A woman uses a wool duster on a handle to clean a wall photo

The Best Way to Dust if You’re Tired of Seeing it Everywhere

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Does it feel like cleaning is a constant battle against dust? There’s more to it than just a swipe here and there. There’s a right way to dust, so you’re getting rid of it, not just moving it around.

So, before you pull your hair out in frustration, let’s talk about the best ways to dust, the tools that work (and don’t), and a schedule to keep your home consistently clean.

The Strategy

The age-old advice of cleaning from top to bottom is literal when it comes to dusting. Start at the highest point in a room, like ceiling fans or the tops of cabinets, and work your way down.

Working in this direction accomplishes two things:

  1. It ensures you aren’t knocking dust onto areas you’ve already cleaned.
  2. By moving the dust down to the floor you can vacuum it up and get it out of your home for good.

The Order

So that’s it’s important to dust before vacuuming, not the other way around: dusting knocks the debris to the floor, and vacuuming scoops up all the fallen dust. But here’s where you may need to change how you’ve been doing things.

The Change You Might Need

If you’ve been following a task-based system where you dust one day and vacuum the next, that’s contributing to your constant battle against dust.

Because any debris that landed on your floor gets stirred up by people or pets walking around, and then it settles back on your furniture

The Right Way to Dust Things

Gone are the days when feather dusters were the go-to tool. Today, it’s all about using the right equipment for effective dusting.

  • Long-handled dusters: Ideal for dusting hard-to-reach spots like ceiling corners. I swear by mine for cobwebs, walls, and fans.
  • Damp microfiber cloth: Thanks to their bristles, microfiber cloths hold up to ten times more dirt than regular ones. Used damp, they hold onto dust better than dry ones.
  • Vacuum attachments: Put on the right vacuum attachments: the upholstery attachment for fabric furniture, crevice tool for tight spots, and dust brush for almost anything else.

Pro Tip

Rinse your microfiber cloth often while dusting so those bristles can keep picking up right instead of spreading it around.

A Dusting Schedule

I can never stress this enough: the more often you clean, the less effort you have to put into cleaning. By dusting often, you keep it from settling into nooks and crannies where it becomes permanent grime.


  • Use the duster on: ceiling fan blades, tops of door frames, and window sills.
  • Wipe: Tabletops, dressers, nightstands, shelves, picture frames.
  • Use the vacuum and its attachments on: Tops of books, sofas, chairs, floors.


  • Use the duster on: Ceilings, walls, doors, tops of cabinets and fridge, baseboards.
  • Wipe: Stair railings, houseplants.
  • Use the vacuum and its attachments on: Vents and air returns.

While this dusting schedule may sound more ambitious than you’re used to, the right tools make it easier to do. Remember, the best way to dust isn’t about moving the debris off a surface, it’s about getting it out of your home so it stays consistently fresh and clean.

Now let’s talk about other ways you can reduce household dust!

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  1. Kim Wesley says:

    Hi there 👋, I love your website ❣️ I have a question about dusting and vacuuming.? My sister always told me to vacuum first, then dust! She said when you vacuum everything will get dusty again. So which way is the best way? 😂 Thank you for all your help and handy tips!!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Kim,
      Before HEPA filters became a standard feature on vacuum cleaners, they’d often send a lot of dust into the air while you vacuumed your floor. So, the old-school advice was to dust after vacuuming. With modern vacuums, which have HEPA filters and sometimes several layers of filtration, the best practice is to dust first.

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