Finding dust in your home is no fun, and it often seems that no matter how much you clean, it keeps coming back.
Dust is made up of all kinds of particles including plant pollen, dead skin cells, and fibers from clothing and paper. When it accumulates, it's annoying and can wreak havoc on asthma and allergy sufferers. To make matters worse, with dust come dust mites. Grossed out yet?
While it's impossible to completely rid your home of dust, here are some easy tips for keeping it at bay.
1. Change your bedding once a week. Dust mites love to dwell in sheets, pillows and mattresses. Encasing your mattress and box spring in an allergen-proof cover, in conjunction with washing your bedding once a week, should be enough to keep bug-a-boos at bay.
2. Keep tidy closets. Garments stored in closets shed lots of fiber. So unless you want a blast of dust confetti each time you open the closet door, it's best to store things in garment bags, plastic containers and boxes.
3. Remove clutter from floors. Don't ignore piles of clothing, toys, magazines, books or anything else on the floor. Cleaning around them won't take care of the dust that has settled in or around them.
4. Say "no" to carpeting. It may look gorgeous, but carpeted floors are high-maintenance and magnets for dust mites. They should be vacuumed daily, but even that may not be enough for people with severe allergies. If you're attached to your carpet, consider investing in a vacuum cleaner with a double-layered microfilter bag or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which prevents dust from being re-introduced into the air. Otherwise, stick to hardwood, vinyl, linoleum or tile flooring.
5. Take it outside. Dust from area rugs and pillows should be beaten outdoors.
6. Duster do's and don'ts. Feather dusters only aggravate existing dust and cause it to settle elsewhere around your home. Instead, use a damp cloth or moist towelette to wipe down surfaces.
7. Clean from top to bottom. Clean the highest surfaces first and work your way down, so you capture any dust you missed.
8. Air purifiers. If you have severe allergies or asthma symptoms, an air purifier can be very beneficial — but that doesn't mean you can ditch the duster! While they filter dust particles, they don't take care of dust mites (since they're not airborne). Also, for an air purifier to be effective, you'll need one for each room.