Preventing Frequent Dust Build-Up?

I am so frustrated by the amount of dust in our home. It is open and large in square feet. I wipe down surfaces to only find them dusty soon after. I would like to know if this is something others battle with? Our furnace filter gets changed as needed yet surfaces accumulate dirt with too frequent buildup.


I have a rainbow vacuum and am amazed by what it collects in the water basin. Please help. I have an indoor dog that romps but cannot imagine all this is due to him. Are there any products that capture dust other than our static air purifier that is in our basement?

Cookie from Michigan

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By healatoz(at)yahoo(dot)com (Guest Post)
November 21, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, I had this exact problem for the three years I've lived in this house. Put in all new bamboo floors - carpet not causing it. Minutes after dusting there would be stuff on the floor. The solution. We had the vents and the air handler cleaned. You cannot imagine the difference it made. We were away for a week, and came back to a house that looked like it was cleaned yesterday. It's a few hundred dollars, but believe me. It's well worth it.

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November 21, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, we battle with that nasty dust too. The only thing you can really do is make sure your furnace (& air conditioner) has a topnotch filter in it. You can also buy a HEPA filter type of vacuum so you're not spreading even more dust when you vacuum. If you have a forced air furnace, I'd also recommend that you have your vents cleaned, just look at all the dust that collects in there! Another thing that can help is to tape another air-filter on to the outside of the cold air intake vent (for the furnace). Just make sure the furnace is still receiving enough air.


Along with that the only thing I'd recommend is buying several quality air cleaners. Having older carpeting & older upholstered furniture (like I do) only adds to the problem so have your carpets cleaned yearly if you can.

I remember battling dust mites when my oldest daughter (that had allergies) was still living with me & how we had to take out the carpeting in her room along with covering her mattress & pillows with plastic. Our wood stove only made things worse, but her worst allergy attacks came when she rode in my car that had a plush fabric interior. It must have held a lot of dust along with many of those nasty little dust mite critters!

Apparently dust is much nastier that we always thought. They say it comes from your skin & your animal's skin sloughing off. Along with everyone else's who has lived with you or sat on your sofa. I guess this dust just keeps recirculating through history. Along with all the mud & dirt that gets tracked in along with it.


To learn the best way to remove dust, just Google the internet for "Dust Allergies".

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By Kitty G (Guest Post)
November 22, 20080 found this helpful

I have glass tables. I read someplace that used dryer sheets keep the static dust away. And it works great! Even after a week or more, no dust. Special bonus you use something a second time, that you would throw away.

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November 24, 20080 found this helpful

I have the same problem at my house. Even before we got our two cats and dog, there was dust build-up - especially on the venetian blinds. I too have a Rainbow vac and I love it. It is good to know that the dust isn't coming from that (as a previous poster seemed to think). Please don't try to put a HEPA filter on your vacuum.


It'd probably ruin it and would totally defeat the purpose of the Rainbow. Water-based vacuums do not put dust back into the air. When we got our Rainbow, the salesman told us that we could run it all day - basically for that purpose - to catch the dust in the air. But they tend to be a bit noisy, so I never run mine like that.

Good luck in finding a solution to your dust problem.

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November 24, 20080 found this helpful

When we were more mobile and able to do this, it helped a lot: Buy cheesecloth (it's pretty reasonable at stores like Wal-mart and any dollar or hardware store.) Stretch strips across the undersides of your floor registers, and change as often as needed. We changed once monthly, and were amazed at the amount of dirt that got collected!


I also regularly vaccuumed out the cold-air vent. I know it sounds gross and would recommend using gloves, but I even used to reach into the area and retrieve dust bunnies, debris, etc., by hand.

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By Kate (Guest Post)
November 24, 20080 found this helpful

I have the same problem. For my house, I think the problem is due to the fact that we have a gravel driveway, and it is busy, too. In Michigan I would guess you have a paved driveway, or you'd shovel away the gravel with the snow! Kate NC

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November 24, 20080 found this helpful

I am not sure how old your heating/air system is but if you have your ducts thoroughly vacuumed out by a professional you'll be amazed how much that will help :-) I had this done at the home I used to own and I was amazed at how much gunk was removed when they showed me the machine container before and after :-o


Be sure to call all around to at least a half dozen reputable heating and air conditioning company's for bids ...

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November 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have to agree with Deeli.....
get your duct work professionaly cleaned.
It makes a world of difference.

And here is a great tip for after you have your ducts cleaned.....

Cover all the heating vents and cold air intakes
with 2 layers of tulle (the fabric they use to make ballet tutu's).

Simply place the layered tulle over the
vent opening, put the vent cover in
place over top of the tulle, then
trim to fit with scissors or an exacto knife.

This prevents a fair amount of "stuff"
finding its way through your duct work,
and recycling itself as dust throughout
your home.

Remove the tulle once a month, throw
in the dryer for 5 mins with a dampend
cloth, it will remove the debris.

I use black tulle and I find it easy to
see the accumulations of debris.

Good Luck

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By j (Guest Post)
November 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have the same problem and I know what the cause is, but cannot solve the problem. My dust problem is from living in a very old house (about 80-85 years old). There is no insulation in the walls and it is VERY drafty. Central air was added about 20 years ago and the only places the system could be put was in inconvenient places (like closets) which don't seal. The dust is pulled into the house from the cracks around the system. I know it's not that my system needs to be cleaned because I just replaced the whole thing 2 years ago and the dust issue didn't go away or decrease. I believe new or newer homes are better sealed. Older homes are more drafty and open and are able to move "things" around more readily. Ever notice when you go to a friend's house which was just built the air seems so still? That baby's sealed up.

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November 25, 20080 found this helpful

A tip for the Guest Post 'j' :

All it takes to stop the drafts coming in from cracks is to plaster or concrete patch work even around the area where the system was installed. The house I used to own was built in 1890 which means it was 117 years old when I sold it last year and it definitely was not insulated . All of the cracks being repaired helped immensely when I first bought it about fifteen years ago but what made the biggest difference was having the vent 'ducts' vacuumed out by a professional.

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January 2, 20090 found this helpful

Most indoor dust is dead skin cells. I read somewhere that... I think it said something like 75% of it, unless you've got a lot of animals and children tromping in and out with mud on their feet/shoes. If you have dry skin, moisturize often, and use a body loofah and foot file in the bath/shower, where it will all wash away. It won't take away all the dust, but it may lighten it up a bit. The person who said they had their vents and air handler cleaned also went away for a week, so it's anybody's guess which thing helped the house's dust level more, but I'd bet on the absence of humans in the home.

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