Allergy Season: Is Dust Making It Worse? | Maid4Condos

Allergy Season: Is Dust Making It Worse?

Allergy Season: Is Dust Making It Worse?
May 11, 2020

Dusting is a bore and something people often overlook during cleaning. Unfortunately, dust is an irritant that can make allergy sufferers see worsening symptoms and leave people without allergies feeling like they have caught a spring cold.

Dust allergy issues and cleaning

The bottom line is that every home has dust and just about every person, not to mention a dog or cat, is prone to some form of irritation when surrounded by dust.

Studies have shown that dust contains far more irritants than you might think. From pollen, dead skin cells, and animal dander, to potentially hazardous chemicals such as flame retardants used on furniture and plastics used in your electronics. Even your cleaning products can leave behind chemical residues, such as phenols.

The only way to help reduce allergy symptoms in the home is to make sure you are dusting regularly. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to dust. Here are some tips to help reduce the dust in your home and hopefully also reduce your allergy symptoms.

Dust from the Top Down

Most people focus on dusting the surfaces in their homes, such as desks, tabletops, and other hard surfaces, such as their floors. However, there are many sources of dust found above your living space that require your attention first.

Whether it is the blades of your ceiling fans and light fixtures or the cobwebs that are forming along with your ceiling, sources of dust from above keep more dust on your surfaces below. That’s why you have that funny little dust brush on your vacuum cleaner. Use this to tackle the upper dust sources before dusting and vacuuming below. This will help avoid dust from continuously falling from above.

If you already dust the upper area of your space, just make sure you are cleaning it first. If you don’t have a vacuum, you can use a spritz of three parts water and one-part vinegar and a microfibre cloth to wipe away dust particles. Wash the cloth on the hot cycle with a few teaspoons of vinegar to kill allergens.

Continue your dusting efforts using a microfibre cloth as they are the best cleaning tool to collect and contain dust. Once a week, you should be wiping down your surfaces — twice if you are a serious allergy sufferer — to keep dust to a minimum. You should then vacuum or clean floors once a week after dusting your surfaces.

Understand Your Vacuum Attachments

Vacuums are great for dusting, but most people have no idea of how to use the various attachments that come with their vacuum. There is a soft brush attachment ideal for use on walls, ceiling edges, and things like light fixtures and ceiling fans. This can also be used on things such as window blinds.

There is also a long, plastic “hose” that has a very narrow end allowing you to tuck into those corners and spots like window sills and under beds, as well as along baseboards and behind furniture. People with allergies should always opt for a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to trap dust particles.

Don’t Forget Window Treatments

The soft-brush attachment on your vacuum is ideal to keep your window treatments dust free. As mentioned above, take the hose to your windowsill and along the nooks and crannies of window frames. You should be professionally cleaning your drapes every spring and fall.

If you have serious allergies or are a smoker, do it every season. Look for a dry cleaner that uses green cleaning processes to reduce chemicals in your home.

Clean Upholstered Furniture

Your sofa and upholstered chairs should be cleaned for dust once a week. You can use your upholstery tool on the vacuum, but if you have pets, you can also use a rubber glove and rub your hand across the entire surface. The rubber acts like a magnet for pet hair and dander.

Dust Your Bookshelves

If you are an avid reader, you want to care for your books and keep your shelves clean. Books can be wiped down on the tops using the soft brush on your vacuum every season. Every few weeks, books should be pulled out in manageable numbers so you can get at the dust behind them on the shelves. Your microfibre cloth will be perfect for this job.

Wipe Down Plants

Plants tend to get a dusty build-up, which can actually affect their health. The more dust they have on their leaves and fronds, the less sun they get. A nifty trick for cleaning plants is to take them outside and use a keyboard compressed air cleaner to remove dust gently. Then, wipe leaves down with a damp cloth to remove the remaining dirt. Avoid spritzing plants as this can lead to mould growth.

Clean Floors Weekly

After you have dusted everywhere else, use a mop to clean your floors. Start by wiping down baseboards using a dryer sheet, as they can help keep dust at bay thanks to their anti-static formula. You can then clean your floors using a clean mop and preferably a natural household floor cleaner.

Choose Smart Cleaning Products

Choose natural cleaning products, or consider making your own, as most cleaning products contain irritants that can make allergies worse. This includes cleaners with fragrances, even fragrances that seem natural like lemon, as these often contain phthalates.


Your trusty microfibre cloth can do the trick for electronics as they collect dust effectively and are smooth. This means you don’t put your screens and other surfaces at risk for scratches.

Reduce Dust

Follow these tips to reduce dust:

  • Keep your windows closed, as this allows dust and pollen to come into your home
  • Use doormats so people can wipe their feet when they enter the home and shake them out every few months, so people aren’t collecting more dirt when they wipe their feet
  • Brush and bathe your pet to reduce pet dander and hair/fur loss. Speak to your vet for tips on the best way to keep your pet clean
  • Change your air filters for your furnace at least every few months and choose HEPA filters to collect allergens

These dusting tips will help keep allergens in your home to a minimum. If you find cleaning is overlooked due to your busy lifestyle, a home cleaning service should be used at least once a month to keep dust under control.

To learn more about keeping your home free of allergen-causing dust, call Maid4Condos at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

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