Susannah Birch is a certified birth doula, journalist, and owner of Trimester Talk, a leading pregnancy website.
Dust: An Unusual Pregnancy Craving
When I was about 28 weeks pregnant, I developed my first craving: for dust. Not dirt, not mud. Dust. The fine, powdery substance with qualities similar to brown flour. The kind of dirt you find in outback places and along long dirt roads.
I was dusting shelves at work out of boredom when I realized I liked the smell. I began keeping track of those certain places where I'd find mounds of dust, places where I could dust away and enjoy the heavy clouds of particles flying around me. Then— wonder of wonders—I realized I wanted to lick it. Strange! For the rest of my pregnancy, if there was dusting to be done, my co-workers nicely let me do it!
While I was pregnant, I asked my dad to bring me a bucket of dust from one of his regular work trips out of town. He brought back a big container, and once a day I contented myself with whetting one finger, sticking it in, and licking the dust. It was a little too crunchy, so I ended up using a sieve to strain it.
Near the end of my pregnancy, a dust storm enveloped a large part of our state. I was in heaven. While my asthmatic friends coughed and cursed, I enjoyed the thick, dusty air. My husband kept telling me it was bad for me and to close the door.
I looked it up online and the closest craving I could find was dirt, which to me was like someone who loved hass avocados being told to eat a fuerte avocado.
3 Reasons for Dust or Dirt Cravings During Pregnancy
Nutritional Deficiency (Iron, Zinc, Etc.)
Anemia (iron deficiency) is a common cause of dirt cravings. According to many top medical sites on the internet, a dust craving probably meant I had a lack of iron. I went to my doctor and told her. I don't think she believed me because I had no other symptoms, but she did a blood test. . . and yes, I had low iron!
Pica is when you develop cravings for nonfood items with little or no nutritional value, like dust, paint chips, soap, chalk, ice, or hair. These craving are usually seen in children and pregnant women (and can be quite dangerous, especially for pregnant women!).
The practice of eating dirt (geophagia) has a long and large history for humans and other animals—it's been documented in all civilizations across history and documented in more than 100 primate species. There are cultural, medicinal, nutritional, and religious reasons behind this practice. In humans, its cause has been classified as a psychiatric disease, a cultural tradition, and sometimes simply the result of a nutritional imbalance. According to Healthline, many pregnant women crave dirt possibly because it provides minerals or because it might provide protection against certain toxins and parasites.
Cultural Beliefs About Eating Dirt
Since the earliest civilizations, cultures throughout the world have practiced geophagia, the deliberate consumption of dust, earth, or clay. Even today there are cultures that believe eating dirt can be good for you. Eating clay has been shown to help iron deficiencies, ease menstrual pain, sooth digestive problems, and help diarrhea that's caused by rotavirus.
Is It Safe to Eat Dust or Dirt?
Although there may be health benefits, there are definitely risks of eating dirt.
- One problem with eating dirt is that you don't know where it came from. It might have chemicals, pesticides, or other harmful and potentially toxic ingredients.
- Another issue is dirt is difficult to digest and if you eat too much, it can lead to severe digestive problems and blockages.
- Eating dirt—especially over a long period of time—can expose you to parasites, heavy metal poisoning, and hyperkalemia (too much potassium in your blood).
What Can You Eat Instead of Dirt While You're Pregnant?
- Munching ice chips might satisfy your desire for crunch
- A chalky hard candy (like Smarties or Milk Duds)
- Ka'Chava chewable meal replacement (or something similar)
- An edible powder (like protein powder or a meal replacement)
- Flour: brown flour, whole wheat, wheat germ; coarse or fine grained
- Corn meal, corn flour, or polenta
- Small amounts of activated charcoal
- Some report satisfaction from chewing on a clean sponge
- 1 or 2 Tums tablets might satisfy a desire for that chalky flavor (especially if you have heartburn!)
Did the Dust Cravings End After Pregnancy?
My doctor said it wasn't safe for me to eat dust during pregnancy, so I started taking iron tablets. But my dust craving still remained. Six months after I had my baby girl, my craving still hadn't subsided. So I thought I'd write an article about it, since when it began, I could hardly find two words online telling me about dust cravings. Oh yes, there were articles about toilet paper and baking soda cravings, but not dust!
I don't think my dust craving has changed since pregnancy. The idea of dust makes me salivate more than an all-you-can-eat meal.
Hopefully, other unusual women who, like me, have intense dust cravings will find this article and rest assured in the knowledge that you aren't alone.
Meanwhile I'll be here, sitting back, enjoying watching dust storm videos and eating a muffin finely dusted. . . and not with icing sugar!
My Dust Craving Update
Update: I wrote the above article more than a year ago about the dust cravings in my first pregnancy. After having my daughter, the cravings abated but never fully went away. Now I'm pregnant with my second daughter, and my cravings have returned in full force and at an earlier stage of pregnancy than last time.
Because eating dust is so risky, wanted to find an alternative. It's so hard to get good-quality, chemical-free, toxin-free, and pesticide-free stuff, and I'm not sure I want something that's been sitting outside for years (not to mention how hard it is on your digestion). I found an alternative that, although it's not perfect, is generally ok for your body and has almost the same texture without the grit.
Activated charcoal powder was the answer for me (post-partum). I purchased it in capsules and on days when I can't resist the craving, I open a capsule, tip it in a container, and lick it or just run my fingers through it.
Other Interesting Articles
Weird Pregnancy Cravings and What They Might Mean With answers to questions like "Do you really crave what your baby wants to eat?"
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Susannah Birch
Ashley Dixon on October 15, 2020:
Im so happy Im not alone. I love the feeling of dust. When Im in others cars, I wipe dust. When Im grocery shopping I wipe shelves of dust. When I go to bathrooms I find dust, it makes me feel good. I never knew why I do this everyone thinks Im weird.
Melanie Heffern on August 28, 2020:
I'm addicted to the smell of ceramic dust!! I can't get enough of it! And I've searched everywhere for information and can't find anything. Am I the only one?
Stephanie Purser from Australia on May 24, 2020:
I had no idea people can crave dust let alone, it seems so common. The comments were almost as intriguing as the article.
CamRB on April 21, 2020:
Another one Ive found is cornmeal. A lil thicker. But it's food. And mix it with raw granulated sugar and smash up an iron tablet. Ahhhh. Works perfectly. It took a month of constantly buying odd edible powders. But ahhhh. Ever add in a lil of that charcoal or starch or raw flour (dissolves less quickly) to get that "grabbiness" of dust. But cornmeal...it the main key.
CamRB on April 21, 2020:
Gosh! Thank you. While I'm sadly not pregnant I crave...absoluteltmy CRAVE dust. Just like u a dirt road dust seems cleaner. But really it's that light furniture dust...mmmm. Why?! Dont watch the new Addams Family animated movie. That's where it kicked in for me. Morticia asked the Frankenstein butler to please dust the house. He turns on a vacuum in reverse and its been over ever since. I thought of charcoal. Mmmm.
Richie65 on January 17, 2020:
Hello everyone I just signed up recently. As a dust lover does anyone here on this forum/blog know how I can make contact with any of the others who post comments here? Thank you in advance
Richie on January 17, 2020:
Hannah M on January 09, 2020:
My craving isn’t much in eating it but smelling it... dust on dry gravel roads, baby powder and chalk dust, I would be in heaven if I could just smack together the old chalkboard erasers!! I crave to smell it, Just breathing in those tiny particles! I also crave the smell of laundry soap and dryer sheets Along with dishwasher tablets. I had my baby 7 months ago and these cravings have not let down at all yet. But I have always been very anemic, they almost didn’t let me leave the hospital to do transfusions. I am prescribed the highest dosage iron multiple times a day.
NikkiB on December 18, 2019:
There are a lot of vacuuming videos on youtube you can watch that sometimes help.
Totes on December 01, 2019:
I thought i was alone but im glad im a man who shares strange cravings of pregnant women you guys should try going to hay precessing plants theres lots of dust there lol
Sarah on October 11, 2019:
Wow I literally thought I was a weirdo, but reading this is good I want to pick up and touch n smell fine dirt, I'm 25 weeks and I'm too scared to tell my partner in case he thinks I'm nuts but I literally crave it like I crave food, I don't want to eat it I just wanna touch it and smell it, I have like OCD and hated being dirty but now I want to touch it, super glad I'm not the only one
TWINMommy on August 04, 2019:
Old musty vacuum cleaner dust!!! I love it!!!!
Tshepiso on May 07, 2019:
You not alone
Brooklyn on March 20, 2019:
Yes! Dust and body powders like powder foundation and after shower body powder j inhale. like a freak . I also inhale the smell of hand sanitizer and menthol products I can't get enough. I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my second son. 10 years ago I was pregnant with my first son and had the dust and body powder cravings.
Anonymous on March 18, 2019:
Please i am a victim......is there any dangers in it? ..really scared. reply please
Rachel on February 14, 2019:
I actually needed to read this. I want to inhale dust, chalk and powder. I want to open my mouth and breathe it in! Not so much eat it but I want to roll around in powder or dust . I have had this addiction since childhood. I crave it and when I think about it I feel obsessed.
Anonymous on February 11, 2019:
I use polythene bag to pack dusty sand outside our compound. Would sneak to d kitchen to shake d bag nd smell dust. Most of the time I get scared if it will hurt my baby...i am 30 weeks pregnant
Agatha on December 21, 2018:
I even have started smoking light cigarets.
DeeDee on November 12, 2018:
This is so wonderful. I thought I was crazy. When I was pregnant with my son who is now 15, I realized that I wanted to wipe my fingers along the car that had dirt and salt on it from the roads and wanted to eat it. My craving has never gone away. While I have only indulged a couple times I do have a thing for running my fingers thru dust and light dirt. I have found an edible solution for my crazy craving for something light with a little bit of texture and it actually tastes good...COFFEE CREAMER. I love it. I will put it on a plate run my fingers thru it, wet my finger and press into the pile and rub it on my tongue. My family thought I was crazy for keeping a small bowl of creamer next to my bed but now if they come in the room and my hands are all powdery...Oh well!
Bonita on July 20, 2018:
I also have an intense craving for the smell of dust. I have some sand in a jar and shake it to create dust and then I smell it... sound so weird... but I enjoy it...
Lozie on April 26, 2018:
You are definitely not alone. Thank you, this post helps me know Im not alone in this struggle and no,mine isn't caused from being pregnant, I do not even know where it came from or how it developed.
Jenna on February 11, 2018:
I’m also addicted to dust. Just like you I like sieving it. I don’t like eating it with Little Rock’s in it. I usually put mine and paper and let it drop into my mouth. I never salivate for anything more than dust. What do I do to stop it.
Patricia on January 31, 2018:
So happy im NOT alone! I CRAVE dust, lint out the dryer, rags I will chew on a rag til its literally tearing apart, also the dust off of air conditioner filters YUM! Its an uncontrollable thing for me though.
Beth on August 01, 2017:
I thought I was alone. I have had a huge dust craving since I was pregnant with my first child, 9 years ago!! It subsided slightly a few years after she was born but it was still there and when I was pregnant with my second child it came back in full force. It's not so much the craving to eat it but just to feel and touch it. Every single day I find dust to feel. As there is obviously lack of dust in our home with my cravings/obsession to touch it, I have a field day when I'm out. I sneak off to bathrooms to find dust and at work dust behind colleagues computers or sneak a feel in the filing cabinets. I try to hide it as it's always difficult explaining it but friends and family know about it and don't bat an eyelid anymore. I have always been on and off with an iron deficiency but even when my iron levels improve, the need doesn't subside. Glad I'm not alone!!
Lils on March 29, 2017:
I've been smelling dust, like run my finger through furniture/books, collect the dust and smell it. I don't know why but I'm so happy about dust. Dust,dust,dust! So glad I am not alone
Bini on March 24, 2017:
Hi, there it's good to find something useful and something that u r actually looking for on internet. Thank you for sharing ur craving. I am not pregnant but recently I've started to crave the smell of dust. The other day I was just walking home, a strong whiff of dust blew past me and I was like this is what I needed & got nostalgic; when I didn't even had the craving on my mind and now I wanna smell dust and can't stop doing it. I'll definitely check my iron as well, which could be one solid reason for my craving since I've had history of iron deficiency. And thanks again for opening up and sharing.
Rp on February 26, 2017:
I 've dust craving since childhood, run my fingers and lick dust from tank surfaces etc lick soil and enjoy it. Happy that I am not alone
Nells on January 02, 2017:
OMG, thank you! This is my third pregnancy and I am a dusy fanatic. I have to touch it and run my hands along things that are dusty. I literally go to stores and houses to dust, I can't control it. I don't eat it I just like to feel it.
Alicia Charette on November 22, 2016:
Omg why couldnt I have found this a year ago when thought.. and still think I'm the only crazy person sneaking into my basement every chance I could get to sweep and stir up as much dust as I could,. Enough to scare away the other tenants from coming down into the basement.. once they looked down the basement stairs and saw that it was filled with clouds of dust, they'd turn around and come back later to do their laundry... Lol, it started when I was pregnant with my third, and lived in a condo with no basement and I would crave the basement smell..the closest satisfaction I could get was from cleaning the lint from inside, outside and underneath my dryer.... Cravings never went away and my son is now 15 months old. I moved to an apartment with the dustiest and most heavenly basement I could dream of... And the best part of stirring up the dust was dusting EVERYTHING after it all settled,.. except for my co tenants things... Boy they hated me... left me a letter titled Dear basement cleaner lol..I became so obsessed with inhaling dust it's all I thought about and wanted to do.. when I ran out of things to sweep/dust I would use a wire grill brush and scrape the cement walls, creating the most euphoric and satisfying dust clouds, smell and the fact that I was making dust clouds in my face right off the walls made it so much better... Even tho I was ruining the basement walls and pissing everyone off, with my dust.. I couldn't get enough... I still can't.. and now my new place doesn't have a basement!!! I need a replacement to calm my crazy dust and basement addiction.... Nothing but a basement will ever be dusty enough for me to make dust clouds to inhale... If anyone is as crazy about the smell, and after smell taste dust gives and knows of an alternative, ahhh in would be so grateful and relieved.. good to know it isn't just me!! (:
Kris on September 09, 2016:
I am so happy I found this site!! I have been feeling like a weird freak because of my very odd cravings. I have always enjoyed the smell of dust but now that I am 38 weeks pregnant it has intensified! Some other cravings I have are things like cleaning supplies, antibacterial wipes, New tires, car and lawn mower exhaust, and ICE!! It's so odd.
Melissa Michelle Mullane on July 28, 2016:
I'm going to say WOW... I'm so glad its not just me.
I know a bit of a cure for this crazy craving that might help alot of you.
Dust cravings are a mineral deficiency...
Buy: schuessler tissue salts from your chemist or health food store, they area homeopathic pill that you chew and taste like dusty chalky goodness.
There are different types for different symptoms eg: magnesium ones for cramps.
I use general tonic COMB 12 it has all the mineral elements in it.
I chew 2-3 evey 1/2 hour. You cant over dose on these.
just try not to eat the whole container in 1 hit... it can be tempting, but im thinking its not good to do that!
im 30 weeks pregnant and I get this dusty chalky craving really bad, worse when im pregnant.
Ive had this addiction to dust since I was a child, liking chalk boards etc.
my grandmother put me in these tablets and I can control it very easily now.
give them a go!
auntjuju on March 02, 2016:
I have always been anemic. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with all of my weird cravings for non-food things, but it probably does at least to an extent. I have craved so many things, most severely during pregnancy, but still present at all other times.... Gasoline, exhaust fumes, wood, dust, cement, powder, markers, Vicks, Pine-Sol, dirt, rocks, sand, fingernail polish and fingernail polish remover, the smell of old dirty garages, and probably more things I'm not thinking of at the moment. The dust thing for me is the way it looks, the way it feels between my fingers, the way it smells... I always want to lick it off of my furniture or window sills... however, I haven't. I don't know if this is due to an intense feeling of wanting things clean or if I genuinely want to lick dirt! LOL When I was pregnant with my youngest, I would sit up alone at night and watch this home repair show called Holmes on Homes. It had a mixture of everything I wanted to eat ... cement, wood, dirt and dust, all kinds of yucky/yummy stuff! I would sit there with a huge cup of ice and just chomp away while watching that show. At the end of my pregnancy with him I started craving Vicks.... not just the smell but I wanted to eat it. I carried around a bottle of it everywhere I went so I could sniff it once in a while! I still have weird cravings but now that I'm not pregnant they are less obsessive. However, I still have to poke my head out in our garage and take a good long whiff of it once in a while. It's a mixture of gas fumes, oil, dirt and I don't know what else... but oh my gosh it's great! LOL Anyway... glad I'm not the only one! and You are Not Alone! :)
Lepan on February 13, 2016:
I've always adored the smell (and taste) of chalk and chalk dust- at school I'd bang to board rubbers together and stand in the cloud and be in heaven. Makes me drool to even imagine it! Pictures of dust clouds and chalk especially make me crave it too. During my pregnancies I was craving chalk like mad- only natural white kind, and tried to get a massive box of one without additives, and to crunch it up and spit out as much as possible so I wouldn't ingest too much, because it was the crunching up I really craved, but still ate loads. I've had a few kidney stones over the years and have to suspect that they're connected, and I try to drink lemon-water and stuff to counteract the effects but a lifelong addiction is hard to beat. Sometimes the craving nearly goes away, but always resurfaces sooner or later, and I've tried every supplement going in case it's an underlying deficiency, but never seems to make much difference. There's a point in the back of my nose/ throat that certain smells and textures trigger- I call it a 'smellgasm'! ;-) Creosote on fences does it, sawdust, old books, cement dust, musty basements/ churches etc.. chalk dust, and for taste it's chalk, some dust/ rocks/ chalky sweets (Pama Violets are best) and chalky antacids, and also- I've recently discovered- turmeric, in hot drinks etc.. I have to really restrain myself from eating things like cement dust, because the smell is great, but I know it wouldn't be good for me! No idea why we have these cravings- vitamin/ mineral deficiency besides- maybe it's some kind of primal thing. Seems to be more women than men who love these smells too. But maybe there are more men out there who just don't discuss it? Nice to know I'm not alone!!
SailorMars on January 29, 2016:
I am so relieved that I am not alone in this! I have had pica since I was a little girl, my mum caught me eating the lint out of our tumble dryer...and I still do that to this day! It literally makes my mouth water! I also love vacuum cleaner dust, I vacuum my flat about 5 times a day just so I can satisfy my craving!
thedandelion on January 22, 2016:
I just am so shocked. I am all of you. and it's hard to find people who actually understand my dust situation. even my mother thinks I'm weird.
thanks for this post.
Tigerlily on January 16, 2016:
I like smelling the vacuum cleaner from the filter or the hose. The warm heat mixed with the dust has a sweet smell. the bagged versions are the best. My favourite is the expelled air from the filter in the rear or the top of the vacuum. I most confess that i vacuum pure dust particles, any contaminates with a particular smell that overwhelms the scent I will change the bag. Unsure if it is hereditary as my brother likes the smell also and my niece has developed the liking of the vacuum scent. The funny thing is I have allergies and certain scents trigger a respiratory wheeze i.e. perfume, musky dust and any scent that i can taste also. Sometimes I know I have overdone it.
Glad to know that we are not the only one's enjoy dust. However my other concern is the microscopic organisms that dwell among this waste and if they attach themselves to our internal body??
Blondi1970 on January 12, 2016:
I like the smell of old books in the library, like Encyclopedias that haven't been cracked open in years...I buy chalk just so I can wet it down and smell it. They have changed how they make it now, at least the white type. It use to be creamy when it was moist, but now it doesn't have that affect any more. There is something about inhaling/breathing in/ smelling clay, dust, whatever your choice is, as it sort of takes your breath away for a few seconds, and you feel satisfied for some reason.Things that are ceramic has that smell too...My grandmother made me many things as a child that I still have and put water in the cavity of it so i can breath in and smell that smell. I do all these things to calm down. Especially now since I have been stressed out really bad. Glad I am not the only one, lol
Chris on January 07, 2016:
I recently just admitted that i like dust. Just thinking about it gives me this weird feeling in my throat. I remember when i started to like the smell, feel of dust when i worked at a warehouse and i could run my fingers along metal and find clumps of dust. Now i like to eat ice as well. Which satisfies my craving for dust.
raina on December 22, 2015:
I am glad to see I am not the only one...my dust craving is usually activated when I see it, I want to lick it, but I don't...in my mind I know dust has things in it I shouldn't ingest, but I still can't resist running my hands in it and feeling the texture on my fingers...but what is even weirder is the smell of gasoline and having dust on my hands makes me want to chew ice. I believe I substitute chewing ice for licking the dust...I don't know how the gas smell comes into play, but they all work together with my love of dust...this has been happening since I was 9 years old...I'm 47 now..so that tells you how long it has been.
YiErSan on December 17, 2015:
I have had pica since I was 4 or 5. I licked rocks, ate mud (well mud pies) and loved to eat chalk & beat the erasers outside at school! Growing up, I love the smell of gasoline, not straight up, but if I can slightly smell it. Tar, when it is almost set & dry on the roads. Now, I love going into Home Depot to smell caulk (I'll open some of the containers), going to the lumber section to smell wood, breaking up powders in my hands until it turns into dust for hours, bath bombs, dryer sheets (fresh linen kind), & if it snows (which it hardly ever does in GA) driving over the salts in the road to hear the sound of gravel & salt, it turns me on. And also gravel on the streets, I love to smooch it with my shoe and hear that crunching sound. I love to dust using Lysol disinfecting wipes, so I can smell the dust & the lemon cleaning scent. I am 27 weeks pregnant now, and a lot of these craving are coming back in full force. I tried to eat bath bomb powder, but I figured out that I just like to be engulfed in it or inhale it. Not snort, but just inhale. There is a shredder at my job. I love to shread documents, then open up the machine & smell the old paper dust scent, it's heavenly. I also love the smell from car vents when you turn it on, it smells terrific, I can't really explain it. One more thing, I work downtown and have to walk over those street vents on the ground. I am immediately turned on if I walk over one and smell that dusty, tasteless, chalk like scent, but it doesn't last long because I realize I'm on the dirty streets of Downtown. Again, I don't have low iron & I don't eat anything, I just wish I could have constant streams of dust, powder blown un my face multiple times a day. Hopefully a lot of the symptoms will die down after the baby is born. Wasn't this bad with my 1st though, although I loved changing her diaper, just to snort the baby powder, which I don't do anymore.
Blondi1970 on October 18, 2015:
I know it's called "Pica", when you crave non-food items..I love the smell of a swamp cooler(grew up in Colorado and every house had one, and I was in bliss when summer came each year), rain on hot cement, wet dirt, wet clay, wet ceramic(which might be healthier), chalk, and many more. I have never ever been pregnant, but I have been anemic all my life. When I was a kid, we had cats..lots of them. I would be in charge of doing the kitty litter, and I found that the smell of the bag after you pour it in is the best thing ever! lol Man, I thought I was the only one who craved these things! It actually calms me to smell these things too. I just found on line an official name for the dewy, dusty smell of rain: "petrichor"! I don't eat it, but I just love the smell of these things and really thought I was the only one!So, I have no idea what you call it when you don't ingest it..? Anyone know?
soho949 on September 03, 2015:
Yes, but WHY? That's what I don't get. I aboslutely love the feel and smell of sand, dust, chalk dust, and erasure (that's my name for the stuff you get when you use an eraser; I'll just erase an unused piece of paper. the texture is so lovely...). Anyway, I just don't get why I react so strongly.
klink on August 18, 2015:
OMGOD, yes I am not alone. As long as I can remember, I've loved dust. Just seeing a dusty surface and rubbing a streak in, then rubbing my fingers together until the dust is gone off my finger..OMGOD. Then do it all over again. I am salivating just thinking of doing this. It is so weird. I can remember being a kid and window sills were my thing. The brown grimy dust that would accumulate there (we only have dirt roads in our town, so far me this is awesome). Wow. I feel so relieved not being alone in this. I LOVE DUST. I salivate thinking of dust but never licked or ate any yet haha.
Gigi on June 08, 2015:
I was 6 months pregnant the first time. We had driven to a concert and where we parked was all gravel. I got out of the car and dust from the gravel was being kicked up into the air from other drivers, it smelled so good! Then it started to sprinkle and the rain intensified the mineral smell it actually made my mouth water! I thought to myself what is wrong with me I actually want to put a rock in my mouth and suck on it the urge was almost too much to handle. I thought I was crazy. I also crave ice I can tell u where to get the best. I think my local chick fil a people think I'm a nut because all I order is a large cup of ice. I have been trying to research different dirt I know it's crazy. My doctor says I'm not low in iron but have the symptoms. Not sure what to do it's driving me crazy. I want that it's just started raining mineral taste in my mouth!!!! HELP lol
dustbag on May 29, 2015:
Yes I really find that my attraction to my vacuum cleaner aroma was deep seated from when I was young, I also did some research that shows a connection to intelligence level and o.c.d. I was tested in 1970 at a level of 147 and I assume that all the synapses in my brain aren't firing as they were then but the attraction of dust dirt fuzz etc. hasn't changed I still love it and collect all I can. Don't feel bad about our attraction to dust and fuzz we are all together in this and thanks to this web site it has helped me immensely.
Tiffany on May 28, 2015:
Wow! I seriously thought I was alone and weird. Dust, chalk dust, and brake dust. I would sit in the driveway and wipe the brake dust off of my rims with my bare hands/fingers. It felt so good. My daughter just turned 2 & I still crave it, I haven't tried eating it but playing with it with my fingers is so pleasing. lol
mamamusketeer on May 02, 2015:
WOW! i thought i was alone....in all my pregnancies ive had the same weird cravings too...dust,chalk dust, medicated powder! And even postbaby the cravings continue. i even took iron supplements for a while but it didn't stop. And the ultimate feeling is that delicious smell you get just when it starts to drizzle...it gives me such a high. lol! im really trying to stop though cos i heard it might be harmful to my airways
beehunnie on April 13, 2015:
This is hilarious... I've had the dust fetish(?) for as long as I can remember. never once did I think to google what it means or why... I just do it because it makes me happy! so glad to meet all of the people who are crazy like me :) I'm 27. no kids. never been pregnant. but ohhhh the joy of dusting! and not just any dust. oh no. it's gotta be the good stuff that feels good to the sense of touch. I can rub my hands in it all day! literally. lock me in a dusty room and just leave me be. let me out to pee once or twice and I'm good lol. Yes, [the feel and smell of] vacuum dust! yes, [the feel and smell of] dryer lint! yes, [the feel of] slightly moistened flour! yes, [the feel and smell of] the dust on the patio door after its rained. gahhh... I love it :) now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try and hunt for any dust that I may have missed since my last raid yesterday. wish me luck! happy dusting!
dustbag on March 18, 2015:
I have read all the comments and I too have a lust for dust but as Shakespeare said (to thine own self be true) We have to accept the fact that we all enjoy the look and aroma and feel of dust or dirt. I don't feel that it is wrong as long as we don't offend others and keep it to ourselves. We are the ones relieving stress and enjoying our attraction to the dust. Just think it is free, what others don't want we can enjoy, and it is free. Personally I love the aroma of the old upright type of vacuum cleaners and the treasure they contain. I have learned not to judge myself for the way I was made.
Anna on February 24, 2015:
Im 18 and not pregnanat, and I love dust, I love chalk dust and most importantly I LOVE sand. I have not eaten any of the three yet but i love running my fingers through it and rubbing my fingers together. I wish i could roll in sand. I just love the feel of those three things its crazy.
Sam Bickerton on October 18, 2014:
I'm 18 and not pregnant, but since the age of about 14 or something, I've been completely obsessed with dust. The look of it, the smell of it, the feel of it, and the taste of it, too. Everything about it makes me salivate, and I always get a lump in my throat when I think about it (though obviously I don't talk about it too much!). I love to see it on surfaces in my house, and I run my fingers through it and then sometimes lick them, but not every time. On top of my wardrobe, I've a load of books and boxes, and I haven't dusted there at all since they were all last touched, solely for the purpose of at some point having a long-built up dusty haven to mess with. I can see how dusty it is each time I go to bed because I share a room and I'm on top bunk. And I often Google pictures of dust, just so I can imagine touching it and licking it, and that's so sad but true! I also salivate over the smell of firelighters, which I'm also tempted to constantly smell, touch and eat. And I really want to start smoking because I'm love with the smell of cigarette smoke. I know that if I said any of this out loud to someone they'd be just a little bit disturbed! I need help!
Karen on August 27, 2014:
You NEED a Swamp cooler. I'm in southern Cali and we rented a house with a swamp cooler on a dirt. I would stand in front of it with my mouth open and all my family and friends would give their two cents about it. I didn't care the joy of standing in front of that cool dusty thing was worth it. It's like the smell of a dirt road after it rains but intensified.
Loressef on July 26, 2014:
For me it started when I was about 4 or 5. I loved licking baby powder and dust, from playing in gravel from the driveway, off my fingers. I would also eat the dust of chalk. After my mom started giving me vitamins the craving went away and hasn't been back until this pregnancy (my third child). I've started sampling baby powder again but thank God this pregnancy is nearly done. 38 weeks. For me it's definitely a nutritional deficiency. Baby powder, chalk and dust all have various kinds of minerals such as magnesium and silica, etc.
Calibaby on July 25, 2014:
I just want to comment that I'm glad I'm not alone! I love dust! During the winter I got a bag of sand and can't resist it. I first started wanting it when I went to my nieces softball games and had dreams of going to the field to get bags of it! Now I like to sift the sand do get all the big rocks out put it in a ziplock bag and shake the bag and sniff the dust! It's almost orgasmic....I also love to put my hand in the bag and lick the dust off.. It weird though because I also had the duty of wiping down the chalk board and clapping the erasers together to clean them oh the joy!!!
Tara on July 13, 2014:
I crave the smell of sawdust. . Garages. . Attics.. basements. . Anything musty and dusty. I'm pregnant and this happened with my first and third pregnancy lol
Aj on July 01, 2014:
I am a 22 year old women, And I have loved touching dust since I was about 11. I have never been pregnant and I would love to know the reason why I love to rub dust between my finger! I do it anywhere I can and it is such a good feeling doing it. My family thinks I am so weird for doing it by I can't help it! I am so happy other people feel the same.
Missj on May 16, 2014:
Dry wall & dry wall dust! Since 5 months pregnant.
Lesley. on April 03, 2014:
Im 18 and i love wiping my finger against dust and see it on my fingers then rub it until it gets off. the feeling makes me happy and i can sit and do it for hours :S i wonder why this happens..
shadow13 on February 08, 2014:
I remember liking the feel of powder when I was little, but, now, at 54, I crave the road salt collected on cars in winter. I love to take my finger and clean portions from my car. I love the gritty feel of it and am so glad I found this site. I did taste it, but, it was really tooo salty and I am afraid it would make me sick. I just love the feel of it on my fingers, or my hands as I clean off parts of my car. I think I must have always liked this because I love to sweep the garage and see the dust fly. My husband and daugher moved to an apt and I think I am missing playing in the dirt of my flower gardens. I am picturing cleaning my whole car off eventually and figure I am going to be looked at strangely. I love construction sites and the guys who work there and their dirty clothes. I salivate and feel sexual and my heart races as I look at the other salty cars on the road. I am glad I am not alone
misswilson on December 15, 2013:
I am not currently pregnant, but I've had "dust cravings" ever since I could remember. I don't have the urge to eat it (yet, anyway) but the feel of it between my fingers and the smell make me salivate!! I also like baby powder and light outdoors dust. I'm glad I'm not alone!!
duster on December 04, 2013:
Im not pregnant im only 18 and i have the same thing i love the smell of dust and i love to run my fingers along any dust object and lick it off my hand its even gotten to the point where i ate nearly all the air dust in the air flitter from the a/c ... nobody but my brothers no about this they always look at me digusted but i really dont care . I have low iron but its like eating dust really calms me down.... im glad im not alone
crystal on November 20, 2013:
I'm 34 weeks with my 3rd and never had this craving , I want to roll around in the white soft powder used at construction sites. My kids have a sand pit and I'm always digging my feet in it but its not quite good enough. I think a bag of chalk powder would satifie me but I just want to be covered in it. I was craving just sand on my feet but now its the powder all over me. Yes I am iron deficient.
dusty on November 07, 2013:
I have the same issue. It happened during both of my pregnancies..the craving for the smell of baby powder and feel of dust. I also liked to have it on me. But its been 15 years since my last pregnancy and its suddenly come back. Only now, its not just baby powder and dust...i love the smell of exhaust from a dump truck, and the site of the red dirt/dust in the air when they are leaving a construction site. I love the feel of sand and fine dirt...it has to be powdery and ICE! I am suuuure my iron is low but...i actually enjoy the feeling i get when I see, mell or feel these things.
T. Perry on October 13, 2013:
I am 5 months pregnant, but I have been craving dust for years now and I think it began at the age of 15. I love the touch of sand and really dirt. When I go into the bathroom, I can't leave without opening the bottom cabinet and smelling the wood and wiping around for dust. It seems to get worst every year and now that I am pregnant, it's out of control. I have never tasted it before, but I have tasted chalk so that I wouldn't taste the dust. I am getting to the point where I even need to eat sand because touching it no longer works. I look at my niece when she rubs the carpet or the ground (she's 1 by the way) and it makes my craving for sand, dirt, dust, and chalk worst. I don't know if I need therapy for this or if I'm just a weirdo.
bk on September 19, 2013:
I had a craving to touch dust gathered on my fireplace in my room and run between my fingers in my pregnancy!! Lucily I lived in a dusty area between a bus garage and busy train track!It was great as dust built up on the furniture daily and I was never out of stock :-) You are definitely not alone!!!
smilesaysitall:) on September 01, 2013:
I am not even pregnant but I think I am addicted to dust and anything powdery ( Flour, baby powder, dust, body powders, lose dust from outside). It started with baby powder, just smelling it or putting it on my body but then I started smelling and touching dust. I find myself vacuuming and cleaning out the vacuum almost every other day. I don't eat it just smell or touch it. I find myself thinking about it all the time. I am glad there are many others with the same compulsion.
vacuumbag on June 04, 2013:
i love the vintage kirby vacuum cloth bag love the smell of the dusty smell love to put my face in it and smell it.and love to eat the dust of them glad there other people that love the smell i thought i was weird.
Tanzy on May 27, 2013:
Your not alone! In Texas we have a light brown dirt and its great! It's been over 20 years since I started!
weird20 on May 06, 2013:
I have had the exact same dust craving throughout most of my pregnancy and, even though my son is now 3 months old, it still hasn't gone away and is just as strong. Even from the comment of the dust from the vacuum cleaner. I find myself vacuuming and dusting every day, even sniffing the dust of the sides.
I thought all powdery things such as my sons baby milk as having the same effect so (I hate to admit) I have tried sniffing baby milk to no avail.
I would understand if it was due to a lack of iron as i have been vegetarian for some time now but still I don't understand how that has anything to do with dust.
Mainly I'm just glad I'm not the only one with this weird obsession.
dustbag on March 09, 2013:
I'm not pregnant but have always had an attraction to the aroma and feel of dust from my vacuum cleaner, and like dannii it gives me a soft tension release and I love to feel it all over my body, I am not inteerested for help just found more people with the same desire.
Ann Marie on February 07, 2013:
I found an amazing solution that is healthy, too. You can get food grade diatomaceous earth for very little cost and it is amazing!!! It is used to kill bugs and even deworm animals. All it is is the powder of ground up shells that are rich in minerals. You may want to check it out :)
cant helpit on January 30, 2013:
I love the taste of Kaolin/Clay/Dirt/Earth/Dust/Ice etc...!
If you are looking for a clean source of Georgia White Dirt check out this website:
Georgia White Dirt- 1 pd/16oz bags for $5.00
The shipping prices are reasonable too.
Ann Marie on January 21, 2013:
Thank you for posting this!!! I have the same issue where I salivate and want to smell dust and it is really strange. Mine has been through all of my five pregnancies and usually I want to smell cat litter dust, in particular. I used to have to keep a bag of cat litter next to my bed and I would inhale the dust. I know it has to be dangerous so I have tried not to do it during this pregnancy, but the craving has come back and I salivate when I pass construction zones because of the dust and rocks!!! I really don't know if this is PICA or something else and I really hope I can learn to control it!!! Good luck to you!!!
Jodie on December 06, 2012:
Your not alone. :)
Dannii on December 05, 2012:
I'm 37+6 pregnant and I absolutely LOVE the smell of dust, I love emptying my vacum just to be able to smell it, but some days I feel like I have to run my fingers through it because of the softness and the feeling of having dust on my body drives me insane (In a good way) ..I have to suffer most days though because I have no dust to smell or play with!:/
sonya on August 28, 2012:
Try using a foam circle. Put in the vacum cleaner let. Run in your bagless vacuumlet the dust. All on
the foam. And then take. It out and sniff away.
Trish on August 08, 2012:
Emily you made me feel sooooo much more comfortable admitting to this problem. I swear every time there was dust in the area I would want to rub it all over me and it gave me a bit of a turn on. I thought I was losing my mind!!! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one. Luckily my little girl is due in about 2 and 1/2 weeks so hopefully I can be over this crazy craving. The craziest part is that I don't really care to eat it (though I haven't been that close to any so I may not really know just yet lol)
Emily on July 31, 2012:
As long as i can remember ive always been addicted to the smell of a freshly vaccumed room, it got to the point where i would vacuum my room three-four times a week, even our filing cabinets at work smells like this, it gives me the urge like i want to eat air intoxiated with dust scent. Drives me nuts both sanely and sexually....
Graciouscatowner on July 20, 2012:
I can remember when I was a little girl I would chew on the carpet for the dust smell! I am now in my 40s and have not lost the craving for dust...I don't want to eat though, have no desire for that, just sniffing it. I have to live on a dirt road so I can smell it all the time. I like dust flour and other kind of powdery smells like that. I have never lost the craving to sniff it. I feel like an addict as I am sniffing the air as a car passes me on a dirt road! I am anemic also...
thandeka on July 19, 2012:
AM NOT ALONE yoh my God i eat dust like nothing on earth am not pregnant and i donot have kids but i enjoy eating dust everyday i can walk a long distance looking for carving dust and collect it almost everyday and i just want to stop eating dust i just can't the appetite is too much and i have low iron but i will try that tables and take it from there .
Nana k on July 11, 2012:
I started smelling dust abt 5 yrs ago. It got to a pnt i started having pains in my head afta sniffing it. Dis is nt gud n av stopped.
notpregnantbut... on June 25, 2012:
i had to share in the dust love. my favorite smell in the whole entire world is the smell of chalk dust. since i was a child. i too share in that vacuum cleaner dust love, the a/c when it first turns on, the freezer. All have that same smell. I actually have a box of chalk i keep next to my bed. when i first bought it a couple of years ago, it didn't really smell like anything. but as it has started to disintegrate...OMG!! my mouth does water, but i really don't have the desire to eat it. just smell it. I'll just lay on my bed with the box to my nose in heaven. it has gotten a lot worse lately in that i'm constantly thinking about that box. i think my perimenopause and dropping hormones may have something to do with it.
QueenBee17 on June 21, 2012:
I'm currently 38 weeks pregnant and I've only just started this affair with dust. I have yet to eat it, though the urge is very strong. I purposely go around the house running my index finger across surfaces hoping to feel dust. I then rub it between my fingers and move on to another area. Also, my love for the smell of garages and gas stations has increased greatly. However, nothing compares to my current love for dust. Is there an explanation for this? I haven't brought it up to my doctor, because I haven't eaten it and it's quite embarrassing. My husband, mom, dad, and sisters all slap my hand when they catch me in the act. I just can't help it!! I have to go now, because the urge is too strong and I have to touch it.
faith on June 20, 2012:
i love the smell of dust n licking dust to the point that i scrape papers,magazine cardboard with any sharp instrument which is nearby just to make dust so that i can hv some......im scared that one day this is going to make me sick
param on June 01, 2012:
friends m also in ur party..:)
missy on June 01, 2012:
My craving was smelling musty shoes, socks i would deliberately let me son wear his socks to school for the entire week because i know they would smell more funky and also i would lick the insides of his sneakers
tendai on May 30, 2012:
you are not alone
Adrian33 on May 18, 2012:
I'm 33, not pregnant but have had two kids. My obsession, since childhood, has been smelling AC units.(either from the car or window units) the smell makes my mouth water. And makes me wish I could taste it. Also, creek water!!!! I've always been tempted to drink it but never mustered up the nerve!
CKI on May 15, 2012:
I'm not pregnant but I understand the feeling of just wanting to taste dust, not dirt but the dust that flies up from sand, when I go out with some friends and see a spot that has some sand I run over there and kick it just so I can see the dust. this thing I've had since I was a little girl, I used to kick in sandy spots got my shoes all torn up, by kicking all sand haha..
Anna on May 15, 2012:
Oh, how I crave dust and chalk dust! I am 29 weeks pregnant and have had the urge for, say, 10 weeks now. Last year I suffered blood loss and emptied my iron reserves. Then the cravings were more intense. I found myself searching for videos on YouTube under "dust clouds" "dust storm" "sand dust". I am sure this will surpass, but meanwhile I drag my shoes through every dust pile I see, and breathe in chalk dust occasionally. It's weird how the human body can react!
c on April 15, 2012:
I need help I like the smell of vacuum cleaner and the filter foam I put it to the vacuum vent and smells good and dust come out I smell it Evan more and taste it I need help are there any numbers
tschv5059 on April 06, 2012:
Definitelly not alone! But Im glad to know IM not alone! I thought I might have something wrong with me. Im not pregnant but I LOVE dust and fine powder dirt and sand. I LOVE the smell of the vacuum cleaner filter and sniff it when I shake it out. I volunteer to sweep the driveway and sidewalks to to be in as must dust as I can. Sometimes when I haven't been near any for awhile I shake the bag of cat litter (non clumping) and sniff the dust.I also love in old buses when the humidifier is on. Just smells so good. I should go get my iron levels checked. . . until then i will keep sniffing dust
piya on April 03, 2012:
you are not alone. I am not pregnant bt still i love eating dust. I have tried hard to get over this but i could not. What should i do? I am ashamed of telling it to anybody.
Naddy on March 18, 2012:
You are not alone. With my first pregnancy I crave dirt but just could not find the kind that I wanted. And now with this pregnancy I am craving charcoal Its like when a crack head need a hit. My body needs it I was eating a lot of it until my throat started to hurt, the charcoal I was eating was the one called brickett which is the worst kind, there were shiny glass looking particles which I observed I think that's why my throat is hurting. I just order the powder online I can't wait to eat iam currently 37 weeks pregnant it seems the craving got worst.
pica on March 12, 2012:
i kno .. im not alone i just like the vacuum smell its like a drug i the dusty filter foam smell that and i am alwas getting sick i kno i need to stop asap
Poet on February 29, 2012:
You are not alone! I love dust, the smell of soil after/during rain, cement;I love building sites and spend ages fantasizing about being completely covered in it.Mine cravings are not to do with pregnancy because I have had them since childhood; I remember looking for cracks in the wall to sniff and stick my tongue in. I have been seriously thinking of getting a jar full but I am of the impression they are all poisonous to a degree and charcoal will not do.
pica on February 22, 2012:
i like the smell of my vacuum cleaner is that weried i just love the smell of it and the carpet filter i alwas stick to the heater and smells dusty but good omg i love the smell and to lick it too
k324 on January 24, 2012:
Oh yes.... I have the same thing going on. It all started while pregnant with my first daughter and now that I am pregnant with my second little girl it has definitely returned full force. It never fully went away after my first baby was born. Just glad to know there are so many more people that have the same dust addiction. It's embarrassing to talk about to someone who doesn't understand. Thanks for sharing!!!
dirtbikechick_07 on January 15, 2012:
hey guys i read this and was surprised i am so happy im not alone, when i first got pregnant i would use the dirt devil vacuum with the container and bang out the filter and breathe in the smell of dust i got to the point i was vacuuming my mother in laws house lol, well i couldn't figure out why i had dust cravings and major ice cravings i knew i was low on iron took iron pills didn't work nothing then i found out i have thalassemia I was told that dust cravings and ice cravings are two big symptoms of it it causes major iron deficency. pple are born with it my iron levels were at a 7.0 and they wouldn't give me a transfusion well the pills were giving me toxic poisoning because thalassemia was preventing it from absorbing in my body correctly so needless to say i still have trouble with it i have to monitor it with my food but i still love ice and dust probably a good thing i ride dirtbikes haha well guys u are def not alone. :)
Heather on December 29, 2011:
I know u have herd this b4 but I thought I was the only 1 I have looked it up & yhe only thing I could find was the lack of iron called pica. Needless 2 say my cravings never whent away after my 1st child in 1998 over 13 years ago & I am still looking for a better result to sibside the cravings