Does it seem as if you have a perpetual dust problem that you can’t get to the bottom of? Unfortunately, dust is a fact of life. Where there are people or animals present there is dust. If it seems like you are just spreading dust rather than cleaning it up then I am here to help! Today I have some tips for the most efficient way to clean dust without spreading it around your home and making the problem worse.
The best way to clean dust from your home without spreading it is to use an electrostatically charged cleaning cloth such as microfibre which naturally attracts dust as you wipe and keeps it within its fibres. Use a top-down approach when you clean and wipe surfaces in an ‘S’ shape rather than circular. Vacuum regularly and always use a HEPA filter.
Since we got our first dog two years ago, I found myself cleaning far more regularly than I would like. It seemed like I was just circulating dust every time I took out my vacuum and duster.
Recently I solved the issue of my vacuum smelling like a dog. If you have that issue too, check out this post on how to get pet smell out of your vacuum cleaner.
It wasn’t until I reviewed my cleaning technique and took a slightly different approach that things started to get easier, and we all stopped sneezing so much.
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Eight best dusting techniques to clean dust without spreading it
Follow these tips, and you will avoid spreading dust around your house, and you won’t need to dust as often.
1. Use a top-down approach
My number one tip to avoid spreading dust is to use a top-down approach to cleaning. When you start, always begin high and then move down, that way any falling dust gets cleaned as you go.
- Start with the ceiling. Use a microfibre cloth attached to a floor mop or use your vacuum cleaner’s extension.
- Next tackle the ceiling fans and walls, then furniture, windows and window sills.
- Finally, finish with baseboards and floors.
2. Use the ‘S’ motion
Rather than a circular motion when you dust, use an ‘S’ motion by moving from side to side as you move down. That way you don’t clean a surface more than once and there is less chance for dirt and dust to be redistributed back onto the surface.
You can also get a better result when you clean your TV of streaks or clean your laptop screen.
3. Use the correct cloth in the right way
Microfibre is the hands-down best choice for dusting. Microfibre has a unique ability to attract dust and hold it within its fibres.
Always start with a clean cloth and fold your cloth into quarters, using each side in turn. This keeps all the dust within the cloth and you always have a clean portion to use.
Use as many cloths as you need. For a big spring cleaning session, you will need several. Use them on each side once and then launder.
I always have a stash of cloths on hand. I find these cheap cloths to be perfectly fine.
4. Keep clutter-free
When there is less clutter around, dusting and vacuuming becomes so much easier and seems far less onerous! There are fewer surfaces to collect dust, and it is much quicker to glide the vacuum around the home.
5. Get a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
Most good vacuums now come with a HEPA filter which helps considerably to remove allergens from the air as you vacuum. They also prevent dust from redistributing back out.
A HEPA filter is a specific type of high-quality air filter that meets the HEPA filter standard, which is to remove at least 99.97% of particles from the air down to at least 0.3 microns in size.
For best protection, it is recommended that you change your HEPA filter at least once per year.
Don’t be tempted to use your vacuum without the HEPA filter. Your vacuum might have better suction but more dust will spread around your house as a consequence.
I have a Shark vacuum with a washable HEPA filter. Find out how long Shark vacuum can last. My aged Miele vacuum that is still going strong also has a HEPA filter.
6. Get an air purifier
Air purifiers can help eliminate dust, odours, pollen and general allergens. Get one with a HEPA filter for the best filtration.
We have this portable air-purifier by Winix. It is light and easy to move around the house, so every room gets the benefit.
7. Open windows
Help fresh air flow through your house by opening windows after you have done a clean or turn on your HVAC system for 15 minutes to clear the air.
8. Shake fabrics outside
Avoid shaking curtains, rugs etc. inside the house. Take them outside and shake them there instead. Give your rug a good beating against the wall (a great stress reliever!).
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How do you clean a lot of dust without spreading it?
If you have an item that is so dusty it’s a little overwhelming, then here are some tips to get it cleaned without pushing dust into the air.
- If possible take the item outside
- Wear a face mask
- Use a vacuum to get most of the dust off first
- If possible wrap it with a pillowcase or bin bag while you clean
When you have most of the dust off go over it again with a clean dry microfibre cloth and then finish with a wet cloth.
How to prevent dust in your home
If we can prevent dust from accumulating in the first place, it will make our cleaning jobs easier. While it won’t be possible to eliminate dust completely, there are several things we can do to help.
Here are my tips for preventing dust from building up in your home.
Get some rugs
If you have hard floors, get a rug. We have at least one rug in every room with a hard floor apart from the kitchen. I mostly find that all I need to do is vacuum the rug because dust will naturally cling to it.
Clean your air ducts
Dust can build up on the vent and inside the duct. Take a vacuum cleaner with the horsehair attachment and suck out the excess dust. It will only take a minute but it will stop dust recirculating around your home.
Change your HVAC filter
Regularly inspect and replace the filter on your HVAC system. A clogged filter will decrease the air quality in your house plus your heating system will run less efficiently. Most manufacturers advise changing your HVAC filter every three months.
Use the dryer-sheet trick
After you have dusted a surface, wipe over it with a dryer sheet. The anti-static coating will help to keep surfaces dust-free for longer.
Keep your pet groomed
If you have a pet that drops a lot of hairs, groom them regularly, preferably outside.
Why should we bother dusting?
Regular dusting can reduce your risk of sickness and allergies, which include coughing, itchy eyes and sneezing. In severe cases, dust can cause asthma and hayfever.
Skin cells, lint, pollen, and pet dander are the most common components of dust. But not only that. According to a recent study by the Milken Institute School of Public Health, you could also find 45 potentially toxic chemicals within dust.
Dust has a habit of retaining smells too. Disturb it a little, and you may well find your dog’s smell emanating up. Yuck!
Wall photos, TVs, venetian blinds, and furnishings can all look dull and lifeless when they are dusty. Aside from the health benefits, a dust-free house just feels good and it smells better too.
Which type of duster is best to clean dust without spreading it?
Microfiber cloths are the best for dusting because they are electrostatically charged. This helps them attract dust particles. Plus, they won’t leave lint behind. Once they have dust within their fibres, they will keep hold of it until you come to wash them.
When wet, microfibre cloths can hold seven times their weight in water.
Did you know you can use homemade washing detergent to clean your microfiber cloths?
What type of cloth not to use for dusting
Feather dusters, jay cloths, paper towels and old teeshirts, should not be used for dusting because they spread the dust around rather than absorb dust into their fibres.
Avoid using sprays because in general there is no need for them. Some sprays contain silicone which can build up over time. If you like the fragrance by all means go ahead, but sprays are not necessary to remove dust.
Is it better to dust with a wet or dry cloth?
Dry is best for dusting. A wet or damp cloth is very effective at absorbing the dust and dirt in its path, but a dry cloth can use its electrostatic charge to attract dust.
For a dirty as well as dusty surface start with a dry cloth to remove the debris, then finish off with a wet cloth to clean the surface of stuck-on dirt and grease.