Julies Blog


by Julie Finch-Scally

Dust is an innocuous substance: it is fine and floats on the air infiltrating every small crack and cranny to find a place where it can settle.  Once settled it attracts further dust in the air and builds up on surfaces to an extent where the thin layer of dust can be seen.  I was reminded of this last weekend when visiting a Nursing Home. 

Now one would have thought in a Nursing Home great effort would have been taken to make sure all dust was removed.  If areas of dust were left around the place, what else have they forgotten to clean? In this Nursing Home there was a definite build up of dust in one spot in the room I was visiting.

Of course the dust wasn’t overly noticeable.  In fact I was only able to see it because I was sitting by the side of the bed and at eye level with the chest of drawers opposite on which sat the TV.  The front of the drawers was clean but underneath the TV and behind the stand was the fine layer of dust. 

I realise I am a cleaner and notice dirt more than most people, but if I as a cleaner can see things like this, surely other cleaners can do the same.  It is their job; and just wiping along the front of a chest of drawers and not under and around all the objects on the top is not very professional.

Being a visitor it wasn’t my right to say anything, but it did make me look elsewhere around the room to see how good the cleaning had been.  Tops of drawers and tables that could be accessed were clean, and the floor didn’t have any dust kitties flying around, so an effort had been made to keep the room pristine.  But that dust under the TV left me apprehensive.

Seeing dust in such areas made me realise why when I trained cleaners, I went to no end of trouble to make them aware that anything missed could be seen from another spot in the room.  For instance; it is amazing how often I see dust behind a toilet when standing in a shower in Motels.  Also dust under sofas and chairs on polished floors is quite noticeable when sitting in a chair opposite.

The problem is, when one dusts one is standing up.  Because under and behind articles cannot be seen we believe that others won’t see it either.  This unfortunately is a wrong concept.  As I said previously; when sitting down and standing in an unusual position dust and dirt can be seen.

So the moral of the story?  Clean and dust everything properly, that way nothing will be missed, and others won’t notice it. 


Damp dusting

by Julie Finch-Scally

I am not in the habit of damp dusting everytime I dust through my home.  My usual procedure is to wipe over all the horizontal surfaces with an electrostatic duster-on-a-pole.  I find this adequately keeps the dust in check.

There are a couple of areas I know always need to be damp dusted and I keep an eye on those spots.  The bedside tables are the most often in need of damp dusting, mainly because many people place glasses of water on the tables each night and the dampness from the glass can leave a ring where it has been sitting. 

The other reason for damp dusting a bedside table is that dust will stick to the surface. Hot, moist air each of us exudes during sleep flows over the table for those six to seven hours leaving a damp surface that holds the dust.  The only way to successfully remove this stuck on dust is to wipe over the surface with a damp cloth.

Sometimes, as happened to me last week, insects get trapped on window sills.  If the weather has been humid those insects, even though they are dead, cannot be removed with the electrostatic duster.  It is then that the damp dusting is required.

Many people damp dust by wiping over the surface with a chamois or a cloth wrung out in warm water.  I find it easier to use a micro-fibre cloth and glass cleanser.  A multi-purpose spray is just as suitable but for shiny surfaces glass cleanser works better.  I use the glass cleanser over all painted and melamine surfaces. 

Everytime I go through the house and damp dust, I also give the mirrors and the glass on paintings and pictures a clean.  These areas are quite often forgotten but do over a period of time collect dust.  Wiping over them with the electrostatic duster-on-a-pole, removes the light dust from the surface but cleaning the glass thoroughly at least once a month will stop a heavy build up of dust, especially if the weather has been humid. 

So the insects on the windowsill were easily removed with the micro-fibre cloth and as I was wiping over the sill I made sure I got into the corners.  Funny how the corners of window sills can fill up with dust.  It did require me to push the cloth hard into the corner to loosen the dirt.

So the moral of the story.  Light dusting over all the horizontal surfaces with an electrostatic duster-on-a-pole is great for regular maintenance cleaning, but a good damp dust every four to five weeks will improve the surface and help with the regular maintenance clean.   

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