How Do I Keep My Floors and Carpets Clean?
  • Household dust is made primarily of dead skin cells that slough off our bodies constantly. Therefore, shower at least once a day so dead skin cells are washed down the drain, before they can end up sloughing off onto pillows, bedding, and furniture.

  • Launder often, so that (a.) any dead skin cells that do deposit on bedding and clothing do not have a chance to accumulate, and (b.) dust mites and their waste are destroyed and kept to a minimum.

  • In warmer weather, use air-conditioning to prevent the occurrence or spread of dust mites. These microscopic creatures increase in number when the home climate is warm.  For the same reason, do not keep your home climate too high when heating your home in colder weather.

  • Do not keep a pet; if you have a pet, groom them often so you can dispose of their dead skin cells and hair before they are deposited all over your home.

  • A significant percentage of dust and dirt enters your home from the outside.  It travels in on your clothing, and on your shoes.  It also enters through your windows when open, and through cracks and crevices in the foundation and walls of your home; and, it enters through window and door seals that are leaking air.  If air is coming in, dust is coming in!

    The answers then, include:

    - If you've come from outside, drop dirty or dusty clothing in the hamper right away, rather than wearing it all day in the house.

    - Purchase and use a good set of doormats at each entrance to your home.  There should be a coarse outdoor mat on the outside, at each door, and a less-coarse but still stiff mat on the inside at each door.  In other words, each doorway in your home that leads outside should have two mats:  one outside and one inside.  In our home we also keep a piece of absorbent cotton carpet at each outside entranceway, this way after wiping the feet and then entering, a visitor or family member can "blot" their feet to remove moisture or water.  This makes a big difference when whether is wet or inclement.

    - Consider adopting a house rule that you and your guests will always remove your shoes at the door.

    - Have a carpenter (and/or mason) repair any window or door jambs that are old or don't fit well.  Bear in mind, however, that a home that is too "tight" is not considered healthy, because it does not allow for the escape of various indoor pollutants, such are produced from spray cans or use of cleaning chemicals.

How Do I Preserve My Floors and Carpets?

Damage and wear to floors actually comes from dirt and grit clinging to the bottom of your shoes, which scrape the floor as you walk. For an effective way to preserve your floors, therefore, follow the guidelines stated above concerning the placement and usage of doormats, as well as removing your shoes at the door. Following these steps will help preserve your carpets as well, since they will not become dirty or suffer a dirt build-up as quickly.  One of the most important actions to take to preserve your carpets is to buy a good-quality carpet in the first place.  These will wear better, withstand dirt better, and thus look good longer.  A third step to take is to vacuum your carpets regularly, making sure you use a good quality, well-designed upright vacuum cleaner with an effective roller-brush.  It is also important that the heighth of the brush be adjusted properly.  Such regular vacuuming will prevent a build-up of dirt, dust, and grime, resulting in a better-looking carpet.

What is Household Dust and Dirt Made of?

Household dirt is composed of approximately 75 - 80% percent dead human skin cells.  Human beings slough off millions of skin cells daily and this shedded material makes up the disproportionate amount of common household dust.  The rest of it is hair, animal dander, dust mites, and then to a smaller degree pollen, dirt, sand and earth tracked or blown in from outdoors.


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