It’s time to talk about the toxic appliance we all have, and should pay more attention to.
Is it the microwave? In this case, no. We’re actually talking about the appliance you turn to when your house feels dirty—your vacuum. This common household appliance, who’s sole role is to clean your house, may be actually spewing dirt particles and bacteria into your area. So with every swipe and push, the air pollution you’re trying to avoid is released, especially damaging for individuals with a compromised immune system, allergies or asthma.
What’s In the Air?
The dust that settles onto your mantle came from somewhere or something; it’s a combination of pet dander, dead skin cells, fungi, mold, food particles, particles from cooking, anything you spray into your air, and more. Dusting, regularly, with a cloth that picks up the dust and doesn’t just re-distribute it into the air is crucial. But then your vacuum is your next step. Vacuuming is essential, but the type of vacuum you use could play a critical role in your health.
Vetting Out Vacuums
The first and foremost thing to look for is a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are designed to suck up 99.7 percent of the particles, helping to keep the gunk in the vacuum instead of releasing it back into the air.
Next, keep the filter clean. If you have a HEPA and its clogged, it’s not working. Rinse your filter over the sink, and when you dump the bin, take it outside so that the dust doesn’t re-settle into your home.
After you vacuum, go over any surface areas one more time with a dust a cloth. We love the Amala Magic Sponge Cloth not only for its ease of use, but also because the cloth itself can be washed up to 300 times!
Ditch the Dust
Your last step in ditching the dust is to keep what comes in at a minimum. Take off your shoes, and have two door mats, one outside for swiping wet feet, and one inside for collecting dirt and debris. Be mindful of what you bring into your home and of what you breathe into your home, too.
A Few Favorite HEPA Vacuums
Hoover Anniversary Edition WindTunnel Self-Propelled Bagged Upright ($150; amazon.com)
Eureka AS ONE Bagless Upright ($55; amazon.com)
Bissell PowerGlide Pet Vacuum ($130; amazon.com)
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Vacuum ($600; target.com)
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.