Decorating with Fuzzy Floor Coverings
Floor coverings are major dust producers and dust magnets—and the fuzzier they are, the more dirt they harbor. If you simply love a cushy carpet underfoot, consider swapping shag rugs for flat-weaves, and vacuum often to prevent buildup. But keep in mind that vacuuming isn't always enough: To ensure a truly allergen-free floor, regularly take your rugs outside and give them a good shake to rid them of unwanted clouds of dust.
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Dusting with Dingy Rags
Still using an old T-shirt for dusting, just like your mom did? Drop it right now and head for the store. There’s a modern miracle called microfiber, which, thanks to its fine synthetic fibers, attracts much more dust than simple cotton fabric ever could. To make quick work of cleanups, choose a microfiber wand duster for tight corners and shelves, and a regular cloth for dusting tabletops and counters.
Skipping the Doormat
Tiny dirt particles (and big ones too!) are tracked in every time a person or pet comes or goes. Cleaner shoes mean less dust, so it’s important to lay a heavy-duty doormat at every entrance, and to wash each one regularly. Better yet, keep a basket or rack near the door, and ask family and friends to kick off their shoes and get comfortable as soon as they walk in. This should help contain the tracked-in dirt to a smaller area.
Vacuuming with an Older Model
A quality vacuum can make a huge difference when it comes to dust. If you're using an outdated model with old filters, you're most likely not sucking up as much grime as you should be, which means more effort and poorer results. Upgrade to a new model that has both the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval and a HEPA filter, which can grab even the smallest particles of dust and pollen and will even leave the air smelling fresher.
Related: 7 Ways You're Vacuuming Wrong
Letting the Air Get Too Dry
Dust loves static, which helps dirt and debris cling to surfaces. To prevent dust from getting too comfortable, aim to keep the humidity in your home at about 40 to 50 percent. Use a humidifier in winter, or simply keep trays of water on top of your radiators to add H2O to the air.
Related: 8 Cleaning Mistakes Everyone Makes
Neglecting Blinds and Curtains
When was the last time you cleaned the blinds? Hanging right by open windows, they’re like powerful magnets for every stray bit of dust that blows in or out. To freshen them up, go over your window coverings with a microstatic cloth or the dusting attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Curtains need the same TLC: Use a small handheld vacuum to eliminate debris, and take your curtains down and launder or dry-clean them once or twice a year.
Forgetting the Filters
Dirty furnace and air conditioner filters are fairly ineffectual and can cause your HVAC system to blow dust right back into your house. Buy filters in bulk to get the cheapest price, and then change them monthly for a tidier home and healthier indoor air.
Related: 11 Ways to Flu-Proof Your Home
Putting Off the Pillows
Dust mites are tiny critters that feed on flakes of skin and are notorious for causing allergic reactions in some people. These little bugs congregate in bed linens, especially pillows. To keep these pests at bay, wash and dry your pillows as frequently as possible, and replace them every year or two. And don't neglect your duvet covers and comforters. They need a good scrub just as often to ensure that you have a clean and serene place to catch some Z's.
Covering Shelves with Clutter
You may love your knickknacks, but you probably don’t relish the prospect of taking them down one by one to thoroughly clean your shelves—which means that dust settles comfortably wherever your little objects live. To keep your collections from collecting dust, curate your items carefully to make cleaning day easier. Also consider housing them in glass-door cabinets or displaying them on trays so you can quickly remove and replace them after dusting.
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