Effective measures to control dust in your home

Shrubs and plants on the balcony and the windows help  trap dust. PHOTO/unsplash.com.

What you need to know:

While it might be difficult to eliminate dust completely, cleaning regularly and other maintenance measures can help control it

Due to the prolonged dry season, dust is one of the major challenges people are facing in their homes. If dust is not controlled, it not only a health threat to the occupants but can also damage indoor items such as walls, ceilings, furniture and curtains.

Sharon Kusiima an interior decorator, says while it might be difficult to eliminate dust completely, cleaning regularly and other maintenance measures can help control it.

Avoid dry dusting

Kusiima says cleaning is one of the easiest ways to control dust in your home but dry dusting is not recommended. Using a dry cloth or a feather duster to clean surfaces in your home, only spreads the dust around instead of removing it.

“Beating rugs or cushions to remove dust while inside does not control the dust because it just goes up in a cloud and settles down once again. Whenever you dust your furniture or floors, use a damp cloth instead of a dry one. This will help to trap the dust instead of just moving it around,” she says.

Similarly, dust collects more easily on dirty or wet surfaces, so to control dust keep them as dry as possible.

Clean from top to bottom

When you clean your home, work from top to bottom. If you brush your carpet first and then clean your light fixtures next, some dust is going to make its way to the floor. That means the time and effort you spent on the carpet was wasted. When working your way through the house, clean from the top to the bottom.

Also pay special attention to the spots that are prone to accumulating build-up. Dust can settle anywhere, so be sure to check hard-to-reach places such as top shelves, closet tops, ceiling fans, and inside the cracks and crevices of cabinets. Other forgotten areas may be under the bed and behind your appliances.

Keep countertops clear of things you do not use daily. Instead of   keeping things out in the open, put them away inside cabinets or wardrobes. The last task you complete in each room should be sweeping or dust mopping.

For efficient dusting you will need to use the right tools.  Washable microfibre cloths will help you capture dust effectively and stop it from simply being recirculated in your indoor air.

Keep windows closed

Since most dust comes in from outdoors, a good defense is keeping it out as much as possible. Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible.

To air out your home, Kusiima suggests opening the windows early in the morning when there is still dew and morning mist outside and them as soon as the morning traffic picks up. You can also open them in the evening when the traffic has reduced.

Commit to a no-shoes policy inside and get a good-quality doormat to leave outside your main entrance.

If you live in a place that has too much dust think of putting in place barriers in form of shrubs and plants on the balcony and the windows to trap some of it.

 “Climbers such as the money plant or ivy, can grow on the window grills and make a pretty green curtain that traps the dust. If you have a garden outside your home, you will have less dust,” Kusiima says. 

She also recommends a water body in the home because it is also traps dust and increases the humidity in the air thus controlling the movement of dust particles.

 “You can also use a net screen on your windows will help in trapping some of the dust. Just make sure you wash it often to remove the accumulated dust. Net screens do not only control the dust but also provide fresh air and light during day,” she says 


Kusiima says clutter in a home does not only collect dust but also makes it difficult to clean. The more cluttered your home is, the more surfaces there will be for the dust to collect.  Remove clutter both from surfaces and floors to help minimise dust. Get rid of piles of clothing, toys, magazines, books or anything else where dust might settle. Wash your bedding once a week to prevent dust mites from forming. 

Clean your rugs

Your rugs, jusy as your floors, see a lot of dust. The difference with rugs, though, is that all those fibres are exceptionally good at trapping that dust.

This means that your rugs (especially those that see a lot of foot traffic) will require more attention the than other  floors.  It also means that you will need to clean high-traffic areas more than just once per week. Taking your rugs outside to shake and beat them once every or twice a month is another good idea. Also have them fessionally cleaned anat least once a year.