Dust, which consists of itty-bitty particles of just about everything, remains the undefeatable foe of housecleaning—there is simply no way to eliminate it. Nevertheless, preventing dust buildup is essential because all those seemingly harmless dust bunnies can actually be bad for your health.

Why Dust Is a Problem

Young children, older adults, and people with lung diseases are the most at risk of experiencing problems associated with dust, but dust can affect anyone’s health in the following ways:

Woman Sneezing
  1. Coughing and sneezing. Breathing in dust isn’t good for your lungs, hence the sneezing and coughing fits typically brought on by being exposed to it.

  2. Itchiness. Some people, particularly those with sensitive skin, begin to itch when around a lot of dust.

  3. Eye irritation. Red, puffy, itchy, or watery eyes can all be caused by dust.

  4. Breathing issues. Prolonged exposure to dust can result in breathing difficulties ranging from mild discomforts like a runny or stuffy nose to severe problems such as asthma attacks. In fact, dust may even cause asthma to develop in the first place.

  5. Allergies. Dust allergies are fairly common, and they can trigger the above symptoms as well as more alarming issues like skin rashes, dizziness, and abdominal pain. Dust allergy treatment generally involves limiting dust exposure or, if that doesn’t help, allergy shots.

  6. Dust can be a fire hazard. Dust is flammable, especially dust from electronics. Allowing dust to build up makes your home more susceptible to a house fire.

What You Can Do to Manage Dust in Your Home

While completely getting rid of dust is impossible, there are ways to minimize it.

Wiping Dust
  • Use appropriate dusting materials—an old t-shirt will move dust around, not pick it up. Microfiber dusters or damp microfiber cloths are the best choices, but if you don’t have any, moisten whatever you decide to use so the dust will adhere to it.

  • Vacuum, sweep, and mop regularly. Carpets are notorious dust collectors; replace them with hard flooring if you can, and always wet mop if the water won’t damage your floors. Take advantage of throw rugs that can be washed easily and often, and keep mats in front of doors that lead outside.

  • Clutter accumulates dust, so try to limit the number of knickknacks in your home, and make sure things like clothes, books, and shoes get put away before they have time to gather dust.

  • Fabric dust will billow up every time you open your closet door, so store out-of-season clothing in garment bags or plastic bins to keep it from shedding all over the floor. Also consider stashing shoes, purses, and accessories in plastic containers to prevent dust from settling on them.

  • Replace the air filter in your HVAC system as necessary, and think about running air purifiers in oft-used spaces such as bedrooms.

Although it may not be the most fun battle, keeping ever-present dust under control is possible with enough dedication and effort, and the health benefits are certainly worth it. Remember you’re not the only one fighting, and if you’d like some help, consider bringing in a Best Pick housecleaning company.

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Sources: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Lung Association; Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America: New England Chapter; Environmental Working Group; HGTV; Woman’s Day..