If there’s one thing Dyson knows a lot about, it’s dust. With labs dotted around the world dedicated to inspecting household dirt, Dyson uses this information to develop its products. The data is also extremely useful for helping understand how dust is made and the right order to clean your home.
What is dust?
Dust is the collective name for the small particles that end up littering our homes. It comprises mostly microscopic particles of various origins, including dead skin cells, hair, pet dander, soil and pollens. Where you get dust, you also get dust mites. These microscopic creatures feast on dead skin cells and, as all living things do, poop out the waste, which can cause allergic reactions in people.
Running its global dust study, Dyson found that there was a huge increase in pet ownership with 57% of households having at least one. Of those households, 50% allowed their pets to sleep on their beds, although awareness of what this means was low.
According to the survey results, 75% were unaware that pollen can reside on their pets, 70% were unaware that viruses and house dust mite faeces can reside on their pets, and 50% were unaware that bacteria and skin flakes are on our pets.
Most households also only cleaned when their homes were visibly dirty: that means that there’s a lot of microscopic mess and allergens floating around. Cleaning regularly, even when a house doesn’t look dirty is the right way to go, but here’s how you should clean.
What we used
A vacuum cleaner is an essential tool for cleaning a home, as it removes dirt from surfaces for safe disposal. We can recommend the Dyson V15 Detect as the best cordless cleaner that we’ve reviewed.
Vacuum first, use a wet cloth second
Many households have admitted to using a wet cloth to remove dirt, but this is a terrible idea. Dust mites and mould all love a damp environment, so you’re giving them exactly what they want using this method. Instead, you should vacuum dirt to remove it from surfaces.
With any decent vacuum cleaner, you’ll find tools designed to cater for specific jobs: a crevice tool (the long pointy one) is to get into narrow gaps and around the sides of a room; an upholstery tool or motorised mini tool is for soft surfaces, including sofas and curtains; and a soft brush is to replace a traditional duster.
For floors, you may find that your vacuum cleaner has different attachments for different types. For example, with Dyson, the soft roller is for hard floors, and the brush is for carpets.
Once you’ve vacuumed, you can clean surfaces with a cloth or mop, using your choice of cleaning solution or polish.
Start up high
As you vacuum, dust is knocked down. As a result, it makes the most sense to clean up high, starting on the tops of cupboards and around the skirting board, before making your way down. Do remember to clean your sofas and soft furnishing as well: these can harbour dust mites and their droppings, as well as collecting dust and allergens.
Vacuum your mattress
Sleeping on your mattress all night means that’s a primary location for dead skin cells to gather. Throw in the fact that mattresses are warm and moist, thanks to our bodies, and you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for dust mites (pictured below). Make sure that you vacuum your mattress regularly – at least once a month. It makes sense to time cleaning your mattress as you change your sheets.
Use an air purifier
While there’s no getting around vacuuming, an air purifier can help reduce the number of pollutants in the air, including pet hair, pollen and microscopic particles. Purifiers work by sucking up airborne particles and trapping them in a filter, stopping them from settling. By removing airborne particles, they also make the air we breathe cleaner.
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Yes, although they only tackle dirt on the ground, so you need to vacuum higher up, including soft furnishings. It makes sense to do the manual cleaning first, then run the robot.