing down the growth of mould. When you activate the cleaning mode in the air conditioner, the fan of the indoor unit dries the heat exchanger and prevents moisture accumulation. Moreover, it works even if the air conditioner itself is turned off at this time. As a result, climate technology will be dry and the air in the room will be clean.Also, some air conditioners have multi-stage filtration. This is an extremely useful technology that helps to make the air cleaner.
- Try to avoid using chemicals in the household. The substances contained in cleaning products or air fresheners can ruin the purity of the air. Therefore, you should pay attention to organic or handmade products. Any household chemical is harmful. But it will not be possible to stop using them completely. The only possible option is to reduce the number of household chemicals used or switch to more gentle counterparts. As you know, the more effective the remedy, the stronger it smells. And the more harmful substances it spreads in the air. If possible, replace the household chemicals with ordinary vinegar or soap.
- Clean the air conditioner filter regularly. If you constantly use climate technology, do not forget to clean the filter. You can easily forget about it, but if you do not clean the filter, it will itself become a source of air pollution. Some air conditioners will notify you when the filter needs to be cleaned.
- Say no to a wood-burning fireplace. A wood-burning fireplace in the room is cool, stylish and romantic. It creates a cosy atmosphere and it is always nice to relax in the evening watching the lights flicker. But during the burning of wood, the fireplace releases solid particles which enter the lungs and disrupt the breathing process. That is why I would recommend replacing a wood-burning fireplace with an electric one. Here is an article on the pros and cons of electric fireplaces.
- Do not smoke in the house. We all know about the bad influence of smoking on our health. Apparently, smoking is one of the worst sources for poisoning the air in your house. That is why if you cannot give up smoking, you will need to smoke outdoors.
- Use special devices to reduce the number of harmful particles floating around in your house. There are more than enough options for cleaning the air in the apartment. These can be electronic air purifiers, ionizers or humidifiers. The main thing is to regularly clean the filters of these devices so that they themselves do not become a source of pollution. And in the summer season, an air conditioner will help clear the air in the room. After all, it is able to retain dust that enters the room from the street which is also very important.
- Avoid the formation of mould and mildew. Mould and mildew have an extremely negative effect on human health. To prevent their formation, you need to keep the humidity around 40%. Installing a good ventilation system can help you with this. You can place an exhaust fan of the corresponding power in the bathroom. Also, do not overuse humidifiers as the increased level of humidity upsets the balance of heat transfer and metabolism.
- Use a cooker hood in your kitchen. Your gas stove is probably the worst device that pollutes the air in the house. Firstly, during the combustion of gas, many harmful substances are formed such as carbon oxides; sulfur dioxide; carcinogens, etc. Secondly, it happens on a daily basis because we cook quite often. How to clean the air in the apartment in this case? It is best to install a kitchen hood here and turn it on every time you are going to cook food. So all harmful substances will immediately be quickly drawn into it without having time to get into the air. In addition, it is recommended to keep the window ajar while cooking and ventilate the kitchen more often. Also, it will not be superfluous to close the doors so that all these fumes and dust do not travel to other rooms.
Even though the air quality in modern apartments and houses is poor, you still can make it much better by reducing dust. There are so many ways to get rid of dust in the air at home. This can be regular airing, wet cleaning and other things. You just need to choose the one that cleans the air from dust most effectively.
Of course, you should not forget about using special devices to help you to purify the air in your house. These can be an air purifier, ionizer, humidifier or air conditioner with the desired functionality.