Ahh, that constantly reappearing layer of dust on your furniture surfaces, behind your bed, in your kitchen, or on your floor. The complete elimination of this dry powder seems like a neverending struggle — one that swiftly comes back and each time gets more and more on your nerves. Yet, no matter how mundane of a task it is, cleaning it regularly is a must as dust accumulation is more than just an aesthetical issue and can grow into allergies, asthma, or even eczema flare-ups.
To make the cleaning process easier, however, you need to essentially know where does dust come from and what are the greatest contributors to dust in your home.
What Causes Dust?
There are three main categories of dust: household, atmospheric, and industrial dust.
Industrial dust comes from the processing of materials in the workplace from sawing, cutting, grinding, or drilling. The main concern from this type of dust is not the health impacts but rather the fact that it can be easily combustible. Simply put, larger amounts can trigger a fire or even explosion, endangering workers or whole communities.
Atmospheric or outdoor dust is made of tiny particles such as pollen or spores that can be swirled into our homes through an air storm. These can travel long distances too, as according to research done by the University of Arizona, dust particles from the Sahara Desert in Africa can reach the United States! Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
Do note, though, that these are microscopic particles that can be easily lifted in the air, leaving the larger ones to settle down on the ground.
According to Cambridge Dictionary, household dust represents dry dirt in the form of a powder that covers surfaces inside a building, or very small dry pieces of soil, sand, or other substances. More than just dry dirt, dust is a mixture of bacteria, dead skin cells, clothing fibers, bits and pieces of dead bugs, feces from dust mites, and everything in between.
Why Is My Room So Dusty?
There isn’t a short answer to the question of why does my room get so dusty as there are numerous factors that leave you not only with an aesthetic problem but irritating allergy flare-ups as well — from your skin cells to clothes and bedroom appliances — we’ll take everything into consideration below.
The fact that we replace all our skin every 27 days is rather mundane, but how often do you hear that we lose approximately 500 million cells every day in the process? These are the source of dandruff and are often referred to as the biggest contributor to household dust.
Pet Dander & Hair
Your pet sheds tiny, even microscopic, skin flakes and fur on a daily basis. Known as pet dander, this combination can even become airborne and disperse throughout your ventilation system. Once settled down, it becomes dust.
To minimize the dust and avoid allergic reactions, keep the bedroom door closed for your furry friend to prevent pet dander accumulation where you sleep. Furthermore, brush your pet regularly to remove loose hair, but make sure to do so in a place where you can quickly vacuum or throw the dander out.
Clothes or Bedding
The greatest source of dust in your room is your clothes or bedding. This is because these are usually made of woven fabrics that use fibers such as cotton, bamboo, wool, or polyester, and, when slight friction is added such as when we make our beds, fold, or even dress and undress our clothes — these fabrics experience wear and tear and begin to shed their fibers. As these tiny fibers break off of your clothes or bedding they turn into dust that swiftly accumulates in your room.
Insects & Their Feces
The body parts or feces of cockroaches are yet another dust component found in households. The worst part about these notorious hitchhikers is that you can bring them from outside on your clothes, suitcases, bags, or backpacks, or they simply can crawl inside through either crack in the building or plumbing.
Once having entered your home, they reside in your kitchen and feast on breadcrumbs and water — eventually spreading across your entire home and leaving their feces. When their droppings turn into dust, they can cause mild to severe allergy flare-ups.
Carpets, Pillows, Fabric
Not only do these things shed fibers, but they also serve as a home for these pesky, microscopic creatures — dust mites — that thrive in moisture and leave off of your dead skin cells. Even though these aren’t posing any perilous threat to our health, their feces might consist of allergens and bacteria that can either irritate our skin or cause allergy flare-ups. This is why you need to regularly vacuum your carpets and wash your beddings as these pesky creatures can reproduce quite quickly.
The main purpose of your air conditioner filter is to remove debris and prevent any system damage. However, over time the capacity for this filter to collect more dust lowers as it becomes dirtier and eventually sends it back through your air conditioning vents to all of the rooms in your home. We advise you to regularly clean or replace them, to prevent dust from spreading throughout your home.
The most common indoor sources of dust are pet dander, dandruff, dead skin cells, hair, as well as dust mite feces. On the other hand, dust brought from outside consists of sand, dirt, pollution, or pollen. This means that, along with your everyday inside sources, there is an invisible whirlwind of dust coming through your windows every time you open for fresh air to enter your house. This can worsen if you live near a construction zone or other industrialized areas.
The best way to minimize this is by using an air purifier as it can trap dust while still airborne, not giving it the chance for it to settle on your floor.
If you enjoy the occasional breakfast in bed – you know how easy it is to spill a few bread crumbs. Even though this won’t be a problem if you vacuum instantly, the crumbs can easily become a component of your household dust when not cleaned in a timely manner.
What Causes Excessive Dust in a House?
The reasons behind excessive dust in your home might range from outdoor pollution to improper dusting.
You Live In a Polluted Area
If you live in an area where there are high concentrations of PM2.5 particles from factories, wildfires, pollen, or car exhaust in your air — chances are that you need help with removing those dust particles from the air. The best way to do so is by implementing an air purifier as it can basically clean your air and get rid of these pollutants.
The rule of thumb when dusting is to use a slightly wet cloth as it can eliminate almost all dust in your home. This means that you should avoid using feather dusters as they disperse the dust to settle on other parts of your home. However, make sure not to go overboard on the water as you don’t want your cloth to leave droplets of water on surfaces while cleaning.
The more garments clusters in your closet, the bigger the chances of your clothes shedding fibers. So, to avoid dust storms coming from your closet, always keep hangers evenly spaced with room between clothes or fold your garments neatly.
Now that you know the answer to how does dust form, you might as well use the knowledge to avoid excessive dust in your home. Do note, though, that dust can never be completely eliminated as it will continuously reappear in places that bother you most. However, you can reduce the amount of dust by keeping your windows closed, storing your clothes neatly, avoiding eating in your bed, or simply using an air purifier — all of which can keep your home dust-free for a longer period of time.