How to Dust a Room Properly

Dust less often and make the dusting you do more effective by using proper dusting techniques. Proper technique will help you get the most from your efforts.

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Proper Dusting Technique

Though dusting isn't a difficult chore, there is a proper technique for removing the dust from a room, although this technique wasn't always agreed upon. Some believed that you should vacuum the floors before you dusted, since vacuum cleaners allowed some of the dust they captured to escape, ultimately blowing dust back onto everything you just cleaned. Others believed that you should vacuum last to pick up any dust that fell to the floor while you were cleaning.

Today, there is no longer any room for debate: Thanks to modern bagless vacuums and those with HEPA filters, it is decidedly better to dust first and vacuum last, starting your dusting at the top of the room and working your way down. The process may seem involved at first, but once you perform this cleaning routine a few times you'll find your rhythm and breeze through the process.

    Turn on the Blower

  1. Before dusting a room, turn your furnace blower on. This turns on the fan and circulates air, filtering some of the dust that you will stir up while cleaning. Leave the blower on while you dust and for about 15 minutes after you are done.

  2. Take it Outside

  3. Take area rugs and removable furniture cushions outside. Shake the dust out of the carpets and beat it out of cushions with an old tennis racket or broom handle. If it's too cold or rainy out, you can vacuum the dust out of the cushions with your vacuum cleaner, but beating them does a better job. Bring everything back inside when you're done.

  4. Clean the Ceiling

  5. Wipe away any cobwebs or visible dust on the ceiling with a feather duster or electrostatic duster with a handle. Be sure to dust any ceiling fans and light fixtures, too, as well as the tops of curtain rods and ceiling vents. Ceiling vents can also be vacuumed using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.

  6. Tip

    Use a feather duster or other dry dusters that don't utilize electrostatic only for places you can't otherwise reach. These dusters stir dust around and may not capture it, unless you use a duster made from genuine ostrich feathers.

    Vacuum the Drapes and Blinds

  7. Using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, remove the dust from drapes and window blinds. Start at the top of the window and work your way down.

  8. Dust the Furniture

  9. Dust your furniture, knick-knacks, window sills and other hard surfaces in the room with an electrostatic duster or a damp cloth that has been wet with furniture polish. Pre-moistened, disposable dust cloths are also available at the grocery store, or you can use homemade dust cleaner. When dusting knick-knacks and decor items, pick up everything and dust the item itself and the area underneath it rather than dusting around items.

  10. Tip

    • Always start with the highest furniture pieces and work your way down. This will capture any dust you knock down while cleaning. * An old tee shirt makes a great dust rag. * A hair dryer can be used to blow dust out of small crevices in furniture, lamp shades and silk flowers, as can a soft artist's brush.

    Clean Glass Surfaces

  11. Remove dust from glass tabletops, mirrors, picture frames and other glass surfaces with a fresh rag wet with glass cleaner. The moisture will capture the dust and the glass cleaner will prevent streaking,

  12. Tip

    Don't use paper towels to clean glass as this leaves behind lint, which is simply another form of dust.

    Vacuum the Floor

  13. Vacuum the floor with a vacuum cleaner that utilizes a HEPA filter, since these vacuums are better at trapping dust than others. Use a crevice tool to go around the baseboards and get into all of the corners as dust loves to hide there. When you're done, vacuum the rest of the floor, starting with the point farthest away from the door.

  14. Tip

    If you have hard floors rather than carpet, it is better to vacuum them using your vacuum's bare floor setting or mop them than it is to sweep. A lot of the dust picked up during sweeping simply settles back onto the floor. If you must sweep, use small, controlled strokes to stir up as little dust as possible and start in the corner of the room farthest from the door.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.