Over the course of a year, home experts estimate that an average of 50 pounds of dust makes its way into a house. Where does all of this come from? A portion blows in from the outdoors; carpets or doormats placed both outside doors and just inside the threshold can help cut down on dust being brought indoors.
Dust can also pass through minute crevices in door and window frames. Sealing up these cracks can not only eliminate dust from making its way inside but also help homeowners save on heating and cooling costs annually.
The remainder of the dust originates from objects inside the home. Clutter is a big culprit; by reducing the amount of clutter inside the home, the less dust you'll need to remove.
To clean surfaces inside the home effectively, work from the top of a room down to the floor. Dust shelves and furniture surfaces first before cleaning the floor.
Essential Tools for Dusting
Chicken-feather dusters and ostrich-feather dusters can help reach dust in obscure corners of a room or behind furniture. Ostrich-feather dusters are great for dusting, since they hold dust, rather than push it around. A lamb's wool duster can be used to dust blinds, ceilings and lighting fixtures inside a home. The natural oils found in the lamb's wool meld naturally with static cling to pick up and hold on to dust.
A soft brush, such as a paintbrush, can be used to remove dust from fabric lampshades.
When cleaning a room, vacuum first before sweeping up any dust. While push brooms may seem to be doing the job, they only stir up dust so that the dust transplants itself to another surface. The brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner can be used to clean curtains, upholstery and other soft surfaces.
Electronic appliances, such as televisions, video equipment and computers, are notorious for attacting dust. To keep dust to a minimum around these appliances, wipe down the surfaces with a slightly damp cloth and dry with a clean cloth.
When selecting a dust cloth for everyday use, look for one made of flannel or cotton. For glossy surfaces, such as piano keys, a drop of denatured alcohol applied to a cloth works well. For an extra dose of cleaning, try dampening your dust cloth with a mixture of two tablespoons detergent, one tablespoon vinegar, one tablespoon baking soda and a quart of warm water.
Just like other surfaces inside the home, houseplants can attract a surprising amount of dust. As dust builds up on houseplants, they aren't able to efficiently produce their own food, take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in the home. For plants with sensitive leaves, mist the foliage lightly using a handheld spray bottle. Don't ignore the undersides of the leaves, too. For plants with textured foliage, such as African violets, gently brush away dust using a soft brush, such as a fine make-up brush. For plants with large or wide, smooth foliage, wipe away dust using a soft, slightly dampened cloth. Be sure to dry the leaves after cleaning, since moisture on the foliage can trap more dust on the surface than dry leaves.
Occasionally, plants may need a more intense cleaning. To remove large quantities of dust, place the plants in a sink and apply a gentle stream of water over the plants using the sprayer attachment on the sink. With a damp cotton cloth, wipe off the foliage of the moistened plants to remove dust deposits. In warmer weather, take the plants outside and use a garden hose to deliver a gentle stream of water for cleaning.
When dusting plants, take the time to look at the plants for insect infestations and to remove dead leaves. For insect maladies, use an insecticidal soap (follow the instructions on the package carefully). Some housekeepers use a handheld vacuum cleaner to pull off dust from sturdy houseplants, such as scented geraniums. Regardless of which method of dusting you choose, always remember to treat your houseplants with care.
Source: Michael Vyskocil