Every time you dust around the house, you probably wonder, “Am I cleaning or just swirling the dirt around?”. Dusting often looks like a pointless activity because you can always see dust in the air, but it’s pivotal for the cleanliness of your home and the health and safety of your family. There are many questions associated with dusting – how often should you do it, which products are the best, how to clean the different surfaces without causing damage, and a lot more. I’ve gathered some answers to help you for your next spring cleaning session.
Which tools help remove dust efficiently?
Feather dusters are commonly used for dusting around the house, but you need to choose your tool carefully because most basic models don’t capture the dust but only spread it around and misplace it. Lambs wool dusters are a somewhat better alternative than dusters made from artificial materials because the natural fiber uses static electricity to capture the dust particles. But you need to wash those regularly to keep them functioning correctly.
Otherwise, regular vacuuming helps get rid of the dust accumulated on floors and upholstered furniture. Microfiber cloths are also a great tool to remove dust from hard kitchen surfaces and cabinets without misplacing it. And to prevent it from settling back on the surface right after you clean it, it’s recommended to apply some kind of furniture polish suitable for the material.
How often should you dust, and what will you need?
The frequency of dusting depends on many factors, especially the location of your property. Houses located close to the ocean don’t gather lots of dust because the close proximity to the water acts as a filter, and the air is overall cleaner, which leads to less dust accumulation. But if you live in a dry area, dust is imminent.
In any case, postponing dusting for too long is not a good idea because the composition of household dust is pretty unpleasant – dead skin cells, dust mites, dead bug parts, and all kinds of fungi and bacteria, even Staphylococcus aureus, which is potentially dangerous to our health. Gastroenteritis, allergies and respiratory problems are only a few of the issues.
Most cleaning specialists would recommend dusting the house at least once a month for the areas you can easily reach (tables, cabinets, countertops, furniture fronts, etc.) and every three months for all the hard to reach places, like high shelves, furniture tops, corners, ceilings, door frames, etc. You can make a cleaning schedule that fits your needs and try to stick to it.
The technique you use while you dust is also significant for success. Dust each room starting from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Always follow the same direction to avoid misplacing the dirt. If the amount of dust is more prominent than usual, you can use a damp cloth to prevent it from spreading while you clean. But always dry the surface afterwards.
What is the best duster on the market at the moment?
Out of all the top-rated dusters on the market, my personal favorite is the Pure Care Microfiber Feather Duster. I love it because it comes with a convenient extension pole, which allows you to reach every top surface or hidden corner, even under furniture. It’s also reusable and washable, you can just run it through the sink, dry it off in a towel, let it dry, and it’s good as new. It’s also very lightweight, which means that your arms won’t get tired so fast while you try to keep it up. The microfiber head holds the dust like a magnet, and it rotates at 360° and locks at multiple comfortable positions. Another great choice in the same price range is the DocaPole 20 Foot High Reach Dusting Kit. It comes with three dusting attachments, an extendable pole, and one of the dusting heads bends, so you can even clean ceiling fans easily.
How to remove dust from different surfaces?
Wiping down the surface with a dry microfiber cloth is more than enough for regular dusting. If the surface is very dusty, you can make the cloth slightly damp and remove the grime this way. After that, quickly wipe it over with a dry cloth, though, because it’s not good for water to sit on the wood for too long. Then you can apply small amounts of furniture polish or a few drops of olive oil, which also acts as a natural polish.
To avoid damaging the blinds, gently place your hand on the bottom part of the blind panel and wipe the top one with a dry microfiber cloth. A very cool time-saving trick that takes care of both sides of the panel at once (if you like crafts) is to cut a microfiber cloth in two, get some kitchen tongs, wrap the pieces of cloths to the two sides, tie them with bands so that they won’t fall off, and just run each panel through them.
First, take off the sheets and give them a good shake to remove the more significant pieces of dirt. Then wash them in the washing machine with a temperature of at least 50°C. Of course, always read the label to ensure the manufacturer doesn’t have any different requirements for washing.
Dusting carpets, mattresses and upholstery
You could try with some beating and shaking, but if you do it indoors, you’ll only misplace the dust. Using a mini-vac or a hose attachment is the better alternative because vacuuming removes the top layer of dust more efficiently than anything else. And for the deeply embedded dust, steam cleaning the carpet or upholstery is the best way to disinfect it. You can either buy or hire a machine or just hire a company to do it for you. Of course, make sure the material of your carpet or upholstery is suitable for steam cleaning. Otherwise, dry cleaning is also an option.
Dusting walls and ceilings
You can either use the brush attachment on your vacuum or a duster with a telescopic pole. Avoid any moisture, as it can be absorbed by the surface, leading to mold growth over time.
Same as any wooden furniture, but you need to pay extra attention to any corners and crevices, depending on the shape and design of the shelves.
What products help keep dust away?
Endust is an excellent multi-surface dusting spray, and it also helps clean fingerprints, dried stains off surfaces, watermarks and other unpleasant common dyes on hard surfaces. It’s also very light, it doesn’t leave any greasy residue, and it comes in very fresh smelling citrus and apple fragrances. It also leaves a lovely natural shine behind. Remember to spray the surface from a distance, so you’ll avoid over saturating it.
Pledge is also a similar product that is very useful, and it provides more variety when it comes to the smell. Both these products can be used on a wide range of surfaces, like tabletops, wooden furniture, shelves, counters and more. It’s not recommended to use these on porous stones because they can absorb it or glass surfaces. After all, there are some oils in there, and they will leave streaks. For such surfaces, I would go with plain water.
DIY Tricks for dealing with dust
Drier or fabric softener sheets are perfect for cleaning dust off TV and computer screens, as well as glass surfaces. You can also prepare a nice natural dusting detergent by mixing a cup of warm water, one spoon of boiled linseed oil, and half a spoon of both ammonia and dish soap. Stir it well, dip a clean cloth in it, and wipe the surfaces with it. Then dry everything with a new microfiber cloth. If you don’t have any cloths available, sports socks can also do.
Dusting is a double-edged sword: On one side, it’s an important and necessary part of keeping your home clean. On the other, there’s always dust in the air! So are you really cleaning or just spreading dirt around? We hope this article contained the answers to all your questions about this mystery act.
About The Author: Jane Wilson is a mum, a blogger and a marketing executive from Melbourne. She represents the local branch of Fantastic Cleaners, a licensed cleaning company that provides a wide range of services. She also runs a small blog called Modern Housewives, where she shares all kinds of home improvement and parenting tips.
Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash
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