best way to dust

Cleaning Advice From the Pros on Best Way to Dust Properly

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There are some inevitabilities in life: death, taxes, and dusting. While dusting may not be high on your list of concerns, you should make time for it as part of your weekly cleaning checklist

Best way to dust

Dusting is easy to ignore – for a time. Eventually, you will start seeing layers of dust collecting on surfaces, and your air quality will suffer. 

Luckily, the cleaning experts at Upstairs Downstairs are here to show you the best way to dust your home. Use these tips to make quick work of dust and keep your home looking fresh and free of allergens. 

The Importance of Dusting

cleaning dust

Dusting isn’t just another chore like making the bed. Diligent dusting can make your home look, feel, and smell fresh and clean. 

For dust allergy and asthma sufferers, an effective dusting regimen can significantly reduce the number of allergens floating around your home. In addition to common suspects like pet dander and pollen, dust can also contain toxic chemicals from construction materials, dust mites, and skin cells, all of which can cause respiratory and other health issues. 

In addition to making a good impression and improving air quality, excessive dust can even be a hazard. For example, electronics (especially those with fans like a desktop computer) are notorious dust magnets. A buildup of dust on electric equipment can cause overheating or shortcircuiting, which could even cause a fire! Don’t let excessive dust build up in your home.

Regular Dusting vs. Deep Clean Dusting

It may seem overwhelming to thoroughly dust every surface, shelf, and crevice in your home. Don’t worry, it doesn’t all need to be done at once or even that often. Having a plan for what needs to be dusted weekly and what can wait for special occasions or annual spring cleaning is important. 

For regular cleaning, consider dusting and vacuuming high-traffic areas and spots that tend to collect dust. Factors like airflow and whether you have pets will also matter. Many people like sticking to a weekly cleaning routine. 

Deep clean dusting will again depend on factors like pets and traffic. At a bare minimum, you will want to cover everything at least yearly during spring cleaning. Bi-annually is recommended so you can get things clean in the fall before holing up indoors for the winter. These deep cleans will include dusting everything from the ceiling to the floor, so your house or apartment is dust-free.

Before You Start

There are a few things to consider before you dive into a deep cleaning and dusting of your home. Take these precautions and first steps to save yourself time and effort. 

Replace your HVAC Filters

Before you do your deep clean, replace your HVAC filter as a part of your furnace and central air system. The last thing you want to do is spend time removing all of the dust from your living space only to have the heat or air kick on and blast dust particles from your air vents back onto your clean surfaces. It is generally recommended you replace furnace filters quarterly, anyhow.

Declutter Your Home

Are you tired of dusting behind every piece of furniture, knick-knack, and tchotchke? One solution to streamline your dusting process is to simply have less stuff to dust! Those random trinkets on your mantle are just collecting dust, and those piles of cardboard Amazon boxes are probably covered in warehouse dust. 

Clean the Areas Around Your Furniture

With the top-down approach to dusting, you also want to give attention to your furniture and the surrounding areas. Do your best to clean pet hair and other filth off your fabric furniture using a lint roller or vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment, and you’ll probably knock some dust off too. Then you can suck it all up together at the end.

Wash Your Linens

Linens offer a large surface for dust to settle, and some fabrics even tend to snag and hold dust. Before you begin dusting, consider removing blankets from beds and furniture and preparing other linens that need cleaning. This way, you aren’t tossing dust from those surfaces back onto your floor after you’ve just finished dusting. 

Best Practices for Dusting

Dusting isn’t as fun or easy as in the movies, dancing around your living room with a duster and a flick of the wrist. The right tools and strategy can make a big difference when tackling this chore!

Use a Quality Duster

dusting with microfiber cloth

The right tools make any job easier. You might think it doesn’t matter for dusting, but if you’re trying to get by with old rags, paper towels, or a dollar store duster, you’re probably not having a great time. A well-designed duster or microfiber cloth will catch and hold dust so you can make quick work of cleaning surfaces. Go with a name brand like Swiffer

Dust Regularly

If you really let dust build up, it might not all come off in one pass. To reduce frustration and make it an easy chore, keep up on a regular dusting schedule. 

Target Heavy Dust Buildup

If you know certain spots tend to collect a lot of dust, hit them more often or use a separate cleaning tool. You don’t want to clog up your duster from a single corner or a dusty fan.

Don’t Skip the Hard-to-Reach Areas

best way to dust

It can be tempting to skip over tight spots when doing your weekly dusting. The problem is, hard-to-reach places are also good at trapping dust. Skipping over them only means they’ll get worse and could spread their trapped dust around the neighboring areas.

Learn to Dust Upholstered Furniture

best way to dust furniture

Dusting hard surfaces like wood, metal, and glass is much different than soft surfaces like fabric and upholstery. Practice with different tools and techniques to make each job a breeze. Remember to work smarter, not harder!

Be Careful Dusting Electronics

dusting electronics

While sheer surfaces and cooling fans are good at collecting dust, you must be careful when cleaning the dust off. Avoid using liquid cleaners on electronics, and try not to scrub excessively. A drop of water or buildup of static electricity can doom your valuable gadgets quicker than dust will.

Use Eco-Friendly Products

As environmental concerns are coming to the forefront, we are also noticing some scary things about products that have been common for decades. Flame retardant chemicals and harsh cleaning solutions that used to be a mainstay in the home are now being discovered as harmful to the environment and people. Green cleaning products are much safer to use on dust, so you don’t have toxic chemicals and potential carcinogens mixing with the dust floating around your pets and family. 

How to Clean Dust Effectively

Dusting isn’t as simple as running a feather duster over the dusty surfaces in your home. To actually remove the dust, rather than just moving it around, you need a plan. 

Step 1: Dust the Ceiling, Light Fixtures, and Fans

Starting up high with ceilings, ceiling fans, light fixtures, high shelves, and tall furniture allows you to quickly knock the dust down to areas you will clean next. For stuck-on dust common on ceiling fans, use a damp cloth or old sock to grip and remove stubborn particles. 

Step 2: Dust the Walls and Wall Decor

Next, work your way down from the top of the wall to the bottom, making sure to clean any wall fixtures. This will kick clinging dust to the floor, where it can be removed along with the dirt on the ground. 

Step 3: Dust the Furniture

Then, move on to furniture away from the wall and clean toward the center of the room. Avoid quick motions that kick the dust back into the air or onto nearby walls. 

Step 4: Dust and Mop the Floors

Now that you’ve unstuck all the dust in the area and it has settled near the floor, you can use a vacuum and mop to remove it once and for all. Use the vacuum first to remove loose, dry dust, then a wet mop to soak up any stubborn filth left over. 

Step 5: Wash Your Dusting Tools

Before the job is finished, you need to remove the dust from your tools, so they are ready for next time. You don’t want dusty tools around your home contaminating your air, and you don’t want to spread that dust again during your next clean. It is a good idea to clean tools and empty your vacuum outside or in a quarantined area, as it can get dirty. 

Want More Help Keeping Your Home Dust-Free?

If you need some help ridding your home of stubborn dust, or just hate the constant chore of dusting to keep your home free of allergens and other airborne contaminants, the pros at Upstairs Downstairs can help!

Whether you want to learn the best way to dust, or are interested in a regular cleaning service, give us a shout!


What do professional cleaners use to dust?

You can expect professional cleaners to come prepared with a high-quality list of supplies, including a duster and some extra tricks like dusting sprays. There are commercial versions of these products, or you can make simple concoctions with hot water and vinegar. Simply spray on a dry microfiber cloth to easily grab dust off stubborn surfaces. A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush attachment is also a must-have for removing dust and animal dander from the furniture.

What is the most effective way to dust?

When dusting, always be sure to work from the top down. If you start by cleaning the floor or dusting at the bottom, you will only knock more dust down when you reach higher areas. By starting at the top, you can push all the dust down to the floor and then suck it up with a vacuum last. 

How do I stop dust from accumulating so fast?

In addition to the above strategy of simply downsizing the clutter that needs to be dusted, there are a few things you can do. For starters, always dry all surfaces you wipe with a spray or liquid cleaner. Damp surfaces attract dust, so leaving things wet will accelerate the timing before your next clean. Another trick is to rub surfaces with a dryer sheet to neutralize static electricity and add a protective layer that will resist airborne dust accumulation. 

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