Debra Bowers, longtime Greenbox customer and owner of her own maid service “Dust Devil’s” sat down with us talk a bit about cleaning tips for homes and storage units. At the start of her career, Debra cleaned homes all over Denver with supplies stored in her car. Over the years she acquired a breadth of knowledge on housework tricks. Although Greenbox storage units are squeaky clean from the get go, over time its inevitable that dust accumulates. Here, Debra sheds some light on the best ways 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. “No one seems to realize that dust contains poisonous chemicals.”
It’s important to prevent and clean dust as much as possible. In household dust samples around the US, researchers at George Washington University found 45 potentially toxic chemicals, at least one of which has been linked to cancer.
“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.
It’s also worthwhile to tend to it in your storage unit. All of your stored possessions will one day be back in your home, and when it is, you won’t want old, hazardous dust to spread about your house.
Utilize Plastic Boxes and Shelves
When you pack up for your storage unit, consider using plastic boxes where it makes sense, to create an easy-to-clean environment, Debra suggests. Just make sure to check on your items inside to ensure they stay dry if you live in humid areas. To combat humidity, consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit, as moisture in the air could harm electronics.
“Cardboard has all those cracks the dust can get inside,” says Debra. “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. Adding shelves in your storage unit will make the boxes easier to wipe and clean.
Vacuum-sealed bags are another way to store linens that could limit damage from the environment.
Keep Cleaning Supplies in Your Storage Unit
Avoid forgetting cleaning and dusting supplies at home by keeping a stockpile of them in a plastic box or drawer inside your unit. Every time you access your storage unit you’ll be able to do a quick spot clean and hopefully minimize the amount of work for later.
“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,” says Debra.
“When you’re cleaning, dust over the exposed surfaces in one direction,” says Debra. “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,” says Debra, 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.”