Introduction: What is Dust?
Homeowners residing in The Valley know dust. In the desert, dust is constantly accumulating on all types of household surfaces, including furniture, carpets, windowsills, clothes, books, and even electronics.
Dust can be made up of many different substances; some of which can be harmful to humans if inhaled or ingested. These substances include animal dander (tiny skin flakes), mold spores (which can cause asthma), bacteria (which can cause infections), and dust mites (tiny insects). Dust can also include substances like smoke or soot from fires or cooking on stoves as well as chemical pollutants from factories or vehicles.
So what can be done to reduce and clean the dust around the home? First Class Green Cleaning is here to let you know that there are numerous actions homeowners can take to reduce and remove the dust necessary to create clean and healthy indoor environments for you and your family.
What are the Health Risks of Dust?
Dust is not just a nuisance. Consistent exposure to dust has the potential to cause serious health problems.
For those who suffer from asthma or allergies, dust can worsen symptoms, resulting in frequent coughing and wheezing. It can also lead to allergic reactions for those who have no known history of allergies. Additional health risks caused by over-exposure to dust include irritation and inflammation in the lungs and conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even bronchitis.
Knowing the potential health risks associated with constant exposure to dust underlines the importance of managing dust around the home.
How to Prevent Dust from Forming in Your Home
Dust can be a problem in any home, but there are ways to prevent it from forming.
- Don’t Let the Dust in – Most dust in the home comes from outside. Using doormats, sticking to a no-shoes indoors policy, and keeping doors and windows closed are all useful ways to not let dust into the home in the first place.
- Humidifiers – Humidifiers are excellent at reducing dust in the air. As additional humidity is introduced into your home, it dampens the dirt and other harmful particles in the air. The increased weight from the moisture causes the particles to fall to the floor where they can be more easily gathered with a broom, mop, or vacuum.
- Groom Pets Outdoors – Brushing excess hair and dust off of your pets outdoors can greatly reduce the amount of particulate generated by pets in the home.
- High-Quality Air Filters – When selecting air vent filters for your home, pay attention to the MERV rating. This rating signifies the amount of particulate that is allowed to pass through the filter. Filters with a MERV rating between 8-11 will capture a large portion of the airborne particles and improve indoor air quality without making your energy costs rise significantly.
- Air Purifiers – Air purifiers are also a popular addition to modern households. Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes to suit any need. They even offer a number of filter options, including HEPA varieties and filters designed specifically to handle pet-produced particles.
How to Remove Dust Around Your Home
Dust is a natural part of the environment, but it can accumulate quickly and become a problem. The best way to remove dust from your home is by cleaning regularly. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and wiping down surfaces that collect dust like tabletops, furniture and windowsills is the easiest way to reduce dust in the home.
- Dusting – Dusting on a regular basis is the best way to start managing the dust in your home. But just dusting isn’t enough, and how you dust matters, too. Start with a dry cloth or dusting tool, followed by a damp cloth, and another pass with a dry implement. Work from the top-down. Dust the highest parts of furniture, bookshelves, or ceiling fans, first. Working in this fashion sends all of the dust towards the floor where it can be easily picked up with a vacuum, mop, or broom.
- Vacuuming – One of the most effective ways to reduce dust is to vacuum. A vacuum cleaner will remove most dust and other particles from carpets, rugs, tile, and hardwood floors. For additional efficiency, the use of a vacuum with a HEPA filter traps dust and other allergens inside the machine and keeps them from being released back into the air.
- Mopping – Mop hard floors with hot water and soap on a regular basis to remove dirt, dust, and other particles from the flooring surface. Change water as needed when mopping with soap or detergent to avoid spreading dirt around the house. In place of a traditional mop, modern light-mopping tools, such as “Swiffers” that come in both dry and wet varieties, are less cumbersome and can also be effective.
Important note on mopping: Most folks want to use a classic mop and bucket to “clean” their floors on a regular basis. In Arizona, this usually ends up working against them. We at First Class Green Cleaning highly recommend the use of an upright steamer on floors where they are safe. Use of these with re-washable microfiber pads (don’t use fabric softeners!) can keep you from needing to have the floors professionally cleaned as often because they keep the dust, dirt, and grease on the pad and out of the grout joints. If the price of a steamer is a bit too much for you, we recommend looking into a microfiber flat mop instead of the traditional mop and bucket. These with a good neutral floor cleaner designed for your floor type will work similarly (albeit not as effectively) to an upright steamer.
- Sweeping – Between deep cleans it is advisable to consistently sweep or dry-mop floors to pick up dust as it accumulates. This helps to prevent large volumes of dust collecting as dust particles tend to attract other dust particles
Living in the desert offers many advantages when it comes to climate and weather. One of the drawbacks to living in the desert, however, is dealing with excessive dust around the home. Knowing how to reduce and remove dust is key to creating and maintaining the clean and healthy living environments that we desire for our homes and families. First Class Green Cleaning is committed to creating clean environments and is always here to help. Feel free to CONTACT US here, or call 602-996-6993 with any household cleaning questions or concerns.
Questions About Dusting Around the House?
If you have any questions about how to clean your area rug or preserve its quality, please reach out to us at First Class Green Cleaning today.