What's the best way to keep my apartment clean of dust?
September 11, 2005 8:25 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to keep my apartment clean of dust?

For some odd reason my apartment appears to be a massive attractant to dust. I've looked into perhaps buying an air purifier to limit the problem although I'm unsure as to if that's what such a product is used for (plus the good ones seem to cost a bomb). So, short of good old housework and thus more routine cleaning on my behalf (I want to avoid this if possible), how can I keep my apartment dust free? At the moment it's driving me nuts. Within a day I can have a film of dust over any item that's stationary. Help me bust the dust!
posted by sjvilla79 to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Emu or ostrich feather dusters are good. I have an old Fairfax vacuum that has a round outlet that can be hooked up to another vacuum hose which I vent out a window. Most vacuums blow all the fine dust (which is the worst for respiratory problems) back into the room.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:53 PM on September 11, 2005

short of good old housework and thus more routine cleaning on my behalf (I want to avoid this if possible),

Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. No matter what anyone tells you, the key to keeping a clean residence is to regularly vacuum and dust it. No air cleaner will be able to do the same work that you can do by regularly cleaning your place. Please don't waste your money on air cleaner products. You have to willngly clean your place yourself.
posted by puke & cry at 9:20 PM on September 11, 2005

Most vacuums blow all the fine dust (which is the worst for respiratory problems) back into the room.

Except for those newfangled HEPA filtered vacuums.

You have to willngly clean your place yourself.

Puritan work ethic aside, robots will do the cleaning in the future. And there are certainly technological approaches now that will reduce the need to dust.

Maybe close your windows more? Is there crazy construction nearby? Maybe your region just has lots of airborne dust?
posted by trevyn at 10:39 PM on September 11, 2005

Since you're in Melbourne, could it be pollen and, therefore, seasonal? Everything's blooming in Auckland, and we're on the same latitude. You said it was particularly bothering you lately. Try fine mesh screens over windows (which, themselves would need regular cleaning, but better them than the whole place).
posted by rob511 at 12:37 AM on September 12, 2005

Install a whole house hepa filter, with a fan strong enough to slightly pressurize your house. Dust can't just blow in as you open doors and windows as there is a breeze blowing out.
posted by hortense at 2:08 AM on September 12, 2005

Good, large volume HEPA air filters do work, but you need a large one, and a nearly hermetically sealed house/apartment.

Opening any windows negates this entirely, unless you have magic HEPA window screens or something, which would probably be opaque, anyway.

Allergy sufferers swear by sealed houses and HEPA filters.

So do clean room operators, who not only go to great and complicated lengths to keep dust from entering, but also fastidiously filter and clean anything going into the system.

But you don't see them dusting or cleaning in there, at least not in a tradtional sense. Bringing a filthy mop or broom in from the outside would wreck the place, and even bringing in brand new consumer-grade cleaning tools would shed particles like crazy.
posted by loquacious at 2:24 AM on September 12, 2005

If you have carpets, get rid of them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:44 AM on September 12, 2005

It's funny, Kirth, I was going to say the opposite. Our last house had all hardwood floors and I found that it was much dustier.

Also, to repeat what puke and cry said, more frequent housework is actually much easier to keep up than waiting until you can see the dirt. For me, 15 minutes a day beats a 3-hour binge any time.
posted by SashaPT at 6:56 AM on September 12, 2005

Our last place had wall-to-wall carpet; this one has hardwood. The old place was much worse for dust, even though it was on a quiet street, and this one fronts a state highway. I still say ditch the carpets, they never get really clean (because all that dust you see on the hardwood sinks into carpet). I'd also say get leather upholstery, for the same reason.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2005

Take off your shoes when you walk in the door. Less dirt and dust to leave around the house. Keep a pair of slippers by the door to help you remember; I did this last year and it's made a big difference.
posted by fionab at 10:06 AM on September 12, 2005

Having spent two hours the other weekend cleaning my glass shelving and bits & pieces stored on them, I realised that 'little and often' is the key. This week it took me less than 10 minutes to run a duster over everything.

Actually having to do some housework is unavoidable. I find that using tumble-dryer sheets to wipe over glass shelves, the TV and stereo reduces the amount of dust due to the anti-static properties of the fabric conditioner.

(Plus, it smells nice when the TV is on and the fragrance from the dryer sheet evaporates into the air with the heat from the TV.)

Once everything is clean, it's much easier to keep it down.

Oh, and I took up the carpet in my living room because there's parquet underneath. It gets far dustier than the carpet ever did. With a good vacuum cleaner (Dyson), dust in a carpet should not be difficult to shift.
posted by essexjan at 10:13 AM on September 12, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your answers. Looks like the best option for me right now is to just make time to do that extra bit of housework. At least my place is small, so it's not all bad. Cheers again.
posted by sjvilla79 at 8:57 PM on September 12, 2005

I've had decent success with a rather expensive air filter. I get maybe half the dust that I got before.
posted by smackfu at 11:52 AM on September 14, 2005

It's a hack, but couldn't you put a furnace filter on the intake side of a box fan and let that run? It would collect some of the dust from the air for you, preventing that dust from landing elsewhere. It's cheap to buy and cheap and easy to maintain.

Hmmm, I think I'm going to try this.
posted by kc0dxh at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2005

Response by poster: I live in a rented apartment. I can't make any massive mods to the place because there's nothing really to hack. Cheers though.
posted by sjvilla79 at 10:08 PM on September 14, 2005

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