One of the elements that affect the appearance and air quality of a bathroom is dust. If left unattended, it could lead to allergic reactions in people with asthma or dust mite allergies. Dust and dust mites can sometimes prove difficult to get rid of. If the dust is caused by fixtures or accessories in your bathroom, then you have to first deal with the primary source. I have put together eleven ways you can rid your bathroom of dust.
1. Switch From Natural to Mechanical Ventilation
The importance of bathroom ventilation cannot be overemphasized. One of the primary reasons a ventilation system is required is to reduce humidity in the space.
There are various ways to achieve this. An inexpensive method is to open the bathroom windows during and after taking a shower or using the restroom.
However, this method wouldn’t properly eliminate the humidity and odors in your bathroom. Additionally, it could serve as an avenue through which dust enters your home.
To prevent this from occurring it’s best to employ a mechanical bathroom ventilation system, especially if you live in a dust-prone environment. This way, outdoor air and dust would not enter your home.
Although they are not as inexpensive as natural ventilation, there are various mechanical options you can choose from.
- Bathroom exhaust fan (amazon link).
- Damp-rated ceiling or exhaust fan (amazon link).
- Dehumidifier (amazon link).
There are situations in which bathroom fans can pull dust into the bathroom, but there are also ways to control this.
2. Install or Replace Window Weatherstripping
Your windows do not have to be open for them to allow dust to pass through. Sometimes, even inoperable windows have gaps that leave your home vulnerable to dust.
So, if you have a window in your bathroom, you should analyze the corners for gaps. If you notice any, close them with weatherstripping.
You should also check the window frames for weatherstripping. If there isn’t any or if the present weatherstripping is in poor condition, apply new weatherstripping around your window frame.
By sealing your windows with weatherstripping you close every avenue through which outside elements like dust can enter your bathroom. However, for optimal results, it is important to fix any defects in the window before applying the weatherstrip.
The type of weatherstripping you use would depend on the size of the gap you want to cover and your preference in terms of appearance.
Here are some easy ways to seal your windows against dust:
- Cover gaps with caulk (amazon link). You should also apply caulk around the window seam and frame.
- Install spring bronze weatherstripping (amazon link) around the window.
- Use adhesive foam weatherstripping (amazon link) around the window seam.
- Install tubular vinyl weatherstripping (amazon link) around your window.
3. Regularly Clean the Exhaust Fan and Ducts
A bathroom exhaust fan typically pulls humid air from the bathroom and vents it outside. In doing so, dust could be pulled into the duct and if the dust accumulates it might be displaced back into your bathroom.
Another common cause of bathroom dust is a dirty exhaust fan. More often than not, little attention is paid to the fan as long as it is working perfectly. So, you might not notice the dust that’s been gathering around the fan cover, blades, and motor.
Some of the signs of a dirty bathroom fan include:
- Makes noise while running.
- Doesn’t remove steam like it used to.
- Steam on mirrors even after running the fan.
- Dust on the fan cover.
It is recommended that you clean your exhaust fan at least once every six months. Cleaning the fan doesn’t end at cleaning the fan cover, however. You’d also have to clean the blades, the motor, and the fan housing.
If you notice that a lot of dust is accumulating around your bathroom fan, check your backdraft damper. If this is not working, it will allow air from outside to blow into the bathroom. This can introduce new dust but also knock the dust from the vents and fan back into the bathroom.
4. Move the Dryer out of the Bathroom
If your dryer is situated in your bathroom, it might release dust and lint into your bathroom. A temporary solution would be to move the dryer to a room that isn’t used often. This wouldn’t solve the underlying problem but is a temporary reprieve if the dust is affecting the air quality in your bathroom.
It isn’t normal for your dryer to release an excessive amount of lint. If this happens it’s most likely due to dirty filters or vent pipes.
A helpful tip to ensure that your dryer doesn’t release contaminants into your home is to empty the filter after every load and to have your vent cleaned at least once every year.
5. Install a Bidet
Toilet paper sometimes leaves a mess behind. It can leave behind lint-like particles when you use them. But this isn’t usually a cause of concern.
Low-quality tissue often releases an excessive amount of dust-like particles (more on this in the next section). This dust could spread around the bathroom, leaving surfaces with an ashy appearance.
If you’re experiencing this problem, a good solution that eliminates the dust and fibers shed by the paper would be to get an alternative to toilet paper.
Bidets (amazon link) are a great choice because they leave zero waste. They are also argued to be more hygienic than toilet paper, which is the primary reason people are adverse to them. Although it costs more to purchase a bidet, it is a one-off purchase, unlike tissue that you have to replenish periodically.
Using a bidet is also a climate-positive choice as it reduces your carbon footprint on the resources like electricity and trees necessary for the production of toilet paper.
6. Use a High-Quality Toilet Paper
Toilet papers are manufactured by breaking down fibers and then bonding them together. As a result, they would most likely shed some fibers when handled or when exposed to heat.
Most standard toilet rolls shed dust, but if you are using a poorly manufactured tissue, it would release a disturbing amount of dust particles.
If the tissue paper sheds perpetually, your bathroom cannot be completely free of dust no matter how well you clean daily.
If you cannot forfeit using tissue papers in your bathroom, then the next best thing is to go for high-quality toilet paper. Though they would cost more they are made with quality fibers that are firmly bonded together to prevent shedding.
Another thing to note is that toilet paper can be affected by the climate, so proper storage is important. No matter how good the tissue is, if it is exposed to heat for a prolonged period, it would shed dust-like particles.
Expired toilet papers also release dust. It seems odd that something like toilet paper can expire. However, toilet paper is designed to degrade over time. It’s what makes it usable in today’s plumbing systems. So, toilet paper expires when it reaches the point of significant degradation.
7. Clean With Damp Cloths and Vacuum
Dry cloths do not completely get the dust off surfaces. They’d only remove a portion of the dirt and then spread the others so that they are no longer obvious/apparent. It could also transfer dust from a dirty surface to one with less dust.
To ensure that the surfaces in your bathroom are clean, wipe them with a damp fabric. Damp clothes can completely remove dirt from surfaces.
A helpful tip is to only use clean cloths to wipe surfaces from top to bottom, this way, dust isn’t transferred from one surface to another.
You should be careful of the type of cloth you use, some fabrics would leave lint behind, so it’s always best to use microfiber rags to clean your home. For the best results, dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water before wiping the surface.
Although vacuum cleaners are more expensive than brooms, they’re the best option for cleaning your floors. Brooms would clean debris on the floor but at the same time, they spread dust around the floor’s surface and cause dust to become airborne. This dust can eventually settle on surrounding surfaces. A vacuum would remove dirt and dust from the floor without spreading it to other areas.
8. Wash Bath Mats Regularly
Bath mats tend to harbor dust, debris, bacteria, and mold. If these elements aren’t removed, they could be transferred to other parts of your bathroom whenever you step on the mat. Thus, you have to ensure that your bath mats are in sanitary condition at all times if you want your bathroom to be dust-free.
Although vacuuming your mats would help, it wouldn’t completely get rid of the dust. A sure way to keep your mats clean is to wash them at least once a week.
Before washing the mat, it’s advised that you first take the mat outside and shake it vigorously or beat it against the ground to remove some of the trapped dust and dirt. You should also wash the mat according to the care instruction that you’d find on the tag attached to it. This way you’d not cause damage to the material.
9. Put an Air Purifier in the Bathroom
Air purifiers cleanse the air of impurities like dust, smoke, odors, pet danders, and mold spores. They’re usually composed of a single filter or multiple filters that draw in contaminated air, purify it and then release it back to the room.
There are different types of air purifiers, each targeted at a particular type of air contaminant.
High-Efficiency Particulate Filters, commonly called HEPA filters (amazon link) are the best option for removing dust from the air. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, HEPA filters can eliminate 99.97% of dust particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
Some purifiers can combine HEPA filter with another filter. For instance, a purifier with HEPA and UV filters would remove dust as well as rid the air of bacteria and mold spores.
If you do not take the initial cost of the purifier into consideration, HEPA filters are an easy method of removing dust from the air in your bathroom, and ultimately improving the air quality in the space.
However, it doesn’t account for the dust that’s settled on surfaces in the bathroom.
10. Avoid Clutter to Make Cleaning More Effective
Dust settles on surfaces and clutter provides the perfect setting for the dust to accumulate. So, to ensure that your bathroom remains in pristine condition, you’d have to remove unnecessary items from the room.
The dust that’s accumulated on items could affect the quality of air in your bathroom and clutter makes it almost impossible to completely rid your bathroom of dust. For instance, cleaning the top of an item doesn’t rid it of the dust on parts that might not be visible to you.
Removing unnecessary items from your bathroom would make your cleaning easier and faster. It could also enable you to clean every corner and surface in the bathroom without missing any spot.
11. Keep up With Maintenance
Structural defects could cause dust to take over your bathroom. To prevent this from happening, you’d have to address irregularities as soon as you notice them.
Here are some things to look out for:
- Cracks in the wall and ceiling boards.
- Flaking paint.
- Disintegrated grout.
- Holes in the walls.
- Peeling drywall.
- Damaged wooden cabinets and bathroom accessories.
Whenever any building component that’s constructed with mortar or concrete cracks, breaks, or flakes, it can release dust into your bathroom. The amount of dust it produces would depend on the severity of the damage.
There are other elements that can disintegrate into powdery fragments, which would eventually release dust into your space. For instance, building products that contain latex and acrylic materials can leave your bathroom vulnerable to dust if it fragments.
Wood sometimes turns to dust when it is eaten by insects like powder-post beetles.