Many people ask us, why do we get so much dust, what can I do to keep it down between Sparkle Sisters cleaning visits.
The majority of dust in your average home is made up of dead skin cells, animal fur, clothing fibres and the dust mites that live on them. Short of banning people from your home or coating them in plastic, it is difficult to stop the dust at source but effective cleaning and making some different choices in your home furnishings can help keep dust down though.
Wardrobes and Linen Stores
Anywhere that stores clothes, bedding and towels are a haven for dust, tiny fibers from clothes, towels and bedding are produced every time you grab something from the cupboard and every time you open the door, you whip up an invisible dust storm. You can't prevent clothes from shedding fibers, but you can make cupboards easier to keep clean, which will vastly cut down on dust. Box or bag items on shelves. Clear plastic containers are best—they lock fibers in and dust out and let you see what's inside. When you dust, they're easy to pull off the shelves and wipe clean. As for coats you wear only in winter? They shed fibers year-round; slip garment bags or large garbage bags over them to help contain fibers and keep the clothes themselves from becoming coated with dust. Finally, if you have walk in wardrobes or cupboard, keep the floors clear. If the floor is cluttered, chances are you'll just bypass it while vacuuming, and dust will start to collect. But a wide-open floor adds only a few seconds to the vacuuming chore. And a wire shelf lets you clear all those shoes off the floor without losing storage space.
Change your bedding every week.
Your cozy bed is a major dust distributor, think about it, you spend an average of 8hrs a day in there tossing and turning shedding skin cells as you go. Your bedding collects skin flakes, sheds its own fibers, and sends out a puff of dust every time you roll over. To minimize the fallout, wash sheets and pillowcases weekly. Items that aren't machine washable don't need weekly trips to the dry cleaners—just take blankets and bedspreads outside and shake them. You can smack some of the dust out of pillows, but for a thorough cleaning, wash or dry-clean them.
Clean the air while you clean the house.
All vacuums whip up dust with their "agitator" (the cylindrical brush that sweeps the carpet) or blowing exhaust stream. That dust eventually settles on the surfaces you've just cleaned. There are two ways to tackle this, firstly, invest in a vacuum that has a HEPA filter and change it regularly, these trap the dust within the unit and are more efficient than a regular vacuum at removing dust from the air. Secondly, if you have are working in a room with an extractor fan, a bathroom or kitchen perhaps, then turn in on, this helps create a positive airflow out of the room, dragging some of the airborne dust outside.
Use the right cleaning supplies.
The key is to capture dust, not just spread it around, which is exactly what feather dusters and dry rags will do. Damp rags or disposable cloths that attract and hold dust with an electrostatic charge work much better. Sparkle Sisters use microfibre cloths that are specifically designed to lift dirt and dust whilst being gentle on surfaces. It is key when washing microfibre cloths not to use fabric softener as this reduces their effectiveness.
Give rugs and cushions a beating.
Carpets are a huge dust reservoir, since all its fibers absorb dust like a giant sponge and sends it airborne every time you take a step. A good vacuuming obviously helps but dust gets trapped deep inside the fibres so even a really good vacuum will only ever remove a percentage of the dust. If your vacuum has an adjustable suction setting, turn it up high to pull as much dust through as possible. The best answer is to lose the carpet all together and consider wood or laminate flooring.
If you have rugs, vacuuming at least once week, sometimes more for allergy sufferers, can help, but taking rugs outside for a good beating is an overlooked necessity. Drape them over a fence or clothesline and beat them with a broom or tennis racket. Give your cushions the same treatment. Upholstery fabric not only sheds its own fibers but also absorbs dust that settles on it, so you raise puffs of dust every time you sit down. Beat cushions in the backyard or throw them in the washing machine periodically. If you want to eliminate upholstery dust, leather furniture as opposed to fabric.