Keeping dust under control isn’t just an aesthetic thing; it can also be an allergy thing. Here are some tips from RD and Garden and Hearth to keep the mites under control.
10. Skip the heavy drapes. Curtains and heavy drapery capture dust. Consider replacing them with blinds or shutters, which are easily cleaned.
9. Mind your bed. Rotate your bed and wash bedding (in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) weekly. You might also want to consider adding washable allergen covers to your box spring and mattress.
8. Replace your furnace filter. Forced air heating systems are notorious for blowing around dust. A marked improvement in dust control may be achieved by installing a pleated fabric or paper filter, which carry an electrostatic charge that captures and attracts dust. Manufacturers often recommend that filters–of any kind–be changed every three months and checked for dirt and congestion monthly, especially if you share your home with animals.
7. Mind your closets. Closets are harbingers of all things dusty. Consider storing items in plastic containers or bags and keep the floor clutter-free so vacuuming it isn’t such a pain. Winter coats, which shed fibers, should be kept in–preferably–cloth bags to keep the dust out and under control, but to let the coat itself breathe.
6. Beat it, baby. Beat or shake out your area rugs, pillows and cushions regularly. I’ve heard tumbling pillows and the like in a hot drier also controls dust mites. It also fluffs them up quite nicely.
5. Pass on the upholstered furniture. Upholstered cloth furniture pieces are havens for dust loving critters, which is why wood, leather or vinyl furniture is the better choice. All three are easy to wipe down.
4. Vacuum the air. Next time you’re in the market for a vacuum, look for one with a HEPA filter. Until then, however, RD suggests using the filter of your heating/cooling system to filter out some of the dust in your home when you clean. ‘Just switch your thermostat to "fan on." This turns on the blower inside your furnace and filters the air even while the system isn’t heating or cooling. Leave the blower on for about 15 minutes after you’re done cleaning. But don’t forget to switch back to "auto." Most blowers aren’t designed to run constantly.’
3. It's not all about the suck. Vacuums with good suction don’t do a good job if they don’t have a powerful agitator/beater bar, which is best on carpeting. For delicate area rugs and on hardwood and vinyl floors, DO NOT use the agitator, which can do more harm than good. For these floors, use hand tools with soft brushes or if you have a vacuum which allows you to turn off the beater bar, do so.
2. Grab the dust. Feather dusters and yarn or string mops just push the dust around and don’t capture it. Swiffers and Grab-it cloths are probably your best bet. For those concerned with waste, a slightly dampened cloth (with water or furniture cleaner) or micro-fiber cloth is a good alternative for furniture. For floors, my favorite, is the Libman micro-fiber mop.
And the #1 way to dust proof your house.....
Get rid of your wall to wall carpeting. Ripping out and replacing carpeting isn’t always practical, but it might be something to strive for. And until we can all be carpet free, we still have #’s 3 and 4 on this list. That’s something.