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How To Reduce Dust in Your Apartment

Last updated December 15, 2022

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Author
Author avatar Marie Cookson

Based in Manchester, Marie is one of the writers at HouseFresh and our resident dust expert. She works together with our in-house researchers and our Managing Editor to produce in-depth articles offering practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.

Our verdict:

While every home is plagued by a certain amount of dust, if you have pets, wear shoes inside, and there’s a lot of clutter, it may be a particular problem. The different seasons may also cause an increase in dust, too. 

But there are plenty of things you can do to improve your dusting and cleaning regimes in every area of your apartment, such as the hallway, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. However, for a super-effective method to bust that dust, an air purifier with a true HEPA filter will work wonders.

Call it an occupational hazard of being alive, but we can’t eliminate dust completely. As well as being unsightly, dust can be especially problematic if you suffer from health issues, such as dust mite allergies. 

Yet there’s no need to despair just yet, as there are many things you can do to reduce the dust in your apartment. We’ll give you top tips on how to tackle the problem in your hallway, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. 

We’ll also provide advice on what to do as the seasons change, as well as give you the lowdown on the best air purifiers to use for dusty hotspots. 

Why Is My Apartment Dusty? 

As dust is basically everywhere, it’ll unfortunately be found throughout your apartment. This means on top of surfaces, in your carpets and furnishings, and inside crevices. 

But what is it actually made of? 

Well, it’s a mixture of dead skin cells, mites, microplastics, and microbes

Yet the majority of dust doesn’t actually come from inside your apartment (or from yourself). According to Science Focus, two-thirds of dust originates from outside and is tracked into your home via the dirt on your shoes. It can also enter through open windows and doors, and through cracks. 

If you feel that your apartment is particularly dusty, however, it may be time to rethink your dusting regime. Whether it’s because your place is quite cluttered, you have pets, or you need to up your game when it comes to vacuuming and washing. 

Read on for effective ways to conquer dust in every area of your apartment.

How To Reduce Dust in Hallways

Your hallway is often the first thing guests see when visiting your apartment. If you want to feel safe in the knowledge that you’ve got dust under control for your own well-being while also creating an inviting impression for visitors, follow these tips.

1. Leave shoes at the door 

As we mentioned, the majority of dust comes from outside the home. By taking your shoes off and leaving them at the entrance, you’ll minimize the chances of bringing more dust into your apartment.

Pro Tip: If you can persuade visitors to do the same, this will also reduce the amount of dust particles in your home. However, this is sometimes easier said than done and can feel a bit awkward. 

-Try telling guests in advance, and ask them to bring their comfy socks or slippers. 
-Or, if it’s on the day, keep it light and casual and say something like, “Feel free to pop your shoes off and leave them here.”

That being said, if you really prefer to wear shoes inside and feel uncomfortable asking guests to remove theirs then be sure to…

2. Use doormats 

Placing the mat outside the door and wiping your shoes before entering will still go a long way in helping to remove dirt and dust.

Pro Tip: Look for mats with a bristle top, as these will be most effective at getting rid of dirt.

3. Mop floors often 

If your apartment hall has a hardwood floor rather than a carpet, this is good news for dust-busting, as carpets can be some of the worst culprits for dust accumulation. But dust can still gather on tile or laminate floors. After sweeping, be sure to wet mop this area.

Pro Tip: Aim to mop once a week, but remember that the more often you do it, the less dusty it’ll get!

How To Reduce Dust in the Living Room

Living rooms tend to have carpets and soft furnishings, and while these help to make your place feel cozy, they can also be a nightmare for dust. This is because fabrics both attract and trap dust yet also produce it when they shed fibers

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our top tips.

1. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter will “theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.” This is particularly important if you suffer from dust allergies. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, remembering to include couches and chairs.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about your rugs. If you have space, try beating them outside. This will help to reduce energy bills and is actually more effective than vacuuming.

2. Use microfiber cloths 

As Molly Maid states, the old feather duster method basically meant you were simply “moving dust from one place to another.” However, microfiber material picks up and traps dust in its fibers. Follow our own guide on how to dust effectively here.

Pro Tip:  Remember your houseplants. It’s important to give your greenery a regular going-over as their leaves also collect dust. Wiping them with a microfiber cloth once a month should be sufficient.

3. Groom pets 

The pet dander from your beloved cat or dog can remain airborne for hours, contributing to dust levels. Regular grooming is not only good for your furry friends, but will help to reduce dust particles from circulating.

Pro Tip: Rather than the living room, groom your pet in an area with fewer fabrics, such as a bathroom or kitchen. This means it’ll be easier to clean up, and you won’t be adding more dust to the space.

How To Reduce Dust in the Bedroom 

As with the living room, your bedroom will also be a trouble spot for collecting dust due to fabrics and bedding. This area is also a haven for dust mites. According to the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation, “dust mites prefer bedrooms and the interiors and surfaces of mattresses, blankets and pillows.” It’s super important to keep on top of the dust in this room.

1. Change and clean bedding every week 

The number one thing you can do is to clean your sheets once a week. It’s also recommended to clean pillows and blankets every three months, as these will also attract dust.

Pro Tip: Washing on a high temperature such as 60° C will help to kill pathogens as well as eliminate dirt.

2. Declutter 

You might have a dressing table with lots of trinkets, or a shelf full of much-loved books, but this can all contribute to dust. In short, the more stuff you have, the more dust particles will accumulate in these crowded places.

Pro Tip: While it can be hard to part with beloved items, decreasing clutter will not only reduce dust, but will also make the job of cleaning that bit easier.

3. Dust light shades, ceiling fans, and blinds 

You may not notice as much due to the position of these items, but lamps, blinds, and fans can also be a source of dust, so it’s wise to dust these regularly too.

Pro Tip: A wet or damp cloth is advised for use on blinds as this will be more effective.

How To Reduce Dust in the Bathroom

While this room may not have quite so many fabrics as the living and bedroom, it can still be a source of dust. Read on for some of the most common culprits and what you can do to tackle the problem.

1. Replace HVAC filters often 

The most obvious reason for dust in your bathroom is due to a dirty HVAC filter. Once a filter becomes clogged, it not only spreads dust around your apartment, but the HVAC system itself may malfunction. Checking the filter once a month is a good rule of thumb.

Pro Tip: You may need to change the filter more often if you have pets.

2. Check exhaust fans 

While your exhaust fan is designed to remove such things as dust particles, it can also lead to more dust if it isn’t working properly. Be sure to check that the grills and fan are thoroughly clean.

Pro Tip: A clever hack is to hold a piece of paper in front of the fan. This way, you’ll be able to see if it’s sucking the air and dust out, or merely blowing away the air.

3. Don’t leave windows open too long 

While it might be important to let air in from the outside to reduce moisture levels, keeping windows open also means that more dust can get into your bathroom.

Pro Tip: You can ensure that your bathroom is airtight by using weather stripping or caulk sealant to seal windows.

Dusting the Seasons 

Each season has its own unique set of issues when it comes to dust, and changes in weather can also trigger allergies. See below for our advice on how to cope with these seasonal challenges.

☀️ Summer 

This is unfortunately the most problematic season for dust. Dry, warm weather, plus the high pollen count can all impact your health as well as your home. Yet as well as the heat, it may also be windy, and keeping windows open means that dust particles and spores can travel into your apartment. 

If possible, only open windows and doors briefly, and use air conditioning instead. Increasing your vacuuming regime will also help. 

🍃 Autumn

Autumn can be a challenging time for those with dust mite allergies. As the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation states, “Allergen levels are at their highest between May and October, the peak breeding season of house dust mites.” 

Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help enormously. This is also the time when you’ll be bringing out those comfy sweaters that you haven’t worn in months. To remove any dust that may have accumulated during the summer, put them in the wash alongside those cozy blankets.

❄️ Winter 

This season may mean that you spend more time inside your apartment, which means you’re more likely to be breathing in dust particles. Turning on the heating can also exacerbate the issue because “heating season is dust mite season.”  

Airing out your apartment is one solution. Equally, because you may be keeping windows closed due to the cold, using an air purifier will also help to reduce airborne dust. 

🌷 Spring

Like summer, spring also brings many problems due to pollen. And while spring cleaning is no doubt effective, it may also cause settled dust to rise up and infiltrate your apartment. To combat these issues, it pays to be strategic with your spring cleaning

This means things like using a damp cloth instead of a dry one, which will trap dust on the cloth, rather than kicking it back into the air.

Our Favorite Air Purifiers for Dust, Room by Room

Best Hallway Air Purifier

The Levoit Core 600S is our top-rated system for your apartment hallway. This powerful unit contains H13 True HEPA filter technology, which is essential for trapping those dust particles. While it may not be the most imaginatively designed purifier, it makes up for it by being a fraction of the cost compared to others out there. We also like the efficient CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 410 CFM in a 635 ft² space. This means it’s certain to work well at purifying your hallway.

Best Living Room Air Purifier

Utilizing HEPA and activated carbon filters, and with an attractive, compact design that’ll go nicely in small to medium-sized rooms, the Smart Health S is our favorite purifier for this space. If you’re on a budget, it’s also a wise choice, as you’ll be able to save on both electricity usage and filter replacements. Furthermore, the CADR of 185 CFM is a strong plus. So if you’re looking for a purifier to combat dust in your living room, we highly recommend this unit.

Best Bedroom Air Purifier

If you’re searching for a powerful unit for your bedroom, then you certainly won’t go wrong with the Levoit Core 300. This system uses H13 HEPA filters to purify the air in a 219 sq. ft space. Plus, it has an enviable CADR score of 145 CFM. You’ll also be pleased to know that its lowest fan speed setting is ultra-quiet; perfect for if you want to keep it running while sleeping or napping.

Common Questions About Air Purifiers for Dust 

🤔 Do air purifiers get rid of dust? 

Yes, they do! Most air purifiers are designed to remove airborne particles from the air, and this includes dust. Using a fan-like mechanism, the purifier works by pulling air in and through at least one filter. The filter then attracts and traps dust and other pollutants, thereby purifying your air. The cleansed air is subsequently released back into your apartment through another fan-like device.

🤔 How do air purifiers get rid of dust? 

As dust particles vary between 1 and 100 microns in size, this means they can remain airborne for long periods of time. When air enters the purifier, it passes through a filter, which is made up of ultra-fine pleated filtering material. As we already mentioned, the best filters can capture at least 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This technology results in fresh, dust-free air being circulated throughout your apartment.  

🤔 What should I look for when buying an air purifier for dust? 

We can’t really say it enough, but it’s crucial that you look for a purifier with HEPA filtration. Also keep in mind the CADR, and note that the higher the rate, the more efficient it’ll be at trapping dust. And although odors aren’t usually a side effect of dust, you might want to look for one that has an activated carbon filter, as this will help to eliminate any strong smells from your apartment.

Final Thoughts 

A dusty apartment not only looks unpleasant, but it can also impact your health if you suffer from dust mite allergies. Luckily, you can keep dust at bay by following a few simple guidelines. Removing shoes, using microfiber cloths, cleaning bedding weekly, and decluttering can all help. 

And if you’re aware of how the seasons can affect dust, you can stay on top of it that way, too. Equally, investing in an air purifier with true HEPA filtration will also make a massive difference, so be sure to choose one for each specific area of your apartment. 

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