Thanks to the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the resulting concept of entropy, it’s no surprise that things usually move from a state of higher organization to lower. And that includes the state of our homes. Decline is such a normal part of life that we all expect it, of course. Rooms tend to get cluttered instead of getting tidy. And dust builds up instead of naturally disappearing.
But, this is where we humans come in. We know that we have to clean if we want things moving from lower organization to higher. So, clean we do! Today’s culprits are dust, lint, & allergens. Thus, let’s get ready, aim, and fire at these household annoyances.
Admittedly, this might sound simplistic. Still, we suggest that any campaign to rid your house of dust, lint, and allergens should begin with regular cleaning. Basically, we’re proposing you embrace the mindset than an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t wait until the nastiness gets to be too much for you. Instead, have a plan for how to keep your home from being overwhelmed in the first place.
Down with dirt, dust, and all other disgusting junk
As you approach cleaning, note that some cleaning can stir up dust in its own right. Ever put in a good-faith sweeping effort only to find plenty of your dust is now swirling in the air? Thus, as you clean, be conscious of using good techniques and well-suited tools.
Of course, you’re free (and even encouraged) to put your heart into sweeping. But take care not to put so much physical gusto into the project that you’re flicking the broom and sending dust flying. You want the junk to fill the dustpan. The part you have to worry about is what doesn’t make it into the dustpan.
A damp rag is another cleaning tool to capitalize on. Dust may stick to a dust cloth that’s been slightly wetted better that it would to a dry one. On the other hand, there are feather dusters—which are fun to use. Still, they may be a bit worse at flinging the dust than either a dry rag or a damp one.
Take out those allergens (and blow your nose for the millionth time)
Allergens can feel like the bane of one’s existence. And they can worsen depending on the season. Let’s say you’re dealing with nasty seasonal allergies. Walk out of the house and you feel like you’re under attack. (Thanks to the pollen that trees and flowers are producing).
Well, you may not be able to change the environment outdoors. But you can always try to escape it by staying indoors. And here’s where you want to try to create a safe haven in your house.
Even though you might love a fresh spring breeze floating between your curtains, ask if it’s worth it. Swipe your finger along a nearby tabletop. Does it come away coated in yellow dust? Then, those open windows may be letting in a whole lot more than fresh air.
Tackle the springtime tradeoff
“Yes,” you complain, “but the house is just so stuffy with the windows closed. And it’s actually getting hot, too!” Excellent point. Some of you may feel like you just can’t bring yourself to turn on the air conditioning early in the spring. After all, just opening the windows could solve the problems without any expense.
While that’s fair to think, keep in mind the tradeoff here. Opening the windows could let in allergens that make you more miserable. Itchy eyes, a plugged up nose, sinuses ready to explode could be your reward. Think it through—is this really worth the money you’d be saving by opening the windows? You may decide that the expense of turning on the A/C is worth it.
Note that you can also take precautions against allergies that aren’t seasonal in nature. For instance, you can buy a protective cover for your pillow if you’re allergic to dust mites. And you can invest in thorough and regular carpet cleaning if you struggle with asthma.
No room for lint
Doubtless, dryers are a wonderful feature of modern life. Especially in winter because they prevent us from having to bring frozen laundry in off our clothesline. They do have a downside, though—lint. Start by taking initiative and cleaning out your dryer’s lint filter regularly (like after every load). When you’re doing that, try to keep the lint contained as you get it to the trash can.
Pay attention to what the surrounding area looks like once you’ve cleaned the lint filter. You may find you need to clean up the area a little bit. So grab your vacuum and clean off the top of your washing machine. (While you’re at it, vacuum the lint filter and its surroundings, too). Or take a damp cloth and wipe up any lint littering the surface.
Do you find that you can’t transfer that lint to the trash can without spreading it around en route? Then, try grabbing a spray bottle of water and giving it a light spritz before moving it. Just be sure to let the filter dry off after. On top of regularly emptying the lint filter, consider a more thorough dryer cleaning from time to time.
Dryer vs. tissues
Oh, and please do us all a favor. Remove used tissues from your pockets before your clothes enter the laundry stream. Once those fluffy white items go through the washer and dryer, the result can be a mess. Here comes a tissue shred snowstorm! Nobody likes cleaning that up.
Clean like you mean it
Make regular cleaning your first line of defense in combatting dust, lint, and allergens. Check our House Cleaning Schedule | Deep Cleaning Divided Throughout Year to get you thinking. And if asthma is a particular concern in your case, head to How Carpet Cleaning Affects Your Asthma. Invest in tomorrow by cleaning today!