Dust or Vacuum First? The Definitive Guide to the Ages Old Question

Image via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream

The internet is full of conflicting information. And that’s true when it comes to the dust or vacuum first dilemma. Most experts say to dust first especially if you’ve dusting off more than just dust. That way, everything  falls to the floor and can be vacuumed up.  Other experts point out that vacuuming kicks up a lot of dusk, so vacuum first. Yet others say it depends…

About Your Vacuum

vacuum cleaner

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Some vacuums don’t kick up that much dust. And they’re not just the expensive ones, either. What types of vacuum cleaners are best at capturing dust? There’s more to it than just a HEPA filters or bags. Suction and design counts.  In fact, several bag-less vacuums are quite effective at capturing dust.

Check this Consumer Reports article for the best vacuums for allergy sufferers – that is, they grab and hold onto dust the best. If you’ve got one of these or are sure your vacuum is tough on dust, go ahead and dust first. Those with lower efficiency vacuum cleaners should vacuum first but dust effectively afterwards.

Effective Dusting

Yes, there is a right way to dust and we’ve got the scoop:

  • Skip feather or wool dusters or untreated plain dry cloth on furniture. They don’t do much to trap the dust you’re trying to get rid of. Microfiber, dampened or pre-treated cloth catches and holds on to dust the best. Just remember to have several on hand. They do become less effective so you may need more than one if you’re doing the whole house.
microfiber cleaning towels

Microfiber cleaning cloths – the best invention since sliced bread!

  • You can buy microfiber dusters on a handle, but save those for high surfaces and shake them out or wash them after each use.
  • If you’re using a spray, spray the cloth – not the furniture. And choose a spray for multiple surfaces. Those are less likely to leave a film that attracts and holds on to dust.
  • For floors, the same principals apply. A slightly damp mop (or old fashioned floor duster) or one of those replaceable sheet dusters will capture the most. Just remember to rinse/wring and change the sheets often while you work.

Bona wood floor cleaner

  • You can also try spraying the floor with an all surface cleaning spray or use Bona’s floor spray (good for wood) to dust and clean up light dirt while you dust. Use a microfiber pad type “mop” to wipe up the spray from the floor.

Other Tips

It turns out your heating and cooling system are major contributors to dust. Follow these tips to help keep the dust down and lessen the house cleaning load.

      • If you’ve got a forced air furnace, turn the fan while you’re cleaning. Start by dusting upper areas like ceiling fans, lights and molding then start vacuuming and finish with dusting lower surfaces. While you work, the fan will draw in some of the dust you’re kicking up. Leave the fan on for 10-15 minutes after you’re finished to suck up as much of the airborne stuff that it can.
      • Change or clean your furnace and air conditioning filters frequently. If you’ve got extreme allergies, buy high efficiency, electrostatic filters which will remove the most allergens and particles. For the rest of us, cheaper filters are fine as long as you change or clean them once a month throughout the year.
Furnace filters

Less expensive MERV 6-8 or MRP 300 – 600 are good enough for most of us.

    • For any type of heating or cooling system, dust and clean heat vents, cold air returns and air conditioning units regularly.
    • If you’ve got steam heat, you may notice less dust overall, but you should still dust the registers regularly. And give them a thorough cleaning before heating season begins. Once they start up, any dust that has collected will be dispersed and who needs that?
    • Those with electric heat are in for a lot of dust since because of their design, they tend to be a major dust magnet. Follow these instructions for keeping dust out of your electric heater.

Post image via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream

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