HOW DOES THE BATHROOM GETS SO DUSTY: CAUSES AND REMEDIES


Dust in your bathroom? You’re not alone!


Dust in the bathroom is a very common issue for many people, both in cities and rural areas.


We first noticed the bathroom dust problem when we were living with a roommate. The three of us shared a small one-bedroom apartment, which meant that all the dust from the other rooms would quickly accumulate on our surfaces and fixtures.


To try rid of this dust buildup, we removed furniture from places where it was too dusty to keep clean like along the edges of walls or on top shelves. But the dust issue still persisted.


I decided to do some research and found some surprising things that were causing the dust accumulation in our bathroom and found some surprising causes that I’ll share with you. We’ve tested out several remedies and found some that worked for us.


We found that toilet paper, towels, dryer sheets, exhaust fans, and pet dander are some of the biggest causes of dust accumulation in your bathroom. If you’re curious how to keep our bathrooms dust-free, read on! We’ll share some of our favorite tips that will make it easier to keep dust and dust allergies at bay.


What Causes Dust in the Bathroom

The high level of activity in the bathroom means even more opportunities for dust to accumulate! Just remember, the causes of dust in the bathroom can also help you figure out a solution.


Here are some of the most common causes:


  1. Toilet paper and paper towels. Ever noticed that a cloud of dust releases when your tear or wave your toilet roll or paper towel? With time, these dust particles will pile up around your bathroom in a dusty mess.


  2. Extractor fans. The main purpose of extractor fans is to suck up contaminants and moisture from the air.


    Some models of extractor fans use filters to trap contaminants. When the extractor malfunctions, from issues like power failure or worn filters, it can release dust back into the air.


    Dust will sit on your extractor fans until someone cleans it off, which might take weeks, if not months!



  3. Related Read: Ducted vs Ductless Exhaust Fans


  4. High humidity levels in the bathroom. There is a direct relationship between high humidity levels and high dust mite concentrations.


    These tiny pests thrive in humid air, where they breed and multiply. Wastes from dust mites, including their feces and dead bodies also greatly increases the amount of dust in the space.


    You should consider keeping the humidity levels in your bathroom low as dust mites can’t survive under low humidity. Using a dehumidifier for your bathroom will keep your bathroom humidity in check and kill off dust mites.


    But, it’s not just dust mites that make humidity levels in your bathrooms problematic. Moisture in the bathroom air provides particles an opportunity to stick together and when they ultimately dry out, they accumulate as dust on different surfaces around your bathroom.



  5. Open windows. This may seem obvious, but we were surprised by how much dust blew into our bathroom through even the smallest opening.


    We all love the feeling of cool air blowing into our bathrooms. But as your curtains blowing inwards, they also push dust into your space, which later collects on the surfaces.


  6. Towels. Towels are some of the most dust-attracting objects in your bathroom.


    When drying yourself with a towel, folding or shaking it to dry it, you’ll notice that lint is released. These tiny specks become airborne and then settle back to the floor in your bathroom.


  7. Pet dander. These are tiny bits of skin shed from animals with feathers or fur. Pet dander will easily move from other rooms to your bathroom over time as you and your pet(s) move around the house.


    Cat litter is also a major cause of dust in the bathroom. This is particularly so if you’ve placed the litter box in your bathroom.


    Most cat litter is made from crystals or clay. These coarse ingredients are bound to rub against each other, inevitably releasing dust.


  8. Humans and human movement. As you move around both indoors and outdoors, your skin sheds, and your clothes gather dust, which you can then transfer to your bathroom.

    When you enter your bathroom, dirt all over your clothing from outside will settle into any nook and cranny around your bathroom.


    You may wonder why dust is more visible in the bathroom. The reason for this is the material used on most surfaces.


    The hard surfaces around the bathroom are most made from porcelain, tile, Formica, and granite do a poor job at “hiding” dust and lint- unlike soft surfaces like carpets and upholstery.


    There’s really little you can do about getting dust into your home from outside, except maybe taking off your shoes whenever you walk back into the house.


    However, only regular cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming will reduce your chances of moving dust from other rooms to your bathroom.


  9. Hairdryers. These gadgets blow dust into the air whenever you use them. You may have noticed a collection of dust around your hair dryer’s backside where the filter is located. With time, the filter can get clogged.


    To keep your hairdryer operating optimally, you’ll want to clean it regularly by following these simple steps:

    • Remove the vent filter. This is done by twisting off the cap, unlatching, or pressing the eject button to release the grill at the backend.
    • Using a soft brush such as a toothbrush gently scrape off the dirt.
    • Use a damp paper towel or hand towel to wipe off any remaining dirt from the grill.
    • Place the grill back, and you’re all set!


  10. Dryer Sheets. Dryer sheets are a staple in most American homes as they guarantee us the heavenly feeling of soft fabric against our skins.


    The working mechanism that makes dryer sheets transform fabric from coarse to soft involves coating the fabric in a layer of fabric softener. With time, this layer dislodges from the fabric and escapes into the air.


How to Control Dust in the Bathroom

We could not stop the dust problem entirely, but this is what we have done so far that greatly helped keep dust out of our bathroom:


  1. Wet mopping. Wet mopping your bathroom floor often is one of the best dust control techniques.


    This will not only remove dust but will also leave your bathroom clean. During wet mopping water and dust are mixed together, forming a sticky substance that cannot be shaken off, releasing dust back into your bathroom.


  2. Use microfiber towels instead of terry cloth ones. The accumulation of dust in your bathroom is also related to a build-up of residue from dryer sheets on your towels.


    To avoid this problem, use microfiber towels instead of terry cloth towels and don’t leave them drying overnight.


    Unlike terry cloth towels, microfiber towels are super-soft and highly absorbent, doing away with the need to use dryer sheets after washing. Their ultra-softness also means that microfiber towels will not scratch your skin, yet another reason why you should swap out your regular towel.


  3. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters do an excellent job at catching and trapping tiny contaminants such as dead skin, pet dander, lint, and tiny hairs around your house.


  4. Empty your dryer lint filter. While your washing machine and dryer might not be in your bathroom, they can still affect your bathroom.


    Residue from dryer sheets can clog the lint filter. This can result in reduced air circulation and overheating in your dryer. It can also cause an accumulation of excess residue on your wash load from dryer sheets.


    We found that emptying the dryer lint filter after every load and cleaning the lint filter screen at least once a month helps to keep residue accumulation in check. To do this, use a soft brush, hot water, and dishwashing soap to clean the lint filter.


  5. Place filters over vents. Dust particles are microscopic and only truly visible to the human eye when they’re floating in a beam of light.

    Using filters over your ventilation or exhaust vents will greatly improve the air quality in your home. Dust will be trapped in the filters as air from your bathroom is pulled into the fan. This will leave your bathroom air clear of not only dust but other air contaminants.


  6. Clean your bathroom with cornstarch. Cornstarch is a wonder powder for cleaning. It is an inexpensive and non-abrasive solution that tackles many bathroom problems as it absorbs oils, liquids, and odors and helps eliminate grime without leaving any residue.

    To make a cornstarch cleaner, stir 2 parts cornstarch into 1 part water. You can use this cleaner anywhere in your bathroom, including shelves, vanity, windows, sinks, toilets, and floors.


    Bonus Tip: You can use cornstarch in smelly bags and shoes.


  7. Use anti-static sprays for dusting. These products effectively eliminate dust from surfaces while also preventing dust accumulation and controlling static electricity.


    Static charge on your bathroom surfaces is what attracts dust. Static electricity is what made a balloon stick to your pullover when you rubbed it against your pullover during childhood. Dust sticks to your bathroom surfaces using the same principle.


    Using an anti-static dusting spray can significantly reduce the static charge in your bathroom surfaces, making them less likely to attract dust. Anti-static dusting sprays will also leave your surfaces looking shiner.


  8. Replace your air filter regularly. This will ensure your ventilation and exhaust systems work efficiently.


  9. Purchase an electrostatic dust collector. Otherwise referred to as electric air filters, these are innovative electric air filtration units. The unit is fitted to your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system and generates a static charge that attracts and clings onto particles in the air, whether microscopic or visible to the eye.


While these steps can definitely help, dust is still a hard issue to avoid completely. Here are some things you should also know about dust in your bathroom that might surprise you:


  • Vacuums and air filters both produce dust particles too! It’s important that you clean them regularly or the dust will just get spread around your home and find its way into your bathroom.


  • Dust can get into just about anything in your home as dust particles are microscopic and only truly visible to the human eye when they’re floating in a beam of light.


  • Dust also collects on things like doorknobs, handles, shelves, and blinds. That is why it’s so important to dust these areas regularly.


  • You can inhale or ingest dust particles that get into the air, which can trigger allergies or cause illness.


Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering why your bathroom gets so dusty, you can trace the problem to anywhere in your house. People in your house, your pets, and common household objects and appliances could be the source of your dust problem.


Dust can accumulate on surfaces no matter how often you clean them, so dusting, vacuuming, and keeping a tidy home are necessary for preventing dust from settling.


We found that vacuuming more frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum, replacing your terry cloth towels with microfiber toilets, and using anti-static sprays greatly help control dust in the bathroom.