House Cleaning Lessons: Dusting Tools Explained

dust doorEvery home has dust, to varying degrees. You may have to dust only once every couple of weeks, or twice a week, depending on how quickly dust accumulates on surfaces. The more dust you can remove from the air, the less dusting there will be to do.

A dusting tool is an optional item that makes cleaning easier. Yes, you can do without one and the sky won’t fall. A damp rag or microfiber cloth will effectively remove dust from your collection of porcelain dog figurines. In the absence of specialty equipment, you can remove dust and cobwebs from ceilings with a dust mop or a broom and under the refrigerator with a yardstick that you wrap in a rag.

Types of Dusting Tools

Dusting goes a lot quicker and is more effective with a tool that grabs and holds onto dust. Types of dusting tools include microfiber dusters, feather dusters, lambswool dusters, telescoping dusters, static dusters, and specialty hand dusters.

Microfiber dusters grab dust and lock it down so it isn’t released back into the air. Many can be washed and re-used; some are disposable.

Feather dusters are what our grandmothers used to swear by, or at when the feathers fell out all over the place. Some people still swear by them. And the feathers still shed all over the place. They don’t really grab dust as much as knock it down.

Lambs wool dusters are great for getting dust off of baseboards, chair-rails, behind furniture, and for reaching cobwebs in corners and on ceilings and ceiling fans. These things last forever and come in lots of different styles. The drawback: they don’t hold onto the dust so much as knock it down.

dust ceilng

Static or microstatic dusters look similar to feather dusters but have electrostatically charged synthetic fibers that grab dust, then you shake them off outside to release the dust.

There are also specialty dusters for getting under appliances like the refrigerator or dryer, or for dusting ceiling fans, window blinds, and more.


If you have high ceilings, you can, and should, get a duster with an extendable (telescoping) handle to reach cobwebs and dust on light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.

Dust With Your Vacuum Cleaner

Your vacuum cleaner will often do the best job of removing dust from places like louvered doors or the grated covers over heating vents or air exchanges. Use the dusting tool attachment so the bristles grab the dust. If you have a thick layer of dust anywhere, your vacuum will do the best job of trapping it and locking it down.

Figuring out what to use for dusting depends on what surfaces and/or areas you will be dusting. Lots of flat surfaces with little clutter are easy; you could use anything up to and including an old sock that you dampened with a little water and pulled over your hand.

If you have a lot of books or knick-knacks, uneven or cluttered areas, the job will go most quickly if you use a duster with fingers or nubs that the dust will cling to without having to move every object. A microfiber mini-duster or microstatic or microfiber wand would fit the bill.

If you have a lot of baseboards, chair-rails or other molding, wall sconces or ridged areas like paneled doors, a microfiber wand or lambswool duster would probably be your best bet.

When it comes to dusting, frequency is your friend. Using an effective tool that is comfortable to use and gets the job done quickly is the most efficient way to go. The act of dusting removes dust from your environment, so there’s less dust floating around in the air waiting for the opportunity to settle down on your grandma’s china.

Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.