Dusting is one of those jobs that you either love or hate. For some, it’s a soothing, repetitive task that they enjoy, while for others it’s a thankless task that happens too often. If you’re in the latter camp, you’ll be relieved to learn that there are some tried-and-true tricks to reduce dusting and make it a much easier task too.
Dust—a mixture of skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, dead bugs, and more—is both welcome and undesirable in our home environment. It plays an important role in building the immune system of children in the first year of life. A study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US showed that infants who were exposed to a variety of household bacteria before their first birthday were less likely to develop allergies and asthma.
However, it can also carry bacteria and microscopic particles, so it’s important to completely remove the dust when cleaning, not just move it around and let it settle again. The easiest way is to dust with a damp cloth. Use warm soapy water and a cloth – regular or microfiber – to wipe the surface and collect dust. Once cleaned to your satisfaction, wash the cloth as usual so you can repeat the process if you find dust collecting again.
If you’re having trouble getting rid of dust in those hard-to-reach, high places, an old pair of socks can be of great help. Place a sock, ideally a fluffy one, over the end of a sweeping brush or mop. Use the long handle to reach up and easily sweep away the dust. This can be useful for tall shelves, light fixtures, and cobwebs near the ceiling. And put this fluffy sock on your hand for quick work on vertical or horizontal blinds too. If you don’t have old socks, wrap the end of the brush in a cloth or towel, secure with a rubber band, and use that instead.
If you use fabric softener sheets in your laundry, also set aside one for household cleaning. Among their other uses, their anti-static nature makes them effective for removing dust with just a swipe. Some people also swear they repel dust from the area they’re mopping on, meaning there’s more time between dusting.
Some areas are very difficult to remove dust. If you have a light-colored fabric shade and find that dust is building up on it, you know if wiping and scrubbing it can be labor-intensive. Instead, use a lint roller and run it across the screen. it collects the dust in a fraction of the time.