9 Forgotten Spots to Dust for an Allergen-Free Home
A chore you shouldn’t put off very long, dusting removes potentially harmful particles that can contain things like human skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, pet dander, mold, and even viruses.
Here are nine oft-forgotten spots you don’t want to overlook:
Because of the textured nature of most ceilings, they are quick to see dust buildup and cobwebs. However, most people tend to overlook this area when cleaning. In fact, according to Dyson’s 2021 global dust study, it’s the most forgotten spot in the home. So, what’s the best way to get rid of dust overhead? A cordless vacuum with a soft brush attachment works for the bulk of it, while a crevice tool will clear out the corners.
2. Bedding and Mattress
Regular vacuuming of your mattress and washing of bedding will go a long way in keeping allergens down. Beds are the perfect breeding ground for dust mites that feed on dead skin cells and flourish in warm, dark places. Vacuum your mattress at least once a month, more often if you’re prone to dust allergies. Bedding — including throw blankets and pillows — must be washed in warm or hot water to help reduce allergens. Tip: Make sure water is at least 130°F to kill dust mites.
3. Lighting Fixtures
Lampshades and light fittings collect dust, which either burns on the hot bulbs or can be spread around the room by the creation of hot air surrounding the bulbs. Make sure that light fixtures are turned off and cool before cleaning them. Dryer sheets or dry microfiber cloths work well for removing dust on bulbs and glass shades. Fabric shades can be cleaned by using your vacuum’s soft brush attachment on the surface.
Dust can play a role in mold growth, especially in humid environments like the bathroom. The soft brush attachment on your vacuum is a great tool for cleaning walls, but you can also simply wipe them down with a microfiber cloth or damp sponge. A long-handled cloth mop, sprayed with a dusting spray for added effectiveness, can be used for areas that are hard to reach.
Because they’re mostly out of sight, baseboards often go forgotten when it comes to cleaning and are a big collector of dust. The good news? They can be cleaned without you having to even bend over! Simply run the brush attachment of your vacuum over the surface. Once that’s done, go over them again with a dryer sheet to inhibit dust from accumulating again.
6. Window Treatments
It’s not just dust that can blow through your windows and get caught up in your blinds and drapes — pollen and airborne pollution can as well. Window treatments can be kept clean by either using a vacuum brush attachment to remove dust, or just an old sock when it comes to blinds. Simply put your hand inside the sock, lightly spray the sock with water and then slide it over the slats of the blinds. For curtains that are machine washable, follow the care label instructions and use the warmest water possible for the fabric.
7. Pet Beds
Similar to human mattresses, pet beds are the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. If your pet’s bed has a removable cover, wash it in hot water to remove dander and kill dust mites. If you are unable to take the cover off, try using a vacuum with an attachment that works effectively to lift pet hair and dander.
Houseplant leaves collect dust, which can actually block out sunlight and negatively affect the way the plant photosynthesizes. For happy, healthy and dust-free plants, simply wipe off their leaves using a damp cloth, or find a small brush with soft bristles to sweep away any accumulated dust. Rinsing plants is another solution for doing away with dust as well as any pests. Put small plants in the sink and larger ones in the shower, and then let them drip-dry before putting them back in place.
Dust mites thrive in hot and humid environments, like the bathroom. Rather than drinking, they absorb moisture. So humid air combined with the dust in your home allows them to live and grow. It’s important to always have the ventilation fan on in your bathroom before showering to help reduce humidity, and to clean your shower often. Wipe dust from all surfaces — including any ledges, niches or hard-to-reach areas, like the top of your shower surround.