What is Puzzle Dust and How To Get Rid Of It. Tips From An Expert.

As an avid puzzler, a member of many puzzle groups, and a manufacturer of nationally recognized and awarded custom puzzles, I've noticed that some brands of puzzles have more dust than others. While some puzzlers don't care if there is dust, others will stop buying puzzles from manufacturers if their puzzles have an inordinate amount of dust. 

Puzzle Dust seems to be a big problem in the puzzle forums and is always a turn-off to puzzlers who have allergies.  If you find that you are frustrated with constantly having problems with puzzle dust, here are several tips and tricks to help you eliminate that pesky dust from your puzzle.

Let's explore more on how to eliminate puzzle dust.

What Is Puzzle Dust?

Understanding puzzle dust and where it originates is the first step in eliminating puzzle dust. 

Jigsaw Puzzles are made of many materials, including types of cardboard and chipboard.  Most puzzles that are purchased in the stores are made of a type of chipboard. 

During the manufacturing process and while the puzzle is cut there may be dust that comes with the process of cutting the puzzle.  Most puzzles are manufactured with a jigsaw puzzle die that cuts a puzzle into the pattern that results in the final puzzle.

Cleaning a puzzle die can take a little time to do and is usually overlooked by manufacturers.  Some manufacturers skip this process, resulting in a dusty puzzle being packaged.  Cardboard tends to be the favorite medium that is used in the industry and usually leaves quite a mess when cut.

Our process involves cleaning our dies before and after each use, which significantly reduces the amount of dust in every puzzle.  While it takes just a minute to do, this process can eliminate the majority of dust that will end up in the puzzle box.  Some brands, including us here at The Missing Piece Puzzle Company, will remove the dust before the puzzle is packaged.  Unfortunately, there are other brands that simply package this residue within the puzzle and ship it to the customer, skipping a critical step in the die cleaning and leaving puzzlers with the problem of sorting through the dust.

We don't like dust in our puzzles, especially during allergy season, as dust can play a big factor in allergies.  


How Do I Get Rid Of Puzzle Dust?  Simple Tips And Tricks To Get Rid Of Puzzle Dust.

1.  Use A Colander.

Emptying your new puzzle directly into a colander may save you some time and aggravation.  I would strongly suggest that you do this outside if possible so that the dust can clear out of the puzzle and air while outside.  If that isn't possible, shake the colander over a trash can or a sink to reduce the amount of dust particles in the air.  Shake it, but gently!

2.  Shake Puzzle Dust Out Of The Bag.

If your puzzle comes in a bag, simply shake the puzzle pieces toward the corner of the bag.  Once the dust has settled into the corner of the bag, snip off the edge of the bag just a little smaller than the puzzle piece.  You can shake any excess dust out of the puzzle easily this way.  

3.  Use A Sorting Tray With Mesh Holes.

Sorting puzzles is an art in itself but now the sorting trays with mesh can really come in handy.  The holes are large enough to not get clogged yet also serve as a convenient dust sifter.  Absolutely genius, this SORTING TRAY SET WITH MESH is a must for any serious puzzler.  

3.  Gather Each Piece Separately From The Box.

This process is very tedious and straightforward.  Simply take each individual piece out of the box, leaving the dust in the box.  Once the last piece is out of the box it's time to dump that pesky puzzle dust out of the box and into the trash.

4.  Use A Mesh Laundry Bag.

Mesh laundry back has pours that will easily allow puzzle dust to pass through, without losing puzzle pieces.  

5.  Use The World's Smallest Dust Buster.

I've found the most adorable and functional dust buster that will suck the dust up from the bottom of the box without sucking the puzzle pieces up.  This dust buster is inexpensive and plugs into a USB or a charging adaptor.  Here is the affiliate link to the product that has saved not only my puzzles from dust but has cleaned the countertops of crumbs.  WORLD'S SMALLEST DUST BUSTER.  

6.  Buy Puzzles That Don't Have Dust.

Believe it or not, there are responsible puzzle companies who clean the puzzles prior to boxing them, such as ours - The Missing Piece Puzzle Company - and others that you will discover through your puzzling adventures. 

Purchasing used puzzles, such as ones from a thrift shop or puzzle exchange should provide dust-free or low-dust puzzles, as used puzzles have been through the proverbial tumbler and should be free of puzzle dust.

While puzzle dust seems to be a hot topic of conversation, I've noticed that many puzzlers are on either side of the debate.  Some simply don't care, and others care a lot!

What's your trick to eliminating puzzle dust?  Join the puzzle conversation today. We want to know!