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How can I Eliminate Dust from my Home?

By Deborah Ng
Updated May 16, 2024
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It often seems that we've no sooner finished cleaning dust from our homes when it starts to settle once again. No one wants a house full of dust. In addition to being unsightly, it also contributes to uncomfortable situations such as asthma and allergies.

So, what are the best ways to remove it from your home?

If you'd like your house as dust free as possible, simple surface cleaning isn't going to do the trick. Dust doesn't only rest on visible surfaces. It embeds itself in fibers and and builds up into bunnies under the bed. Your job is to identify all the places it hides in your home and deal with them accordingly.

Carpets are a breeding ground for dust and other allergens. One of the best ways to cut down on dirt and other pollutants in your home is to remove carpeting. Area rugs are better, but they, too, harbor dust. If this is not an option, carpets and rugs must be vacuumed regularly — at least once a week, more often if you have that kind of time. Cleaning the carpet regularly will also help.

Keep in mind that knick-knacks, candles, books, or anything sitting on a shelf or table on a regular basis will attract dust. Consider whether these items are necessary to keep on display.

Even rooms without carpeting accumulate dust on the ground. One place that can't be overlooked is under furniture. If you look under your bed, you'll probably notice a dust bunny or two. Consider this to be the situation under every piece of furniture in your home. These areas need to be cleaned regularly. Use the hose and other attachments on your vacuum to make it easier to get into these areas.

An air filter or purifier will help to remove airborne dust particles from the air. There are models in all sizes and price ranges so you should have no problem finding one that best suits your situation.

When cleaning surfaces such as table tops and shelves, try wearing gloves instead of using a cloth or rag. This will keep fingerprints off the surface and enable you to get into crevices a little easier. If you spray furniture polish on gloves or a cloth, it will enable you to clean more easily. A dryer sheet makes a wonderful dust cloth, using one will not only pick up dust, it will eliminate static making it harder for particles to adhere to the surface.

There are places you wouldn't think of that should be vacuumed regularly. Stoves and refrigerators should be moved out and cleaned behind. Use the hose attachment to vacuum the appliances themselves and remove all the dust from vents and coils. These vents and ducts need to be cleaned on a regular basis. A shop vac is great for this task.

Don't forget ceilings, especially the corners. They're hard to reach but a mop or broom will help. A cloth sprayed with furniture polish or dryer sheet draped over a broom will also help to remove dust from these high areas. Lights, lamps and chandeliers are all also magnets for dust, so don't overlook these in your cleaning ritual.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1002805 — On Feb 20, 2020

I buy good air filers and change often, but still have a lot of dust.

By anon999268 — On Nov 25, 2017

Yes air filters collect dust, which is how you know they are working.

By anon998245 — On May 01, 2017

Use a leaf blower and a dust mask. That will get rid of your problem.

By anon981701 — On Dec 14, 2014

How about giant 'flypapers' with sticky surfaces? These were routine in the post war years in uk summers, they came in a roll about 2" wide and you just unrolled them and suspended them from the ceiling or a lampshade. They certainly caught large numbers of flies and insects in a short time. Inconvenient and unsightly but perhaps you could leave them out only when the room was unused (working hours for instance and in conjunction with a small fan).

By anon968860 — On Sep 05, 2014

Replace your air conditioning filter. Once those filters get dusty, they start blowing the dust all over the house

By anon954069 — On May 29, 2014

How can you keep the dust off of your clothes that are in your closets? I have a walk in closet and the current method to help the dust would use dust shoulder covers. Not pretty.

By anon350537 — On Oct 06, 2013

Regardless of how hard you try, it is hard to prevent the buildup of dust in our homes. Your yard, shoes, pets, door and window openings are a continual source of dust. It is airborne and nearly invisible to the eye. It's estimated that the average home generates forty pounds of dust each year. These airborne dust particles carry the odors and toxins throughout the house. Air-ReNu removes airborne dust particles from your home environment.

By anon332381 — On Apr 28, 2013

Another possible solution for carpets is using clear mats to cover the rug, or large parts of it at times. Or, to keep on the carpet(s) for as long as you'd like. Then after you've steamed clean them, you can remove a mat to enjoy your clean rug, for game playing, an indoor picnic, lovemaking, etc. That's an inexpensive temporary solution for some. Or, there might actually exist, some very nice, decorated mats, that may even resemble flooring just for this purpose?

Or, how about getting some of those electrically static charged mops or dusters, cutting them up and placing pieces on various tabletops, etc.?

Or, making/buying some sort of clear see through coverings to put over your things you have displayed?

Of course you can also use a cloth cover over your table, etc., then you'll just have to dust off the cloth piece, or throw it in the washer, rather than dust the tabletop, etc.

By anon260654 — On Apr 11, 2012

The thing about most visible dust is it's so heavy it falls out of the air before it finds its way to a filter. Filters are best for removing the dust you can't see.

If your heating/ac duct has a leak, then your blower is taking air from your house and sending it outside or to an unconditioned space. This makes the air pressure inside your house lower than the pressure outside, and causes dust to be drawn into your house through cracks and holes whenever the heat/ac is on.

You can check this by closing all windows and doors, turning on the furnace/ac fan, cracking a window, and holding something smoky by the crack. If your duct is leaking, air will come in through the crack. Check it with the fan off for comparison.

By anon145185 — On Jan 22, 2011

Other large contributors to dust, besides skin, are kleenex, toilet paper and most things made of cotton, like towels, clothing and sheets. To see how much dust can be given off by something, go to a window where there is a stream of sunshine and pull a kleenex out of the box or shake a towel.

I tried this with a towel made of 65 percent bamboo and 35 percent cotton and there was much less dust in the air. I think it has something to do with the length of the fibers in cotton. Short fiber cotton is going to give off a lot more dust than something made out of the long fibers. I'm still searching for better alternatives.

By anon139642 — On Jan 05, 2011

Yes, "5", clean everything. .Reality. And, as the article states: hints on better methods of dusting, remove carpeting, and add an air purifier.

Carpet and rugs are a must to remove, but depending on living situations may not be possible (renting, living home, etc.). The next best thing is to clean carpeting on a more regular basis. Most people wait too long and only when the carpet shows wear instead of considering other issues of dirt and dust collected.

By anon135434 — On Dec 18, 2010

Only a good air purifier, preferably bagless or filterless is the best for economic reasons. Also, bedrooms being the most occupied place at home (at least six to 10 hours) needs air cleaning every night without fail. Air purifiers have become home essentials, and air within homes can be up to 70 percent more polluted than the outdoor air.

By anon85488 — On May 20, 2010

Wouldn't an occasional gassing of the house and under-roof area with ozone (with people, pets, and plants removed of course) kill dust at its source? Wouldn't it be possible to make an ozone generator using 12V AC, ignition coils and spark plugs to do this job?

By anon76964 — On Apr 12, 2010

An air purifier is definitely a huge aid. The problem however, is finding a good one and understanding how much one can handle.

You have to consider the filters and how they work, if you need to replace them when they go bad, you might want a different air purifier if it's mainly for dust.

It depends on if you're willing to pay for new filters or not, otherwise, if you have the money, the ones that require new filters from time to time are usually better. Many air purifier brands are a joke, shop accordingly.

Another thing is that air purifiers only purify a limited amount of air at a time depending on the size of the room. A whole house or a large room may require multiple air purifiers. It gets expensive.

It is true that a lot of dust isn't actually dust. Dead skin is definitely one of the top 'imitators' but there are many others, especially in the case of pets.

I personally envy people who have to re-dust again every week. I can wipe off a spot on my desk of dust and it will return in less than an hour.

If I really wanted to keep my place dust free I would have to stay home and dust all day every day non-stop with a team of at least five people doing the same thing. Including wiping down any glass.

I believe the biggest dust culprit in my home is the dirt road I live on. We have a row of trees growing between the house and the road, but it will take some time before they're big enough to slow down the dust. By that time, they'll probably end up paving our road.

I was hoping this page would lead me to a magical cure, but alas.

By anon75620 — On Apr 07, 2010

Are you saying that carpets and knick knacks are a

source of dust? How can dust originate in a carpet?

Don't you mean the carpet is a place where dust

can accumulate? If you're going to eliminate dust,

knowing where it comes from is what's important.

By anon68895 — On Mar 04, 2010

This basically tells you to clean everything. How helpful.

By anon32243 — On May 18, 2009

I have heard about HEPA filters, but after speaking with an expert, says that better for your vac is a catcher on your hose that prevents particular sized material entering your vac at all. It's like a demonstration catcher that you may have seen on various infomercials to demonstrate their vacuum ability. This combined with any (barrel) vac attached at handle of hose will prevent build-up of particles and be easier to reduce dust and easier to empty too.

By anon27146 — On Feb 24, 2009

As for the question above, I am no expert but I do know that some of what comprises dust is, in fact from our skin. That is why you should launder your bedding in hot water because dust mites feed on those particles off skin that come off of us. There are other things in dust though, a lot gets blown in or tracked in from the outside so trying not to wear shoes in the house helps too. Your friend should relax, there's nothing you can do about normal human "shedding"...besides maybe scrubbing her skin in the shower with a loofah. Anyway, regular and thorough vacuuming with a good vacuum with a HEPA filter should suffice!

By anon19496 — On Oct 13, 2008

Someone told a friend of mine dust comes from the shedding of your skin in your home. Is this true??

My friend is eighty years old and was getting her home treated for pests and the pest control man told her dust was caused from shedding of her skin and she should change her living habits. She is a very clean person and this has her very paranoid about the dust in her home. Please let us know if this is true so I can help calm her fears.

By knittingpro — On Apr 01, 2008

I don't know if air filters really work - it might just end up being one more thing to collect dust!

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