It’s week two of Care About Your Indoor Air Month. This week we’d like to focus on dusting. Dust mites are one of the biggest allergens floating around in your air and there’s no way to prevent them. Pet hair and dander also account for a lot of air-born pollutants around the home. While dusting goes along with home care 101, a few key points and choices can make your efforts more effective.
#1. Don’t dust dry. Using a feather duster or a dry cloth will only remove a scant fraction of the problem. The rest gets knocked into the air, making you sneeze and then settling right back where it was. Using a surface appropriate product (wood cleaner for wood, glass cleaner for glass, etc) will keep the dust from escaping back into the air, thus giving your cleaning efforts a longer lasting effect. This goes for wood floors as well. damp-mop your floors rather than using a dry mop, and do so after vacuuming. Here’s a simple order of operations when dusting a room: Dust from the top down (Ceilings/ceiling fans, furniture, carpets, wood or tile floors).
#2. Vacuum your furniture. In addition to rugs and carpets, spend an extra minute or two and vacuum your sofa cushions. If you use slip-covers, launder them occasionally in addition to vacuuming.
#3. Choose cleaning products that are hypo-allergenic and/or environmentally friendly. There are many commercial cleaning products on the market that include perfumes as allergy-inducing as dust mites. Replace these with more eco-friendly substitutes and your cleaning efforts will cause less trauma.
#4. For cat owners, choose dust free litter like pine pellets. Clay based litters not only throw up a cloud of dust when poured into the pans, clay dust also clings to your cat’s paws and tracks around the house. Placing an indoor/outdoor mat under or near the entrance to the box will help keep your cat from tracking litter and dust around the house as well.
#5 For dog owners, groom your pet daily and place a mat inside the door they use to get outside. This will help keep the necessary dust and debris contained.
Dusting is a fact of life and something we’ve all done. It does help to occasionally take a step back and refine our technique.