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To avoid kicking up dust, hold the broom at an angle so the bristles sit flat on the floor (if you're right-handed, the bristles should be on your left; if you're left-handed, they will be on your right). Start in one corner and sweep outward without lifting the broom from the floor, being sure to run the broom close to baseboards. Work toward the center of the room, sweeping away from your body, pushing dirt into a pile (or several).

How Often to Sweep

Unlike with other cleaning tasks, there's no set schedule for sweeping. You might use a broom every day for sweeping up crumbs after dinner, and an electrostatic sweeper for picking up dog hair in the living room. You'll also reach for a broom when you need a low-tech, quick fix for a small mess, such as spilled nails in the garage or flour in the kitchen. For your more thorough house cleaning, a vacuum cleaner is more effective and efficient. Outdoors, too, use a broom as needed: when a few leaves start to scatter across the patio, or when the walkway seems particularly dirty.


Comments (16)

  • 17 Dec, 2012

    The MCSA
    secure and effective technology resolutions resulting in saving down time and eliminating performance risks. 70-646

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    I love the swifter for my hardwood floors. Unfortunately, I found that when I use the swifter on the bathroom floor tile, the dirt seems to collect on the grout and makes the white grout very grey. I then have to scrub the grout on bended knees. Any tips for grout cleaning Martha?

  • 25 Feb, 2008

    When we laccidentally eave the baby wipe container open and the top wipe dries out, we add it to the swiffer box/dust rag box. They work very well, although are smaller than the swiffer.

  • 20 Jan, 2008

    Martha is so right! I have found a broom to be the most (as well as inexpensive) cleaning tool in the house! I invested,

  • 16 Jan, 2008

    to add to classyglassylady, I purchase the x large swiffer clothes for my regular size swiffer, that way I can refold and use the same cloth 2xs.

  • 5 Jan, 2008

    If you like using a Swiffer, try putting used dryer sheets on it. You may have to use two crosswise. They pick up dust, dog hairs, etc, and the crumbs that don't adhere may be "swept" into a pile as if using a broom. Just be sure they have gone through the dryer more than once, as residual fabric softener may make your floors slick. A second use for a throwaway item!

  • 5 Jan, 2008

    Obviously, using an ampersand isn't recognized by this site. Here is what I said: Forget the dust pan. Dampen a paper towel and use it to first wipe up any dripped spots on the floor, then pick up that pile of dust, crumbs, etc that you swept to the middle of the room. Fast and easy, and no dirty dustpan to store.

  • 5 Jan, 2008

    Forget the dust pan. Dampen a paper towel

  • 5 Jan, 2008

    I personally use a Swiffer. The pad traps dust and dirt and it all goes into the garbage very easily. If there are spots on the floor, they get the swiffer wet mop. Very easy and neat and NO dust!

  • 4 Jan, 2008

    HUH? This is ridiculous! I have never swept "outward" unless using a pushbroom and why not lift the broom from the floor? This is just awkward. I could not believe there was a guide to sweeping and I am even more amazed at the technique recommended. I just don't get it!

  • 4 Jan, 2008

    Forget the broom and get a mop with very short ALL COTTON string such as the Argomop. Leave it dry or barely dampen. A miracle on carpet especially with Argosheen ( Spots removed with the soil.No blocked rooms. There is oil in the air which keeps soil attached to floor or carpet. A vacuum or broom will not remove these. I thank my hospital for introducing me to this product and method.

  • 4 Jan, 2008

    After supper, it's our kids' jobs to sweep the floor. It may not get done every night or as thoroughly as it should, but at least we are trying to instill the idea that everyone has to pitch in to keep the house tidy (we hope!!).

  • 4 Jan, 2008

    The best sweeping method is as noted above however, add a dust catcher to your central vaccuum kit. This is a [filtered word] in a baseboard with a kick plate where you can sweep all of your crumbs up without bending over with a dustpan. You'll want to sweep more often!!

  • 4 Jan, 2008

    The "Swivel Sweeper" is a good alternative; less dust, easy to push around and reach into tigiht spaces.

  • 3 Jan, 2008

    Here's a tip: Since sweeping up piles of dirt into a dust pan often seems counterproductive, my husband and I started sweeping dirt into piles, then cleaning up the piles with our dust buster. It's very thorough and quick!

  • 3 Jan, 2008

    I recall a photograph from a Rona Barrett magazine in the 1970s of the late actress Audrey Hepburn sweeping the front entrance to her home in Switzerland. Her hair was in curlers under a scarf, but she was elegant as ever with that broom.

    The broom (or besom) is a very old Good Thing with pagan and Wiccan connotations and is critical for keeping a good home. I appreciate the pointers, especially for the kitchen.

    Frederic Kahler