Arm yourself with these proven strategies in the battle to banish dust from your home.
Step 1: Understand where dust comes from Understand that dust comes from the tiny flakes of skin we constantly shed, fibers shed by fabrics, insect parts, pet dander, hair, pollen grains and mold spores, and dust mites.
Step 2: Learn where dust hides Learn the places where dust hides, such as deep inside carpet, drapery, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and on hard surfaces, including all of those knick-knacks decorating your home.
TIP: If you can, replace wall-to-wall carpeting with wood, vinyl, or tile, and drapes with shades or blinds that are easier to keep free of dust.
Step 3: Cover mattresses and pillows Enclose your mattresses and pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers. If you don't like plastic or vinyl, look for fabric, allergen-impermeable covers.
Step 4: Vacuum and damp mop frequently Vacuum the carpeting and upholstered furniture frequently. Damp mop floor and walls.
TIP: Attaching a HEPA filter, available at some vacuum stores and allergy supply companies, to your vacuum cleaner will prevent some of that dust from circulating back into the air.
Step 5: Beat and shake area rugs and cushions Take your area rugs and cushions outside to shake them vigorously or beat them every week. Some people like to use an old tennis racket.
Step 6: Dust effectively Don't just move the dust around using feather dusters or dry rags – capture it! Use damp rags or spray your rags with a product that will hold the dust.
Step 7: Wash sheets and blankets in hot water weekly Wash sheets and blankets in hot water every week. Cold water leaves up to ten percent of dust mites behind. Dry cleaning also kills mites.
Step 8: Use air filters Install a HEPA air filter on your furnace or purchase a central air filtration unit, if you have forced-air heating and cooling. A portable HEPA filter unit may also help remove dust from the air.
FACT: Did you know? A typical used mattress can have up to 10 million dust mites inside.