If you’re a stickler for cleanliness or a dust allergy, having a home that is constantly dusty (real or imagined) has to be a huge annoyance. In this guide, we show you how to keep your home less dusty—not completely dust-free, of course, because that would be impossible. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula and it does take some hard work, but for a less dusty home? Should be worth it.
“Why so dusty?”
Design: AD. I. Wrks
We first have to understand where all the dust is coming from and why they constantly plague our homes. Dust comes from all sorts of sources, and they are essentially tiny particles that move around in the air and eventually settle onto the surfaces of things.
Outside, they can come from air pollution, the soil on the ground, plants in the field and birds in the air. (Read: everything.) Anything that can be broken down into tiny pieces can become a source of dust. Inside, they usually come from the dead skin and hair cells shed by the occupants in our home, leftover food crumbs, fibres from things like rugs, curtains and clothes, pets dander, or the carcasses and waste products of dead insects.
Because of their wide range of origins, eliminating dust completely is not entirely possible.
“How to make my home less dusty?”
Close the windows (or minimise the opened ones)
To minimise outdoor dust from entering your home, keep your windows shut most of the time. This is particularly important if you live near a road with busy traffic. Choose to open your windows selectively on certain parts of the day when traffic is lighter or restrict the opened windows to specific parts of the home where you spend most of the time in.
Keep soft furnishings to a minimum
Soft furnishings like cushions, throws and rugs add to the ambience of your space, but they are huge magnets for dust while also producing dust as they disintegrate over time. Keep them to a minimum or get machine-washable ones so you can throw them into your washing machine regularly.
Go clutter-free and minimalist if you can
When you have a lot of things, it not only makes your home more difficult to clean, but it also creates more nooks and crevices for dust to settle. Go for a minimalist style to keep dust at bay. Display décor selectively, stow away items after use and put out only frequently used items.
Design: Noble Interior Design
Balance the humidity in your home
Humidity and dust might seem like two separate issues, but they are actually related. For a less dusty home, you want to keep the humidity levels in your home in check. A good healthy range hovers around 45 to 50 per cent (use a hygrometer to check). Low levels of humidity cause dust to stick on surfaces more tenaciously. Anything higher, and it creates an environment conducive for dust mites and other allergens (sources of dust!) to breed.
Invest in a good vacuum
A vacuum is a lot more effective at cleaning dust compared to a regular broom and dustpan. Handheld cordless vacuums offer greater flexibility since you are able to target the corners, while robot vacuums offer more convenience and less elbow grease. Invest in the sort you find most beneficial for your home, but choose models with HEPA filters that will help to remove microscopic dust particles and other allergens.
Design: Ban Yew Interior Design
Use dry floor wipes on an everyday basis
If you have a really dusty home, complement your twice-a-week vacuum with an everyday sweep, using a floor wiper and dry sheets like those from Magiclean. The wiper is lightweight and flexible, which makes it easy to manoeuvre around the home, while the dry sheets are effective at picking up dust particles.
Image credit: Magiclean
Remember to mop
Mopping after vacuuming will help to pick up dust that was not picked up during vacuuming.
Use air purifiers
Run an air purifier at areas of the home where you often spend time in to clean the air and keep your home less dusty. Similar to a vacuum, you will want to get ones with an HEPA filter. Make sure that it’s also big enough for the room size. Find out the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of the air purifier you’re planning to purchase, as it measures the effective coverage of the air purifiers. Make sure the CADR is at least two-thirds the size of your home.
Bedroom: Wash sheets often and keep clothes in closed storage
Our bedrooms are often the most dusty parts of the home, thanks to the amount of bedding, pillows, blankets, and clothes in the space, which trap and shed dust. Consider changing your sheets once a week, and keep clothes in closed-concept wardrobes to prevent the clothes fibres from settling down the rest of your room.
Design: Mr Shopper Studio
Pay attention to areas that trap dust and dust often
When doing your regular cleaning, pay attention to oft-overlooked areas that are dust magnets:
- Electronics (these trap dust like crazy because of the tiny electrical charges)
- Ceiling fans, light fixtures and air-con units
- High flat surfaces like the top of shelves, above refrigerators
- Hidden nooks and crevices like behind curtains, under furniture, between sofa seats
- Window furnishings
- Household plants, particularly those with flat, wide leaves
Clean from top to bottom and don’t use the duster!
Rather than a duster, which just spreads dust around, use slightly damp microfibre cloths to help pick up dust effectively. For upholstery and other textiles, use a lint roller. Go with a top-down approach—start from the higher fixtures and then move downwards—so you don’t have to dust twice.
Design: MMJ Design
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.