It is easy to procrastinate on dusting your home especially when you are time strapped. Not only is it a tedious house cleaning job, but it seems less important than say disinfecting the bathroom or making sure the kitchen is a sanitary and a safe place to cook. However, a dusty home doesn’t only look bad, it is bad for you too! A dusty home makes the look and feel of an otherwise clean, organized house dank and depressing. When you haven’t dusted in a while you also will find cobwebs have taken over and instead of feeling beautiful and alive in your home, you feel dreary. Still, it is more than just feeling dirty that should worry you. Dust is a health hazard and an invitation to dust mites to make your home theirs also. House dust mites, or simply dust mites, are tiny creatures that feed on dust, especially on dead cells of humans and animals (about 75-90% of dust is dead skin cells… yuck!), and they excrete certain compounds that can often cause an allergic reaction, particularly in the very young and the elderly. Consistent exposure to large quantities of domestic dust, house dust mites and their excrement, can also result in the development of asthma, and can cause other respiratory conditions. Convinced yet? Let’s get started on learning how to dust and keep up with this important cleaning chore in order to maximize the health and beauty of the home.
As with all cleaning chores, we will procrastinate more if we get overwhelmed, so enlist your family member’s help or rotate the dusting chores a room a day at a time so you never get too overwhelmed. Then, follow these house cleaning tips:
- Be thorough each time. The longer you leave this chore to complete, the harder it will be to really get your room clean. The best way to be thorough and not miss anything is to follow a routine. Enter the room of choice and start at the 9 o’clock position.
- Use an extendable lamb’s wool duster or webber duster and work up and down from the 9 o’clock position around the room until you are back at 9:00 again. Use the duster up and down getting in corners, behind furniture, around furniture legs, behind doors to remediate cobwebs in all areas of the room. This is when you will want to clean base boards and door frames also. If you have blinds and they are maintained, run the duster across them while closed to keep them from getting too dusty. Blinds are difficult to clean once they get really dirty. If they have gotten dirtier than a duster can handle, come back to our How to Series next week to see our “how to clean blinds” blog.
- You are now back at the 9 o’clock position. The best way to remediate the dust on your furniture is to fill a small bucket with warm water and add a little peroxide cleaner. This cleaner is gentle for all types of furniture. Make sure you really squeeze out the rag, you don’t need, nor should use, a lot of water: If the surface is visibly wet when done then you are not squeezing out enough! If you are concerned about your wood furniture, you can polish with a wood polish after cleaning. With the barely damp rag, start by wiping each nic nack on the furniture piece in question. You can set the pieces aside or put back in place. If you set them aside, it will be easier to thoroughly clean the furniture. If you want to put back in place so that everything is in the same spot, then once the nic nacks are clean, lift and wipe until you get the entire surface. Do this for every surface as you move around the room clockwise looking up and down and cleaning everything in your path. If your wood is thirsty for a little polish, use a different microfiber rag and spray a little polish on the wood pieces and rub with the grain.
- Clean the legs and bases of all furniture. If you have ornate woodwork and the piece is particularly dusty, use a small paint brush to get in the cracks and crevices.
- Don’t miss picture frames, hanging shelves and other wall-décor.
- Once you have moved around the room and are back at 9 o’clock, get any furniture or fixtures that are in the center of the room such as coffee tables, couches, fans (see our fan cleaning Tip of the Day for tricks to keep from getting showered in dust when doing ceiling fans).
See there? That wasn’t so bad was it? A planned routine helps keep you focused on moving through the task so that you can be done and off to something more fun! Once you have done this a couple of times each room will be cleaned in a snap and you will be that much closer to curing the cleaning procrastination bug- -pardon the pun!