No, you're not seeing things—dust really does seem to build up faster on recently wiped-down surfaces. Here's how to slow the course.
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If you examine your freshly dusted furniture, electronics, and knick-knacks a day after you clean, you might notice some residual debris. You didn't miss a spot: According to Vera Peterson, the president of Molly Maid, dust moves that fast. "On freshly clean, beautiful surfaces, you're more likely to notice dust when it accumulates," she notes. "However, if your dusting method isn't efficient, you might be stirring up more dust than you are trapping." Ahead, her best tips for removing this household nuisance—and keeping it at bay for longer.

woman dusting shelf surface with rag
Credit: vadimguzhva / Getty Images

To prevent more dust, change your cleaning method and use the right tools.

The most efficient way to dust is with a top-down approach, notes Peterson. "When dusting, work from top to bottom—dust first, then vacuum," she says, to prevent having to vacuum twice (before and after you dust). And while feather dusters were once a popular tool to sweep a variety of surfaces, a microfiber cloth is best: "This will gather the dust, instead of just pushing it around," she explains. Working with a cloth will also cut down on the amount of particulate you kick up and into your home—which tends to land on your freshly cleaned tables and appliances, leading to faster accumulation.

Identify any dust-enhancing culprits.

If you have noticed that your home seems dustier than it should, there may be a surprise culprit: your HVAC filter. "An electrostatic-charged furnace filter attracts and captures dust particles which reduces the amount of dust floating in your home," Peterson explains. "Also, be sure you're dusting and vacuuming often (that's a given!) and regularly grooming your pets."

Call in the pros if you need to.

While most homeowners are able (and willing) to stay on top of the maintenance that lowers the amount of dust and debris that accumulates on your furniture, electronics, and knick-knacks, nothing will beat the clean a true professional can provide, says our expert. They can target high-touch areas (which tend to be the dirtiest) and provide you with a fresh canvas. After all, keeping your home tidy and dust-free is a lot easier when you're simply touching up hot spots, as opposed to tackling deep cleans.


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