I want to invite you into the world of the microscopic. Where those things that we can’t normally see can be at once both beautiful and terrifying.
Take the humble dust particle, for example – specifically indoor house dust. We don’t normally give dust much thought, perhaps because a particle of dust is imperceptible to the naked human eye. Except perhaps when it dances in front of a shaft of sunlight. Have you ever wondered why it floats?
Or how so much house dust can accumulate on top of ceiling fans and high ledges? Or why it’s so difficult, well-nigh impossible, to get rid of fine particle dust? If we zoom right in, what precisely comprises a dust particle, and how does it impact human health and well-being?
Let’s take a closer look at house dust
A typical indoor house dust particle contains; Hairs, skin flakes, clothing and carpet fibres, dirt, insect body parts and waste (including dust mites), pollens, mould spores, animal dander, pathogens, irritants and contaminants from the products we use, to name a few of the usual suspects. It’s a whole other world.
I was once so enamoured with the idea of becoming a father that I determined to get my environment pristine in preparation for the arrival of our first child, a beautiful baby girl. It was a steep learning curve for me. And learn I did. Dust floats because the very act of dusting and vacuuming actually creates a static electricity charge that attaches to the dust particles when disturbed. This allows the practically weightless dust, contaminant and pollutant particles to seemingly defy the laws of physics and gravity. The really fine dust is thus made airborne whilst we clean and, over time, accumulates in our homes, becoming a playground for microscopic irritants, pollutants and their detestable little pals like dust mites, bacteria and mould.
Surface cleaning versus deep cleaning
But things look clean right, and we know how to spruce things up when the guests come around. But why are we always cleaning? We seem to spend a lot of time cleaning because we’re mainly circulating the fine dust, not removing it. Those things that we can’t see can hurt us. And it turns out rather they can harm us rather seriously in fact.
I’m not a doctor, but I do have a body. If we can still hear it, the human body is a fine-tuned and truthful instrument for discerning what’s good for us and what’s not so good for us. And not just in the material world, it turns out, but when it comes to clean and healthy environments like the beach or a mountain, we feel exhilarated. The opposite is true when entering a dank, dark, dusty home.
Now most homes, to be fair, are not at either extreme but look good on the surface… until you start to look closely.
And it seems science is catching up with the timeless wisdom of the human body. Such as the emerging link between inhaling toxic mould spores and Alzheimer’s. And we’ve known, thanks to science for some time, of the respiratory and associated illnesses that exposure to dust can cause for those with dust and associated allergies. But what about the rest of us? It takes science time to discover more. But why wait? Prevention is always better than the cure. And with billions spent on treating disease in Australia alone, why is so little spent on preventative measures such as creating healthier indoor environments? The answer, as always, is to do with money.
So what can we do about it?
Well, for the average householder unable or unwilling to invest in the necessary equipment that is required to really go after the dust in one fell swoop like our company 1800 CLEANER are specialists at doing, I suggest the following;
Choose a day and time when you can control any traffic in the house. You want the house to be still with no wind drafts, so close all windows and doors. Ensure no one will disturb the house for two or three hours before you start cleaning. Then when the time comes, enter the house gently and softly. Wipe down all the open surfaces with a warm, damp microfibre cloth and mop the hard floors. You aim to collect much of the fine dust that has settled there without disturbing it. Go slowly. Remember, when you vacuum and dust, you are agitating and making that fine dust float. So this is a stealthy operation and will need to be conducted repeatedly until the majority of dust has been removed.
Removing fine dust slowly over time
The next step is to get up on top of the high cupboards, ceiling fans etc, to wipe the dust accumulated up there off and out. Start high, finish low. Then move the furniture, and then we start to vacuum and conduct our normal cleaning procedures. The best way to think about this process is to imagine a pillow with 100 dust particles in it. The first time you bang the pillow against the wall, you might get 50 particles out. Then the second time, 20 and then 10, 5 and so on, until only a couple of particles are left, which you will never completely eliminate. It’s like this with the home. The first time you’ll get a lot of dust, and each time thereafter, a little less until after several cleans, the fine dust levels are minimal.
When used on dust, this law of diminishing returns promotes better sleep, elevated mood and improved health. And invest in mattress protectors and an anti-bacterial air filter in your bedroom. I hope this article has been helpful to you, and if you have any specific questions or require more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
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