At the start of her successful career, Debbie Sardone cleaned Texas homes with supplies she stored in the trunk of car. Since then, she’s learned a lot of housework tricks on the way to the top – she now runs her own maid company – including the best way to clean dust, since it’s the chore the majority of her clients neglect the most.
“Dust is the number one reason people give up on cleaning their homes,” she said.
It’s important to prevent and clean dust as much as possible, because it can be poisonous. Researchers at George Washington University found 45 potentially toxic chemicals, at least one of which has been linked to cancer, in household dust samples from around the U.S.
“It’s not just an annoyance, it’s a health issue,” said Lisa Beres, a certified green building professional and co-founder of the Healthy Home Dream Team.
As if cleaning dust at home – where you see it every day – wasn’t tough enough, it’s also worthwhile to tend to it in your storage unit.
“It’s important to treat your storage unit like your home, because all that stuff will eventually come back into your home,” Beres said.
Our experts say if you dust often to avoid getting behind, it’s a chore that can be checked off the always-growing to-do list with ease, so keep reading for Sardone and Beres’s tips on best way to clean dust in your storage unit to protect yourself and your stuff in the future.
Store Your Stuff in Plastic Boxes and on Shelves
When you pack up your stuff for storage, consider using plastic boxes where it makes sense, to create an easy-to-clean environment, Sardone suggests. Just make sure to check on your items inside to ensure they stay dry if you live in humid areas.
“Cardboard has all those crevices and cracks and the dust can get inside,” said Sardone. “An air-tight, plastic container is the better choice.”
Plastic boxes are also easier to clean with the recommended wet wipes and microfiber dusters or towels, said Sardone. Adding shelves in your storage unit will make the boxes easier to wipe and clean, said Beres.
Vacuum-sealed bags are another way to store linens that could limit damage from the environment.
Keep Cleaning Supplies in Your Unit
Avoid forgetting cleaning and dusting supplies at home by keeping a stockpile of them in a plastic box or drawer inside your unit.
“Make sure you drawer or caddy is accessible and easy to get to,” said Sardone. “Plan on spending five minutes cleaning every time you go to your unit, and then you won’t dread a major cleanup.”
If you already have a thick layer of dust in your unit, vacuum up what you can of it and then use a damp microfiber cloth to finish the job.
“When you’re cleaning, dust over the exposed surfaces in one direction,” said Sardone. “Never flip a duster back and forth, because that sends dust in the air. Run it over the surface and then tap your duster on your ankle. That drops what little dust was picked up on the ground to be cleaned up later.”
To protect your lungs during the process, Beres recommends plugging in an air purifier.
“It will capture airborne dust particles,” she said. “You don’t want airborne dust to settle on your stuff.”
Both women agree the best way to clean dust is to do wipe down your valuables often and keep your stuff organized so that dusting is an easy task.
“Clutter attracts dust,” said Beres, who offers a free, one-hour webinar that includes more dust-fighting tips. “The more you can declutter and organize, the less dust can build up.”