This year has been full of adjustments and transitions. Most notably, you have spent more time at home and for longer periods of time. You might have noticed that you need to perform household chores more often, and that more frequent deep cleaning than usual is required. Because you are home so much, you are more likely to spot accumulations of dust, which contains skin particles, dirt, and pet dander.
Where does dust “live”?
Simply put, everywhere.
The surfaces where you are most likely to encounter dust are:
- Counters and shelves
- Curtains and blinds
You can expect to find dust on any items around your home that you haven't used in a while. While dust in the home is unsightly, the negative health effects of dust are more concerning. Irritation, sneezing, and watery eyes are signs that it might be time to wipe down surfaces. While completely eliminating dust in the home is impossible, there are things you can do to minimize it.
Develop a cleaning schedule.
- Dusting once a week is ideal for controlling visible dust. You can use a damp or oiled rag cloth. There are alternative products that use a dry approach, but dry wiping is less effective.
- Curtains can hold a lot of dust, as can bedding. If you sleep with your pets, you'll need to clean your bedding routinely. Use your vacuum with its attachments to remove dust from blinds and bedding. You can also regularly launder them to control dust and keep them fresh.
Replace your air filter on a regular basis.
Routinely changing you air filter also helps combat dust in your home. When you purchase an air filter, you can find a 30-, 60-, or 90-day label on the package. You may need to change your air filter more or less frequently than what is indicated on the label depending upon how often your heating and cooling system is running, and any personal preferences or health concerns. You can learn more about when to change your filter here.
- Cut down on clutter. The fewer knick-knacks you have, the less surface area that dust has to collect.
- Have a thick doormat at the entrances of the home—both outside and inside. Removing shoes at the door helps control dust levels as well.
- Wipe off your pet's paws when they come back inside.
- It's not necessarily enough to wipe down surfaces. Wipe down your knick-knacks, books, picture frames, and art.
- Groom your pets and brush them frequently, outdoors if possible.
- Shampoo your rugs and carpets.