I did a Dyson Dust Report and the results were a little shocking

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·Features and Health Editor
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The Dyson V15 stick vacuum is so high tech it counts dust particles, but be warned, it can be quite confronting finding out what germs might really be lurking in your home.

An acoustic piezo sensor has been built into the V15 Detect which registers the vibrations each dust particle makes when it gets sucked up into the bin and then tells you the size and quantity of dust that’s been picked up.

The idea is to reassure you that the floors have been properly cleaned and that your house is now a more hygienic place.

dyson
Dyson's V15 Detect counts dust particles. Photo: Dyson

Armed with the V15 Detect I decided to take things even one step further and sent some of my dust - gathered from our bedroom carpet, lounge, and floors - off to a lab to be tested.

The resulting Dyson Dust Report then showed me how clean - or not - my house really was. Though to be fair - my husband is a tradie, we have two shedding dogs, and live across from a train line, so I didn't have high hopes to begin with!

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"At Dyson, we make it our mission to understand what’s in your dust. In fact, we have dedicated laboratories that analyse the components of household dust and spend millions of dollars each year on dust samples so that we know the machines we make are optimised to pick dust up properly – even the dust you can’t see," the experts said.

Microanalysis Australia was engaged by Dyson to test the dust samples I sent for bacteria and mould by culturing and plate count. Images of allergens and dust were then taken by a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM); and an in-house method was used for dust mite counting.

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Experts analysed my samples in a lab. Photo: Supplied/Dyson

One of the most shocking results was how many more dust mites were found in the bedroom compared to elsewhere in the house - specifically 778 dust mites per gram of dust, compared to zero on the sofa. Similarly the bedroom also held a higher count of Mould/fungi (194) vs the lounge (156).

The below particles were also said to be at the higher end of the usual range or of note in my sample:

  • Organic fibres (includes wool, silk, cotton, flax and bamboo)

  • Human and Pet Hair (no surprises here)

  • Dander

And other notable particulates included:

  • Quartz (soil, sand) - we've done a lot of yard work and digging over the past 12 months

  • Iron oxide (possible steel, rust)

  • Steel (from appliances, utensils, tools etc)

  • Copper (very common in household environment. Sources include wiring, water pipes, electronics, fuel combustion etc) - the last three I put down to home renovations and hubby constantly working on his toys in the garage.

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Just some of what they found in the dust samples. Photo: Yahoo

To gain a little more understanding of the report, and what we can do to make our homes cleaner, we quizzed Senior Research Manager at Dyson Monika Stuczen:

Why can there be more dust mites in the bedroom?

"We spend roughly a third of our lives in bed, which is typically more time than we spend on our sofas. While it may look clean, your mattress may actually be a hot bed of microscopic life, which could be impacting your wellbeing while you sleep.

According to the results of Dyson’s first ever global dust study, 4 in 5 Aussies don’t clean their mattress regularly - alarming given there can be millions of dust mites in a single mattress. And 60% of Australians are unaware of the potential link between household dust and the potential transfer of viruses, bacteria, mould, dust mites, pollen, pet allergens etc.

Mattresses and sofas are often breeding grounds for house dust mites, who thrive in warm, dark and humid places, like our beds. On average, humans shed 2g of skin per day, and even more at night where friction from bedding causes dead cells to shed. They can also get the nutrients they need from other household debris, like pet food, fungi and food crumbs.

Dust mites, their faeces, bacteria, viruses, pollen and other allergens make up the complex matrix that is household dust, which also exists in your mattress. Indeed, there can be millions of dust mites in a single mattress. They primarily feed on dead skin cells shed by humans and animals. While you may not be able to see the dust in your mattress, it’s important to vacuum it regularly to reduce the amount of dust and associated allergens."

How does mould grow in our homes?

"Humidity is the leading cause of mould and fungi growth within our homes. Studies have demonstrated that dust-associated bacteria and fungi (mould) exhibit climate-driven variability in community composition at the global scale. The fungal genera Alternaria and Aspergillus, which contain many species that can serve as triggers of allergenic disease in humans, were more abundant in drier regions

When we bring pets, plants, people, food and furnishings into our homes, they all carry their own sources of pollution, bacteria and mould contamination. Effectively, we transport the outside, inside with us as we go about our daily lives, bringing microbes and allergens on our shoes, clothes and any other domestic items.

Once in the home, temperature and humidity influence what can survive and be prevalent within an indoor environment. There’s no practical way to reduce how much microbial matter we bring inside, so cleaning and vacuuming carpets and floors is essential to maintain low levels of bacteria and moulds to reduce the bioburden in our homes and maintain our wellbeing."

woman is cleaning room
Vacuuming often is the key. Photo: Getty

How often should we be vacuuming each room?

"Vacuuming frequently on areas that receive more footfall will help to stop dirt building up and getting trodden into your floor, especially if there are pets in the house. Thicker carpets require more frequent vacuuming than carpets that are thinner and shorter as they hide more dirt. Overall, we should vacuum our houses at least once or twice a week and more often if we have pets. Don’t forget about vacuuming furniture including sofas and mattresses, as dust also settles on those surfaces. Using a cord-free vacuum is helpful for this, as the versatile format means you don’t have to spend time getting the machine out from a cupboard, plugging it in, moving it around and so on.

At Dyson, we focus our efforts on developing vacuums that pick up dust from surfaces, have cyclones that are incredibly efficient and advanced filters and seals that prevent dirty air from being expelled back into the home.

We spend a lot of time developing our filters and seals to make sure that we capture not only the dust you can see, but also the dust you can’t. We also want to make sure that the air being expelled from the vacuum is clean – in fact, Dyson machines can capture 99.97% particles as small as 0.3 microns. For context, the diameter of a human hair is around 50 microns."

The Dyson V15 Detect is the tool for the job

The Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum cleaner has been engineered with laser detect technology, which sensors particles invisible to the human eye and gives you peace of mind that you’re getting the deepest clean as you vacuum.

The V15 Detect Total Clean landed on Aussie shores last year and retails for $1,499, while the slightly more expensive V15 Detect Absolute Extra, comes with an extra, free-standing floor dock ideal for renters as it means so you don’t have to mount the charging dock to the wall.

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