Comprising such stomach turners as animal dander and dead skin along with dirt, lint and microscopic fibres, dust is more than just an unsightly nuisance in the home – it also attracts the dreaded dust mite.
The dust mite is responsible for allergies in approximately 10% of the population. These dreadful little invaders can be counted in the hundreds of thousands in affected mattresses and soft furnishings, and produce around 20 droppings of faeces and dead skin per day.
Suitably disgusted yet? Read on to find out all the ways to give dust the clean sweep!
Tip one: the right tool for the job
If you seem to be constantly dusting only for it to return quickly, the problem may be with your cleaning method rather than your home’s propensity to accumulate dust. For optimal results, you need to be using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA filter rating requires that the vacuum operates at a 99.97 per cent efficiency level at catching all particles .3 microns in size or larger, without polluting the atmosphere. Without this rating, your vacuum cleaner may be simply stirring up the dust in the atmosphere, allowing it to settle back into place quickly.
Since dust mites thrive in areas of high humidity and live off dead skin, mattresses can be a breeding ground for them. Launder bedding regularly and vacuum the mattress at the same time.
Tip two: damp, not dry
Another way in which you may be inadvertently compromising air quality is with dry dusting, which merely moves the dust around. When dusting always use a damp cloth to trap particles and use frequent rinsing to ensure debris is removed completely. It’s time to bin that feather duster!
The same principle can be applied to hard floorings, such as polished boards or lino. To prevent moving dust into the air just for it to settle back down again, vacuum up larger debris and then use a dampened sponge or steam mop to collect the remaining fine surface dust.
Tip three: keep vents clear
From cheap HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) filters and tumble dryer lint catchers, to the ducted heating vent – all these may be pumping microscopic particles into the air. To reduce the debris fallout, clean vents regularly and empty lint filters after each use.
Tip four: prevention
Once the carpet and surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned you need to turn your attention to the air quality. As with vacuum cleaners, the most effective air filters use HEPA filters which will lower the risk of airborne allergens such as dander, pollen or dust mite droppings which may be responsible for asthma attacks and skin irritation.
Tip five: ditch the dust collectors
Knick-knacks around the home are commonly known as ‘dust collectors’ for good reason. Likewise, accumulated clutter can harbour dust and other particles which is easily stirred up and distributed into the air. Simple decluttering and streamlining these areas, placing things within cabinets, can minimise accumulated dust and make surface cleaning much easier.
The above suggestions will go a long way to improving the air quality in your home. Whilst dust can never be completely and permanently eradicated, with so many respiratory and dermatological conditions directly linked to airborne particles and dust, controlling the air quality in your home is vital to the health and well being of your family.