Dusting may be, perhaps, a homeowner’s biggest nightmare. I am confident I could dust my house 7 days a week and there would still be more dust to remove. Of course the ideal dusting plan is to pull out some lemon oil and a dusting cloth and methodically go throughout each room in the house lifting up and polishing on top of, under, and around every decoration, trinket, and bit of clutter. But let’s just be honest, finding time to dust ‘the right way’ every single week is tremendously difficult if not downright impossible.
A few years ago while picking up the dirty clothes off the hidden floor of my boys bedroom I noticed the black ball feet of the bed were covered in a blanket of dust. Feeling a bit exasperated and not having even the smallest inclination to go down stairs to collect the dusting ‘stuff’ from the cleaning closet I took a dirty shirt out of my hand and began dusting the bed with it. No more than 5 minutes later I had finished cleaning the beds, the dresser, the night stand, the top of the picture frames, AND the baseboards. No water, no oil, no chemicals, no rags, no trip down stairs to get supplies; just an already dirty pajama shirt.
As I have experimented over the years with this magic method of dusting I have tried just about every type of material that goes into a pair of children’s clothing.
Denim works surprisingly well, just be sure to keep buttons and zippers away from your wood or painted surfaces to avoid scratching.
Cotton – Picks up dust well, I especially like to use thick – soft pajamas.
Cotton Sweaters seem to work well too, but most of our sweaters are ‘nice’ clothes so I avoid using them for dusting.
Soft Polyester (like basketball shorts) isn’t real great at picking up dust but it can collect a staggering amount of pet hair.
Slippery polyester (like warm ups) is the most UNSUCCESSFUL, but if you happen to grab a pair with a cotton lining flip it inside out and dust away.
Polar Fleece works AMAZINGLY well! It is soft and collects dust like cotton but it is full of static so it grabs onto pet hair and Down better than anything else!
For those of you who are shaking your heads in disgust that I would actually dust my house with my children’s dirty clothes I must say; first, stop judging … I do what works for me. Second, if you are looking for a quick, successful way to ‘cheat DUST’ your house go to your local fabric store and purchase 1/3 of a yard of 60” wide polar fleece (polar fleece costs between 7-10 dollars per yard). Cut the fleece into squares and keep one stashed away in each room of your house.
A quick wipe down with dry fleece will do wonders to cut down on dust, down, and pet dander. Use it on your furniture, your lamps, your TV’s and electronic equipment, your baseboards, your gas fireplaces, your stair railings, and EVEN on the hard to get parts of YOUR CARPET where the vacuum can’t reach!
The small space between my nightstand table and my bed is always dirty with dust and Down from my feather pillows. I don’t like to force my vacuum back there because I don’t want to scratch my furniture and we all know I’m far too lazy to actually move the night stand on a regular basis. So, I take my bit of polar fleece and scrub the carpet with it. Dust, pet dander, and down feathers are all removed!
Cleaning baseboards is always a dreaded task. Some people act like they don’t even know their baseboards exist (if it doesn’t exist it isn’t dirty); while others are rather obsessive about getting on their hands and knees with a bucket of hot water to scrub. I have seen recommendations to sweep the baseboards or vacuum them with an attachment but I have noticed that all of these options just take too long. One day while attempting the vacuum method I scratched the paint right off my wall because I was trying to move too fast and wasn’t being careful enough. Using soup and water can almost make the baseboards look dirtier unless you go slowly and rinse out your rag in CLEAN water often. Sweeping just wasn’t very effective. So now, after much trial and error I clean my DUSTY baseboards with either cotton dirty clothes or a piece of fleece. (When the baseboards get DIRTY, with mud or apple juice I still use the good old fashioned wet soapy rag.) So slick!
Dusting does not have to consume our lives. As with removing the clutter, cleaning the bathroom or the picking up the kitchen it simply takes a little strategy and a bit of effort on a regular basis. There will always be ‘spring cleaning’ to get the dirt off initially but constant observation to the dust will make a miraculous difference in how clean your home feels.