Ever look at your living room on a sunny afternoon and think "Where in the world did all this dust come from?"  Well, here is your scientific answer!

An Arizona study found that household dust consists of a potpourri that includes dead skin shed by people, fibers from carpets and upholstered furniture, and tracked-in soil and airborne particles blown in from outdoors.  They also found that over 60 percent of house dust originates outdoors.

Keeping a clean home can reduce allergens and irritants, help prevent injury, and make you happy!  People who suffer from allergies need to take special care to keep their house dust free.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods.

  *   Reduce dust brought inside

  *   Take your shoes off when entering the home

  *   Invest in good equipment

     *   Doormats for all exterior doors

     *   Grate in front of door

     *   Shoe should hit the mat four times (10-12 feet)

Create a smooth and cleanable surface.  What does smooth and cleanable refer to?

  *   For example, wood floors are easier to clean than carpet. Carpet acts like a "sink", capturing and holding contaminants

  *   Here's another example: Do you have hotspots that attract stuff like a magnet? Stuff piled on tables counters, etc. are not smooth and cleanable.

Reduce clutter in your home which can be hiding places for dust, dirt and allergens.

According to a New York Times article about dusting:

There may be no more primitive dusting tool than a damp cloth. You will not see it advertised on late-night TV. But that doesn't mean it won't work. "The reason that you use a wet cloth rather than a dry cloth," Dr. Flagan said, "is the liquid introduces capillary forces." The dust will bond to the wet surface, he said. "And then the particle doesn't want to pull off."

It's that simple.  Want less dust - wipe your feet!  Want rid of dust - use a damp cloth!


  *   ¼ cup white vinegar

  *   1 tbsp. cornstarch

  *   1 quart warm water

Mix the ingredients and apply with a sponge or pour into spray bottle and spray on. For lint-free results, wipe dry with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine.

Recipe taken from the University of Georgia Green Cleaning curriculum.

Information provided by Dr. Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Housing Specialist - 7 Principles of a Healthy Home Workshop Series.