How to Use and Clean a Dust Mop

Dust isn’t exactly something that you want to have accumulate in your house. For one thing, the particles can cause a number of health problems. Not only can they irritate the eyes, but they can also affect the throat and skin. In some cases, they can also enter the lungs—that can easily cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. It can also aggravate asthma, COPD, and other chronic respiratory conditions! Rarely, they can also increase the risk of heart disease.

Given that, you want to clean your house regularly. If anything, that’s the best thing that you can do to prevent it from building up. For instance, it’s probably a good habit to clean the floor at least once a week. For the best results, use a vacuum and a dust mop—that way, you'll get much better results. Don’t forget to clean other surfaces as well such as window stills and tabletops. Chances are, there’s a good layer of dust on the surface even if you can’t see it with your naked eye. Remember, the last thing that you want is to breathe it all in; you want to take action before it becomes a problem.

Where Does Household Dust Come From?

household dust

More than half of all household dust comes from outside. For example, it can come in from your clothes, your shoes—even your hair. In other words, it’s highly likely that you’re spreading these particles without even knowing. It can also come in through the doors, windows, and vents. In terms of the actual dust, it can consist of pollen, soil, or particulate matter.

What Else Is In Dust?

Pet dander is another thing that’s often found in dust. Tiny flecks of skin, they can easily get into the air and settle. Even if you don’t have a pet, other people coming into your home can easily have it on their clothes. From there, they can easily spread it around your house.

Dead skin particles can be found in dust too. After all, we constantly shed skin cells. Contrary to popular belief, however, it doesn’t make up as big of percentage as you think. With that said, there will be some floating around your house. If anything, it serves as a magnet for other air pollutants.

Food particles can become a natural component of dust as well. Sure, we can prevent the problem by sweeping (ideally after eating) but let’s face it—we’re not going to be able to do that each time. Even if you clean up after each meal, there will probably be small debris that’s dropped and forgotten somewhere.

What Are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are microscopic pests that live in household dust. Generally speaking, they feed on flakes of skin that are shed by people and pets. The more dust you have in your home, you more dust mites you will have. Why is that a problem? They can easily cause allergies—dust mite allergy is a thing, after all. Individuals with it may experience signs of asthma such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.

Note: Dust also contains their feces and decaying bodies. If anything, it’s the proteins in these particles that trigger the allergy symptoms.

Hidden Places Where Dust Tends to Collect

Like we said earlier, dust doesn’t just collect on the floor, it can just as easily build up on other surfaces as well. Take blinds, for example—it’s not uncommon for particles to gather on the slats. Given that, you want to make sure to wipe between each slat when you’re cleaning. Electronics such as computers and televisions can be covered with dust as well.

hidden places of dust

In fact, these particles can have an impact on their function. In some cases, it can even cause irreversible damage to the inside components. Other places that tend to collect dust include upholstered furniture, curtains, baseboards, ceiling fans, lighting, and other fixtures.

Cleaning the House: How to Use a Dust Mop?

Dust mops are one of the best things that you can use to get rid of these particles. As it is, there are various kinds that you can get. For example, you can get ones with a looped end construction. Generally speaking, they tend to last longer; they’re also much less likely to tangle.

using a dust mop

There are also synthetic mops, cotton dust mops, and microfiber dust mops. While they all have their pros and cons, they’re all meant to do the same thing at the end of the day—pick up dust. Since we're here, though, let's take a brief look at each of them:

Cotton Dust Mops: These are the “traditional” dust mops—they also happen to be the cheapest. While they work great for large debris such as soils, they’re not that effective for fine particles. This is one of the reasons why they’re often used with a dusting spray; it allows them to trap dust much better.

Synthetic Dust Mops: As their name implies, these mops are made from man-made fibers. Positively-charged, they do a much better job of collecting dust than traditional cotton mops. Generally speaking, most are stitched in a looped end pattern—this allows them to pick up particles easier, not to mention that it also prevents fraying. In addition to that, they’re much lighter and easier to push around.

Microfiber Dust Mops: Microfiber dust mops are probably the most popular choice. Compared to traditional dust mops, they’re much easier to use and they’re more effective. Made from plastic fibers, they can be used both wet and dry. Simply glide it across the floor and the pad will automatically grab onto any dust particles that are on the surface. The Turbo Mop is one such example.

A Mini-Guide on How To Use a Dust Mop

Never used a dust mop before? Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult at all. If anything, it’s probably even simpler than using a broom. Follow the instructions below and your house will be spotless before you know it!

Start by removing all objects from the floor—this includes area rugs and furniture such as chairs and tables. You want to be able to access the entire area so that you can clean without there being any obstacles. Once you’ve done that, take out your dust mop. Push it around the perimeter of the room; you want to use smooth, even movements. For the best results, use one that has a swivel head—that way, you’ll easily be able to collect all the gunk around corners. Avoid lifting the mop from the floor.

Gradually make your way to the center of the room, pushing the mop as you go. Every once in a while, you’ll want to sweep the collected dust into a pan. One way to do this is by using a standard broom. Consider taking the dust mop outside so that you can give the head a good shake—that will help dislodge any dust and particles that are embedded in the fibers.

Continue to the mop the floor a second time, this time with a dusting spray. Basically, it’s a product that helps to trap dust and allergens; this makes it easier for the mop to pick up afterward. If you want, you can also create your own. All you need is water and a bit of Castile soap. Mix the two ingredients together and you’ve got yourself a powerful homemade spray. If you want, you can also add a moisturizing or essential oil (the former is great if you’re dealing with wood surfaces).

When you’re finished mopping the area, pick up the mop. Clap the pad over a trash can to remove the dust and dirt. In some cases, it might be easier to use a vacuum.

Best Ways to Clean a Dust Mop

As you can imagine, dust mops can get quite filthy after a well, especially if it’s been a while since you last cleaned the house. Fortunately, they’re relatively easy to clean. Here’s how.

Hand Washing Your Dust Mop Pad

The easiest way to clean your dust mop is with a bucket. Fill it with 1-2 gallons of warm water and add a of mild soap (you can also use laundry detergent). Agitate the solution gently to mix. Next, you want to remove the dust mop head. Generally speaking, they’re attached with velcro strips so all you have to do is peel it off. Depending on the type of mop, however, you might have to slip it off the frame.

Once you’ve taken the mop pad off, place it in the soapy water. Massage the fabric with your hands to loosen any dirt and dust that’s trapped in the fibers and allow it to soak it for at least 30 minutes. From there, drain the old soapy water. Add fresh water from the sink and stir it a few times. Allow the mop pad to soak for another 30 minutes.

Remove the mop pad and rinse it thoroughly under running water. Continue until there’s no more soapy residue. Make sure to squeeze out all of the excess moisture before hanging it up to dry. Avoid using the dryer; certain materials such as cotton can shrink if exposed to high temperatures.

Note: Don't forget to wipe down the handle as well. You can do that with any cleaning cloth.

Are They Machine Washable?

Most dust mops are machine washable—as long as you can take the pad off the head (some are fixed on). Generally speaking, you want to wash it by itself, however, you can put it in the same load as other items. Just be careful of what materials you’re mixing; certain combinations can result in lint buildup. If you want to be extra careful, place each item in its own laundry bag. That will prevent them from rubbing on each other.

Put your dust mop pad into the washer and add your laundry detergent. Next, select your cycle—you want to use cold water on a delicate setting. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Allow the machine to run completely before opening the door and removing the dust pad. Hang it up and let it air-dry. Avoid the clothes dryer. Like we said earlier, there's a high chance that the heat will cause it to shrink. Certain materials, such as microfiber, can also melt if exposed to high temperatures.