13 Ways to Keep Dust Out of Your Home (With Cleaning Tips)

Photo by YoonJae Baik on Unsplash

Dust isn’t only unappealing from an aesthetics standpoint. The small floating particles can lead to skin, throat, and eye irritation as well. Those who are allergic to dust often have even more severe reactions, such as dermatitis and wheezing. How can you keep the dust away?

Here are over a dozen ways to minimize dust in your home:

  • Clean your home, including the air ducts and filters
  • Remove your shoes before you come into the house
  • Get a welcome mat
  • Use an air purifier
  • Shampoo your carpets
  • Or get rid of carpeting altogether
  • Organize your closets
  • Run a humidifier
  • Limit how often your windows are open
  • Cut down on textiles
  • Change bedding every week
  • Groom your pets outdoors
  • Keep a house cleaning schedule

Removing dust from your home doesn’t have to be difficult and intensive, as you’re about to see. Keep reading for lots of actionable tips and information on the above recommendations.

13 Ways to Enjoy a More Dust-Free Home

Clean Your Home, Including the Air Ducts and Filters

The first thing you should do to get rid of dust in your house is to clean it. A surface cleaning won’t do here. We’re talking about a deep-level clean like your grandma’s spring cleaning.

Here’s what we suggest you do:

  • Change out furnace filters: During the active season of warming your home, you should switch out the current filters in your furnace for fresh ones. This will prevent the air that blows out of your vents from being stale and dusty.
  • Clean your plants: If you have live houseplants, don’t forget to dust them off from time to time. The larger the plant’s leaves, the more dust they can accumulate.
  • Vacuum: If you have pets, it doesn’t hurt to vacuum your home daily or every other day. Otherwise, you can get away with vacuuming weekly. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will remove dust much more efficiently than one without such a filter. When you’re done with the floors, you should use the vacuum to tidy upholstery and even curtains.
  • Dust the blinds: Blinds can harbor a lot of dust between the slats. This is easy to miss if your blinds are always closed. Open the blinds and clean each slat one by one until they’re spotless.
PIcture of a window with blinds and a houseplant in front of it, both potential hiding places for dust.
Houseplants and window blinds can both contribute to dust in your home. Photo by Darren Richardson on Unsplash

Remove Your Shoes Before You Come Into The House

Now that your house is cleaner, it will be easier to keep it that way going forward. According to a 2009 ScienceDaily report that cites data from the American Chemical Society, although dust settles indoors, most of it comes from outdoors.

Thus, whenever you get home from a day of work, school, sports, shopping, or whatever it is you like to do, you need to limit how much dust you bring in. One of the best ways to do that is by taking off your shoes and leaving them on the porch. You can then step outside and wipe down each shoe so it doesn’t carry in nearly as much dust. 

You might be worried about your coat or scarf bringing in dust, but this doesn’t happen at nearly the same rate as shoes and other footwear. That said, if you’re still concerned, you can always install a coat hook right in your entryway. This way, the dust won’t be able to go far.

Get a Welcome Mat

We just talked about taking your shoes off on the front porch. Yet you can’t always help what other people outside of your family, such as visiting friends or even technicians like the plumber or the TV repairperson, do.

Photo of a person standing in front of a welcome mat to wipe the dust off their shoes
Make your entry more inviting and keep your house cleaner at the same time with a welcome mat. Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

A bristly welcome mat is for more than decoration; it’s intended for users to wipe their feet on before entering the house. If you’ve only ever used a welcome mat when your feet are wet or muddy, start doing it every time you take your shoes off. You’ll have less dust and dirt to clean from your shoes.

Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers can reduce the amount of pollen, smoke, and dust in the air. For someone with a pollen or dust allergy, an air purifier is a must. There are a lot of air purifier types to choose from, so here’s a quick breakdown.

  • UVGI filters: UVGI stands for ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, which is supposed to be able to rid the air of fungal, bacterial, and viral spores through UV. Their effectiveness varies depending on the bacteria or fungus species in question.
  • Electronic air purifiers: Ionizers and precipitators in an electronic air purifier create a charge that makes air particles cleaner. 
  • Photocatalytic oxidation: A photocatalytic oxidation air purifier includes a photocatalyst that reacts to ultraviolet radiation. The reaction creates hydroxyl radicals that dissolve pollutants. However, sometimes this can also produce carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, or formaldehyde, so photocatalytic oxidation purifiers are not a common sight in households.
  • Activated carbon filters: Activated carbon filters can capture some air particles, but not nitrogen oxide, ammonia, or formaldehyde. If the carbon filter includes a pleated filter as well, then it might be more effective.
  • Mechanical filters: Last but certainly not least, mechanical air filters are exclusively pleated with fibers throughout. One example of a mechanical filter is a HEPA filter, which has a delicate mesh that’s capable of collecting particles with a diameter of 0.3 micrometers.

Most air purifiers use filters. To keep your purifier running its best, you need to replace the filter often, at least every six months but sometimes even more frequently. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, but also take into account conditions that might make more frequent changes worthwhile.

Shampoo Your Carpets

Carpets are a dust trap, be that a throw rug on the living room floor or your carpeted upstairs bedroom. To remove dust from your carpeting, you can shampoo it or get it steam-cleaned. You can DIY or have it done by professionals, but either way, you have to allow time for the carpet to dry. Apartment Therapy recommends cleaning carpets every 12 to 18 months.

These treatments, while necessary, do wear down the carpet fibers faster, so you’ll need to replace your carpeting before you know it.

Or Get Rid of Carpeting Altogether

That’s why you might be better off with no carpeting in your house at all. Since carpeting will always attract dust, you’ll be in an endless cycle of paying to shampoo your carpet and then buying new carpeting since your rugs look worn down.

For all the money you’ve spent to keep your carpets tidy, you would have been better off using those funds to install hardwood or another hard flooring. Granted, hard floors aren’t impervious to dust. You’ll still have to mop your floors about once a week to clean surface crumbs, dirt, and dust. Yet dust doesn’t hide in hardwood like it does carpeting.

Once you have hardwood flooring, you won’t have to replace it nearly as often. Every couple of years, it’s a good idea to recoat your hardwood floor so it lasts even longer.

In-progess photos of new hard flooring–part of our first net-zero renovation

Organize Your Closets

How often do you really go through your closet, removing what’s in there and cleaning what’s underneath? Maybe once a year for spring cleaning, right? In the meantime, that’s 11 months for dust to accumulate between your garments, underneath shelves, and in drawers.

If you have out-of-season shoes in your closet, the potential for dust to develop is even higher. You’ll need to increase your closet cleaning pace to once every few months instead of once annually.

While you’re in there cleaning up, think about what you no longer wear or use. Rather than put it back in the closet hoping your old clothing will come back into style someday, consider donating what you don’t wear. You’ll help someone else and that will be more space in your closet so you can clean it more easily.

If you do want to keep your clothes, then group off-season clothing together and buy vacuum-seal or garment bags, keeping the clothes in there until you need them.

Run a Humidifier

Does the air in your home always feel a little dry? You can tell if you have dry air in a myriad of ways. If your lips often feel chapped, that’s one such sign. So too is not being able to breathe deeply and fully.

Look around your house, as it will also indicate if the conditions are too dry. The paint on the walls can begin to crack, wooden structures can warp, and your home will always be full of static electricity, a.k.a. static cling.

Static cling makes your sweaters stick to your skin and your hair look crazy, but that’s not all. The static electricity also pulls in dust and makes it stick. Removing dust becomes much harder to do.

If you don’t already own a humidifier, it’s not a bad idea to buy one and run it until the humidity in your home is around 40 percent relative humidity, even 50 percent. The static cling in your home will lessen so conditions will be less dusty. And you’ll breathe easier, too.

Limit How Often Your Windows Are Open

We already established that most dust comes from the outdoors, not indoors. Anytime you open your windows, then, you’re inviting stray dust to blow in and settle on household surfaces.

If you want to enjoy the breeze on a lovely spring day, then take some time to sit outside. You’ll feel more of the air around you than you would by being indoors with the window open anyway. If you must open the windows, try not to do it for long. Avoid opening windows on a windy day too, as more dust, pollutants and pollen can come in.

Cut Down on Textiles

Textiles are fabrics and fibers such as yarn, wool, velvet, twill, satin, mohair, corduroy, and cotton. If you look around any room in your home, you can probably count half a dozen textiles if not more, right?

This isn’t good for the air quality of your home since dust loves textiles. Thus, the fewer textiles in your home, the better. We talked about getting rid of carpets before, but you can do a lot more.

For example, instead of floor-grazing curtains, try roller shades. These window treatments add a sleek look to your living room or sitting room and are far less dusty. Limit how many throw pillows decorate your sofas, too.

Change Bedding Every Week

Photo of a slept-in bed, another potential source of dust.
You can’t get away without some textiles on the bed. But the more often you launder your sheets, the better. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Your bedding is made of textiles as well, but it’s not so optional. You need sheets and blankets to sleep, so don’t get rid of them, but launder them more often. You need to wash your bedding every seven days on the dot.

Not only do the bedding fibers harbor dust, but your sheets are also hiding layers of your dead skin that you shed when you doze. That should probably be enough to inspire you to wash your sheets!

Your blankets don’t need as frequent washing. You can leave these on the bed for a month before sending them through a spin cycle. That also goes for cold-weather comforters. If your bed has mattress pads, please don’t forget to take these off the bed every month and wash them as well.

Groom Your Pets Outdoors

You love your pets and view them as another member of the family. Yet pets shed quite a lot, some breeds more than others. Dust accumulates from both shed fur and pet dander.

Pet dander, by the way, is dead skin that your cat or dog releases as it goes about its life, just like your own dead skin cells in your sheets. Dander from pets and humans alike will increase the dust in your home.

You can brush and bathe your pet indoors and then immediately clean up the aftermath, but you could miss spots. If you want to be especially conscientious of the amount of dust in your home, then start bathing and grooming your pets outside.

Photo of a dog on a blanket. Pets can be a source of dust and dander.
Your best friend is worth a little dander, But you can keep it to a minimum with some planning. Photo by Ruby Schmank on Unsplash

Keep a Housecleaning Schedule

You just put a lot of time, effort, and work into tidying your home so it’s dust-free. If you don’t want to turn around and have to do it all over again in six months, then create a cleaning schedule you can abide by now. Then stick to it at least every week.

Conclusion

If your home is dusty, then the air quality is poorer. If you have allergy sufferers in the home, their symptoms will be more severe. Even those without allergies might have dry skin as well as throat and eye irritation from all the dust.

There are many ways dust can build up in your home. We hope this article gave you some tools to be proactive about cleaning and solve the problem. Best of luck!

Erin Shine

Erin Shine

Founder | Attainable Home

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Topics