Insights | April 17, 2023
Dyson’s global dust study suggests that heightened cleaning schedules are being ditched, as the world reopens after COVID-19.
Dyson’s 2023 global dust study reveals that in the last year, there has been a significant reduction in the number of people maintaining a regular cleaning schedule. It suggests that as the world reopens after Covid we’re increasingly becoming more reactive cleaners.
- In the last year, there has been a 14% reduction in the number of people surveyed who maintain regular cleaning schedules.
- 55% of Americans surveyed admitted to only being motivated to clean when they spot visible dirt or dust, yet microscopic dust like pet dander and dust mite allergens may have a larger impact on your health and well-being than particles you can see with the naked eye.
- Awareness of what can be found in household dust is low, with just 55% of Americans surveyed said they were aware that pollen can reside in our dust and 40% knew about the potential presence of dust mite feces.
Chicago, IL – Today, Dyson announces the results of its annual global dust study, investigating cleaning habits and behaviors, and our understanding of household dust and its potential impact on our well-being.
Dyson’s team of in-house microbiologists have been studying real dust from around the world for almost 20 years, analyzing particles measuring 70 microns in size – the width of human hair – right down to 0.1 microns, the size of a virus. Dyson’s labs are also home to a farm of dust mites, enabling scientists to collect their feces and learn more about dust mite allergens. Only through this extensive research can Dyson engineers continue to engineer new vacuum cleaner technologies, to better deal with the conditions they face in the real world.
The global dust study1, undertaken by over 30,000 people from 39 countries, reveals that post-pandemic, cleaning habits globally are slipping. 55% of Americans surveyed now admit to only cleaning when they see visible dust or dirt – this number has risen by nearly 20% since last year. Additionally, while 41% claim to have a regular cleaning schedule, this number has dropped by 14% since last year; further indicating that some may be becoming less disciplined when it comes to scheduled cleans.
“The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for regular cleaning to maintain healthy homes,” said Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson. “This significant increase in the number of people only cleaning when they spot visible dust is a cause for concern, as many dust particles – including bacteria, house dust mite feces and pollen – are microscopic in size and not
visible to the naked eye.”
Global understanding of dust…
Dyson’s study reveals that awareness of what’s in our household dust – and therefore what we’re trying to remove – is low. Notably, 36% of Americans surveyed have allergies or live with someone impacted by allergies but are not fully aware of the potential presence of common allergy inducers
in dust. Only 55% of Americans surveyed said they were aware that pollen can reside in dust and only 40% knew about the potential presence of dust mite feces.
…and how to effectively get rid of it
Ensuring a healthy environment is the top reason Americans asked said they want to rid their home of dust. While many people assume that if dust and dirt is picked up then the problem is solved, vacuum cleaning is pointless without thorough filtration.
There are many vacuums that release some of what they pick up back into the environment through poor filters or loose seals. At Dyson, we know an essential job of a vacuum cleaner is trapping dust inside the machine and expelling cleaner air. How clean that air is, is determined by its filtration system; whereby filter design, airflow pathways, and machine sealing work together to ensure the dust that is sucked up, is not expelled back into the air.
Dyson’s dust study reveals that awareness of filters overall is low, and despite it becoming a buzzword during the pandemic, 1 in 2 surveyed consider themselves to be aware of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air).
HEPA filter vs. HEPA product
A common misconception is that any machine equipped with a HEPA filter makes it a HEPA product. According to ASTM, a world-leading standards institute, it is not enough for just one filter in the vacuum to be HEPA-grade; the entire vacuum, including every filter and seal, must deliver HEPA-level particle removal for it to be considered a HEPA product.
Some competitors claim to use HEPA filters, but they are housed in poorly sealed machines that allow dirty air to bypass the filter and expel back into the room. Others conduct their testing focusing only on filter performance, not the whole machine. However, filtration performance of any product is an interaction of all its parts, assemblies, and systems. They must be designed and tested to work together to achieve the maximum potential.
Dyson engineers have spent the last three decades developing our filters and seals to make sure that we capture not only the dust you can see, but also the dust you cannot. Our cordless vacuum cleaners are fully sealed and equipped with an advanced five-stage filtration system to capture particles up to 99.99% of particles as small as 0.1 micronsi.
“We hope our latest global dust study will continue to encourage people to think about what can reside in household dust, and how that might impact the well-being of those in their household. The best way to remove dust is by using a vacuum cleaner with effective filtration and sealing technology, to ensure that whatever you vacuum remains trapped and is not expelled back into the home.”
Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson.
1 33,997 online interviews across a representative sample of 39 countries. Fieldwork was conducted between January 11th and February 6th, 2023. Data has been weighted at a ‘Global’ level to be representative of different population sizes.