Where Does Dust Come From and How to Fight It in Your Home

by Cora Gold | Published: Aug 13, 2020

At some point, you'll walk through your home and notice a fine layer of dust clinging to your shelves, end tables and windowsills. Where does dust come from? How does it get into your house, and how can you eliminate it for good? Read on for answers.

Where does dust come from?

When you think about what's in dust, the first thing that probably comes to mind is dirt. While dust consists of dirt, it's also a combination of hair, old skin cells, bacteria, dust mites, soil particles, pollen, clothing fibers, specks of plastic and pieces of dead bugs.

Where does dust come from? You. Every time you walk into your home, you bring in outside materials and contaminants. They circulate in the air until they finally settle, making that layer of unsightly debris. Even if you clean every day, you will still get dust. However, there are steps you can take to minimize it.

How do I get rid of dust in my home?

Air purifier located in a bedroom.

Dust can stay suspended in the air and when inhaled, can cause side effects like eye irritation, coughing, sneezing and asthma attacks. Unfortunately, you can't hold your vacuum's hose attachment in the air to suck it up. You can invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier, which can remove 99.97% of all particles from the air. It can also eliminate bacteria, which is ideal for fighting Coronavirus, since experts say the virus is airborne and can stay suspended in the air for days. In addition to purchasing a purifier, you can update your cleaning routine to ensure you're not missing any common dust hotspots. 

Common areas missed during dusting 

When you start cleaning, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and forget about certain areas. If you want to remove dust from your home, don't forget about these commonly missed areas. 

The washer and dryer

Your washer and dryer are powerhouses, working day and night to ensure your family has fresh clothes. It's easy for dust, grime and lint to stick to the metal on the outside of both machines. Use a rag and all-purpose cleaner to wipe these down, and break out a scrub brush if necessary.

A hand, wearing disposable gloves, wiping th outside of a washing machine.

The garbage can 

It's easy to neglect your garbage can. However, it's a household item that may require the most cleaning. The outside of the bin can get sticky and wet from throwing away certain foods or items, making it easier for dust to collect on the outside and harden in place. To clean it, take your empty trash can outside and water it down with a hose. Then, use a brush to scrub it with disinfectant. After it dries, it'll look good as new.

The light fixtures

Out of sight, out of mind — right? Nope. While you might not see the dust on top of your light fixtures, it's there. Grab a stepladder and glass cleaner to wipe all of these down. Remember to be gentle as the glass can crack. If your fixtures are made out of metal or wood, you may need to use a different type of cleaner.

Person is cleaning a chandelier using a spray and cleaning cloth.

The refrigerator  

When's the last time you looked behind your refrigerator? How about under and above it? Your refrigerator collects a lot of dust, and clogs can affect how it operates. Clean out all its crevices, and use a flexible brush to clean the back coils.

Bust the dust and breathe easy 

Dust comes from everything you bring into your home, including yourself. While you can't stop these particles from entering the front door, you can remove it from the air and add commonly missed areas to your cleaning routine.

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