Happy spring, friends! It’s spring cleaning time and… As you wipe all that dust off your curtains, coffee table, window sill, blinds, lamp shade, picture frames, etc. etc. etc. etc… You’re probably wondering, “Where in the HECK did all this dust come from?!” Well we at World Class Cleaning specialize not only in dust removal but also in telling you where it comes from in the first place AND how to prevent its accumulation! Onward, to education!
Paloma I. Beamer, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, and she partnered with NPR to do a neat article on the whole aspect of health and its potential health implications. She says that there are only two places dust can come from: outdoors and indoors. Well that makes perfect sense, but let’s see what the article has to say that’s a little more in-depth:
“We are an important part of the process of getting the outdoor stuff indoors. We bring it with us when we enter a house — through ‘soil particles that come in on your shoes,’ says Beamer, or tiny particles suspended in the air when we open the door and walk in.
Then there’s the indoor component of dust. ‘Like pieces of your carpet fiber or your furniture, your bedding, or anything like that that starts decaying,’ she says.
Then there are organic contributors. ‘Skin flakes and the dander off your pets, and other insects or bugs that might be in the home.'”
Ok, so if you Google search “dust dead skin” right now you’ll most likely find a LOT of articles saying that around 70-80% of dust is comprised of YOUR dead skin! Well, fortunately, we have Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings’ opinion on the matter:
“Every hour, you lose over half a million dead skin cells. In fact, eight hundred of the little guys just flaked off while were reading this sentence.
So it seems plausible, right, the common claim that as much as 80 percent of household dust is human skin? There is organic material in dust—all that discarded “you” has to go someplace—but it turns out that there’s so much tiny stuff floating around your room (about 10 million particles in every cubic meter of household air!) that skin isn’t even a drop in the bucket. In 2009, Paloma Beamer of the University of Arizona catalogued household dust for the journal Environmental Science and Technology, and found that two-thirds of it blows in from outdoors: dirt tracked in on floors, as well as particulate matter from the air. The other third is mostly carpet fiber. Not much skin.”
Two things: 1) Recognize that name,Paloma Beamer, again?! Two external sources citing her work, we think it’s safe to assume that she is an authority on the matter. 2) Ok, we now know that dust isn’t 80% comprised of our dead skin, it’s mostly dirt and debris from the outdoors — but how do we keep it outside and off of our furniture?
Here’s the top THREE things you can do to prevent dust accumulation:
- Wipe off your feet (or your pets’ paws) before entering your home!
This one is a bit of a no-brainer but also very easy to forget. Unless you’re in the habit of wiping off the bottoms of your shoes or your pets’ paws before entering a home, this is likely a large source of dust particles.
- Replace your air filters every 1-3 months
We know, we know — NOBODY changes their HVAC filters that often but that is what is recommended! Try to get pleated air filters — they’re more expensive than the cheap $2 filters but they trap more dust and debris AND last longer.
- Vacuum and sweep often
Also a no-brainer but in terms of indoor contributors to your dust situation, carpets and cushions are a very large contributor. Not only their fibers contributing to your dusty home, but they also act as a giant sponge for a good amount of that dust and debris that ends up coming in your home from the outdoors. Think, every time you step on your carpet or plop down onto your couch, you’re launching tiny fibers and dust all around the room.With all this being said, if you’d like a hand with dust removal, please reach out to us! For a quote, please call us at (804) 201-4010