If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies, dust is not just the aesthetic annoyance it is to most of us. Polishing your wooden furniture and appliances isn't enough. Dust is made up of tiny particles of a variety of matter, including pet dander, mold, dirt particles and dust mites. These dust mites collectively hide in carpeting, draperies, upholstered furniture and bedding, so even when we think we have a sparkling, clean room, those dust mites are waiting to silently attack allergy sufferers. If you are one of the 50 million affected by these allergens, here are a few tips to help find relief.
The best defense is a good offense
Start by removing as many dust attractors as possible.
Carpeting is probably the biggest offender as far as a dust collection is concerned. Replace carpeting with a hard floor surface like ceramic tile, linoleum or hardwood floors.
Replace curtains with blinds. Wood and vinyl blinds shade the room and afford privacy. They come in a variety of decorative designs, colors and materials.
Place zippered allergen covers over your box spring and mattress. Use only washable bedding. Forego the decorative pillows. Wash sheets, blankets and clothing in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower will not kill dust mites.
Replace upholstered furniture. Choose wooden furniture that is easy to wipe down and will withstand frequent cleanings.
If possible, store clothing in another room. If you can't, consider storing it in sealed plastic bags.
Vacuum frequently with a strong vacuum equipped with a filter. Wipe down all surfaces frequently including walls, sills, door casings and floors.
Use an electrostatic or HEPA filter in the room. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, these types of filters can remove many allergens from the air.
The easiest way to keep up with a dust free room is to keep clutter to a minimum. The fewer things you have in the room to collect dust, the less you will need to dust.
I've had to abandon my ideal vision of spotless floors and sparkling countertops to follow the great advice of many: "Don't sweat the dust bunnies."
Homemade dust collectors are a cheap and easy way to keep your workshop free of dust.