Most people have seen the dust that accumulates in vacuum cleaners. It is often grey or dark brown, sometimes even black. This has confused many people since the dust comes from inside homes and is made up of a variety of materials such as fibers, pet fur, dead skin cells, dead insects, soil particles, and many others. The dust is also made up of different colors (such as black carbon, yellow pollen grains, red iron oxide, and brown clay particles).

vacuum grey dust

Why is vacuum dust grey?

Household dust consists of several components that produce the dark grey color.

First the majority of the dust particles consists of dead skin flakes. These human skin particles are a large proportion of the house dust that collects in a vacuum. These dead human skin cells are dark brown in color.

The rest of the components are usually dust mites and pet dander. Both of which consist of a dark grey color.

How can I reduce the amount of grey dust?

To reduce the amount of dust in your home, the first step is to get a air purifier.

By purifying the air and removing atmospheric dust, you greatly reduce the amount of airborne particles circulating your home. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your purifier comes with HEPA filters to even further reduce dust.

Not only does this result in less dust, but it also helps remove other particles such as allergens from the air.

The next step is to get a high quality vacuum cleaner. This again should have a HEPA filter. A vacuum can remove domestic dust that sits on surfaces.

Most dust is in the air, but by combining a vacuum with a wet microfiber cloth, you can take care of all the dust mites on your surfaces too.

Some additional points:

The type of vacuum cleaner can affect how much dust you get at any one time, but it doesn’t change the color because this depends on what particle size passes through the filters freely.

When people see dark brown or black dirt outside their home, sometimes they assume that means that their house must be dirty because it needs to be cleaned with a upright vacuum cleaner. When in reality, usually nothing could be further than the truth! In general, people keep their houses clean enough that there should not be a need to vacuum this frequently. In these cases the dark color dirt outside the house is likely from something else such as soil or other particles being tracked in from outside or it could just be dust from outside blowing in and getting stuck on shoes or clothes. It does not mean your house is dirty!

There are Dyson vacuum cleaners which actually filter out the tiniest particles. However, this doesn’t change the color of the dust because it does not get rid of all particles and some will still be present in the air that comes from a pet hair vacuum cleaner.

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