We all hate it. It is everywhere.
It hides behind and under furniture. It slowly gathers on our work surfaces. It is unpleasant to look at, it is unpleasant to smell, it houses dust mites (which are really unhealthy for you).
If it is not cleaned, the house owner looks sloppy, in addition to endangering his or her health; to those who clean it regularly, it takes away valuable time that can be spent productively on other endeavors.
But have you ever asked yourself one simple question:
“Where does all that dust comes from!?”
If you ever spent a significant amount of time in an unventilated space, you know well that even in there dust makes its way. The answer to this conundrum may shock you, and it is probably a piece of information you could do without.
But for you who are of iron guts, prepare yourselves.
The dust comes from dead skin.
Yes, that’s right. All that dust lying around is dead parts of you and other people around you.
“How is that even possible?” you may ask. Bear in mind a couple of things.
First, not all dust comes from shed skin, but majority of it does. It is estimated that 70% of dust comes from the largest organ your body possesses – otherwise, if it were 100%, the places we dwell in would be much dustier and the rooms we venture to less often (like attics and basements) would be completely dust free. Other sources of dust include pollen, atmospheric dust and so on.
Second, the precise reason why dust is so unhealthy is that it is organic in nature. Dust mites feed on it, and their feces are both allergens and primary trigger for asthma in humans. So – dust isn’t just your dead skin, it is dead skin mixed with house mite poo.
So what can we do about it all?
Well, it is simple. Keep your house clean. Beat your carpets and rugs regularly. Use a good vacuum cleaner. And remember the most important thing people tend to forget when doing a whole house cleaning – change your bedding! As dust is primarily composed of dead skin, your blankets and sheets are full of dead skin. But when it gets nasty is that, in bed, your dead skin gets mixed with sweat, which is perfect breeding ground for house mites. Which produce dust mite poo. Which is bad.
But the good news is that you can easily repel dust mites. Simply mix alcohol and pennyroyal mint oil in a sprayer bottle and mist the rooms and beds generously.
Do you feel like cleaning your house now?
Korean Society for Parasitology: Acaricidal Effects of Herb Essential Oils Against Dermatophagoides Farinae and D. Pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyphidae) and Qualitative Analysis of a Herb Mentha Pulegium (Pennyroyal)