To answer this question, we first must ask: What is dust and where does it come from? Succinctly, it can come from two major places: inside and outside. From the outside, dust finds its way into your home in the form of particles on your shoes or from the natural amount that will find its way through the air when a door is open. On the inside of your home, anything that starts breaking down like carpet fibers, bedding or clothing, can become dust particles. Add to that list human and animal skin flakes and hair, as well as particles from insects inside and outside your home, and you can see why we end up with a lot of dust in our home regardless of how often we clean!
The annoying thing about dust is that it can stick around for a very long time and can take decades to break down on its own if it doesn’t find its way onto a cleaning cloth or into a vacuum bag. So if your family is not removing their shoes at the door each time they enter, dangerous dust particles with things like chemicals and bacteria can be finding its way into your carpet and flooring and then deciding to stick around for a while. In fact, the makers of Pledge estimate that the average family has about 40 pounds of dust in their home EACH YEAR!
There is much research left to do on dust and the effects it has on our bodies. What we do know is that we do breathe in dust and it does have an affect on us. Experts estimate that 1/3 of the dust in our homes comes from indoor sources and the other 2/3 comes from outdoor sources. Why is this important to note? Because people who live near areas higher in toxic waste will eventually track this into their homes and breathe it into their lungs.
So what can you do? While there’s much that we can’t do about the flow of dust into our homes, there are some simple steps we can take. For one, have your family, as well as visitors, remove their shoes when they come into your home. Clean your home often including vacuuming, washing your bedding and curtains and keeping your closets tidy and clutter-free. In addition, consider ditching all of the carpet in your home; it may be comfortable under your feet but it’s also great at catching dust particles and holding on to them for long periods of time. Lastly, installing high quality air filters over your ducts ensures that those dust particles don’t find their way into your ductwork.