Where Does Dust Come From in an Empty House?

Where Does Dust Come From

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.

At Domestication Bedding we know that the actual volume, in terms of the pace of accumulation, depends on quite a few variables, such as the urban conditions of the property.

Apartments throughout the highly urbanized areas of your classic megalopolis accumulate way more dirt and dust, especially those in near proximity of busy roads.

City apartments are dirtier than suburban properties because of the increased amount of pollution coming in from outside.

That’s the variable of “incoming pollution” and it’s the source for over 50% of all household dust. Rumor has it that the average urban apartment can generate up to 40 pounds of dirt per year!

Imagine how living next to (or above) a busy road in the center of a busy city will compare to living in a suburban neighborhood where the terrace type of houses dominate? Or where does dust come from in an empty house if there’s nobody living there?

The Worst Places in a Property to Accumulate Dirt

“Carpets, kitchens (particularly ovens), and windows are the top three areas where dirt accumulates the most in the average household, where the exterior of windows gets the most intensive exposure to airborne dirt, and children plus pets turn rugs to mess,” comments professional property acquisition expert Paul Gibbens.

In our humble but expert experience, the main reason for that is the high-end techniques required to properly handle each of those areas, i.e.

  • High-end hot water extraction carpet cleaning requires a specialized unit that does not fit in the average budget, not to mention maintenance. Even if you’re using a stain-resistant carpet, it’ll still gather and hold tons of dust and heavy dirt particles.
  • The specialized dip tank oven cleaning service requires both the know-how and tools to dismantle an oven, a specialized tank for oven racks and doors to fit and soak, as well as the specialized eco-friendly detergents. Using lemons to clean it is one thing, but high-end dismantle-rinse-and-reassemble service stands for state-of-the-art results.
  • Most often than not, cleaning hard-to-reach external windows requires specialized gear, such as the pole and water pump combo or custom robot units. This is a chore that one has to do only a few times a year, where improvements such as blinds can further reduce the volume of dirt reaching your home.

We will try to elaborate further on carpet cleaning in particular, as we feel it’s important to shed more light on why carpets are one of the top areas of accumulating dirt and thus endangering health.

People Have a Hard Time to Fully Clean Carpets & Rugs

The most common (and affordable) way that most use to clean is your regular vacuum cleaner. The low to middle-class units such as portable carpet cleaners that most people buy can only suck in so much.

The fine-grain result comes down to the actual power of suction, and most off-the-shelf units just don’t have enough to fully remove dirt. That’s why professionals offer the next best solution, and that is hot water extraction (HWE), but more on that below.

Usage of Steam & Vacuum Cleaners

However, regular steam cleaners do not remove allergens such as dust mites, but only suppress those for a short period of time.

dust mite
By CSIRO, CC BY 3.0 from Wikipedia

These units do not remove the organic mass left behind… Which is far from a real solution. That’s another reason that helps dirt accumulate over time.

Read: Biting the Dust, Or Not: Do Robot Vacuums Work?

Hot Water Extraction (HWE) for Fabrics

The best way to get rid of the wide range of accumulated dirt (skin leftovers, dust, other heavy particles, etc.) in your carpet is hot water extraction (HWE). The technique of HWE removes up to 95% of moisture along with grime, dust mite leftovers, dust itself, other heavy particles, hair, human skin, etc. allergens that cause the suffering of people like me.

Of course, there are delicate fabrics that do not allow the usage of HWE and that’s where the specialized dry cleaning powder comes in. The concept is similar, but rather than water, we use dry chem powder that binds to allergen particles and the mixture gets sucked at later on.

How Does Dirt Affect Our Health?

If you suffer from allergies, carpets should be properly washed at least once every 3 months, while some do it twice a month.

Moms who’ve done c-section and have booked a regular hot water extraction (HWE) treatment each end every month.

* Peculiar fact: Children born via c-section are far more likely to develop allergies over time or even trigger such.

If you suffer from asthma caused by a dust allergy, you may show more intensive symptoms such as trouble with breathing, heavy chest tightness, and irritating wheezing.

A good practice is to bring natural scents to your home right after cleaning. Essential oils made from citruses such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits do a great job with cleaning and sanitization, comments decades-in-experience essential oils manufacturer Galen-N. Take aromatherapy a step further and mix your DIY dust spray with lavender, rose oil, cinnamon, or tea tree, as nothing compliments a freshly-cleaned room as a gentle blend of natural scents.

Facts About Dust

Humanity fights dirt and dust at home since the dawn of time with questions that always bother: What percentage of dust is dead skin? How much dust is in the air? What is dust composed of besides human skin and pet fur? Where does dust come from? What is there to know about improving air quality at home?

Here are some of the less-known facts and actual uses of dust (yes, there are uses to it):

  • The invention of the first vacuum cleaner happens in 1901. It was of immense size and ran on gasoline. It often required more than one horse to transport the entire wagon.
  • The average person might shed anywhere from a half-pound to 2 pounds of dead skin cells a year… maybe more.
  • The average US property accumulates up to 40 pounds of dust and dirt over the course of a year.
  • Popular info labels dust as 80% made from dead leftovers from skin and fur, but for most of it, that’s pollen, fabrics shedding, paper fibers, soil, and even cosmic dust.
  • People think that dust allergies are because of dust, but it’s actually dust mites that trigger reactions. These pests can breed in the millions, as it takes a gram of dirt to harbor dust mites in the hundreds.
  • Lighter particles could float airborne up to a week before one lands on a hard surface.
  • More than 770 million tons of dirt and dust come from the Sahara desert and spread throughout the entire world.
  • More than 5 tons of dust and dirt clouds travel the atmosphere per year. It can and does affect the levels of rain, heat, cooling, and is closely monitored by NASA officials. Rain and snow both have dust particles inside.
  • Dust in the atmosphere aids clouds in condensate and thus forms rain.
  • More than 40, 000 tons of dust come to planet Earth from outer space.
  • Dust in the atmosphere absorbs blue and green specters of light, leaving the warm and beautiful colors of sunrise and sunset.
  • Compared to the 100-microns wide human hair, dust chunks measure from 1 to 15 microns in diameter. These particles can easily get stuck in our lungs and nasal areas.
  • Small amounts of dust can cause heavy respiratory and even cancerous conditions if you’re exposed to it for a longer period of time. It takes no more than the weight of a dime to get one ill.
  • Dust also helps with solving crimes, like fingerprints, and other proofs get sealed in time.
  • Dust from certain metals has explosive characteristics, such as fireworks, matches, and bombs.

Sources, Composition, Effects of Dust – Final Words

The process of dust building up is something we can’t stop and have to tackle daily, as the effects and risks to health are here to stay, especially during these turbulent times of respiratory viruses circling the globe.