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Why Is My House So Dusty?

Last updated April 27, 2023

As an experienced content producer and editor, James makes sure our content is always compelling, clear, and useful. He also leads the production team and makes sure our writers have everything they need to keep doing their best work. On his off days, you'll find him outside hiking or searching for stone circles.

Our verdict:

Carpets and bedding collect dust; you could also bring it in from outside. Dust can comprise dead skin particles, trace chemicals, fungal spores, lead particles and pollens.  

Household dust can seriously affect the health of those who suffer from dust allergies. It’s essential to the health of your home that dust doesn’t build on surfaces, in bedding and in the air. 

To reduce domestic dust, you can:

  1. Vacuum carpets and floors weekly (at a minimum)
  2. Remove your outside shoes at the entrance to your home
  3. Hot wash and tumble dry bedding weekly
  4. Dust surfaces with a hot damp cloth
  5. Use an air purifier to reduce airborne dust particles.

These measures will significantly reduce home dust and improve your household’s health.

Harmless dead skin particles make up the bulk — but not the entirety — of domestic dust. 

Dangerous trace chemicals, dust mite allergen particles, fungal spores, lead particles and pollens are also commonly found in dust. All these dust components can make us very sick — whether you suffer from allergies or asthma.

Fortunately, domestic dust can be effectively reduced. All it takes is a bit of planning, plus regular cleaning of surfaces, carpets, curtains, bedding and air purification. 

Understanding the basic hows and whys of dust accumulation goes a long way toward combating associated poor health outcomes.

In this article, we’ll look closer at the causes of dust, how to combat them and pro tips for dust reduction. 

Why Is My House So Dusty? 

Let’s explore the five primary causes, treatments and essential strategies for reducing domestic dust:

Cause 1: Carpets trap and hide dust

The good news is you don’t have to rip up and throw away your nice comfy carpets. You just need to set up a regular carpet cleaning routine. 

➡️  How to fix it: Vacuum carpets at least once weekly to keep dust levels down 
In high pollen seasons, or in households with indoor animals, you must vacuum two or more times every week in high pollen seasons or households with indoor animals. Vacuum against the shag of the carpet and make multiple passes over each area. If you are particularly sensitive to dust, consider wearing a dust mask when you vacuum.

Pro tip: A vacuum with an empty bag inside sucks much harder than a mostly full bag. Consider disposing of your vacuum bag or emptying it shortly after it is half full.

Cause 2: Outside shoes track in dust and toxic debris

Particles you pick up outside can enter your domestic environment if you bring them in on your shoes.

➡️  How to fix it:  Stop wearing your shoes inside
This habit is a no-brainer solution employed in many cultures and countries worldwide. Most people who go shoes-off-at-the-door keep slippers or ‘house shoes’ near the entrance to their homes. This means you can still have all the warmth and comfort of footwear in your home — without mess.

Pro tip: Keep a mat and a shoe rack by your front door. This will make your footwear easy to organize. A clear foyer area (where shoes come off) gives a strong visual hint to guests entering your home.

Cause 3: Bedding is full of dust

Bedding is soft, porous and easily permeated with dust. Most of us spend around a third of our life in bed (more if you work from home), which makes it even more important to keep it dust-free.

➡️ How to fix it:  Regular cleaning is crucial to keep this area free from dust buildup
If you are particularly concerned about removing dust mites (and you should be), hot wash your bedding once a week. Hot washing kills dust mites and thoroughly cleans your bedding. If a hot wash isn’t an option, some tea tree and eucalyptus oil-based detergents will also kill dust mites.

Dry cleaning isn’t effective at killing dust mites. Save your money and clean your bedding effectively at home or the laundromat.

Pro tip: After washing, hang or tumble dry your laundry. Once dry, give your bedding 10 minutes on high heat in a tumble dryer. This is an excellent way to eliminate any surviving dust mites.

Cause 4: Dust accumulates on horizontal surfaces

Window sills are especially bad for dust accumulation, but all horizontal surfaces provide a nice resting place for dust. 

➡️ How to fix it: You need to dust surfaces if you want to remove dust
Don’t use old-fashioned feather dusters — they’re inefficient and do a poor job of eliminating invisible dust.  A hot damp rag is the best way to remove dust from horizontal surfaces. If it is safe for your furniture, apply an antibacterial spray before wiping away dust.

Pro tip: Always wipe down the top of the baseboards in your home. This surface is often neglected and can accumulate a lot of dust very fast.

Cause 5: Airborne dust is difficult to eliminate

Airborne dust will always be a problem. Vacuuming, dusting, and simply moving around your house will all stir the dust into the air. Ironically, cleaning can easily lead to the onset of dust allergy symptoms. 

➡️ How to fix it: Get a high-quality air purifier
High-quality air purifiers use HEPA filters to “capture 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns”. Air purifiers are the way to go when it comes to airborne dust.

Pro tip: Make sure you use an air purifier with sufficient filtering capacity for the space in which it’s installed. Additionally, check if the HEPA rating of the purifier’s filter suits your needs.
Levoit Core 600STaotronics AP003Blueair Blue Pure 211+
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡15 minutes29 minutes18 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬410 CFM (697 m³/h)226 CFM (384 m³/h)350 CFM (595 m3/h)
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨H13 True HEPA filterH13 HEPA filterHEPASilent™ filter
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏635 ft²322 ft²540 ft²
WEIGHT ⚖️6.2 kg8.16 kg5.67 kg
OUR REVIEW 🔍Levoit Core 600S reviewTaotronics AP003 reviewBlueair Blue Pure 211+ review
PRICE 💵$188.99$99.99$748.99

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts  

Domestic dust has significant detrimental effects on every household member’s health. Reducing dust in the home is critical to improving the well-being of your family. 

Regularly cleaning bedding, floors and surfaces will reduce dust build-up. New habits, like leaving shoes at the door of your home, can also help keep the dust levels down. 

Any remaining dust can be efficiently removed with an air purifier of sufficient quality and capacity. 

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API