11 Things You Can Do to Make Your Home Less Dusty
Dust is obnoxious. Within a day of wiping down your furniture and electronics, you'll see those nasty specks completely covering the surfaces again. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to make your home less dusty.
Stop Dirt and Dust at the Door
It would be hard to prove, but it is commonly held that approximately half of the dirt and dust in your home gets inside on your shoes and boots. Keep mats at each exterior door, one outside and one inside to be extra careful. Shake them out away from open windows and wash or hose them down regularly.
If you allow the air in your home to get too dry, you’re asking for more dust. Skin, fabrics, plants—everything will dry out and produce more dust when it’s dry. You can add moisture with a plug-in humidifier or a whole-house unit on your forced-air furnace. Also, running water in the tub or shower, boiling water in a teakettle and air-drying clothes adds moisture to the air. Experts suggest you aim for an indoor humidity level of 30% to 50%.
Eliminate Thick Carpet and Rugs
You don’t want to know how much dust lurks in carpeting and rugs. Even if you vacuum and shake out rugs frequently, dust gets trapped in there until someone walks or rolls around on them, and then that dust becomes airborne. Some will resettle in the carpet while some will end up on your horizontal surfaces. If you must buy an area rug, be warned that wool rugs shed like crazy.
Clean Dusty Vent Grilles
Exhaust vent grilles, especially those in bathrooms, collect lots of dust. One slick way to clean them, if they pop out easily, is to place them on the top rack and run them through your dishwasher. If you can’t easily remove that dusty grille, use a damp cloth and cotton-tipped swaps to clean off the dust. Vacuuming works, too, but be sure your vacuum isn’t spewing the dirt right back into the air.
Wash Bed Linens More Often Than You Think You Need To
You know how much you love your cozy bed? Sadly, dust mites love it just as much. Without getting too gross, our bedrooms get so dusty because that’s where we shed a lot of dead skin (dust) and that’s why dust mites live there (more dust). Bed linens, including pillows and blankets, need to be cleaned often to keep the dust from piling up.
Monitor Your Vacuum
You can vacuum all you want, but if your machine is spewing that dust right back in to the air or not sucking up the dust, you won’t ever get ahead. If your vacuum has a bag, be sure to change it when it fills up. If you vacuum is bagless, empty out the dirt cup after every use. Clean or replace filters often and if your vacuum has a belt, check to make sure it’s in good shape. If not, replace it.
Did you suck up too much of something? Here’s how to clear out a vacuum cleaner clog.
Need to replace a belt? Take care of it in 30 minutes or less with this tutorial.
Change Your Furnace Filter Every Month
If you have a forced-air HVAC system, put changing the filter on your monthly to-do list. It’s easy and takes very little time, but it will help greatly with dust control.
So you’re changing the furnace filter every month. Now check out this definitive guide to how often you should clean everything else.
Clean Your Blinds, Shades and Curtains
All window blinds, shades and curtains trap lots of dust. Why? It’s all that surface area! You can dust the blinds one blade at a time or remove them from their mounting hardware and wash them or have them professionally cleaned. Dusty shades can usually be wiped down with a damp cloth. And, curtains can be washed or professionally cleaned depending on what they’re made of.
Groom Pets Outdoors
We love our pets, but they do contribute to indoor dustiness. When your pet’s fur needs brushing, it’s best to take them outside and make sure the windows downwind are closed.
Contain Workshop Dust
If you have a woodworking shop in you home, you probably already have a dust collection system set up. However, if you do occasional projects involving cutting and sanding wood and you have a shop vacuum, you can still do a pretty good job of collecting the dust. Here’s how.
Cut the Clutter
If you’ve crossed the line into pre-hoarder territory, it’s high time you got rid of a whole bunch of stuff. All of those knickknacks, gewgaws and doodads collect dust. Unless you plan to be diligent about keeping them clean, they are adding to your dust problem. If you can’t part with some treasures, at least box them up and rotate which items you have on display at any given time. You’ll have fewer things to dust and there will be less dust in your home.
Need some motivation? Check out 50 things to toss out on Old Stuff Day!