Household Dust

Household Dust -- What It is, Where It Comes From, and What to Do About It

Kathryn Weber BellaOnline's Cleaning Editor

Dust happens. It’s a universal truth that as soon as you dust your furniture, more dust will collect. But, that doesn’t mean that the battle has to end there. Dust can be – and should be – fought. Why? Dust creates lots of problems, from eye irritation to lingering colds and allergies to that annoying itchy or runny nose. More importantly, it makes a house dirty and that attracts more dust. Not only that, but as our homes become tighter – and more heavily electronic – the dust problem is an increasing one.

Electronics, like those mammoth TV’s, cable boxes, and players, not to mention, attract and trap dust. Then, once it’s attracted, all that great insulation and tight-fitting windows keeps it trapped in the house until you get rid of it. And even if you are the most meticulous house keeper, dust will always come back to bother you.

Some rooms have more dust than others too. The bedroom, with all its fabric in the mattress, pillows, bedding, curtains, blinds, and carpeting is one giant dust magnet, making dusting in the bedroom especially important. Have you ever noticed that when you go to bed, your nose suddenly gets stuffy and you reach for the breathing strips, antihistamine, or chest rub? A lot of people have this same “problem.” But the problem probably isn’t your sinuses, it’s dust.

The living room is also another dust magnifier with all the dust-magnet electronics and upholstered furniture. Lastly on the dust attraction list are the kitchen (top of the fridge scare you?) and the laundry room (just look behind that dryer), making these two more spots that need more frequent dusting. Fortunately, you can arm yourself with some dust-fighting tools and information.

What is dust made up of? Dust is made up of a variety of things from blowing dirt, bacteria, pollen, pollutants, molds, animal dander, hair, decomposing insects, fibers, dryer lint, insulation, dust mites and their excrement, and mostly, skin flakes that humans shed.

Where does dust come from? It comes from a variety of sources including plants, roads, wind, clothes dryers, electronics, attics, basements, air conditioning and heating ducts and vents, pets, pollen, insects, carpeting, knick knacks. If you live in the south, coastal states, desert, or Southwest, you have more than your fair share of dust due to excess pollen, windy, and dry conditions. But not matter where you live, dust will be a problem and it needs to be addressed.

Dust collection areas As mentioned earlier, some places are dustier than others. When you are dusting make sure to concentrate on the following areas:

Declare War on Dust


A lot of the struggle of keeping a clean house is knowing what to clean when. Stay on track all year long with the Everydayclean Calendar. This is a 12-month at a glance checklist that helps you keep on top of your house instead of your house being on top of you.