The first step when it comes to dusting is knowing which tools you should and shouldn’t use. For instance, feather dusters are far from helpful, according to Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab: “This tool simply spreads dust from one surface to another.” Instead, you can more successfully capture dust with a soft cloth dampened with water, a microfiber duster, or an electrostatic duster. Now that you have your tools, here are targeted strategies for your home’s most hard-to-reach spots.
For ceiling-to-floor cleaning, a vacuum with multiple attachments is the most efficient tool. Work from the top down to capture the most dust without making a mess.
You can tackle dingy spots using a wet cloth. Lightly spray it with water or an all-purpose cleaning solution, like Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner Trigger ($7, amazon.com) and run it over baseboards to whisk debris away in a flash.
To get at dust trapped in tiny nooks and intricate carvings, use a clean natural-bristle paint or makeup brush, then wipe with a microfiber cloth ($5 for 3, amazon.com).
Computers, TVs, DVD players, stereos, and printers are notorious dust magnets. Always unplug the equipment before cleaning. A gentle swipe with a microfiber clothusually does the job, while a soft, long-handled brush ($3, amazon.com) will collect dust from crevices. Be sure to vacuum dust from around cords and vents because, along with pet hair, it can clog machines or outlets.
Put beanbag critters, teddy bears, or fabric dolls into a large plastic bag with a cup of baking soda. Secure the top, then take the items outside and shake well. The baking soda and static will draw out the soil and dust. Remove items one at a time, shake off the clumps of baking soda, and vacuum the rest using a brush attachment.
Over time, crumbs, grease, and other debris accumulate behind your stove and refrigerator, providing a food source for insects and other pests. If possible, move the appliance out from the wall and unplug. Use a long-handled, slightly damp sponge mop ($12, amazon.com) to lift dust from the back of the appliance, then wipe floor and walls with hot soapy water.
Remove heavy dust from ceiling, floor, or appliance vents with a soft-brush vacuum attachment or electrostatic mop ($16, amazon.com), then dampen a microfiber clothand wipe the surface. Rinse removable, washable air-conditioning filters well in hot soapy water and air-dry before reinstalling.
Place newspaper or a drop cloth under the ceiling fan. Turn off the power source, then get on a step stool. Use damp paper towels to wipe greasy dust from the casing and a soft-bristle brush dampened with a mild cleanser, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap ($2, amazon.com) to loosen the dust on the blades, then rinse with a damp paper towel.