Renovation work can be a huge stressor for many, as it can leave your house in disarray. Once the work is complete, you may be anxious to get your home back in order but find yourself with a large amount of cleaning left behind. If your renovation work requires drilling, grinding, or cutting of cement, you may find a layer of cement dust laying over all your items.
How do you clean cement dust off furniture? The following are 10 ways you can remove cement dust from furniture:
- Tea Towels
- Peroxide Mixtures
- Vinegar Mixtures
- Soap & Water
- Laundry/Washing Machines
- Steam Cleaners
- Professional Cleaning
Cement dust can be very damaging over time to both your furniture and your health. For that reason, once your renovation work is done, you will want to keep the cement dust down to a minimum by cleaning everything as soon as possible. However, sometimes these particles are more difficult to remove than it seems, especially with textiles. For that reason, we will be discussing ten ways you can clean your items to leave them cement-free.
Steps to Take Before Cleaning
While you may be anxious to get the cleaning started when your repair work or cement work is completed, you will want to do a few steps before beginning. The truth of these construction projects is that the dust can be adverse to your health. You will want to avoid having an extended exposure to the dust particles as they can be harmful. Some things to remember before cleaning are:
- Protect Your Eyes – You never want to get cement dust into your eyes as it can cause both an immediate and even delayed irritation. You can get a small amount of redness and discomfort up to even chemical burns from getting this dust into your eyes. You will want to do your best to avoid exposure to your eyes by wearing goggles or some form of protection.
- Cover Exposed Skin – While it can cause you to work up a sweat when cleaning this large amount of dust, you always want to protect your skin from an excess of dust exposure. Your skin can get very irritated from cement dust, causing burns, rashes, and other irritations. If you do have contact with your skin, wash it off fairly quickly and do your best to cover feet, legs, hands, and other areas that are easily exposed.
- Avoid Inhaling Dust – If you are doing construction work, you will clearly want to avoid breathing in the dust, but you also want to do your best to prevent inhalation while cleaning. Extended exposure to cement dust can cause nose and throat irritations. You can help avoid any irritation by keeping the room ventilated and wearing a mask if needed.
Do Your Best to Reduce Dust Build Up
The best way to make your cleaning job easier is to reduce the amount of dust that is created, to begin with. There are several ways that you can lower the dust levels in your home when completing renovation work. Most professional companies are required to take these extra steps to help avoid creating excessive dust and reduce the level of particles in the air.
However, if you are doing your own cement work or you want to take some extra precautions, there are many other ways that you can protect your home. Some commonly used methods to lower dust accumulation in your home are:
Utilize Extra Machinery for Dust Removal
Several machines are designed to lower the levels of dust created in the air when doing cement work. Two of the most common methods for controlling dust while working are dry and wet options. These are relatively easy methods that can be utilized while doing work around your home.
- The dry method of reducing dust is to utilize a vacuum system where a nozzle is placed within two inches of the cutting or grinding head. You can rent or purchase machinery that has a vacuum system attached. You can also utilize both your machinery and a vacuum to help collect dust as it is created during the construction work.
- The second method is a wet method, in which water is used at the base of the cutting or grinding head, capturing 100% of the dust that is created. The water must be extracted continuously from the concrete surface during the work, with many systems recycling the water that is used. During this system, a vacuum will remove the water from the floor, pass through a filter, and return to the head to collect more dust. Though this system is often better, these methods cannot always be used.
Have Good Air Filters in Place
To help the air quality in your home during projects and to lower the level of dust, you will want to have a good air filter in place. These filters are designed to trap airborne particles when replaced regularly and utilized during renovation work. You always want to check your air vents to ensure that they are clean and replace the filters as needed.
Even if your air filter is fresh when you begin working on your cement, you will want to recheck it after the work is completed. You will want to vacuum the inside of any air vents and check the filter to see if it needs to be replaced. Once you have completed construction work and cleaned your home, there is a pretty high chance the filter will need to be switched out again.
Run a HEPA Air Purifier
If you have one available, running a HEPA air purifier on high during any renovation work can lower the levels of dust in the air significantly. You will want to wash or change the filter in the purifier often during this time, as it will be working on overdrive. Also, you can rent a commercial-grade air scrubber for relatively cheap that can be great for use during the renovation work.
Use Covers on Areas of Your Home
In the renovation zone, you will want to protect any items that can get an excess of dust on them. For example, many cover their floors with construction paper and use a tarp to cover window treatments. While this will not completely block out dust, it can lower the levels that you find after the work is completed.
To help lower the dust that lands on your furniture, you will want to cover them with a drop cloth or a quality tarp. This is especially important for textile surfaces like couches or beds that may be harder to clean after the work is complete. You can add masking tape around doors to rooms that are not getting worked on and especially closets where your clothing is kept.
How to Clean Cement Dust Off Furniture
Now that we have a sound basis on what to do to protect both yourself and your home from cement dust, we will discuss what to do with the excess particles that are pretty much inevitable. While you may have a great defense against the dust, you are almost sure to find some of it on your furniture after heavy renovation work. Luckily, there are several ways that you can clean your furniture and home after renovation work to remove this unwanted cement dust.
1 – Always Start by Vacuuming
The best place to start when it comes to cleaning your home and removing this unwanted dust is by utilizing a quality vacuum to remove any dirt you can see. The problem with cement dust that many do not understand is that it can be extremely abrasive, scratching floors, tables, glass, etc. when wiped. Instead, you want to try to remove dust with a vacuum that does not allow it to scratch whatever it is laying on.
Luckily, a vacuum will remove most of the dust and works better than a broom that often spreads the dirt around or even sends it back up into the air. You want to do your best to vacuum from the ceiling down, ridding walls and furniture before making your way to the floor. Do not forget to go around the ledges, windowsills, and door frames during this process as dust can settle here easily.
If you have a HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air vacuum, these often work best for this cleaning step. You can rent one of these, or many own them, and it is best to do this quick vacuuming at the end of every renovation day. This style of vacuum is usually best at trapping smaller particles compared to a traditional vacuum, although both will work.
2 – Try a Tea Towel
This next suggestion is one you will want to be particular with when it comes to the specific furniture or area of the home you are working on due to the abrasive quality of the dust. However, a great way to knock out some cement particles on your larger, stronger furniture items is to use a tea towel to wipe down dusty spots. You can rub the area with a tea towel to pick up some of the dust and remove it from the furniture after a good vacuuming.
3 – Create a Peroxide Mixture
Adding a liquid solution to a towel before wiping down your surfaces is another excellent option and can help avoid the abrasion of the dust. This is something you will want to test on a small area of the furniture before tackling the entire piece because there could be a slight reaction with some materials. However, a great cleaning mixture for removing dust from items is to mix 12 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with about a gallon of water.
You will want to take soft cotton rags, dip them in the mixture or use a spray bottle, and wipe the dusty surfaces. Often, water alone does not pick up all the dust. This peroxide mixture will actually suspend the dust particles and can make it easier for the rag to absorb, just rinse the cloth often.
4 – Try a Vinegar Mixture
If you do not have hydrogen peroxide readily available for you to utilize around your home, another great option is to grab some vinegar for this job. You can mix an equal part of vinegar and water in a bucket or spray bottle. This mixture is acidic and works well for cleaning concrete dust.
You want to try this mixture out on a small area as well, as the vinegar can be damaging to some tiles or marble type stone. If the combination does not seem to cause any damage when tried in a small area, you should be good to wipe it over the dusty piece.
5 – Use Some Soap and Water
If you find yourself simply out of any extras, you can always opt for a classic soap and water mix to remove the unwanted dust around your home. This is something almost everyone has, and you can use practically any type of detergent. You can simply combine warm water and enough soap to cover the area, wiping it over the dusty furniture with a rag or towel.
This is an excellent option for those who do not want to buy a special product for this step or who have finicky furniture that cannot handle chemicals.
You will want to wipe down every area that you have vacuumed to remove any extra dust left behind. You can also use this soapy water mixture to wipe down your vent covers and even the inside of your vents to get rid of the pesky leftover dust.
6 – Launder Any Textiles
While covering your textiles, like couches, chairs, rugs, etc., is the best way to avoid unwanted dust, there is bound to be some left behind. If you have a couch that allows you to remove the cushion covers, you can zip these covers off for laundering. This is the best way to reduce the amount of dust and give your couches an extra clean.
If you have a couch that cannot be easily laundered, you can vacuum them deeply with your vacuum and then utilize a steam cleaner for an extra clean. If the outside areas of your couch are covered in dust, you can also steam clean and vacuum it thoroughly. Several carpet shampooers have attachments for upholstery that can help remove this last bit of cement.
7 – Scape Areas with Stuck on Dust
If you are finding that the dust has settled and you are having trouble removing it, you may need to utilize a scraper. This can be very beneficial on the tops of bookshelves, tables, etc. that have a flat surface that can easily be scraped. You always want to be careful with this process so that you do not cause scratching or damage to your furniture.
Once you scrape over the surface of the furniture piece, you should be able to wipe off the dust that is brought up. This makes removing the particles easier than scrubbing it continuously with little difference. Scrapers are also great for flooring if you have a stubborn spot with an excess of dust.
8 – Air Dust Out of the Room
Unfortunately, when you begin to clean the dust off your floors, walls, and furniture, it can quickly spread into the air and then resettle. This means that once you have your home cleaned, hours later, it can seem dusty again because the particles that went into the air are now settling. However, having a fan and open window system going can help remove any dust that goes back into the air.
A great option is to put a fan into your open window, blowing the air out of the room into the outdoors. You can open the windows and doors on the opposite side of the room to create a wind tunnel, which will collect any dust in the air and blow it through this tunnel to the open window. If you do this while you are cleaning, you can help eliminate any particles lingering in the air and lower your chance that you will have to reclean the home again the next day.
9 – Use a Steam Cleaner
If you have carpeted floors, rugs, or even curtains that cannot be easily washed, a steam cleaner is a great option. You will want to deeply vacuum the areas first to remove as much dust as possible. You will then want to go over the spots with a steam cleaner to pick up any ingrained cement particles that may be left behind.
Also, since steam cleaners use a small amount of water as well, it will cut down on the dust that will get kicked up into the air. This will ensure that a vast majority of the particles are picked up from the fabrics.
10 – Hire a Professional Team
Finally, if you have a couple of difficult furniture pieces that you cannot get cleaned or if you have a large amount of renovation work that has led to an excess of cement dust, it may be time to call in the professionals.
Many cleaning organizations can clean your home from top to bottom deeply and efficiently. This is an excellent choice if you do not have the time, energy, and devices needed to get the furniture cleaned. Of course, you will want to consider your own personal budget and the level of cleaning that is required in your home.
In conclusion, there are multiple ways to clean cement dust off furniture, ranging from using everyday household items and DIY solutions to professional cleaning teams. However, the amount of dust you’ll end up cleaning will all depend on how much prep work you put into preventing the cement particles from settling on your furniture in the first place.