How to Effectively Dust Any Room in the House

Plus, the areas you need to hit the most.

It's a fact we all know well: Dust doesn't quit. And while it may feel that dust returns almost as soon as you wipe it away, keeping it at bay—and maintaining those squeaky-clean surfaces—is actually easier than you thought. The secret involves consistency and working smarter, as opposed to harder. Ahead, tips from Melissa Witulski, a cleaning exert at Merry Maids, which will help you keep those dust bunnies from colonizing.

Person wearing blue gloves dusting wooden table
Getty / Suwannar Kawila / EyeEm

Dust often.

Maintaining a dust-free space is so much easier than doing a deep clean after waiting too long. "If you really want to keep your home dust-free, dust at least twice per week, especially if you suffer from allergies," says Witulski. "That's not always feasible for everyone, so at least hit the areas you touch most (like furniture, remotes, and household technologies) once a week. Then, you can focus on those often-overlooked areas (think your ceilings, blinds, and doorways) less frequently. Aim to reach those about once a month!"

Turn to microfiber.

Forget that old school feather duster—it only pushes dust around. A simple microfiber cloth and water will get the job done and won't introduce any unnecessary chemicals into your home. Thanks to the cloth's unique structure, fibers are able to grab onto dust, trapping it instead of swirling it around your surfaces. For light dust, you can use a dry cloth; if it's stubborn, a damp rag will work better, especially on glass.

Dust from top to bottom.

"Always dust your room from top to bottom," adds Witulski. "This seems obvious, but many people forget this step which ultimately duplicates your work (or leaves your home dusty)." First, hit the ceiling, corners, molding, and light fixtures. Can't reach those high-up areas? Wrap a flat-top mop with your microfiber cloth "to get into those high crevices," she explains.

As you work your way down the walls, wipe down any décor or frames before moving on to lampshades, furniture, and objects (be sure to move furniture and objects around so you're getting to untouched areas, such as the space under your television or couch). Don't forget to dust past the edge of a surface as well, if the cloth stops on the edge it will leave a line of dust. Finally, it's time to vacuum. At this point, most of the dust has either been picked up by your microfiber towel or fallen to the floor, which is why you should vacuum last. Take your time, and make sure to move your machine in more than one direction to pick up all of the dust and dirt.

Focus on prevention.

Want to dust less? Don't let it into the house in the first place. "Most dust is brought into your home through the front the door. Place a wipe-off mat at the entrance of your home to trap the dust before it spreads. These mats should be cleaned or shaken out once a week," says Witulski. "Besides dusting regularly, remove your shoes when you enter your home and change your vacuum bag and filter regularly. But do this outside, so you don't spread more dust!"

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