Ditch The Dust: 12 Tips To Reduce Dust In Your Home
For some people, too much dust in their house makes them self-conscious about their cleaning habits. But for others, excessive dust leads to constant sneezing, itchy eyes, and other health problems, as it triggers significant allergic reactions. Whether for your health, your home’s appearance, or both, there are easy ways to reduce dust in your home.
Reduce clutter and knick-knacks to limit the amount of items that attract dust. Clean vents, filters, bedding, and other fabrics regularly. Use a microfiber cloth to keep dust from lifting back into the air. Groom pets, get rid of carpet, use doormats, and avoid wearing shoes inside. For more dust-fighting power, consider air purifiers or an air scrubber.
It’s highly unlikely Mary Poppins will swoop into your home and perform the white-glove test. But still, it’s no fun knowing your home’s dusty, so keep reading for tips on how to reduce the dust in your house.
The Dirty Truth About Dust In Your Home
Before you go into a cleaning frenzy and grab a duster whenever you see a speck of dust, know that it’s impossible to have a 100% dust-free home. Even the most conscientious of cleaners will have a bit of dust here and there. Like breathing, paying taxes, and cringe-worthy TikTok videos, dust is an inevitable part of life.
Dust is unsightly. However, its presence has several consequences that go beyond aesthetics. Excessive dust leads to health issues including allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. And consider what’s in dust -- a gross cocktail of dust mite poop, mold, dead skin cells, pollen, tiny insects, bacteria, and other unpleasantries.
The amount of dust in your home depends on several factors. These include how many people live there, if you have pets, the amount of clutter, and your cleaning habits. Even the time of year influences dust, as various outdoor elements come into your home and contribute to the problem.
Exposure to dust can cause sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and coughing. If you have dust allergies, these symptoms can become extremely intense and trigger worse reactions. Long-term exposure to dust mites could potentially lead to more serious illnesses.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep the dust levels low at home.
12 Ways To Get Rid Of Dust In Your House
The ways to get rid of dust in your home are relatively easy and affordable, but it does take developing good habits and being consistent. You also may need to bid farewell to some things you love if you have anyone in your home with an intense dust allergy (like carpet, pets in the bed, or mountains of stuffed animals).
But before you start tossing things in the trash, talk with your doctor about what should and shouldn’t be around people with dust allergies. What you do will depend highly on how intense the allergy is. In the meantime, these tips are a great way to limit the dust in your house to keep it clean, fresh, and healthy for everyone.
1. Cut Back On Clutter
Reducing clutter in your house is a big help when it comes to cutting back on dust. The fewer things you have, the fewer dust magnets in your home. It also makes it easier to dust when you don’t have to move so much stuff around to do so.
2. Clean Regularly
A regular cleaning routine is essential to maintaining a healthy home, and that includes dusting. But when you dust, don’t just concentrate on flat surfaces and the dust you see.
Routinely clean items you don’t think about cleaning, like throw pillows, shower curtains, hairbrushes, and keyboards (just to name a few). These items also collect and hold onto dust, contributing to the overall dust factor in your home.
3. Wash Bedding, Curtains, And Other Fabrics
Wash your bedding at least every two weeks. If you have a dust allergy, your doctor may recommend washing sheets and pillowcases weekly in hot water to eradicate dust mites.
If you have machine-washable curtains, blankets, and cushion covers, wash them regularly, too. Wash blankets monthly, curtains every three to six months, and cushion covers every six months. In between washings, vacuum upholstered furniture weekly (possibly more if your home tends to have a lot of dust or you have pets).
If your curtains or upholstered furniture are not machine-washable, clean them according to the manufacturer’s care instructions. Then, consider getting them deep-cleaned or steam-cleaned two to four times a year.
4. Groom Pets
Pets add lots of joy and fun to a home, but they also contribute to the dust. Groom your pets regularly, whether you do it yourself or bring them to a professional groomer. After your pet spends time outside, use wet wipes to give them a quick wipe down to limit the dander, pollen, and other things they bring in from outdoors.
5. Vacuum Vents
As part of your regular cleaning routine, use your vacuum’s brush attachment to clean air vents and grates. In between replacing your air filter, you can also vacuum it.
Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, so you don’t just kick dust back into the air. HEPA filters capture very small particles like dust mites, pollen, and dander.
6. Get Doormats
Place doormats outside and inside of every exterior entrance to get as much off of shoes as possible. Make sure to clean the doormats regularly. Shake them outdoors, then vacuum.
7. Don’t Wear Shoes Inside
Make it a habit to not wear shoes beyond any entry point. Keep a basket, bin, or shoe rack by your door to place shoes when you come inside. (Clean it regularly.) A pair of spare shoes outside your back door adds convenience.
It’s up to you how far you want to take this rule. For example, do you make everyone take off their shoes when they come over, or do you leave it up to them?
8. Consider An Air Purifier Or Air Scrubber
If you have a little extra in the budget, research air purifiers that help limit dust. A whole-house air scrubber is another option. This device connects to your HVAC system to filter the air through your whole home.
Cost varies greatly, and some items require routine maintenance. For example, the air scrubber needs regular filter or UV bulb replacements depending on the type.
9. Use Microfiber Cloths To Dust
Dusting with a basic cloth is only going to move dust around and throw it into the air, making allergies and other problems worse. Use a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth to hold onto the dust instead of sending it flying.
10. Change Filters
Change the air and furnace filters regularly according to your service schedule. In between replacements, vacuum filters if your home gets exceptionally dusty.
11. Ditch The Carpet
If possible, get rid of carpet in your home and switch to low-pile rugs. For even better results, use washable rugs. Carpet is a dust magnet and it holds onto dust despite routine vacuuming and cleaning.
If you simply can’t live without carpet, at least choose low-pile versions that make it easier to keep clean. Wool carpets tend to be a good option for those living with dust allergies, and nylon carpets offer a more affordable option.
12. Keep Outside Clothes Off The Bed
When you come home and change clothes, put the clothes you take off directly into the hamper. Don’t throw them onto the bed.
Likewise, don’t put jackets and coats on your bed. When guests come over, use hooks or drape coats over a few chairs instead of laying them on your bed.
Enjoy The Benefits Of Less Dust In Your House
After taking steps to limit the dust in your home, you’ll discover you breathe better, feel better, and your house looks better. Reducing dust doesn’t have to be a major hassle once you make a habit of a few basic cleaning tips. Permanent changes such as getting rid of the carpet, using air purifiers, and not wearing shoes inside also help decrease the dust in your home.
Clean vents, change filters, and wash bedding and other linens regularly. If you have pets, keep up with grooming them, and wipe them down after they’ve been outside. Likewise, keep outdoor clothing off of your bed. These simple tips make it a breeze to bust the dust and improve your quality of life.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall