03/10/2015 07:37 am ET | Updated Mar 10, 2015

What Exactly Is A Dust Bunny, Anyway?

Deep cleaning your home can be emotional. There are feelings, and then there's procrastination and somewhere, before you reach the finish line (or your wit's end), there are questions. Like, what are those wads of dust that have made a home of their own underneath your sofa?

There's actually an answer for that, according to Robin Wilson, an eco-friendly interior designer and author of the forthcoming book, Clean Design (Greenleaf, 2015). Here's what we learned when asked her to tell us what's the deal with dust bunnies.

  • Dust bunnies are made of many things...
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    ...Including dead skin, hair, particles of fiber, paper and feathers, and lint from textiles.
  • Dust bunnies are held together with static electricity.
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    And in homes with many pets or lots of people with shedding hair, they can get large as they collect under furniture such as beds and sofas.
  • They can be harmful to those with allergy or respiratory issues.
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    According the Wilson, the danger lies in dust bunnies' ability to harbor dust mites which can trigger an asthmatic or allergic reaction.

    To ward off these potential allergy triggers, Wilson recommends moving your furniture once or twice a year as though you are moving out and cleaning underneath to ensure that the surfaces do not build up debris. As an extra measure of cleanliness, use a HEPA filtered vacuum so the dust does not blow back into the room, she says.

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