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12 Sneaky Places Where Dust is Hiding in Your Home

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Have you ever overlooked a spot during your regular cleaning routine then one day remember it and discover a shocking buildup of dust hiding there?

Use this list to tackle those dusty places. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how cleaning these now and then helps control dust throughout your home.

1. The forgotten Fan

Bathroom exhaust are vital to helping prevent mold after steamy showers and baths. But as the fan runs, it sucks up dust from the air along with the steam. Then the dust dries on the blades, one layer at a time.

Pop the cover off, press the U-clips together to release them from the housing, and use your vacuum’s dust brush to clean the blades. Then wash the cover and put it back when it’s dry.

Did You Know?

Dirty bathroom exhaust fans have to work harder, which causes them to overheat. That’s why dusty bathroom fans are a known cause of house fires.

2. The Overhead Lights

Ever wonder why your pendant or ceiling lights seem dimmer? It’s likely dust buildup. These hard-to-reach light fixtures are classic places where dust hides. A quick swipe with a microfiber cloth or an extension duster, and your room will be brighter.

3. Your Favorite Styling Tool

When was the last time you cleaned your blowdryer? The intake motor works like your bathroom exhaust fan ad sucks in air. If it gets too dusty, the motor will overheat and sjort out.

To keep your blow-dryer from spreading dust every time you use it, clean the intake grill monthly with a small brush or vacuum it.

4. These Little Ledges

I’m always shocked at how much dust gathers on light switch plates and outlet covers, especially outlets behind televisions. Every one of them has a tiny little ledge at the top where hidden dust loves to collect.

Be sure to wipe these dusty places when you’re cleaning. For stubborn grime around light switches, use a dry old toothbrush before wiping.

5. The Bracketed Rod

As a short person, I don’t think about the hidden dust on curtain rods and their brackets very often because I don’t see them. But a face full of dust when I open the windows is a good reminder.

Using a long-handled dusting tool monthly helps, and so does a vacuum dust brush on a long attachment wand. Then when you’re washing the curtains, wipe the rods and brackets to get rid of hidden dust.

6. The Green Scene

I love growing houseplants, particularly flashy ones like fiddle leaf figs and snake plants. But they sure do collect some dust. A gentle wipe with a damp cloth or a quick shower dislodges the dust, which helps them grow better, too. (Although, even fake plants need cleaning.

7. This Shower Spot

Remember that bathroom exhaust fan? Hidden dust collecting on places like the shower frame feeds those fans a steady dust diet. Next time you’re cleaning the bathroom, wipe the shower frame top to bottom, too.

8. Spindles and Railings.

My cat loves to wind his way through the stair spindles, leaving them a mess. If you have pets or kids, yours are probably dusty and grimy, too. Fortunately, they’re not hard to clean.

Use a warm, soapy microfiber cloth to wipe the spindles and railings, then rinse with a fresh cloth dampened in plain water. Monthly is a good frequency to keep these clean.

9. Your Favorite Reads.

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but books are definite dust magnets. To protect them from pests and cut down on the dust in our homes, it’s important clean books at least once a year.

Get your book collection spotless by clearing the shelves, wiping them down, then vacuuming every book individually with the dust brush before putting them back in place. Then rest up by curling up with a favorite.

10. Lift Rails and Sashes.

The lift rails at the top of double hung windows another place where dust hides, as is the sash below it. Both spots get overlooked because when we think about cleaning our windows, we usually focus on the glass. So wipe these down, too.

11. The Dreaded Stove Gap.

That narrow crevice around your glass stovetop is a magnet for dust and crumbs. You can install a gap cover to keep stuff out, but I feel like they just collect grit, too.

I use a compressed air tool to clean this dusty spot monthly. The rest of the time I vacuum it with the crevice tool when I’m cleaning the kitchen floor.

12. Insert Vents.

Do you have a fireplace insert? My home does and somehow dust manages to get through the vent to hide on top firebox. Not only is that a fire risk, it affects indoor air quality because that dust turns into VOCs when we light a fire.

It took a can of compressed air to blow the mess out and full day to clean the room where it landed. Now I vacuum those vents every week to keep it clean. Fooled me once, and all.

Tips for Keeping Dust at Bay

Keeping your home dust-free is an ongoing process. It’s not just about aesthetics, though. Since dust attracts dust mites, it can affect your health, too.

  • Dust first, vacuum next. The idea is to move dust down then out of your home.
  • Use damp cloths. Damp cloths pick up dust; dry ones scatter it.
  • Vacuum regularly. Vacuum wall-to-wall weekly, and high-traffic areas every other day.
  • Mop after vacuuming. Even the best vacuum leaves dirt on hard floors. Mop it up.

Do you know of other sneaky places where dust hides? Share your strategies in the comments!

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2 Comments

  1. Rocky Lanotte says:

    You probably covered this in another post, but my HVAC vent covers (on the ceiling in my house) and intake grills (mine are near the floor) collect dust like crazy in our dry environment. And the top of the doorbell chime cover…­čśĹ.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Oh those are all good spots, too!

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