Dust is a collection of very small particles that land on surfaces in you house. They are produced by many things around the house like clothing, paper, foods, skin cells, plant matter, and dust mite feces.
That's right, I said dust mite poop.
Typically dust collects on surfaces in layers. A clean surface can become quickly covered in a fine dust. Bits of debris or water rings can stick the dust directly to the surface! In kitchens, there is usually a thick layer of grease under dusty surfaces due to cooking and regular usage. When surfaces haven't been cleaned for a while, and especially when domestic animals are present, surfaces can form a thickly caked layer of dust on them that may even require a bit of scrubbing!
|"Layers of dust" drawn by Clementine Willowilde|
There are a few ways to go about cleaning dust off of surfaces. Two main dusting methods exist that I know of and they are wet dusting and dry dusting. Wet dusting is when one uses a dampened sponge or cloth to remove dust from a surface. Dry dusting is when one uses a dry duster, dust cloth, sponge, microfiber, or feather duster to lift dust from surfaces. There are definitely jobs around the house that require one method over the other but sometimes it just comes down to personal preference!
Wet dusting is appropriate for those situations in which you are dealing with thick dust that is clinging to surfaces, many times with a greasy under layer or stuck on debris. It is also best for controlling loose dust from flying up into the air as you are cleaning. If you have allergies, this is a great way to dust the house so that you can optimally eliminate dust while deterring its migration to other surfaces through it flying off into the air. There are however a few drawbacks. One is that the sponge or cloth, if too wet will leave streaks on a surface. The other is that it is time consuming. It usually requires the cleaner to rinse the sponge or cloth often and it is difficult to employ on intricate or spiky surfaces.
|Wet Dusting with a sponge may leave streaks or residue!|
Dry Dusting is most often executed with a cloth or feather duster. These days there are some great new tools to use like swiffer dusting wipes, microfiber clothes, and dusters of various bristle types. Some products even claim to use static electricity in the lifting process. An old wives type method includes dusting with old dryer sheets because they have anti cling and dust trapping agents in them. The pros to this method are that it is extremely quick and good to use when dealing with intricate surfaces or lightly dusty surfaces. The downside to dry dusting is that loose dust often escapes back into the air to be inhaled by you or to land again on already dusted surfaces.
|Dry Dusting with a cloth maybe release dust into the air!|
So when cleaning a house, test a couple surfaces. Figure out what type or thickness of dust that you have and be prepared to have a couple different tools ready so that you can clean well! You may find that you have a particular personal preference when it comes to methods and products. By cleaning up dust and debris you help to secure your own health and to also improve your homes air quality.