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Experts reveal the most overlooked areas in your home for cleaning

Bacterial communities in indoor dust are strongly influenced by the number and types of occupants living in the homes

An everyday house in an English street. Image by Tim Sandle
An everyday house in an English street. Image by Tim Sandle

We all neglect certain tasks at home. Some of these are inconsequential whereas other areas of neglect can cause detriments to our health. One common household problem is dust, with much of it formed from human skin detritus. The dust in our homes contains an average of 9,000 different species of microbes. The the female : male ratio and whether a house had pets has a significant influence on the types of bacteria found in typical household dust.

Besides making your home look dirty, dust can trigger asthma attacks, wheezing, hives, and potentially cardiovascular health problems, which is why it is essential to minimise dust levels in your home.

Most dust originates from human skin. Sometimes this is in the form of skin cells, at other types microorganisms are also present. All told, house dust is a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, hair, clothing fibres, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, and different forms of soil.

As we settle into the cold and flu season. Hence it is important to take precautions and make sure your home is clean. You do not want to exacerbate cold and flu symptoms with dust and other bacteria within your home.

The company Unbeatable Blinds tells Digital Journal about an investigation into those areas of the home that people tend to overlook when it comes to their cleaning regimen and have shared their expertise on how you can keep your home dust free.  

They have passed on their advice to Digital Journal, and this is our review:

Carpets

Dust particles in the air or from shoes or pets can settle into the fibres of your carpet, especially after you have been dusting around your home. It is important to vacuum around your home to remove this dust frequently.

Some low-efficiency vacuums can recirculate dust, so if it is within your budget, opt for a vacuum with a HEPA filter which is designed to trap debris and dust particles.

Curtains

Curtains and any other type of upholstery can accumulate dust over time however, curtains often require more maintenance than blinds.

The best way to de-dust your curtains is by using a vacuum and running it from the top to bottom of the fabric so that dust is moved to the floor, where it can be vacuumed, rather than back into the air. It is essential to get your curtains dry-cleaned once a year too, as this can help reduce dust build-up.

Fabric acts as a magnet to dust, so if dust remains a problem in your home, switching to leather or non-absorbent materials, can be easier to maintain.

Cracks in Doors/Windows Panes

Cracks in doors and windows present a problem for homeowners, since one tiny crack can be the main reason for energy loss. Cracks in windowpanes and door frames can let in pollen and dust, especially in areas with high pollution. Sealing cracks can not only prevent dust and pollen from entering the home, but it can also reduce your energy costs too.

Wiping down the panes and edging with a microfibre cloth and cleaning the windows with a glass cleaner will also remove excess dust that can be blown in when windows are open.

The amount of dust/pollen that can enter a home depends on how polluted your environment is.

Blinds

Blinds are a way to keep out of the sun and keep in the heat in your home, but homeowners often overlook cleaning them thoroughly. Poor maintenance of blinds can decrease their lifespan and can also be a huge factor when it comes to allergies.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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