How Often Should You Dust?

feather duster

Dust may seem like an innocuous cohabitant in your home, but you might not feel that way if you actually knew what it contained. A large portion of dust is actually dead human skin cells that have long since escaped from their host. The rest comes from dust mites (their waste), dismembered dead bugs, pet dander, fibers from clothing and other fabric, and then, of course, some soil and grime brought in from outside. With such foul main ingredients, you’d think everyone would be scrambling the keep dust out of their homes. But we often let it pile up.

Even if the components of dust don’t skeeve you out, for many people, they pose an issue with allergies. The more dust you let linger in your home, the higher the frequency of sneezes and coughs by those guests and inhabitants with highly sensitive allergies. Don’t let them—or yourself—suffer. Decide to say goodbye to dust in your home once and for all. Then actually put that decision into action by determining how often you should be dusting at home.

Cleaning experts have mixed ideas about how often everyone should dust, so it really comes down to a personal decision for each person. However, there are a few guidelines and rules of thumb that everyone can follow.

For instance, if dust is thick enough to be visible before you even sweep your finger across a surface, that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s time to break out the dust cloth. You should never be able to jot down notes to your roommates in thick dust. Factors like the environment outside, whether or not you have pets, and how many people live in your home can all contribute to the buildup of dust, so it could take a week or three for dust to accumulate in such a thick layer. It just all depends on the way your home operates.

For most people, dusting once a week is effective. Start with the items in your home that you know accumulate the most dust just by eyeballing it, like the TV or the computer. Then move on to lesser offenders, such as lamps and end tables. Use a microfiber cloth or a duster with microfiber strips, as this type of fabric captures dust much more effectively than a ratty old t-shirt. If you aren’t using microfiber, at least make the cloth damp so as to give it a little extra oomph when you’re dusting.

If you live in a home of allergy sufferers, then you might have to kick up your game and dust twice a week. This will be a much less daunting task if you tackle smaller things on a daily basis, such as running a vacuum over your bedroom carpet or sweeping the kitchen floor. If you’re really having trouble getting rid of the buildup, check the filters in your heating and air conditioning systems. If they’re already full of dust or simply not up to snuff, then that could actually be the source of your dust infestation.

Keep Dust Down [HGTV]
How Often Should We Dust? [About Home]
How Often Should I…? [Quick and Dirty Tips]

Image and attribution: