Spring cleaning back to basics: Really give dust the boot!

Even if you consider yourself pretty good at vacuuming the floors and wiping down surfaces, dust can cling to all sorts of places you might not have considered. Here are a few tips on how to eliminate more of that pesky stuff this year.

woman dusting

A study done by environmental policy professors David Layton and Paloma Beamer and reported in Time revealed that in addition to the dead skin cells, hair, fur, food debris, decomposing insects and lint commonly found in dust, lead, arsenic and DDT can also make an appearance.

The professors explain that 60 per cent of dust enters a home from the outdoors — through windows, doors and vents and on the soles of our feet — and some of it never leaves. And on top of that, you’re also dealing with dust mites, which feed on dead skin and produce allergens, which are problematic for some allergy sufferers and those with asthma. But don’t panic; according to Time, 80 per cent can be removed by cleaning floor dust regularly. So now that we know why removing dust is so important, let’s find out how to do it.

Use the right products

If you’ve been using a feather duster or a dry rag to eliminate the most visible dust, you might simply be disturbing it and sending it into the air, from where it will eventually settle again. Instead, use a damp rag that can grab dust more easily and be rinsed and reused as needed.

Get an air purifier

If dust is a big issue in your home, investing in air purifiers might make things a little easier for you. According to CleanAir4Life, high-quality air purifiers have been clinically proven to reduce air contaminants by up to 99.99 per cent. An air purifier won’t mean you’ll be done with dusting for the rest of your life, but the right one might be just the added help you need.

Take care of area rugs and upholstery

You might not see the dust sitting on your couch and area rugs, but it’s definitely there. In addition to a weekly vacuuming of any rugs and upholstered furniture, Reader’s Digest recommends taking cushions and area rugs outside for a good beating. Use a tennis racket to really knock out all that trapped dust and dirt.

Do a thorough vacuuming and mopping job

If you’re pretty good about vacuuming carpets and mopping floors on a regular basis, that’s great! But to go all out with your dust-ridding, be sure to get under and behind each and every object in your home. If a lot of moving of heavy objects will be necessary, enlist someone’s assistance so you can get to the flooring under the beds and cabinets of each room in your home.

Check out more places in your home you didn’t know need cleaning >>

Don’t forget about your bedding

Dust is most noticeable when it settles in a fine layer on your shelves, tables and countertops. But just because you can’t see it on the other surfaces of your home, such as your bedding, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Dust mites feed off skin flakes, and the fact that you spend eight hours a day nestled in your pillows, sheets and blankets makes this area one of their favourites. The Victoria Asthma Foundation recommends washing bedding in 140-degree-F water or hotter once a week. In addition, using dust mite covers on your mattress and pillows can interrupt their reproductive cycle and reduce their number, and that will be a blessing for your family members or guests who are affected by these little pests.

Get in and behind everything


To really give dust the boot this season, you can’t just do a quick once-over on the most noticeable areas. Instead, every time you come to a new shelf or table, remove each item from the area, give the surface a solid wiping, and then wipe each item before returning it to its place. It might be time consuming, but it’s the only way to ensure you get as much dust out of all the nooks and crannies of your home as you can.

More on spring cleaning

Spring cleaning your bedroom
Spring clean your fridge and pantry
Spring clean: Your toiletries/bathroom drawers


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