On this blog, we love microfiber cloths for all kinds of cleaning jobs around the house.
Used dry, microfiber cloths make great dusters.
But what if you don't have any and are wondering how to dust without a duster?
Most types of fabrics can be used as dusters. Cut up an old tee shirt, or repurpose an old sock. Spent dryer sheets also make great dusters, as do paint brushes and cans of compressed air.
Read on for more ideas.
I sometimes use affiliate links. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything but it helps me to run this site.
How to clean dust without a duster
If you don't have a duster to hand, there are more ways than you think for getting rid of dust in your home.
Let's find out what you can use instead of a duster:
If you thought your dryer sheet was only good for the tumble dryer, think again!
Reuse old dryer sheets to dust your house because they make great dusters.
Dryer sheets are especially good for dusting blinds, ceiling fans and baseboards.
Plus, once you have dusted, the dust doesn't come back quite so quickly due to the static charge being removed by the dryer sheet.
Don't throw your old socks away!
Old fluffy socks (the fluffier the better) make great dusters, especially the chenille type because they have more fibers for dust to cling to.
Socks are great for dusting blinds. Simply pop one over your hand and dust away!
You can also put socks on the end of a mop to dust the floor.
Anything can become a duster. For example, old underwear, socks and shirts. Cut things down to size to make multiple dusters.
Materials that aren't designed to be dusters, such as cotton, will not pick up the dust so effectively as a regular dusting cloth.
My advice is to use your old shirt damp rather than dry, that way dust will stick to it much better.
Swiffer Dry Sweeping Cloths
The Swiffer dry sweeping cloths are great for dusting anything.
Like microfiber cloths, Swiffer cloths attract and hold on to dust. They are not just for the floor. Use them anywhere where there is dust in your house.
Vacuums make great dusting tools. Most vacuums come with a dusting brush attachment.
My Shark Duoclean converts easily to a handheld vacuum, which makes it great for dusting.
Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
If you suffer from any kind of dust-induced allergy, then HEPA filters are your friend! Why? Because HEPA filters are capable of removing a very high number of dust particles from the air.
Having a HEPA filter in your vacuum ensures that pollen, dust mites and other allergens are less likely to cause you an allergic reaction when you clean your house. For me, it’s essential.
Compressed air is brilliant for dusting small areas, such as dusting computer keyboards and dusting LEGO.
Bear in mind that you will be blowing the dust back into the air, so I don't advise using compressed air for large areas or if you suffer from a dust allergy.
Way back in the 70s and 80s, my mum would use a large paint brush to dust the house. Looking back, it probably wasn't the best idea because the dust simply gets pushed into the air back onto something else!
If you are going to use a paint brush for dusting, I recommend you take a top-down approach so that you don't end up with dust on an area you have already dusted. Then finish by vacuuming the floor.
If you have allergies, I don't recommend dusting with a paint brush.
Air filters are great for getting rid of the dust floating in the air. They eliminate dust, odours, pollen and general allergens, so you don't breathe it in and there is less around to settle on your surfaces.
Make sure you 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.
If you truly want to make dusting automatic, then a robot vacuum is what you need.
It will only dust the floor, of course. But, what I love about these gadgets is that it forces you to keep your house clear of clutter. Otherwise, it won't be effective. A robot vacuum needs clear passage!
I think these are also great for vacuuming hard to reach areas, such as cleaning the dust under the bed and under furniture.
Use your HVAC system
If you have an HVAC system in your house, try to use it as much as possible.
The fan in the HVAC will help to keep the air in your house circulating until, eventually, it gets caught up in the system's air filter.
Make sure you keep an eye on the filter and change it when necessary.
The best method of dusting when you don't have a duster
Whichever kind of duster you use, this method of dusting will stop the dust from spreading as you work, and save time too.
- Start at the top of the room. Begin by dusting high up.
- Use a dry microfiber cloth. If you are using a microfiber cloth, it is better when used dry because a dry cloth will attract the dust really well.
- For any other type of duster, using it damp is best. Other types of duster do not hold the dust inside the fibers so well. If you aren't using microfiber, make sure your duster is wet so that the dust is absorbed into the duster rather than pushed around,
- Keep folding. Use one section of your duster at a time. This will ensure that you don't spread the dust around.
- Use a 'S' motion. As you dust, use the 'S' pattern as you move down or across a surface. This ensures that you don't cover an area twice or redistribute dust to another area.
- Switch dusters and keep them clean. Always start with a clean duster and change it when it gets clogged up with dust.
How to dust a fan without a duster
If your ceiling fan is dusty, and you don't have a duster to hand, I recommend using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum off the dust.
However, vacuums can be quite awkward to use high up.
So, here is what I recommend doing instead:
- Find an old pillow case and put it around the fan. This will stop the dust from spreading as you dust.
- Take an old fluffy sock or a dry microfiber cloth and wipe away the dust.
- Remove the pillow case. It should have a lot of dust inside, so do fold it up carefully to avoid sending the dust back into the air.
- Take a new cloth and dampen it down and then wipe the blades again and allow to dry.
- Lastly, if you have one, wipe a dryer sheet over the blade. This will repel the dust, so your ceiling fan should stay dust-free for longer.
How to dust blinds without a duster
Blinds can be dusted without a regular duster.
Here are some ideas that are just as effective:
- Vacuum cleaner. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and vacuum along the length of each slat, starting at the top.
- Fluffy sock. Put on an old fluffy sock and then run your hand along each slat.
- Dryer sheet. Put on some protective gloves and run a dryer sheet along each slat.
How to get rid of house dust naturally
The most natural way to rid your house of dust is to avoid using chemicals, and to use a method of dusting that doesn't cause the dust to redistribute into the air.
That's why I love using microfiber cloths. There are no chemicals required, so there is nothing to make you gag or cause breathing issues while cleaning.
The best way to dust with a microfiber cloth is to use it dry. When it is dry, it will attract the dust as you wipe and hold it in its fibers. Dust doesn't get thrown up into the air, and you shouldn't find that you start sneezing.
Another thing you can do to help rid your house of dust is to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter will trap the tiny particles of dust so that they don't get released back into the air as you vacuum. Again, you should find you stop sneezing.
To make dusting easier, keep your home tidy and uncluttered, so there is less surface area for dust to collect on.
Having houseplants can also help, such as the Spider plant and English ivy. These types of plants will naturally purify the air, removing dust.