Dust is a nasty problem that never seems to go away. No matter how often you remove it, it reappears in corners, on furniture, bed frames and even bathroom furniture. Here’s what dust is and how damaging it is to your health.
Although many people think that a significant proportion of dust comes from dead skin cells, in fact most dead skin cells are removed when you shower and are not the main culprit. Instead, about two-thirds of the dust particles in your home come from the outside.
It turns out that you bring most of the dust into your home on the soles of your feet. Another source is the air coming in through open windows and doors, which can contain pollen and even bits of dead insects besides tiny dirt particles.
Not all dust is made of natural materials: you may also find a mixture of small pieces of plastic, pollutants and other contaminants in the dust particles outside.
The dust that forms indoors is usually made up of ultra-fine particles, such as skin cells, hair, pollen, dirt, pet hair, and fibers from clothing or fabric furniture, according to Mental Floss.
Every time you disturb the dust, whether you’re walking through a room or opening a window, you’re making it swirl and pick up new particles before settling back down. And because indoor spaces are generally sealed, the dust that collects in these places usually continues to accumulate until it is properly removed.
For people with dust allergies, the side effects are mostly like those of the common cold, including coughing, sneezing and watery eyes, but regular exposure to very dusty environments can also aggravate pre-existing conditions such as asthma. People who spend a lot of time indoors, such as young children and the elderly, are at a particular risk.
Besides having adverse reactions to dog hair, mound spores and pollen found in dust, you could also be allergic to dust mites. These creatures feed on shed skin and can often be teeming in carpets, on pillows and wherever dust collects.
How to avoid dust build-up in your home – simple tricks
To keep dust levels down, you need to vacuum and clean on a regular basis. The first step is to invest in a good vacuum cleaner with which to clean carpets daily. It is also a good idea to clean and mop your floors at least once a week.
In addition to floors, you should frequently vacuum furniture and upholstery, as these can be hidden places where dust can accumulate in large quantities. Hard surfaces should be wiped regularly with a microfiber cloth or damp towel so that the dust sticks to the material and leaves the wood clean.
Bed linen should also be changed at least once a week and washed in the washing machine at around 60 degrees. Finally, to avoid dust buildup, place welcome mats at each entrance to the house to get rid of dirt and pollen on the soles of shoes before entering the house.