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How to Dust Like a Pro

15 ideas for dusting like the pros. Go ahead and do the white glove test -- these tips are that good.

Photo by Antonis Achilleos

Know Your Enemy
Dust is definitely not sugar and spice and everything nice. The microscopic particles are made up of all sorts of groovy things, but mostly it's your dead skin that has fallen off. (More reason to moisturize.) Add to the mix pollen, animal dander, decomposing insects, lint, dust mites, and even mite poo.

2. Make It Easy
Let's face it: Cleaning stinks. Make it easy on yourself by leaving a dust cloth in a cabinet in each room you dust frequently. Buy microfiber cloths for all-over dusting.

3. Don't Be Ashamed
Dust is a fact of life, and you are not dirty if you house is always dusty. It might just be your space. Older homes are often dustier than newer homes that have tighter seals around windows an ddoors. And different area of the home often don't gather dust at the same rate. How can you help yourself? Seal windows and doors with a sealing caulk so they're airtight. Keep the furnace clean and change the filters; the same goes for all AC units.
4. Get a HEPA Filter
A High Efficiency Particulate Absorption (HEPA) air purifier with allergen filters will reduce dust. And invest in a vacuum with the same type of filter.
5. Get Wet
You should dust furniture with a rag lightly dampened with water. Microfiber cloths work best for dusting all surfaces.

6. Start at the Top
It would be a real pain to clean the floor and then tackle the ceiling fan, which will only deposit dust right back onto the floor. Work from high to the middle to the ground.

7. Get a Mat
Eighty percent of the dirt in a typical house is from what we track in on our shoes. Clean the mats periodically and let them dry before putting them back.
8. Make a Date With Dust
On a weekly basis, dust furniture and electronics. On a monthly basis, dust your ceiling  and ceiling fan, window treatments, windowsills, baseboards, and bookshelves. 

9. Don't Forget Fabrics
Fabric items like curtains should be dry-cleaned periodically. Encase your mattress in zippered, allergen-proof covers. Also schedule an annual professional rug cleaning.

10. Be Creative
Products you have around the house can do double duty when it comes to dusting. Here are some of our favorites:

  • A lint roller on your lampshades, paint-brushes for hard-to-reach crevices, or a putty knife covered with a dusting cloth.
  • A spray-treated sock worn on your hand makes cleaning mini-blinds a breeze.
  • Dryer sheets clean computer and TV screens because they zap static electricity.

>> Get more cleaning and organizing tips

11. Take It Slow
Generally, you don't watn to dust too fast because you'll wind up knocking the stuff around instead of picking it up. Instead, use a slow, deliberate motion when you dust, and be sure to switch when one side of your cloth or duster gets dirty. Also, when you do shake out your duster, remember to do it outside!

12. Get It All
Anything in your home that has a surface needs to be dusted. Even your curtains, bedspread, dust ruffle, pillows, and mattress needs attention once in a while. Fabric items should be washed in 130-degree water or higher (it needs to be hot enough to kill mites) or dry-cleaned periodically. Don't forget the floor -- schedule an annual professioanl rug cleaning.

13. Use the Right Tools
Dusting cloths are great for general easy-to-reach use, while a vacuum with a dusting brush or an extension wand duster is better to get to unusual spaces like a valance. Feathre dusters tend to move dust around, so you'll end up swiping at the same particles over and over.

14. Hard to Treat Spots
Television and computer screens emit lots of static electricity. But remember that your appliances should not be sprayed with any type of product. Stick to a microfiber cloth, and settle in for a relaxing night of laughs.

15. What's a Dust Bunny?
Cute name, gross phenomenon. They are clumps of fluffy stuff that usually form where the sun -- and vacuum -- don't shine. Static electricity and fibers (such as hair) hold the critter together. Sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting regularly will keep the clumps from forming, but that only works if you actually remember to get to those places you don't see. Always remember to dust under the bed, couch, and any other piece of furniture where dust can easily hide under and come to life.

 

-- Alonna Friedman

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