Dusting: the go-to system for keeping it at bay.
Whether you're feeling inspired to do a more comprehensive deep clean of your space, or perhaps your allergies are acting up, dusting is the best place to start. As with many overhauls, sometimes you need to make a bit of a mess before you can bask in the pristine space once more. Don’t let this deter you though because not only is it worth it visually, it will improve both health and mood!
This method will take you through dusting for the whole home or for a select range of spaces in the most effective way possible. I've separated it into general dusting (most rooms), blinds specifically, bathroom and bedroom. It will save time, you won't have to go over the same spots more times than necessary and it will ensure you’re not missing anything along the way. Having to go back or leave a job half done is not at all satisfying, here’s how to avoid that!
Firstly, before we get started. In acknowledging that we don't want to go over things more times than necessary; if it has been an age since the place was dusted and you can see dust kicking up off the ground as you walk, give the place a quick vacuum first. As much as I hate doing things twice, in this specific circumstance it is most certainly needed, otherwise there’s zero effectiveness in what you’re doing.
Now, let’s start with the basic principle:
1- Always work from the top down.
2- Dry wipe with a cloth or duster, and then a slightly damp cloth after.
As much as it may not seem like it when the motes are flying around beams of light, dust does eventually follow the laws of gravity. I find cobweb brushes are my first go to when I’m cleaning a house for the first time, or when it’s been a little while for my own home. Obviously get those corner cobwebs, but also run it along the tops of door frames (you might be appalled at the sight but I find it SO satisfying when it all comes down, you really know you’re getting it all!), picture rails and blinds and curtain tops.
If you have slat blinds, close them and run either the cobweb duster or a regular duster over them. Close them in the other direction and repeat. This will give you a solid dust down and you’ll be able to spot wipe and of the places you missed, trust me, you’ll see them if you have.
Open the curtains or raise the blinds fully and give the window sills a good dust down. The cobweb brush is most effective here again if it’s been a while. It flicks up all the flies that met their demise and often there are some little cobwebs up in the top corner that may have escaped your notice before.
At this stage, you’re not yet doing the damp wipe down because you’ll be in the middle of a dust shower and there’s just no point until later. Whether you’re doing the whole house or a select choice of multiple rooms, go around to each room/space and do the same so that when you go back to the first one, most of the dust will have settled. Also, we’ve all got them these days, but pop on a mask to save you inhaling all the flying dust fairies!
I already feel like I’m getting a little wordy here, so I’ll forgo the detailed explanation, but bedrooms collect a lot of dust, and this can be particularly frustrating if you have a dust or dust mite allergy. Aside from the obvious places dust settles: bedside table, bed head etc; it also all through your bedding, mattress, rugs etc (see our other blogpost all about the incredible importance of mattress sanitisation). The other major surface that collects dust we tend not to notice are the walls. Particularly above the bed. Again, simple fix, get that cobweb brush or duster and wipe them down. Done!
Be aware that we spend at least 1/3 of everyday in this room. Those with allergies will not need to be convinced of why dusting here is the most important, but even for those without them, the impacts of dust and dust mites on our health can be awful. Melbourne has since a huge increase in dust and mould this season due to changes around micro-seasonality – read more about mould and how to treat it here.
Bathrooms collect a strange breed of dust, the regular bouts of steamy humidity don’t help either but if you’re like me and love a very hot shower or long soak in the tub, there’s not much we can do about it. With the cobweb brush, dust down the ceiling fan -this is where the mask might come in handy if it’s been a while.
Regardless of whether you have floor to ceiling tiles or plaster, give it all a sweep over; there may be some stubborn bits that won’t want to budge and you will need to do that by hand with a dry cloth. Give all the walls a wipe down with a dry cloth and depending on the surface type and texture, a damp cloth may be required.
Now duck back to the first room and start doing your dry and damp dusting on all other surfaces! You will most likely go through a couple of dry rags on this first go, be liberal with them because there’s no point moving clumps of dust around, this can be especially noted with some bathrooms.
Finish off with a thorough vacuum, running along the skirting boards (again if it’s been awhile, it’s pretty satisfying seeing the difference!) and getting into those corners.
I understand life gets in the way and sometimes even these things might not be possible to do, whether it be time, feeling run down or maybe a good holiday needed away from the menial, remember we're here whenever you need us - if you're in Melbourne, give us a bell or drop us a line and we'll come around and do what we do best by cleaning your place to perfection.