How to Do a Proper “Dust-Free” Builder’s Clean


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Our full-service Sydney cleaning company serves some of Australia’s most prestigious builders. Our clients build incredible houses on some of Australia’s most expensive real estate. 

Over our 35-year history in this industry, we have learned that the hidden dust in Australian homes is a massive unseen problem. Moreover, nowhere is this more apparent than seeing it in a newly built house. Even prestigious multi-million-dollar properties get handed over to their new owners full of hidden dust. Sure, the surfaces can look clean on hand-over day. But slowly and surely, that invisible dust leaks out and resettles. Furthermore, the owners live with it for decades and even a lifetime, unwittingly recirculating it with traditional cleaning methods. Dust is not just a cosmetic issue. Dust significantly affects our health and well-being, with allergies being just one of the many symptoms of dust inhalation.

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Explaining the “dust-drop” effect

A new home may look ok after having a surface builder’s clean, but once you move in, all that hidden dust “leaks out”. So, what can we do about it? Well, a lot, actually. However, understanding the problem is a crucial first step in being able to provide the answer. After we finish cleaning, why does the microscopic dust return in the days afterwards? This strange phenomenon has never been identified before and, therefore, has not been solved either – until now. 1800 CLEANER know this latent phenomenon as the “dust-drop” effect. We are talking here about dust that is so fine that we cannot see it with our naked human eyes. Yes, microscopic dust from building works can get so small as to be deemed nanoparticles. We can only see this fine dust once it resettles and gathers en masse on open surfaces. 

So why is the dust so hard to remove?

When we clean, we get rid of some of the dust, but a significant percentage becomes airborne again, staying airborne for up to a week. The dust then resettles and gets added to in the course of everyday life. The dust is then disturbed again by traditional cleaning methods, and the cycle repeats. 

In the case of a new build or renovation, the building process creates an overwhelming amount of exceedingly tiny dust. Indeed, the painting, sanding, joinery, formwork, concreting, cutting, etc., all contribute to the creation of an overwhelming amount of microscopic particle dust. And then we also have the addition of dust created by the home’s inhabitants. It is this dust that circulates endlessly over the years.

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So how do you get rid of the dust?

  • Firstly, we need to seal off the whole area to through drafts and traffic to give the dust a chance to settle. Close all windows and doors. This process can take a few days. You can accelerate the process to a single day using a negative ioniser and air filters. 
  • Secondly, you must collect as much dust as possible on the first run-through. Get a microfibre cloth, make sure it is moist, and then wipe down all open surfaces, rinse and repeat. 
  • Thirdly, vacuum the floors and open surfaces with a HEPA filter vacuum. HEPA filters catch particles as small as 30 microns. Fourthly, now that you have removed the bulk of the dust, you need to target the hidden dust by disturbing the air with a feather duster and thoroughly dusting every nook and cranny. Give the dust time to settle again. There should be a lot less this time, but give it time, and you will see it settle again. This is an excellent time to use an ioniser and antibacterial air filter to catch the last remnants of microscopic dust as you repeat the above process. 

The final step is to hot mop the floors after giving the place a thorough wipe down and final vacuum. You want to mop repeatedly until the water runs clear and clean. You have removed up to 97% of the fine particle dust from your new build. Congratulations!

Out of sight is not out of mind, and especially it is not out of the body. 

The subtle effects of dust on our health over time cannot be understated and are yet to be fully understood. Our company has witnessed mini-miracles regarding people’s health, mood, happiness and harmony. We cannot recommend the importance of establishing and living a dust-free life enough.

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Michael Sweet is the founder of 1800 CLEANER and has over 35 years of experience. 

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