Dust - A Silent Invader
Dust in our homes. It’s the silent invader that seems to always be present in every room and on every surface. But what can this ever present seemingly innocuous invader do to us and our bodies?
It creeps in through the windows, seeps through the cracks, grows seemingly without effort; it covers every surface, and fills the air we breathe. DUST. We all tend to think of dust as innocent, after all, it’s just particles of dirt, right?
Wrong! Like most people I used to think the same way, that dust was just small particles of dirt that were more of a pain to deal with than actually harmful to myself and my family. Over the last year of building a cleaning business based upon quality and excellence, we have learned that the reasons we clean are so much more important than just removing dust and dirt. In a 2016, Dr. Ami R. Zota Sc.D. at George Washington University conducted a study*, where she reviewed information from indoor dust analysis studies published during or after 2000. (It’s worth noting that the studies reviewed covered more than just homes, but also cars, daycare centers, gymnasiums, and schools.) The result of that review calculated the concentrations of 45 chemicals in the indoor dust that we breathe, touch, and ingest. These chemicals (and others) in dust have been linked to serious illnesses such as Asthma and Cancer. They’ve also been shown to cause hormonal changes and developmental and reproductive problems.
If that isn’t scary enough, the most susceptible to all of these harmful chemicals, is our children. By their very nature they are more likely to inhale and ingest more dust than adults. The scientists involved in the study then estimated just how much of these chemicals enter the body via breathing, swallowing, or through the skin. What they learned, was that these chemicals do not stay within the dust that they are found but rather they are entering our bodies, in some cases to detrimental effect.
So, how do we combat these nearly invisible invaders in our home?
First we need to look at some of the places in our homes that we may not be addressing as often as we should, if we are at all.
Furniture: From our living rooms to our bedrooms our homes are filled with furniture, large pieces and small alike should be dusted at least once a week, remembering that each piece should be cleaned from the top surface to the bottom of the legs. From the beds to the couches, the kitchen table and chairs to cabinet doors, and coffee tables, Double C Cleaning Services ensures that each piece is dusted thoroughly from top to bottom, leather is cleaned and conditioned and fabric is vacuumed at each visit.
Kitchen: There are a few areas in the kitchen that are often overlooked during regular cleaning, places like the top of the fridge, tops of cupboard doors and cupboard moulding. Just as important, though not as frequent are behind and under the fridge and stove, these are places where old food, dirt, grime and any number of gross and unidentifiable substances can build up. Double C Cleaning Services makes sure that these areas are addressed on a regular basis.
Books and bookshelves: Books can be magnets for dust, and are often overlooked during our regular cleaning routines. There are a few options when dusting our books, you can use a duster, Double C uses and recommends a wool duster, like the Lambswool Extension Duster from Uline Canada. You can also use the brush attachment to vacuum the tops and spines of the books. With the books clean, you can use a microfiber cloth to dust under them, by removing 4-5 books at one end and sliding a few at a time you can quickly and easily dust the entire shelf.
Work spaces: In today’s “new normal” more homes than ever are outfitted with a home office in one way or another. With a home office comes new nooks and crannies for allergens and toxins to hide. Behind desks, computer towers & monitors, books and papers, all of these places are dust collectors. This is another area that the extension wool duster comes in handy, it can slide behind hard to reach areas and collects dust and hair, alternatively you can use the crevice tool on your vacuum as well.
Bathrooms: We clean this space often, but there are areas we are missing. Often overlooked is the vent fan, most of these have removable covers that slide down and unclip from the fan, once removed you can wash the cover in hot soapy water (Double C uses Blue Dawn dish soap). While you have the cover off check the fan itself, if the blades are dirty you can use a bucket of hot soapy water and a microfiber cloth to wash off all of the built up dirt and grime. Once everything is clean, put it all back together and you’re done.
Light Fixtures & Ceiling Fans: We’ve all forgotten these!! Writing this article reminds me, it’s been a while since I even looked up to see the condition of my fixtures and fans! There are a few things to remember when cleaning these items. The most important is that light fixtures get hot when turned on, if needed use a flashlight to illuminate the room in which you’re removing the fixtures. Carefully remove any fixture covers where possible and wash in hot soapy water. When it’s not possible to remove them, use a bucket of hot soapy water and microfiber cloth to wash fixtures in place. You can use the same process for ceiling fans.
Railings, bannisters & baseboards: Here are other areas we look at often but don’t actually see. Build up of dust can happen quickly in these places, dusting with your wool duster is a great way to keep up on these areas, and every couple of weeks a wet dust will help remove bacteria and fingerprints. Double C Cleaning Services uses Scentsy All Purpose Cleaner and water for all our wet dusting.
Carpets & Floors: We all vacuum regularly, though a commonly overlooked area of our floors is the edges, especially on carpets. Use a crevice tool to gather all of the pet hair and build up of dust from the edges and corners in each room. Don’t forget to pay attention to door jams and corners between rooms. This is an area we have noticed can gather noticeable dust over time, which is why Double C addresses these areas at each service.
Keeping our homes free of dust, allergens, and toxins is an important part of keeping ourselves and our families happy and healthy. A regular cleaning routine can help to keep dust at bay, Double C Cleaning Services offers a range of cleaning services designed to match your needs and budget.