8 Messy Facts About Dust and Dirt in the Workplace

8 Messy Facts About Dust and Dirt in the Workplace

Dust bunnies may sound cute, but in reality, these germy, hairy little tumbleweeds not only make your facility look dingy and unkempt — they can also be a danger to staff, customers, and anyone who may pay your building a visit. Fortunately, there are many ways to “battle the bunnies” — so suit up, and get ready to declare war on dust. Here are eight ways dust and dirt can impact your facility, your job, and your people — and what you can do about it.

Dirty Deal #1:

You do not even want to know what makes up those little dust clouds you uncover when you move the office furniture or peek under a filing cabinet. However, we are going to tell you anyway. Most of the time, the dust you see can be blamed on the who and what that goes on in your facility. Dust particles contain human skin cells, hair, animal dander, pollen, dirt, pest feces, and a whole host of disgusting components. If you have people in your office, you are going to have “people dust” all around. Human beings shed, just like animals, and it is very easy to track that waste anywhere and everywhere.

HP Products ProTip: Extendable dusters are your friend when it comes to hard-to-reach areas. Clean door frames, ceiling frames, light fixtures and more without straining to reach.

Dirty Deal #2:

When you have a reaction to dust (i.e. sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes or nose/throat irritation), what you are actually reacting to are dust mites — tiny little insects that feast on the skin cells we humans slough off. The feces of dust mites is a major irritant, and wherever there’s dust, there’s dust mite waste. Moreover, wherever that exists, there are many people dealing with annoying and unhealthy dust allergies.

HP Products ProTip: When beginning to dust a space, always start from the top and work your way downward. Gravity will take hold of any particles not captured by your microfiber cloths, to be picked up later by your dust mop.

Dirty Deal #3:

According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people around the globe suffer from asthma, and by 2025, they anticipate adding another 100 million to the list. The numbers are growing, and studies show that dust is one of the primary culprits.

Dirty Deal #4:

The asthma statistic is pretty shocking, but there are a couple of reasons behind it. First, we are putting way more air pollutants into the environment, which settles into the dust around us and contaminates everything it touches. Second, many cleaning products today are not designed to handle these pollutants or contain other compounds that just get spread around without ever actually cleaning anything.

HP Products ProTip: Luckily, there’s the Rubbermaid HYGEN system -- a selection of microfiber products that remove dust, all while using far fewer chemicals. The system includes a dust mop for floors and a flexible dusting wand with a washable microfiber sleeve. Find our selection of HYGEN products here, and dust those germs away.

Dirty Deal #5:

A dusty facility can mean an unproductive facility. The rise in asthma, as mentioned above, has contributed to students missing 13.8 million days of school and employees missing 14 million days of work per year. Not all asthma is attributed to dust, but dust can indeed trigger attacks in those suffering from the condition, which can have a significant impact on your operations.

HP Products ProTip: When a dust mop will not do, you are going to need to pull out the big guns. If your facility has carpet, you need to work out a plan of attack to ensure dust and other particles do not get caught in carpet fibers, where they can breed bacteria and odors. In this case, a heavy duty, professional vacuum cleaner is your best bet. You want to find one with strong airflow and a great filter, such as a HEPA filtration system.

Dirty Deal #6:

You might have heard the phrase that ends with “dirt don’t hurt” — but dirt can definitely hurt, especially when it gets tracked in from outside. People carry in staggering amounts of grit and bacteria on their shoes — and unless you have plans to have a barefoot business, you are going to have to deal with the sole situation head on.

HP Products ProTip: Maintenance is key to eliminating dusty drama. Once you have selected the proper vacuum, make sure you clean and replace the filter bag as needed. Check filter bags often to make sure you do not end up spreading contaminated air back into your space. HVAC filters should also be changed regularly and checked to ensure they are properly filtering out airborne dust and other particles.

Dirty Deal #7:

Animal dander is a major contributor to the dust bunny population, so check your facility’s pet policy and be prepared. Even if you aren’t managing a pet store, vet clinic or other animal-centric business, you may still have to combat this problem. Many businesses are becoming more pet-friendly, and allow employees to bring well-trained furry friends into the office. You’ll also often spot pets visiting at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While this can be great for morale, it can wreak havoc on your dusting plan. Find out how often and what kind of animals are in your space, and build a plan that will address the situation.

HP Products ProTip: 3M’s Easy Trap line can help you keep floor dirt localized and reduce the spread of germs and other dust particles. Disposable sheets make cleanup easy and eliminates the need to haul around dirty laundry, which could spread contamination.

Dirty Deal #8:

Most fabrics hold onto dirt, so smooth surfaces like vinyl or leather are always the best bet. However, you may not have the opportunity to weigh in on your facility’s furnishings, so just know that upholstered furniture needs special care to keep it dust-free. You can vacuum or even steam clean most fabrics to ensure bacteria and dust particles are removed.

Deal with Dust and Dirt

Dealing with dust is a dirty business, but it does not have to get you down. Luckily there are tools, tips, and tricks to help you win the battle against the bunnies. They may sound adorable and fluffy, however, now you know the truth. Contact us to put together a dust-defeating action plan, or sign up for an account today to start purchasing dust busting products.

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