No matter how much you like rabbits, dust bunnies are something you never want in your home. Dust bunnies are far from cute and can be quite a health hazard. Simply put, dust bunnies are clumps of dust, lint, hair etc that are created when a place is not properly cleaned. They are usually found under furniture, under carpets and in corners behind furniture. You can also find them in between the pleats of curtains that have not been opened in a while, inside mattresses and pillows and between the pleats of lampshades.
The battle against dust bunnies needs to be fought daily to keep them out of the house. For people with dust allergies, dust bunnies are a nightmare that can be a serious risk to their health. Dust bunnies also encourage the growth of dust mites which can cause additional respiratory infections. Another way dust bunnies cause harm is by blocking air vents and thus restricting air flow inside the house. In cases where they contain a conductive material, dust bunnies can also cause short circuits. It is impossible to completely get rid of dust but here are a few tips to fight dust in your house.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to having to fight dust. All horizontal spaces, especially those with nooks and crevices are magnets for dust. As far as possible keep your knick-knacks and curios in glass cabinets where they can attract less dust. If you have a choice between drapes and blinds, pick the latter as these are easier to clean and attract less dust. Valences are avoidable especially if you have an allergy to dust. Closets are full of fiber particles and thus a dust haven. Put hats, coats etc that you do not use on a regular basis into a box or a bag. Also as far as possible keep the closet floors empty so that they can be easily vacuumed.
This beautiful, clean space is courtesy of Atelier 6 Arquitetura based in Salvador.
Dusting the house daily is essential if you want to keep your home dust free. Avoid using dry rags and feather dusters to dust our home. Instead of collecting dust, these only spread it around further. Instead, use a damp rag that will attract and hold dust. Also, wear a mask while dusting. Microfiber products are also good dusters as these hold together dust particles with the electrostatic charge in them. Microfiber dusters are also budget friendly as they can easily be washed and reused as long as fabric softeners are not used to wash them. When dusting the house, move from the top of the room towards the bottom and end by sweeping or vacuuming the floor. To fight dust entering your home, close doors and windows on windy days. Foot mats at the entrance of the house also help keep dust outside your house.
A strong vacuum cleaner is the best tool to fight against dust bunnies. Entrances and high traffic areas must be vacuumed at least twice a week. While vacuuming an area apart from carpet areas, turn off the agitator brush so that you’re not blowing dust into the air and make repeated slow passes over an area. Use the vacuum cleaner narrow nozzles to vacuum corners and small crevices. The vacuum cleaner itself must also be well maintained in order to function effectively. Empty the canister regularly and change the bags and belts when needed. Instead of cheap paper bags that leak dust back into the air, buy high-quality vacuum bags. Bagless vacuum filters should be replaced once every three months.
Dust bunnies are formed when loose hairs, dust, mud etc are bound together by static. To get rid of dust bunnies, therefore, you must get rid of static. To reduce static inside a house, increase the humidity. Maintaining the humidity within the house between 40-50% reduces static in the air. Humidity also weighs down the dust particles making them easier to remove. On the other hand, a high level of humidity accelerates the growth of dust mites as they depend on moisture in the air to hydrate themselves. Get yourself a hydrometer to monitor the indoor humidity levels. To prevent the growth of mold, clean a humidifier once a week with a weak bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach in a gallon of water.
Carpets and cushions absorb dust easily and vacuuming isn’t enough to keep dust at bay. Blankets, bedspread, and pillows also similarly attract and absorb dust. The best way to eliminate dust is to air these products out regularly. Drape blankets and carpets over a fence or clothesline and beat the dust out of them. Cushions and pillows can be given a similar treatment. Leaving carpets and blankets in the sun for a few hours can also kill the dust mites living in them. Every few months, mattresses should also be taken outside and sun dried.
One of the many benefits of indoor plants is that they help reduce dust. According to one study, plants can help reduce indoor dust levels by up to 20%. They also help purify air and stabilize humidity. Some plants that are low maintenance and effective dust cleaners are rubber plants, ivy and peace lilies. The only attention these plants need is to be watered regularly. Each leaf attracts dust that sticks to its surface. To prevent a dust buildup on the leaves, wipe them down with a damp cloth or towel.
In addition to these steps, you should also change soft furnishing covers and bed linen once a week to keep dust at bay. Along with collecting dust within its fibers, bed linen also collects dead skin flakes and sheds its own fiber. Box springs and mattresses can be encased in zippered dust covers that can be removed and washed once in a while. Wash bed linen in hot water to kill dust mites.
For further dust-busting ideas, read Troubled with Dust Infestation? These Tips Will Help!