Tuesday Tips: Cheap and Effective Way To Reduce Dust In Our Homes, Cheesecloth!

A couple of weeks ago I received a newsletter containing Healthy Home Tips from the Environmental Working Group about dust. It contained tips on how to get rid of the toxic dust that is in our homes. Dust is toxic because it is known to contain chemicals that have been shed from products in our home such as furniture and our televisions. One type of chemical found in household dust is flame retardants, which is a known endocrine disrupting compound. Dust also contains pet dander, fungal spores, soil, and fibers. Yuck! And all along I just though dust was made up of our shed dead skin cells.

Read more here about how to remove dust safely and effectively or how to create dust that's less toxic in the first place.

My Tuesday Tip is one way i've tried to reduce the dust that is being circulated via our forced air heating system. I once read about using cheesecloth as a tool to reduce the dust and allergens. There are two ways to utilize the cheesecloth, one is to put it over the "air intake" for your furnace. The second way is to put the cheesecloth over the heating vents in a place where it is important to reduce the dust and allergens such as a bedroom. We choose just to place it over our air intake, but you could just put it in the outtake vents.

Below are some photos of how simple it is to place cheesecloth over the air intake. FYI, the air intake is a large grate in your home where the air is sucked into the furnace, it provides the first flow of air into the furnace that is circulated and heated and then blown throughout our homes as heat. Most furnaces have a slot for a HEPA filter which should be replaced monthly. Go check yours now, they are fairly inexpensive and do a great job to filter out particulate matter.

For $2-3 you can have a first line of defense against particulate matter flying through your home and eventually into your lungs!

Remove screws and take off grate:

Don't be surprised by the lovely dust you find lurking!

Wrap cheesecloth around grate, I place tape on the backside:

Voile, finished product:

I simply use my vacuum attachment to remove dust and dog hair that collects!


  1. This is genius, and I'm off to get some cheesecloth. I love easy ideas that are helpful! Thanks!

  2. Interesting - I've never heard of this before! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is great! I need to do this!


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