We’ve all been there: one day our home is clean as can be and the next it is covered by a layer of grimy dust and cat hair.
Dust is icky. It is composed of dirt, chemicals, dead skin cells, plant fibers, and human and animal hairs. Not only that, but it is also composed of creepy crawlies, as about 2,000 dust mites can live on one ounce of carpet dust.
With that gross fact in mind, it is safe to say no one wants dust in their home. However, dust doesn’t just appear, and there is a reason why it suddenly shows up so quickly on every surface in your home. And the best way to figure out how to get rid of dust is to find out why it is there in the first place.
IF your house is more dusty than usual this summer, here are some common reasons dust happens.
- You have a lot of synthetic materials in your home
Synthetic materials used in upholstery such as nylon and polyester tend to attract dust more than wood, steel, or stone. These materials are just easier to stick to.
- You have wall to wall carpeting
The tricky thing about carpets is that they can collect dust without you even noticing. To check your carpets, get down on your hands and knees and look at the carpet in full natural light. Pat it a few times, and if you notice particles swirling in the air, chances are there’s more dust than you think.
- You keep your windows open
While it’s nice to let fresh air come inside, this is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to letting dust enter your home. Not only do drafty windows let dust in, they can increase your energy bills by 10 to 25%. While it’s okay to throw open your windows from time to time, if you notice extra dust forming, consider closing the windows more often.
- You have a ventilation problem
There are a few different ways that poor ventilation can make your home extra dusty. First, if you haven’t changed the air filter recently, do this first. Keep in mind that dust can pass right through most cheap fiberglass air filters. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may have a more serious problem. According to Energy Star, 20-30% of the air in your ducts is lost to leakage. However, these poorly sealed ducts can also let in unfiltered air from your attic, leaving everything you own with a fine layer of dust.
So now that you know where the dust comes from, don’t you feel the itch to clean your home now? Unfortunately, a lot of cleaning supplies that get rid of dust are filled with toxic chemicals that aren’t good for the environment or your health. So, we’ve compiled some of our favorite eco-friendly cleaning tips that will effectively get rid of all the dust from your home.
But when it comes to cleaning your entire home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To make cleaning a more manageable endeavor, create a list of tasks and mark each task with the estimated time it will take. Only do one task per day, and within 30 days you should have a completely uncluttered, clean, and dust-free house. With this in mind, we recommend only doing one of these tasks at a time to be the most efficient cleaner you can be.
Wet dust with vinegar and a splash of lemon
Dry dusting just spreads the dust all over the home instead of getting rid of it completely. To clean without chemicals, dampen a cloth with some vinegar and a splash of lemon. This will help sanitize surfaces and cut through dust completely.
Lower the humidity on your thermostat
Those dust mites like warm and humid environments, especially when a home’s humidity is over 50%. As a fail safe, just lower both the temperature and humidity levels by about 10% so you will keep the dust mites at bay without sacrificing your comfort.
Change your HVAC filter monthly
For the best, dust-free results, these filters should be changed at least once a month. Simply write a reminder to change it on your calendar for the first of every month and you’ll notice a measurable drop in dust levels.
Create a dust mite buster
Typical dust mite sprays can be filled with harmful chemicals, when in reality they’re quite easy to make at home. All you need to do is mix a cup of distilled water with 20 drops of tea tree oil and spray it on your carpets. The oil’s natural antibacterial properties will kill dust mites in seconds while masking any lingering scents or odors in your carpets and linens.
Freeze your items
Some items such as stuffed toys and linens made from satin or silk cannot survive the high temperatures that kill dust mites. So freeze them instead. Place these items in sealed plastic bags, toss them in your freezer overnight, and the dust mites will be dead in no time. Just make sure to shake the items vigorously outside after freezing to remove all those dead dust mites.
Knowing where your dust comes from is only half the battle. With these eco-friendly tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be able to rid your home of all that dust without having to deal with harmful chemicals. So go on and try out these hacks, and let us know if they work for you!