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Did you know that dust mites thrive in dark and warm conditions, like mattresses which are usually neglected during regular cleaning? Beds can contain between 100,000 and more than one million dust mites! And there are other places many of us forget too — skirting boards anyone? Following the publication of Dyson’s first Global Dust Study, we reveal the most neglected household cleaning spots along with some top tips for a deep clean.
Dyson’s first Global Dust Study reveals that one in three people clean only when they spot visible dust on their floors. However, fine dust is invisible to the naked eye and collects in most places in the home — areas we don’t even think about cleaning. While dust is seemingly innocuous, in reality, it’s a complex matrix of organic matter that includes dead skin cells, hair, dust mites, dust mite faeces, bacteria, mould, small insects and other fibres and particles. Many of these components can trigger allergies and impact our well-being.ADVERTISEMENT
Here are the places most people forget to clean.
Ceiling textures can harbour dust and cobwebs, and vacuuming is often the easiest way to clean them. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean larger expanses without damaging any paint or wallpaper and opt for a crevice tool to get to hard-to-reach corners. A lightweight cord-free vacuum is a good option to clean higher up spaces.
Remove dust from walls by dusting with a damp cloth, cleaning wipes or using a vacuum with advanced filtration. Dust on certain wall types can contribute towards the growth of mould. If you’re vacuuming both the ceiling and the walls, start with the ceiling followed by the walls so that you capture any airborne dust that may land on the walls or on furniture or the floor below. Cleaning from the top-down ensures that you pick up any fallen airborne dust as you go.
Mattresses can be breeding grounds for house dust mites, who thrive in warm, dark, and humid places like our beds. Dust mites feed on skin cells, which we shed two-three of per day and even more at night owing to the friction from bed linens. There can be millions of dust mites in a single mattress and each mite produces around 20 faecal pellets a day which harbor an allergenic protein that can trigger allergic reactions. Vacuuming your mattress on both sides will help reduce the number of skin flakes and allergenic material in your mattress and washing sheets and blankets on a 140°F or 195°F wash will help to break down and reduce allergens.
Just like mattresses, pet baskets can harbour dust mites, who feast on pet dander shed by animals. If possible, launder any removable covers on a 140°F or 195°F wash. Where that isn’t feasible, use the mini-motorised tool on a vacuum cleaner in handheld mode to agitate and “peel off” any unwanted pet hair, dander and allergens.
Lamps and lampshades
Dust can gather in lampshades and light fittings which can then burn on hot bulbs producing VOCs and odour or be moved around the room by the production of warm air around the bulbs. Using the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner with an up-top adaptor will help reach high lampshades — avoid using damp cloths near sources of electricity.
For a deeper clean, start by carefully removing the contents of your shelves. Vacuum the top shelves first so that you don’t miss any airborne dust that might settle further down. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner with an up-top adapter to remove dust from high-up areas. Using a damp cloth, gently remove and marks or stains and allow time to dry before putting the contents of the shelves back. If possible, don’t forget to pull out the shelves from the wall and vacuum underneath furniture — if you can see dust, it’s likely that bacteria, moulds and colonies of dust mites could already be thriving there.
Curtains and blinds
A lot of dust can gather in curtains and blinds and dust mites can thrive in textiles. Make sure you vacuum them with a soft brush tool or launder them if possible and practical.
Clean regularly: Dust electrostatically ‘sticks’ to hard floors and the longer it sits on the floor, the more effort is required to ‘peel’ (or dislodge) it off the surface. Cleaning regularly makes it easier to remove dust, which applies to whole house and not just your floors. Cleaning two of the 10 spots (listed above) every week means you can achieve a whole house deep clean every month. This is a highly recommended frequency to maintain a clean home without getting overwhelmed by the daunting task of trying to deep clean your entire home at once.
Clean the right way: There’s an inclination to reach for a damp cloth and/or wet mop to clean and kill germs around the house. However, wet cleaning with disinfectants and vacuum suction to remove fine dust are two very different jobs, and they need to work in unison to achieve a clean home. The most common mistake is mopping a dirty floor and therefore creating a more favourable habitat for dust mites and mould to grow. It’s essential to remove all the dust and dirt from your floors before mopping to achieve a barefoot and genuinely clean floor. Dyson vacuums are engineered to provide up to 230AW of powerful suction to remove all the dust in your homes.
Use vacuums with advanced filtration: The main purpose of vacuuming is to remove the dust and dirt from your home. A vacuum with advanced filtration is essential to ensure that all the nasties in your vacuum, stay within your vacuum, rather than being expelled back into your home. Dyson vacuums come with a five-stage filtration system to achieve 99.97 per cent filtration of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which ensures that the dust you’re sucking up remains trapped in your vacuum, and only clean air is expelled back into your home.
Use the right tools: There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to cleaning your home. From the size of your home to whichever part you’re cleaning, being equipped with the right vacuum and tools is key. Dyson has a large range of vacuums of varied sizes that have been engineered to solve every kind of cleaning need.