What Is Dust and Where Does It Come From?

Photo of Dust and BroomIf you swipe your finger over one of your household surfaces or floor, chances are you’re going to find some dust.

Regardless of how diligently you clean, dust finds its way back into your house every time.

Look around and you will see the stuff everywhere – on your picture frames, electronics, table tops, window sills, the floor, even the dashboard of your car. Peer close enough into the air around you and you’ll probably see dust particles floating in the air.

So, what is dust and where does it come from?

The Universal Truth about Dust

The subject of dust may not seem very enthralling, but the origin of dust particles is a fascinating and universally true one.

As soon as you dust off one surface, another surface will need it. Dust creates problems for those exposed to it; it is not just an eye sore. An overabundance of dust can cause eye irritation, allergies, and nasal congestion. It may also cause airborne illnesses to stick around for longer.

Getting rid of the dust in your surroundings is not always easy. If it were, then there wouldn’t be so many cleaning products out there promising to do a better job than the next one.

Dust, in all its stubborn glory, is an airborne substance that will never go away. The best we can do is learn methods to cut down on its existence in our environments.

The Mysterious Ingredients of Dust

According to NPR, dust can be made up of several things – from dead skin cells, bits of food, pollen and even space rock particles.

The location of the dust usually determines its composition.

House dust might have more skin cells in it, while the dust in your car might contain more road debris. Obviously, indoor dust is comprised of different components than outdoor dust, but the effects of them both are typically the same. Some outdoor dust comes from outer space – blowing around the planet to finally settle on your dresser.

In fact, dust can contain any number of particulates, regardless of its mysterious origins.

Put simply, it contains anything that can broke down into very small bits that are moveable with air currents. And, since strong enough air currents can move physical objects, the contents of dust are usually a mystery.

Generally speaking, dust usually contains things like dirt, pollen grains, molds, funguses, dead skin cells, feces, and parasites. No wonder companies try so hard to come out with the latest and greatest in dust defense.

Looking around your house, you might be able to predict the origins of your dust. The exact contents of dust will vary from location to location, but your house’s dust probably contains human hair, pet hair, outdoor debris, lint from carpeting and clothing, skin cells, and ash (if you are a smoker).

Unfortunately, dust particles are always falling off people and things, so removing it completely from your environment is nearly impossible.

Duking It Out with the Dust

Fighting back against dust is not as difficult as it seems. No matter where you live or how clean you are, dust will always be a problem and it will always need to be addressed.

Dust is, in every aspect, an unpleasant fact of life. Duking it out with the dust in your space requires some defensive tactics, starting with some knowledge on the most common dust collection areas.

Some spots in your home, car, or office are more susceptible to dust collecting than others. When giving your space a good once-over, be sure to check the following places:

  • On your electronics – TVs, stereos, speakers, cable boxes, game systems, etc.
  • On your fabrics – mattresses, pillows, bedding, curtains, blinds, etc.
  • On your wood surfaces – table tops, book cases, entertainments centers, etc.
  • On your decorations – picture frames, figurines, window treatments, etc.
  • On your fixtures – window sills, doors, faucets, handles, etc.
  • On your appliances – microwave, refrigerator (especially the top), toaster oven, etc.
  • On your devices – cell phone, computer, lamps, remote controls, etc.

When dusting your zone, be sure to concentrate on those areas. Remember that the insulation in your home can trap dust particles, preventing them from cycling through your ventilation system. No matter how meticulous of a housekeeper you are, dust will always find its way into your life.

You might also notice that some rooms become dustier than others. You walk in and suddenly your eyes get watery and your nose starts running. A lot of people have this same allergic reaction to dust, so if you do experience the watery eyes or runny nose the problem is most likely the amount of dust in your space and not a sign of allergies.

Tips to Tackle a Dusty Space

Getting rid of the dust in your zone requires the following tactics:

  1. Change your bedding often
  2. Remove clutter from surfaces and floors
  3. Remove floor rugs and carpets
  4. Use an air purifier dedicated for dust removal
  5. Keep closets tidy and organized
  6. Sweep or vacuum regularly

You will never stop having to battle the dust bunnies, but you can stop letting it drive you crazy.

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