Everyone is familiar with dust and I probably don’t need to tell you what it looks like or where you can find it, as dust is literally everywhere.
Run your finger on the floor a couple of minutes after cleaning and voila, there it is, ruining your hard work and your shiny floors!
The problem with actually discussing the definition of dust is that dust comes in hundreds of different forms!
What's in this Guide?
Dust is essentially smart particles of anything that come together to create that film of nastiness covering anything and everything you own and it’s impossible to list them all. If you’re wondering why your house is so dusty the best thing to do is find where the particles of matter are coming from.
Where Does Dust Come From?
Since there are so many different forms of dust, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where dust comes from. Of course, if you live near a gravel or dirt road, the main culprit is probably that, however, dust can be found in the form of pollen, which obviously comes from plants and trees.
You may consider locking your house up and sealing it shut to keep dust from the outside world from entering. Although that may certainly lower the levels of dust in your house, you are by no means safe from this dreaded invader!
Dead and decomposing skin cells are also a very likely culprit and there’s really no way to stop those from forming dust inside your house unless you remove yourself permanently or wear a hazmat suit. Probably two options that aren’t viable, Considering this, unfortunately, you will be the cause of your own dust problems!
If you have any other living critters in your home, whether invited or not, your house will be the recipient of pet dander, pet hair, and decomposing carcasses. It sounds gross, and it most certainly is, but all the tiny insects that you can find outside are likely to make their way into your home in one way or another. When they die, guess what happens? They become dust!
Who likes cheese? I love cheese! Did you know cheese is mostly comprised of mold? Kind of weird, right? Luckily for us, that type of mold isn’t harmful to most people, however, there are many types of very harmful mold that grow in and around most peoples homes. Even if you don’t visually see it, your home most likely has mold. Mold releases spores which enter the air. These spores can greatly attribute to your dust problem and certainly aid in the myriad of health issues dust causes.
Pretty much any home improvement projects are going to cake every inch of your home in the dust. The only thing you can do is to try and make cuts to wood and/or drywall outside and do as much assembling as you can before entering your home. Aside from that, spray paint doesn’t just land where you point and spray. Outlier particles can easily drift away and tend to mend well with other particles in the air, creating more and more dust. After any home improvement project, your only option really is to just scrub and clean every inch of your home so go ahead and add that to the to-do list.
A final primary cause of dust is air pollution. Air pollution comes in many forms, but if you’re seeing a thin black film of dust covering everything you own, that’s the result of vehicle and manufacturing pollution. It’s incredibly unfortunate that most people today live and breathe polluted air and once the particles in the air settle, they form toxic dust
Here Are Common Reasons Your House is So Dusty
1. Mold and Organic Materials
Keeping mold from growing and reproducing should be at the top of your list. We mentioned air purifiers and although these are great for killing mold spores floating around in the air, they don’t do much in terms of actually preventing or killing mold that is already present in your home. What you can do, though, is purchase microbial spray and routinely clean your home with it. Yes, I am telling you to work and I know it sucks and you would probably want to spend that time doing more enjoyable activities, however, by doing this, you’ll be extending the time you get to spend alive, which I think is a great trade-off.
Other things you can do to combat mold is to cut down on the humidity level in your home. Mold likes dark, warm, and damp places. Without humidity in the air, mold dries out and has difficulty reproducing. You can invest in a dehumidifier if the area you live in is naturally humid or you can do better to air your home out by opening the windows or running your air conditioning.
Of course, leftover food and food crumbs are a massive contributor to mold and the only way to fix this is to keep a cleaner home. Either you never bring food into your home ever again or you learn how to clean up after yourself. You’ve got to keep any and all organic material from the grasps of the evil mold warlords.
2. Cleaning Techniques
Another big contributor to mold is the water in the air given off after you shower. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy long hot showers and after you’re done you can’t see five feet in front of you from all the fogginess! The water released into the air settles on everything, giving mold the perfect watering holes for maximum reproduction.
Mold also grows inside your cute little spoof sponges, on your toothbrush, and on pretty much everything else that comes into contact with your body or bodily fluids. Replace what you use to wash with regularly and ensure they are dry after you use them.
Cleaning and grooming can also release tons of other particulate matter into the air. Use any aerosols such as spray-on deodorant, hair spray, perfumes, etc? All of these contribute to your dust problem and puts horrible gases into the air you breathe. My only advice here would be to simply not use those, or try and use them outside so you can pollute the environment and the air that everyone else breathes instead of your home. Yeah, not great advice. Just buy a stick of deodorant and use hair gel and be done with it!
3. Dead Skin Cells
We talked about dead skin cells being a major contributor to dust and I don’t know about you but I find that to be plain nasty! Touching dust in your home is like touching dead people. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the point. A lot of dead skin cells come off in your sleep and end up on your bed. I’m hoping you use bed sheets as most people do, and that’s great because you can simply rip those off and throw them in the wash. Ideally, you should be washing all of your bedding at least once a week. I know, it’s a lot of work, but you came to this page to combat dust, no?
4. Demons Hiding in Your Rugs (See More)
Did you know that the average home rug can accumulate 10 pounds of dust a year? That’s an insanely crazy amount of dust sitting there waiting for you to step on it, blowing it into the air you breathe and all over your home! I’d recommend vacuuming your rugs often, perhaps even as much as once per week. But wait, there’s more! Vacuuming really helps, but it won’t suck out all the dust clinging for dear life in the fibers of those rugs. You should take your rugs to be cleaned professionally or buy one of those expensive carpet cleaners to do the job every so often, maybe once every other month with regular vacuuming or once a month without vacuuming.
5. Pests and Animals
Get rid of all of your beloved furry companions. That is the ideal situation for cutting down on dust, period. Not an option? Okay, I can relate to that, I’ve always had pets roaming around the house and couldn’t imagine life without them!
Unfortunately, there is no great way to reduce the dust caused by pet dander other than making sure your pets are regularly cleaned and you clean your home. Give your pets a bath, even if they protest, and regularly use the appropriate pet brush. I brush my cat twice daily and I still have a cat hair problem, so, meh! Some air purifiers have filters for pet hair and dander but at the end of the day, hard manual labor is what gets the job done. Consider sweeping, dusting, mopping, and brooming to be part of the wonderful pet owning experience!
Why is Dust Harmful?
As mentioned before, popular sources of dust are air pollution and pollen. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91% of the population lives in areas where the air is heavily polluted and over 3.8 million people die of household air pollution. It’s a major silent assassin that not many people realize is killing them!
Polluted dust can contain toxic gases and materials as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and manufacturing processes. These particles can cause a myriad of health effects including decreased organ performance, lower lung capacity, lymphoma, respiratory infection, dizziness, headaches, lowered immune system, less oxygen reaching blood cells, cancer, bronchitis, nerve damage, and damage to your vital organs.
What are the worst culprits of these toxic dust particles? Lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter from wood combustion and many other harmful chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which come from cars, paint, and chemical solvents.
I mentioned that mold can be found in most peoples homes earlier, but why should you care? After all, there are tons of mold variations that cause little to no effects in most people. How bad mold effects humans varies drastically depending on your tolerance and other health attributes, however, indoor mold is widely associated with millions of cases of respiratory illness, increased asthma-related symptoms, hypersensitivity, lethargy, and even cancer! Jeez, everything causes cancer nowadays.
It’s a horrendous situation but it’s real, we live in a world where we breathe in all of those things on a daily basis and it’s extremely likely that you’re already experiencing negative health effects from doing so. Dust in our home carries most, if not all of those things, making dust one of the most dangerous aspects of living in your home.
Aside from potentially killing you, there are some short term effects that are far more noticeable at first exposure. These include allergies and irritations. Most people are allergic to some mold, pollen, pet dander, and many other particulate matters. Allergies downright make life less enjoyable and can cause a ton of annoying side effects such as itchy eyes, runny nose, allergic reactions, skin rashes, hair loss, coughing, difficulty breathing, lowered immune system, etc. Allergies are a lot worse than just a sneeze or two here and there and if you’re suffering, you should take action! You deserve to live a clean and clear life.
How Can You Keep Your Home Dust Free?
Alright, now that we’ve scared you to death and you likely regret ever taking a breath of air inside your home, let’s take a look at how we can alleviate some of our dust problems. Before we get started, it’s important to note that eliminating all dust in your home is virtually impossible. With that said, reducing the amount and cutting back on dust that is especially pollutant to the air you’re breathing can greatly increase your health and the cleanliness of your home!
You Just Gotta Do It
Of course, regular cleaning is a must that anyone and everyone is going to have to endure during their lifetime unless you’re wealthy enough to hire someone to do it for you. Keeping your home clean, filters fresh, ensuring the environment isn’t suitable for mold growth, and purifying the air entering your home are all key aspects of reducing dust in your house!
Sometimes The Best Defense is Offense
Let’s start before you enter the home. Look at your shoes. Look at your clothes. Look at that old painting with mold growing inside the frame that you just bought at a garage sale. The contaminants from these will all end up on the floor or in the air of your home. The easiest thing you can do to cut down on dust in your home is to cut down on the dust you bring into your home. Take your shoes off, brush yourself off, and ensure you aren’t bringing in any trojan horse culprits.
Utilizing Cutting Edge Technology
Air purifiers are probably one of the top solutions for eliminating dust resulting from air pollution. The dust that quality air purifiers eliminate is usually among the most harmful, making air purifiers the number one choice when considering health benefits. There are so many different makes and models, though, it’s hard to choose the right air purifier for your home. Lucky for you, we’ve got that covered! Read our air purifying guide here. That guide should get you up to speed and help you find the perfect air purifying unit for you, plus, these are fantastic methods that require very little work on your end!
Kevin Wabiszewski is the cofounder of this website and currently lives in Pittsburgh PA. In his free time, he enjoys working out, writing, building things, sharing information with readers online and helping them find the best possible products. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree and is a former United States Marine. If you have any questions for him, just let him know in the comments section!