Spring is the season to open up curtains and blinds, and let all of that glorious sunshine in. Unfortunately, that sun does something else, too: shines a light on all of the spots we’ve missed or overlooked when dusting our houses.
How do your cleaning skills measure up? Dyson’s 2022 Global Dust Study investigated the cleaning habits of people from 11 different countries — and the results weren’t always pretty. Here’s what you need to know — as well as some advice on how to eliminate dust.
The good news: People are still spending plenty of time cleaning their homes. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new way of thinking about cleaning and hygiene, which is still very much at play. Ninety-five percent of respondents globally and 92% of Americans are cleaning just as much (if not more) than they did last year.
A regular cleaning schedule is still the biggest driver of household cleaning. (Remember: you don’t have to get it all done in one day; sometimes taking the “a little at a time” approach is best).
However, a significant number of respondents admitted to being reactive cleaners — 36% clean their homes when they actually spot dirt or dust. This is a problem.
Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson, said in a statement:
“It is a cause for concern if people only clean when they spot visible dust on the floor as many dust particles are microscopic in size. In fact, by the time people spot visible dust in the home, it is highly likely that there are dust mites in your home.”
The moral of the story? Dust regularly and don’t let it get so bad that you actually see the buildup.
The majority of respondents vacuum their floors regularly — but not nearly enough vacuum other necessary spots in the home. Some 71% of people globally (and 79% of Americans) neglect to vacuum their mattresses and 67% don’t vacuum curtains regularly.
Mattresses are a hot bed (literally)of dust mites, skin cells, bacteria, fungal spores, and a whole host of microscopic life, while curtains are responsible for helping trap outdoor dust and particles. Both require regular attention to keep your home healthy and safe.
Want to know how to eliminate dust? The study noted that when vacuuming your home, you should vacuum first and then use a wet cloth to wipe surfaces.
The pandemic saw more and more households adopting pets. (Was there a better time to train a puppy than when you and the rest of the family were all working from home?) And while pets bring us so much joy, they also bring pet dander into the home, which can build up in carpets, sofas, pillows, and other soft goods. (And, unfortunately, dander is also a favorite food source for dust mites.)
According to the study, 75% of pet owners don’t realize their pets can also bring pollen into the home, while 75% don’t know their pets can be host to viruses and dust mite feces.
“Many people think that pet hair is the biggest problem as it is the most visible,” Stuczen stated. “It is unsurprising that people are unaware of the other particles that may reside on their pets because these particles tend to be microscopic in size.”
So what should you do? In addition to your usual grooming routine, shedding tools and pet grooming vacuums can help reduce your exposure.
Overall, we’re all still committed to keeping our homes spotless and healthy — but some people could do with a more aggressive approach to dusting and cleaning. Don’t let it stress you out — take it room by room and task by task, and little by little, your home will be sparkling in no time.
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