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Green Housecleaning Tips, Dusting

Updated on December 18, 2013


What is dust?

Dust in the home is made up of dead human skin, plant pollen, and other environmental particles. The place where we live, is also a habitat where we have to deal with dust mites that live off of the dead human skin cells that we shed.

Dust mites and their feces contribute to the dust in the home as well as contributing to allergies and breathing problems.

They became an ongoing threat because of the multiple textiles used in a house, like carpet and cloth fibers.

Controlling dust in the home is paramount for good breathing health and a reduction of allergic reactions. So regularly vacuuming is mandatory!

Dust mites cannot live on hard surfaces, they prefer cloth fibers, humidity - moist air and a good supply of human cells, preferably dead.

This is why laundering your bed linens, covering your mattresses and vacuuming often is necessary for overall good health,

Think about it you are breathing in all that stuff, when you inhale!

Other dust

Dust can be tracked into the house from our clothes, shoes and whatever. It is usually dirt, soil, and fine particles.

Combating dust is an ongoing process, even though it is an easy chore it is aggravating in the fact that it is non stop, but cleaning air / exhaust ventilation and ducts will help to reduce a lot of the overall problems.

As well as fighting off the invasion of dust mites or at least keeping the population from exploding.

  • Change out air filters regularly.
  • Put pillows and cushions in the dryer for at least 40 mins if possible
  • Vacuum your fabric sofas, couch and chairs
  • Wash bedding and other fabric in as high temperatures as allowable, regularly, once a week is suggested

Wooden trunk
Wooden trunk | Source

How to

What's the best way to dust?

I love being able to recycle stuff especially around the house for chores. So cleaning gives me the opportunity to do that as well as save a few pennies while contributing to a green lifestyle.

It is always encouraged when cleaning a home to start at the top, unless of course it's not going to be a major cleaning event and you are only maintaining cleanliness.

Yet when dusting it is paramount to start working from the top, the ceiling, the walls, the window treatments, etc and finishing with the floors.

The reason you want to start with the ceiling, the window treatments and the fan is because dust inevitably falls to the ground and will cover other surfaces. So why do the work twice when doing it properly the first time will save you time, effort and money.

How to

  • Move your hand gently over the surface of the item being cleaned and dusted
  • move your hand from one side to the other in one continuous sweep, for example lets say you start cleaning from the right side, then you should go across the center / middle of the item until you reach the left side.

You never want to go back over the side you just cleaned unless you are using a new clean cloth. For example some surfaces need to be both dry dusted then wet dusted.

At the top

  • Ceiling, air vents
  • High walls, cornices, molding
  • Window treatments, blinds
  • Doors
  • Stairs / railing
  • Pictures, wall hanging and decor
  • Refrigerator top
  • Cabinets

On the bottom

  • baseboards
  • carpet
  • floors
  • chair and table legs
  • underneath furniture

Behind things

  • fridge
  • stove
  • sofa / couch
  • book cases, etc

Trick when vacuuming underneath furniture and you are not sure what may be lurking there, go ahead and cover the nozzle with an old stocking, tied or kept in place with a rubber / elastic band.

Wet solutions

  • vinegar
  • peroxide
  • lemon

These can be mixed with equal parts water or less, depending on the surface you are cleaning.

When using liquids i prefer for my cloth to be damp, not dripping water. This is to avoid any damage to other surfaces or having to use something else to wipe up the excess water.

Why do twice the work if once will suffice!

When dusting what do you use?

See results

What to use

Some things can be used universally, but others should be kept for certain surfaces.

For example a damp cloth should be used on surfaces that will not stain, warp or become discolored and those are typically surfaces that are made from wood, and wood products.

Fabric items

Top item to use is a washable microfiber cloth

but these will do in a pinch

  • old t shirt
  • old socks
  • cloth gloves
  • old towels

Other things

  • dryer sheets
  • clean / lightly soiled baby wipes
  • clean paint brush or makeup brush

When it comes to your knickknacks using a sock, glove or brush is the best way to go, so they are not manhandle and you can get into the little crevices.

books | Source


Combination, wet/dry
paper / cardboard

Top tips

  • Do it often, as often as you can to avoid packed on build up of layers, twice a month
  • Recycle items for dusting, socks, lightly soiled and laundered baby wipes, fabric softener sheets / dryer sheets, old hosiery, old t-shirts, old towels
  • Start at the top, ceiling, cornice boards, curtains / window treatments, fans
  • Finish with the floors, vacuum the carpet, sweep or mop the floor - hard surfaces
  • Dress protectively, with a scarf over hair, old clothing
  • Dust after closing opened windows

How to dress

Dusting is a messy job!

Protecting your hair, skin and clothing is always a good idea since dust goes everywhere.


Use a scarf, shower cap or something to protect your hair, a ball cap is also helpful, because it can both protect your hair and your face and eyes.


Long sleeve t shirt


high neck shirt

Legs, bottom half

long pants


a breathing mask that filters dust and small particles


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