Attack Of The Killer Dust Bunnies!
What is dust and why you should care.
Ah, dust bunnies. The pet no one brags about. They sound cute, but no one’s proudly posting photos of the dust bunny colony that’s moved in under their bed, nestled up with some rogue socks and that backpack you haven’t used in a year. At least they don’t eat your garden.
Jokes aside, dust is actually a cocktail of some really icky stuff and it’s not healthy to be constantly inhaling the stuff, whether you notice you’re doing it or not. In this article, we’ll explore:
- What is dust?
- Where is dust?
- Why should I care about dust?
- And what you can do about it
What is dust anyway?
Dust is a vague term when you think about it. And everyone’s version of dust is unique since all households are made up of different types of people and pets. Generally, dust is comprised of itty bitty particles that come into your home from outside (dirt, soot, pollen, etc.), human skin cells, pet dander and hair, dust mites, decomposed bugs, lint, tiny pieces of food and flecks of matter produced by smoking or cooking. Yum!
Where is dust?
Hint: Dust is everywhere. Run your finger along almost any surface and you’ll be left with some sort of residue. We dare you to try the top of your refrigerator or the back of your toilet. Dust accumulates on most surfaces, especially those that don’t get used or moved around too often. Dust bunnies are clumps of dust and hair that usually gather beneath furniture or cluster in those corners that get glossed over or ignored during cleaning sessions. (There’s nothing remotely “bunny-like” about them.)
Dust is also in the air! This is especially noticeable near open windows or doors, where it tends to get blown around. Just walking around can kick up dust from the floor into the air. When you plop down hard onto the sofa, a subtle plume of dust is launched airborne. You may have noticed dust bits floating around in that sunray hitting beaming through your window. Those tiny particles may have a whimsical, fairy-like aesthetic, but don’t be fooled. They end up in your eyes, nose, and lungs.
Other than dust being kinda gross, why should I care?
You are nonconsensually breathing all those tiny particles in both day and night. Besides being just plain gross (skin cells and dander, remember?), lots of dust bits contain common allergens that can make you sick. We’re all so concerned about the air quality outside, but we forget to be worried about our indoor air quality that we’re breathing constantly. The more dust in your home, the worse your home air quality may be. Millions of people are allergic to dust to some degree, symptoms which manifest themselves in the form of itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, or constantly feeling asthmatic.
So what do I do about it?
- Getting rid of dust is relatively simple if you remember to keep on top of it. Regular dusting (shoot for once a week) with Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters, which trap and lock up to 3x more* dust and allergens than a feather duster, is a great start to dust mitigation. Bonus: Once you’re done dusting, toss the dirtied duster in the trash.
If you prefer to use a reusable cloth to dust, try lightly spraying down the dusty surface with some water first so that the dust doesn’t get sent flying into the air when you try to wipe it.
- Work top-down. Start at your highest surfaces and work your way down, so you’re not knocking dust from your bookshelves onto your freshly cleaned floors (because gravity). Speaking of which...
- Don’t neglect your floors. Regularly vacuuming your floors will drastically cut down on dust. Carpet and rugs cling onto dust particles, so the more vacuuming you do, the better (especially if you’ve got pets). For floors other than carpets or rugs, consider using Swiffer Sweeper with the dry cloths to get into those hard to reach spots and trap dust. If you really can’t stand vacuuming, consider splurging on a robot vacuum (it never complains!).
- Dust collects… everywhere. Ceiling fans, baseboards, blinds, books, picture frames, electronics, light fixtures. They all need some dusting love every once and awhile. And don’t forget your plants! Dust can collect on the leaves and block sunlight. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe them down so they can soak up all the sun and keep growing.
Even if you can’t see the dust, trust us: it’s there. And it will accumulate quickly before you know it. That dust multiplies like bunnies, amiright. (Har, har!) The more you remember to casually dust, the less of a massive chore it will be. Once you’ve got a ¼ inch of the stuff on every surface, the more overwhelming the task. So, friends, we encourage you to dust early and often!