If it seems like you’re always dusting, that’s because the enemy has you surrounded: As long as we keep shedding our skin, clipping our toenails and opening doors and windows, dust will be the houseguest that overstays its welcome.
Understanding just what kind of critter you’re sharing your space with often inspires slightly more aggressive eviction tactics. So take a deep breath and get ready for combat, dust buster.
Dust mites are tiny spiderlike animals that live everywhere we do, because our dead skin cells are pretty much their version of a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet. That’s not all: what we actually react to in dust is the mites’ decomposing bodies and fecal pellets (ewww!).
Clean up crumbs, clutter and spills, and make sure to vacuum upholstery frequently. Use a high-quality air filter in your heating and cooling system, such as a Filtrete™ Healthy Living Filter to help capture household dust, dust mite debris and other airborne particles.
Your car, for example, is another ’mite mecca. But in general, if you touch it with your hands, the little buggers will, too. That makes your steering wheel prime real estate, along with door handles, shopping carts, magazine racks, etc.
Vacuum your vehicle regularly, and use disinfectant wipes on the steering wheel and console. Carry hand sanitizer with you, as well as your own reading materials.
Pet allergies are common, but your pet’s fur isn’t the problem. The real culprits are the proteins found in pet saliva, urine and dander (dead skin cells) that disperse in the form of dust.
Keep animals clean and well groomed. If possible, brush fur regularly and sweep or vacuum up stray hairs before they turn into indoor tumbleweeds.
If you wear your shoes indoors, you track animal feces, pollen, fertilizers, motor oil, construction materials, toxic compounds and miscellaneous organisms to every room of the house.
Make yours a shoe-free dwelling. Sweep or vacuum floors every other day, and wash hardwood or tile flooring with hot soapy water weekly.
Upholstered furniture provides a particularly cozy refuge for dust mites. Same goes for poofy comforters, plush toys and luxurious bedding. Basically, if it’s got fibers in which the little terrors can hunker down, they won’t hesitate to join the love fest.
Vacuum furniture regularly, or opt for leather, vinyl or other smooth surfaces. Steam clean bedding that’s too large or delicate to blast in the washing machine at scalding temps (at least 130oF) on a regular basis.