Dusting Tips - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have five of us (two adults, three young children) living in a fairly small house. We also have forced hot air heat. And, of course we have TONS of dust.

I've always been sort of lax about dusting (and housekeeping in general, unfortunately). But now we've found out that there is asbestos in most of the old flooring that's in our house. While the asbestos in unlikely to be released in huge quantities, I'm sure some of it must be mixed in with out regular house dust.

So - I need some dusting advice. We have all hard floors - hardwood, laminate, vinyl - throughout the house. We do have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which in the past I've used to "dust" while I vacuum. I've read that vacuums kick up as much dust as they suck up, though, so I'm looking for alternatives.

I'd like to be able wipe baseboards, corners, shelves etc. with a damp cloth. But how can I clean this cloth when I'm done? I don't want to put it in my washing machine, since there could be asbestos fibers in it. I suppose I could rinse it really well and then just hang it to dry.

The easiest and best way to get rid of dust would be to clean with paper towels and throw them away after each use, but I don't want to destroy the earth either!

Please share your dusting ideas with me!

Thanks!
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#2 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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i think a microfiber cloth would do a good job, and the dust would get rinsed away (down the drain and out of your house) in the wash, ftmp. at least, the vast majority of it would be removed. since you say you've been lax and there is more dust than usual, maybe you would be more comfortable using something disposable (wet paper towel or, even better imo, yummy method disposable dusting wipes?) for a couple of weeks until you feel like any excess amount of dust is removed from your house. after that, you could switch to microfiber or other reusable cloths/rags.

i bet the thing about the vacuum kicking out as much dust as it sucks up, really depends on the vacuum. if yours is relatively new and has a hepa filter, i wouldn't worry about spreading more dust around. vacuuming is a good thing. i mean, you see how much dust it traps, right?!

changing your furnace filter a bit more frequently may also be a good idea to reduce the amount of dust. also having your duct work vacuumed? i need to do that!

as far as possible asbestos dust from the flooring, it should only be a concern if the flooring is disturbed. (like, removed from the house.) i can see how a small amount might be released from friction, so maybe put down runners in high traffic areas. we have old asbestos tile in our finished attic, and we painted over it with porch and floor paint because we couldn't afford to put down new flooring over it. i feel like that seals the evil in place, and it looks way better. if you like the look of your flooring and don't want to paint, maybe you could just roll a clear poly coat over it to seal it.
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#3 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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#4 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the advice, doubledutch.

Now I can stop feeling guilty for using an entire roll of paper towels in one hour this morning! I really hate dusting. I will get some microfiber cloths for the future. You're right. Most of the dust will go down the drain. Some might remain, but it's better than not dusting at all!

I think our vacuum is pretty good. It's new, and it does have a HEPA filter. We fill the bag up quickly, too! But, from what I've read, asbestos fibers are too small to be captured in a typical HEPA filter. Professionals use asbestos-rated HEPA filters, which are thousands of dollars!

Of course, our vacuum probably does capture lots of other bad dust. Which is good, because there is lots of bad dust in today's world!

I would rather have your asbestos tile floor! Ours is actually sheet vinyl with an asbestos backing. The vinyl itself does not contain any asbestos, but the backing is almost half asbestos! Luckily, the backing is covered by the vinyl, so the only way the fibers can escape is along the edges. But we have a lot of edges, some going all the way across our living room. And they are being, walked, run, jumped on constantly by the kids! I'm going to try to seal those edges with something.

Your floor is actually easier to remove than ours, since the asbestos isn't considered friable. Our backing is friable and dangerous to remove. From what I know, you did the best possible thing by painting over yours.

I'd love to get our ductwork vacuumed. It's so scary to look down into those ducts! Have you had that done before?

Thanks again for your help!
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#5 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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i haven't had the stuff vacuumed and it needs it really badly. i think the furnace service people do it. so if you have fuel oil, then those guys do it; if it's a gas furnace, then the gas company?

of course you can stop feeling guilty. you are thinking about it and you don't want to use a disposable product on a regular basis, but it is totally okay to need to do that sometimes!
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