I know that at one time or another, you have asked yourself the question, “Where did all this dirt come from?”
You sweep and mop the floors, you dust the furnishings, you vacuum every week and there is still dust on everything and your carpet still gets dirty. Where does it all come from? And why does it end up here?
Well, for starters, you are a good source for dust. Yep, you. Your body sheds thousands of skin cells every hour. So does your spouse, your kids and your pets. Skin cells – raining down all over the place! In addition to all that skin, the clothes you wear shed tiny particles of lint every time you move. (Do you think that’s why my mom always told me to sit still…? She didn’t want to have to dust?)
Inside the house, every time you pull a paper towel, use the “Charmin”, rustle the clothes in your closet, sit in or get out of a chair, get undressed, dry off from the shower, burn dinner, sweep the kitchen, pet the dog, clean the birdcage, etc., you create or move some particulates. Getting the picture??
Dust comes in from outside too. You can see it in the air, everywhere. We drag it in, track it in and let it fly in all around us whenever we open a door or window. Remember the character “Pig-Pen” from the Peanuts comic strip? Well, that’s you and me my friend. We just hide it better… until it has a chance to settle.
Here in the desert southwest, we usually get a big dust storm (or two or three) every summer. You know it when a dust storm is bearing down on you. You can see them for miles, a big rolling wall of dirt 20,000 (plus) feet tall, across the whole horizon. These monsters can really disrupt your “Clean Freak” for a couple of days! They bring the entire desert floor into town and swap out the soil from the remote areas to the city and back. (Sometimes we think we know exactly how they felt in Pompeii, all those years ago.)
Check for airborne dirt evidence wherever you go. Check the commercial environment, your church and in your home too. You’ll see it, especially around the exhaust fans in the restrooms, the walls and ceiling near the vents and on the vent fins.
You’ll certainly have it on the grille of the air return. You can find it around door jambs and hinges and on fan blades and cages.
You can find it in the carpet as a dark line under a door that usually stays closed and in carpet under the drapes or blinds that hang to the floor. These lines of “filtration soil” in the carpet can be a bugger to remove, especially in the lighter colored carpets.
If you’re not a teenager, and are responsible for having your place actually look clean, then you know that there is only one answer to all this dirt. You have to clean it. Then you clean it again and then you clean it again. The cycle just repeats itself! Depending on how clean you want your place to look, will determine how often you have to get out and apply some good ol’ elbow grease.
You even know that if you’re planning on having a special event (or a special someone) at your dwelling, and if you want to impress, you can do a quick run through just before the guests arrive. But wait, you also know that if you don’t keep things up to a reasonable standard (whatever yours may be) throughout the week, there is no way that you can count on a “quick” dusting to make a difference. You have to at least keep up or you’ll be behind.
A few strategic weapons for the fight against dirt should include (but not be limited to) a vacuum, (especially if you have one with HEPA filtration), vacuum attachments for versatility, extra vacuum bags and filters, treated dust cloth, or even better, microfiber cloths that collect and trap the tiny particles, and a keen eye. You should include as much motivation as you can muster and always count on using some elbow grease. Keep lots of it on hand because, let’s face it folks, you’ll be doing this again… soon.
Thanks to our Facebook followers who submitted their own photos of dust!
From Sam White in California (a picture of the stairs):
From Richard Zahn in Arizona (the A/C return vent):
From Kathy Martin in Texas (some graffiti on a bookshelf):
We always love to see pictures from our followers! Don’t be shy! If you have an ugly carpet spot, a carpet/flooring problem, if you spill your lunch on the floor or on your chair, if you find damaged fibers, it you just think your carpets/VCT/ceramic/upholstery is looking beautiful…Snap a pic and send it in! You may be featured in an educational blog post!