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11 Easy Dusting Tips and Hacks

Dusting is a chore many of us dread. Dust lands so quickly on every surface in your home, no matter how you try to keep it at bay.

Woman dusting bookshelf

These easy dusting tips and hacks are designed to help you get rid of dust and dust mites, and keep dust and allergens at bay. And if you have dust allergies (like I do), be sure to read the section about making this chore easier for you.

Dust appears everywhere. On surfaces, furniture, electronics, and even in hard-to-reach areas. Not only is it unappealing to look at, it can aggravate allergies and respiratory issues. It can even potentially damage electronic devices and other delicate items.

Dusting: Why it Matters

Dust is made up of particles like dead skin cells, pet dander and pollen. These things attract dust mites, which are microscopic pests that move in to eat dust. Unfortunately, many of us are allergic to them.

Tools: Microfiber Cloth, Feather Duster, Compressed Air

Dusting isn’t rocket science. Do you have two main tools for dusting that people have been using for years.

  • Microfiber cloth: this is the simplest tool for dusting. It’s just a nice soft cloth. Any soft cloth will do.
  • Feather duster: the feather duster won’t usually dust as thoroughly as a cloth, but it’s great for dusting hard-to-reach places. And for decorative or fragile items like picture frames or figurines.
  • Compressed air: bought in cans or as a plug-in appliance, compressed air is great for dusting in crevices.

You can also buy specialized tools for cleaning ceiling fans and other items that are hard to get at. 

That’s all you need. You can add to this an anti-dust spray like Pledge or Endust. I’ve never been that impressed with them, and also I think I may be allergic to something in them. Yes, allergies are just such fun!

What About Swiffer?

Swiffer products are good, and I use them for cleaning floors. I don’t think they’re as good for dusting as a microfiber cloth, but you can use them.

1. Dusting Tips for All Surfaces

When you’re dusting wood furniture or bookshelves, always dust in the direction of the grain or pattern. Use a soft microfiber cloth or feather duster to avoid scratching the surface.

It’s a good idea to start from the top and work your way to the floor of a room when dusting. That way, any dust that falls onto a lower surface will get picked up when you dust that surface.

And save vacuuming for after dusting. That way you pick up any dust in your home that’s fallen to the floor,

2. Dusting Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

For hard-to-reach areas, like the tops of shelves or light fixtures, your best friend is an extendable duster with a long handle. This U-shaped microfiber duster helps you reach high spots without getting out a step stool or ladder.

3. Baseboards and Ceiling Molding

You can also use an extendable duster tool on baseboards and ceiling moldings. That saves you from having to kneel or get up on a stool.

4. Regularly Change Your AC / HVAC Filter

One of the best things I’ve done for my dust allergies was to up my filter changing game for my central air and furnace. There are two ways to do this.

  • Buy the more powerful and expensive filters designed to filter out dust, microbes, allergens and even viruses and change them out every 3 months, or less if they’re getting dirty faster than that.
  • Buy the cheaper filters, but change them out often, like once a month.

Some HVAC contractors will tell you that the more powerful filters will be too hard for your system. This can be true if it’s an older system, but it shouldn’t be true if it’s newer. 

Still, either of these options will help keep your indoor air cleaner and fresher.

5. Consider HEPA Purifiers

HEPA purifiers are great for reducing allergens in the air. You can put them all over the house or in certain areas like the bedroom of a child with asthma.

They filter out dust and other pollutants which can make a big difference for allergies, asthma and any other respiratory problems.

6. Vacuum Vents

If you have AC vents in your floors, walls or ceilings, use a vacuum with a brush attachment to suck the dust off of them. This is where air is blowing into your room (or being pulled out), so they collect dust. Dusting them means cleaner air for your whole home.

7. Dust Blinds and Window Shades

I don’t do this every time I clean, but you do need to clean window blinds and shades occasionally. How often depends on how much dust they collect, which varies according to where you live and other factors.

8. Dusting Tips for Hard-to-Reach Areas

For hard to reach areas, you can use a feather duster, an extendable duster tool or a vacuum cleaner with attachments for dusting.

The crevice tool is great for tight spaces like between appliances and cabinets. The dusting brush is ideal for cleaning delicate surfaces like curtains and lampshades.

Another great tip is to use a microfiber cloth attached to a long-handled mop to clean ceiling fans, light fixtures, and vents.

9. Dusting Tips for Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture also collects dust. To dust it, start by vacuuming the furniture with an upholstery attachment. Then, if needed, use a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth to gently sweep away any remaining dust.

Don’t forget about the cushions! If you have a sofa with removable cushions, take them off the couch and vacuum both sides. 

10. Dusting Tips for Electronics

The first thing to do with most electronics is to turn them off before dusting. For TVs and computer monitors, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the screen from top to bottom. Avoid using paper towels or abrasive materials as they may cause scratches on the screen.

Computer keyboard can get nasty with dust and grime. Compressed air will blow out any particles that may be stuck between keys. They also do a good job of overall dusting.

For small crevices or buttons, you can also use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris. 

11. Natural Dusting Solutions

You really don’t need any sort of cleaner for dusting. But if you think they help keep dust down, keep in mind that cleaning your home with natural products is not only eco-friendly, but also sPutafer for your family and pets.

When it comes to dusting, there are several natural solutions that can effectively clean your surfaces without leaving behind harmful chemicals. Try this solution:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Put them all in a spray bottle and shake until they’re mixed. This works similarly to store bought anti-dust products and may slow down the dust build-up. 

Troubleshooting Common Dusting Problems

Here are some solutions to common dusting problems you may run into:

Fuzzy residue left on surfaces after dusting. This can be caused by using a dirty or damp cloth. Make sure your cloth is clean and dry before dusting. Microfiber cloths don’t do this, as long as they’re clean, which is why I recommend them.

Dust comes back quickly. Try that natural solution I shared above. It may or may not make a noticeable difference. Unfortunately dust collects quickly, especially in some areas, and dusting just has to be done again.

Keeping Dust at Bay: Prevention Tips

To keep dust to a minimum, try these tips.

1. Change air filters regularly. Your home’s HVAC system circulates air throughout your home, so it’s important to regularly change the filters in order to prevent excess dust buildup. Check your filter’s instructions for how often they should be replaced.

2. Keep windows closed during high pollen count days. Pollen and other outdoor allergens can make their way into our homes through open windows, leading to increased dust accumulation. Keep windows closed during high pollen days or use a window filter.

3. Declutter regularly. The more items you have in your home, the more surface areas there are for dust to accumulate on. Try decluttering regularly and minimizing unnecessary possessions.

4. Minimalistic decor. Minimalist design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also helps minimize surfaces that are prone to accumulating dust.

Dusting with Dust Allergies

When my dust allergies are triggered, I get sinusitis, itching and sometimes even a feeling of drowsiness. Knowing I will react this way makes me put dusting off, which also isn’t good for my allergies.

How do I beat this problem?

  • Allergy medication. If you have any allergy medications you’re supposed to take before exposure to an allergen, take them before dusting. Nasalcrom spray is a good example, although many people say it doesn’t work for them. Old school 4-hour allergy pills like Benadryl can also reduce the reaction.
  • Wear a mask. There’s a reason hardware stores sell masks. They’re great when you’re sawing wood or doing any kind of DIY or crafts that stir up dust. And they’re also great when you’re dusting. They significantly reduce how much dust you’ll inhale, which is a big help.

Make Dusting Easier

Dusting is a pain, and nothing’s going to change that. But you can make it easier on yourself by following these tips.