Do you have to constantly clean dust off your shelves? Is your feather duster grayer than its original color?
It might be worth your effort to stop that dust from making its way into your apartment. Dust is not good for anyone’s home—it can make your apartment look dirty and trigger your guests’ dust allergies.
Don’t let the dust win. Find out what’s causing the dust and get rid of it in a few easy steps.
Where is this dust coming from?
There are a couple of ways dust mites can find their way into your home. Think about where you’re finding the dust in your apartment. Compare them against these and see if you can make any connections.
From your pets
It’s no surprise to any dog mom or dad that pet dander makes a sizable difference on cleaning day. If you have any pets, they shed. We don’t need to tell you that.
Just like your hair, their hair is going to be breaking down just like yours. So does their skin. These ones can be especially annoying because they contain allergens that can trigger many more allergies than ours.
If guests are having some bad reactions even after your pet is gone, remember that soft surfaces are dens for pet dander. Make sure you clean that carpet thoroughly before you invite anyone with big allergies over!
Believe it or not, a lot of indoor dust starts as outdoor dust.
Dust particles will make their way inside no matter what. No home is airtight. The dust will get in through your doors, your windows, cracks in the walls, or any seams that are coming undone.
Trees outside might bring birds, the flowers on your porch might bring in pollen. There are a ton of small particles that make up dust and end up becoming more work for us while we clean on the weekends. Check outside.
Also, know that you can never fully get rid of outside dust. You carry dust on your skin and in your hair. Your clothes’ fabric will bring them in too.
Do you live on a busy street? A big thoroughfare in New York City is going to be drawing in way more dust than a sleepy suburb.
From your hair and skin
Yeah, we’re not too happy to discuss this one either. Nobody likes thinking about their skin routine when talking about dust. But think about it—some of that dust accumulation can be from our bodies.
Us humans shed skin flakes regularly. Your dead skin cells break down into tiny pieces, and while you’re moving about, some of them are going to be let loose across your apartment.
Have you ever seen little motes of white in your hair or your partner’s? That could be dandruff or their dry scalp skin getting into their hair. All of that will make a difference in the load of dust around.
Hair itself has to break down into tiny pieces. Your hair will eventually become dust too. These sources aren’t going to be the biggest reasons why your electronics have a layer of dust, but they will play a role.
From air conditioning and heating systems
This might seem a little weird because these systems are supposed to be keeping dust out. However, when was the last time you changed your air conditioner filter? Was it recently?
Your heating and cooling systems deteriorate with use and can build up dust in your apartment. Your filters could be full and be circulating dust from outside to in if you aren’t up to date on all of your replacements.
From anything fabric in your house
Remember how we said that your hair is breaking down and becoming dust? Pretty much everything in your house is doing the same thing. Most of it is going to be from anything you have that is fabric.
If your curtains haven’t been replaced in a while, their fibers are going to make their home as dust components. Whenever you move your drapes, you are knocking off tiny particles of fabric that are going to your carpet or the floor.
Think about all the fabric in your house—area rugs, curtains, upholstered furniture, and more. Remember that they’re breaking down—and to hit them with a little extra vacuuming the next time you break it out.
What does dust do to your health?
Dust doesn’t make any major differences in your health but it can be noticeable. Have you ever entered your friends’ house and started having a sneezing fit? They might not vacuum enough and they let their carpet collect dust.
Dust particles floating in the air can trigger some allergies. Some of the symptoms include:
- Teary eyes
People who aren’t allergic to dust still might have a reaction. People with asthma or any other respiratory conditions will experience more severe reactions to dust in your apartment. That tightness in your chest might be relieved after a day of furnishing.
How to get rid of dust in your apartment
Once you know that your apartment has a dust problem, it’s time to solve it. If you can single out a reason why there is so much dust in your apartment, you can start making the change to reduce dust.
It can be a few simple changes to make less work on the weekends. Not all of these are going to be about cleaning. Check up and make sure you replace things in your apartment on time or let your landlord know, it will make cleaning days much easier.
Seal your door properly
One of the biggest sources for dust will be your door and letting in particles from outside. Especially for those of us renting, apartment complexes are often on big streets and have a lot of people coming through. A house’s porch will get much less foot traffic than just a welcome mat that your neighbors have to step through.
Sealing your door can be simple. Install a floor sweep to get rid of the biggest air gap between you and outside. This can also cut down on the noise outside.
Even better, try a door gasket. Gaskets not only stop dust particles from getting in, but can stop the weather and sometimes even fires from making it past a certain door.
Wash your sheets weekly
You sleep in your sheets. That means your skin is constantly rubbing off on them and they are going to be full of your dead skin.
Laying in sheets covered in hair and skin cells doesn't make for a good night's sleep. Make sure your nose doesn’t have to experience that by cleaning them much more regularly.
Use a lint roller
This is a good tip, especially for pet owners. Having a lint roller around will make it much easier to take care of your clothes, which have a ton of dust sitting around in their fabric.
Do a little test. After using a lint roller on one of your shirts, see how gray it gets. They not only clean your clothes of visible particles, but the microscopic ones too. It will make a big difference for your nose.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter regularly
HEPA filters, or high-efficiency particulate air filters, are specially designed to filter your air from pollutants. Almost all indoor pollutants aren’t going to make it past HEPA filters and these vacuums can easily catch all the dust for you to dispense outside.
Brush your pet in the bathtub or somewhere easy to vacuum
They may not like this option, but dogs and cats need to be brushed to maintain their coats. Brushing them kicks up the allergens into the air as you interact with them. Limit them to the bathtub where you can wash all the particles down the drain and throw all the hair into a trash bin.
Change your HVAC filters on time
Air filters catch all the dust in your air. Dirty ones don’t work as well, and you’re expected to replace them when they say to.
If you don’t, you’re running the risk of not keeping your house at the correct temperature and introducing more dust in the air.
Depending on your building, you might not have access to your HVAC system. In that case, ask your property manager if the filters have been changed recently.
Get an air purifier
This is one of the easier options that require less effort on your part. If you’re a busy person, you might want to invest in an air purifier.
Air purifiers trap dust and air contaminants as soon as they come in, which improves the air quality in your apartment.
As such, you’re supposed to place them and plug them in right by the access points to your house. Whether it’s the window you keep open at night or by your door, these purifiers can keep your air clean.
Make sure to invest in one with a HEPA filter. These purifiers might be expensive, but a small investment is better than a lifetime of sneezing.
The best way to avoid dust buildup is to stop it immediately. That means cleaning on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
It might sound time-consuming but if you break it down into small tasks, it's not bad at all.
On a daily basis, wipe down any surfaces that tend to be dust magnets (shelves, tabletops, and TV consoles) with a damp cloth or feather dusters.
On a weekly basis, make clean places that have dust collection over time. For instance, if your apartment has hardwood floors, you should clean them at least once a week.
Once dust settles on hardwood floors, it transfers over to your socks. Then your socks absorb dust and spreads all across your apartment.
Monthly, do a deep clean of your entire apartment. This is where you're going to get rid of any dust build up in places you don't normally clean. If you've been keeping up with your daily and weekly cleaning, this shouldn't be a huge task at all.
Clean your ceiling fans
This is a common cause of excessive dust in a lot of apartments.
Ceiling fans often become covered in dust because most people completely skip over them when they're cleaning.
Here's an easy test to see whether or not your ceiling fans are clean. Rub your hand on the top of one of the fan blades. If your hand is covered in dust, start dusting.
Keep Your Apartment Dust Free
It’s tough to keep a house clean and dust-free. But, it’s totally doable and with this list, you can start to do it too. Dust can accumulate everywhere, especially in places that we don’t use often. Honestly, how many times do we need to see the back of our TV?
It’s important to be clean and stay clean. Be sure to use these tips to keep your apartment dust free.