Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Dusting our walls is typically not something we think of doing. However, you may notice over time that dust starts to gather on walls and can become a problem. This is especially true if you live in a house that has high walls and ceilings.
Walls get dusty the same way anything else gets dusty. Airborne dust can easily stick to things such as small ridges on the walls. Over time this dust can accumulate into large clumps if left untreated. The best course of action is regular dusting and cleaning. Not only of your walls, but of your entire house, ensuring you put extra focus on high-traffic areas of the home.
Dusty walls can be a nuisance. This article will help to explain what dust consists of, how and why it sticks to walls, and what you can do about that pesky dust that is sticking to your walls.
What is dust, and What Causes it?
Dust can appear basically anywhere and tends to stick to things within the home. If the furniture, floors, and yes, even walls are not dusted regularly, you will begin to notice a build-up of dust that becomes thicker and thicker over time.
But what exactly is dust? Well, the make-up of dust depends a lot on the environment that it is in. Dust can be made up of many different particles.
A common myth is that dust is made up of mostly dead skin skills. However, this is simply not true. While it is true that some dust particles are made up of old dead skin cells, most dust is made up of other materials.
There are two types of dust, indoor and outdoor, and both types can build up within the home.
Indoor dust is usually made up of things that you would find within your home such as pet hair, human hair, textile fibers, paper fibers, and food particles. Outdoor dust tends to be made up of things you would commonly find outdoors, such as soil, pollen, exhaust particles, insect pieces, or plant matter.
The amount of each type of dust will differ from home to home.
Why Does Dust Stick to Walls?
Dust sticks to walls the same way that it sticks to any surface. Dust can grab onto and cling onto basically anything, especially things that have jagged edges or have ridges. However, dust can also stick to flat walls.
Dust accumulates over time. You will find that there is always some form of dust layer on your walls, even if it is not entirely visible by the naked eye. If left there, the dust can build up and build up as more particles begin to stick to the original particles that were stuck there.
If left for a long time, you will easily be able to see the dust layering on your walls as more and more dust particles begin to gather.
How to Keep Your Walls Looking Clean and Fresh
If you want to keep your walls looking clean and dust-free, there are several steps that you can take. Below is a list of the best things you can do to keep your walls looking clean and fresh.
Dust the Walls Regularly
In most homes, the easiest and most effective way to get rid of dust and dirt on your walls is to run a microfiber duster on a long-handled sweeper over the walls in your house. To keep your walls in tip-top shape, you should do this every couple of months.
There is no need to remove pictures or furniture from the walls, unless you are doing a deep clean. Instead, simply sweep over and around any obstacles on the wall to remove all surface dust.
Don’t forget to also dust the ceilings while you’re at it. Although gravity will force most of the dust to the ground and on lower surfaces, some airborne dust will still find a way to stick there.
An alternative method that works well is using the soft brush head on your vacuum. Simply go along each section of the wall and vacuum up any accumulated dust from the walls and ceilings.
Wash Your Kitchen and Bathroom Walls
Steam from cooking and showers can cause your walls to become grimy and can result in dust sticking to them much more easily. You should give your kitchen and bathroom walls a good scrub at least once a year. This will reduce the likelihood of dust from collecting on the walls.
Use a soft sponge and rub gently over the walls using a soap and water mixture. Scrub small areas at a time and be sure to rinse away the soapy mixture with some lukewarm water once the scrubbing on each area is complete.
Make sure you dry the wall off using an old towel to avoid leaving any streak marks.
Keep on Top of Washing High-Traffic Areas
You should keep an eye on areas that are used most often. For example, the walls around switches and regularly used shelves may be more prone to building up dust than some other areas. These types of areas should be dusted more often than others.
Dust and dirt also commonly collect behind things like TVs and radiators and other things that sit in front of the wall.
If you find that a simple bit of dusting does not get rid of the dust and dirt that has accumulated in these areas, give the wall a wash.
Test wash a small area with soap and water first to ensure the paint isn’t affected by the mixture.
Re-Paint Your Walls Every Few Years
If you want to keep your walls looking perfectly clean and fresh, the best thing you can do is to re-paint it. We do not mean you need to re-paint your walls every time you see a bit of dust gathering.
As a good rule of thumb, re-painting your walls roughly every five years is enough to keep them looking in perfect shape for a very long time.
How to Prevent Dusty Walls
The best way to prevent your walls from becoming dusty is to keep on top of dusting them.
Dust only becomes truly visible when a lot has collected in an area. Dust also often collects on things such as cobwebs. Dusting regularly will remove these and will result in your walls appearing dust-free.
You should also ensure to dust the rest of your house regularly, including furniture, and ensure you vacuum your floors on a regular basis. At least once a week should suffice.
Maintaining a good cleaning and dusting routine will ensure that the walls remain relatively dust-free.
Why Walls Get Dusty and What You Can Do – Final Thoughts
Dust on your walls can be very annoying. It seems like dust can appear just about anywhere, but it can be particularly annoying on hard-to-reach walls and ceilings.
Hopefully this article has helped explain the main reasons why your walls get dusty and what you can do about the dust on your walls.
If in doubt, simply give your walls a good initial cleaning and then wipe over your walls regularly with a duster. That should be enough to keep dust at bay.
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