Subduing a dust storm

Subduing a dust storm

Subduing a dust storm

Keeping a home dust-free is always a tedious task. But, here are some ideas that can help you keep your home dust-free for a long time, writes A Dyuti.

Whether the kids are coughing or visitors are coming, you’re sure to scurry about, mop and duster in hand, to eliminate all traces of dust from your home. Harbouring mites, pollens, pet dander, mildew and particles from vehicle fumes, dust is the worst problem people can expect to encounter in their homes.

It requires intensive cleaning on a daily basis. But, how to accomplish it effectively without breaking one’s back is the question for which everyone seeks an answer. Let’s try to find some solutions.

Now, what kind of assistants can you recruit for this tidying task? That depends on whether you wish to wipe surfaces clean or brush the dust off them. The former is best performed using damp rags or microfibre or electrostatic cloths while the latter would prefer dusters.

Cleaning assistants

Employing a bit of moisture for wiping ensures you don’t raise a dust storm that only resettles in fresh locations. But, first check whether the material your furniture is made of permits such use sans any harm caused to the surface. Once the rag or electrostatic cloth is covered with dust, wash it and let it dry before you use it again. Or, use another while it dries.

A handheld and cordless vacuum cleaner can help clean tricky areas like bookshelves’ corners and the gaps between cushions and furniture. Synthetic dusters are easy to use and clean. Don’t forget ceiling dusters that can swipe dust and cobwebs off the surface of ceilings and walls.

Windows, window-sills, doors, fan-blades, kitchen countertops and mirrors are other surfaces that demand regular cleaning. Keep electronic devices dust-free using suitable cleaning solutions.

Needless to say, a vacuum cleaner and mop are required to keep the floor clean. Carpets may beautify your floors wonderfully, but remember, a carpet can be  a dust-retainer also. If you’ve still set your heart upon having one, make sure you clean it regularly.

To banish dust collected over time, the time-tested method is to ferry the carpet outside the house, use a carpet rod, rug beater or broom and beat or shake all the accumulated dust away.

Exposure to sunlight eliminates mites. Applying soap-water and brushing the carpet is another option. Today, people prefer more effective, scientific and safe methods like vacuuming. But, it’s more suitable for regular, weekly cleaning and dry-soil removal rather than heavy-duty purging or stain and odour removal.

Regular clearing of the bag’s contents and cleaning of the filters is essential. Also, without periodical vacuuming, dust accumulation reaches the saturation point and will spill onto the floor.

Are you game for throw rugs instead of carpets? Being lightweight and small-sized, they can be carried outside for a good dusting without much effort. Use door-mats at all entryways. Replace them when they refuse to hold any more dust.

Care for wood

Wooden floors are averse to dust and mites and don’t demand strenuous cleaning methods like vacuuming, sweeping or wet washing that’s mandatory with other floors. In fact, wet washing can steal the sheen off a wooden floor.

Choose between a semi-dry mop and a soft broom for regular maintenance depending on the kind of wooden floor you have. For vinyl floors, use a cleaning product with neutral PH value to retain their shine. Any kind of cleaner can be used on stone flooring.

Clean the furniture in the living and dining rooms and the bedroom on a weekly basis. Wood should be polished and leather vacuumed regularly. Wash cushion and pillow covers, window curtains and other furnishings every week, for they are prone to collect dust the most.

Bedding, mattress and pillows should be replaced once they’re saturated with dust, bugs and mites. As far as possible, use natural cleaning products, for they curb air contamination.

But, it’s best to prevent dust accumulation in the first place. But, how? Avoid clutter. Keep doors and windows shut on dry and windy days to prevent dust from infiltrating the house. Pack clothes and objects on shelves in plastic containers.

False ceilings can play a useful role. These ceiling tiles minimise dirt accumulation through their non-porous, non-absorbent, lightweight, waterproof and fungus and termite-resistant nature.

Some mechanical devices can help too. Air coolers filter the air and cool it by circulating humid air and restricting sand and dust particles. Air-conditioners distribute filtered and conditioned air throughout the house. Air purifiers remove dust, allergens, mould, bacteria and viruses from the indoor air. Small-room, large-room and whole-house purifiers are available.

An artificially-ventilated home usually needs a compact plan with sealed windows. But, beware! In such energy-efficient, airtight homes employing air sealing techniques, absence of sufficient ventilation can trap indoor pollutants inside.