Dusting Isn’t Futile, You’re Just Not Doing It Right—Here are Some Dos and Don’ts

published Mar 29, 2018
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(Image credit: Submitted by Dean Sameshima)

Dust, as we somewhat euphemistically know it, is a pretty disturbing amalgamation of pet dander, dirt, soot, hair, pollen, dust mite feces, and other tiny particles that get in our breathing zones and relentlessly coat every surface in our homes. Probably because dust is so pervasive, dusting is one of our most dreaded—and, therefore, often most neglected—chores. Here are some dos and don’ts that should take some sting out of the task.


Put it off; regular dusting is so much easier.

Use a feather duster. It only moves dust around (rather than trapping it). A better option is a microfiber duster like this one from OXO.

Forget to dust hidden things like cords, outlet areas, and vents.

Forget to dust your plants. Use a soft damp cloth or sponge to wipe down leaves. More instructions on that here.

Forget to get the dust bunnies under furniture.

Underestimate the power of a HEPA air purifier to cut down on the amount of dust that circulates in your home. Here is our 2018 guide to best air purifiers.


Use a microfiber duster, or a slightly dampened cloth.

Use a vacuum cleaner when dusting walls.

Work from top to bottom. Start with ceiling fans and walls, and work your way down to baseboards.

Use a rubber glove to help coax dust from deep within upholstered furniture. Follow with the upholstery attachment hooked up to a vacuum.

Use a clean, dry paint brush to dust window screens and small items like figurines.

Use an old pillowcase (dampened is ideal!) to dust those ceiling fan blades with minimal mess. You can see this and other dusting hacks in action right here.

Change your HVAC unit’s filter periodically, remembering that certain seasons will clog the filter more rapidly (like pollen season).

Use tongs to make dusting blinds twice as fast.

Use compressed air to dust fans and keyboards.