The Tribune - Spectrum

, June 23, 2002

Sunday Activity

Don’t wait for a storm, shut the door on dust

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiTHE rainy season is now almost upon us. Even as the much-awaited showers of June bring respite from the relentless heat, they are sometimes preceded by the not-so-welcome dust storms, which leave a trail of dirt and mustiness around the house. After each dust storm one ends up broom and duster in hand, sweeping each nook and cranny, changing every little bit of linen and shaking off the dust trapped in all those prized rugs and carpets.

Since prevention is better than cure, it is best to take steps to keep out as much dust as possible and to dress up your upholstery, mattresses and other dust -gathering objects in battle gear.

Use door seals

A very elementary protective measure is to literally shut the door on dust. Plug the door bottoms with lengths of crumpled newspaper. Shut all glass windows tightly as soon as you see a storm looming large over your area. If there are any windows with broken glasspanes, cover them with pieces of thick cardboard and tape them on to the frames.


A more permanent measure is to keep the dust out is to install door seals. This can be a costly exercise but is immensely beneficial in the long run. A door seal 36’’ long costs around Rs 100 to 120. This seal not only keeps the dust out, it also prevents pests like lizards, cockroaches, etc, from entering you house.

If you want to be really innovative and also cut costs, then scout around in any local motor market for discarded pieces of door lining of Maruti cars. These too can be fixed on the bottom of your home doors.

Bust the dust

Carpets: They are an ideal place for dust to settle. True, you can vacuum them, but even the best machines leave some dust. The best thing is to roll them up during monsoons, wrap them in polythene sheets to save them from both dust and water that seeps in and keep the floors bare.

Curtains: Synthetic, light curtains are easy to clean as they can be machine washed compared with the heavy satin or handloom ones.When you realise that a storm is brewing outside, quickly draw away and tie together your curtains on one end of the curtain rod, so that they are exposed to a minimum of dust.

Sofas: Upholstered furniture traps a lot of dust. If you are the kind who doesn’t keep the sofas swathed in those white cotton covers all the time, at least make sure you have these covers ready at hand for a rainy day. Clothe all your sofas and upholstered chairs in these covers during the monsoons.

Furry toys: Little do we realise that all those cute teddy bears, monkeys and other furry toys that our toddlers love clutching are virtual storehouses for dust. It is best to stack them into cupboards or pack them in plastic bags during dusty weather. Else, your little one will be going to sleep not only hugging the teddy but even the dust mites that it might harbour.

Dust-proof the gadgets

All the major appliances and gadgets in your house also need dust-proofing. And the good thing is that covers are easily available in the market for the main household appliances—be it the television set or computer. If you don’t have these covers, procure them immediately as it will save you a lot of bother cleaning up later.

Else, you can use old bed sheets, curtain fabric or saris and get covers stitched not only for your television or computer, but even that hi-tech music system you bought or the microwave that you find so handy. Swathe them in dust-proof dresses and they will never bite the dust during their operative life!

Chetna Banerjee

Home Top