Dust is a harmless-sounding word that stands for something pretty gross. Depending on where you live, your dust includes (but isn’t limited to) dead skin cells, animal dander, dust mites, decomposing bug parts, fabric fibers, pesticides, plaster and paint. And this has been sitting in your house all winter! Ew, ew, ew.
Most of the time, there’s no need to move your books when you dust here. You can just use a microfiber cloth to dust the tops and and spines of books while they’re still on the shelf. But your spring cleaning session is also a great time for a deep shelf clean. To do this, remove all of your books, wipe down your shelf with a damp, soapy cloth and dry it with a clean cloth. Use this as an opportunity to audit your books. What can you donate? What can you sell? Getting rid of books can be a little painful, but it’s a great way to reduce clutter.
Knowing that dust is partially made up of fabric fibers, it makes sense that your closets are basically dust factories. If things have gotten really bad, it’s probably worth doing a full closet overhaul right now. But if you’ve stayed on top of your closet dust this year, wiping down any shelves with a damp cloth and a quick vacuum sesh will probably suffice.
If your carpets are wall-to-wall, vacuum regularly to get rid of dust. If you have rugs, take them outside and hang them on a clothesline, fence or other sturdy object. Then use a stick, broom or even a tennis racket to give your rug a thorough beating. Dust will fly away. You’ll breathe easier. The rest of the year, vacuum your carpets regularly.
Grab a small hand duster or a clean, soft-bristled paint brush, and sweep along the baseboards so that you remove any loose dust. Dip a soft cloth in soapy water, and then wipe the cloth along the baseboards, rinsing it out in your bucket as you go. If dust is stuck in the baseboard crevices, dip a cotton swab in the soapy mixture and use it to clean any hard-to-reach crevices or awkward corners along your baseboards. Once the dust is gone, wipe the baseboards down with a dry cloth.
If you feel like dust collects almost immediately after you dust, you can probably blame your air vents. If your air vents are coated in dust, you’re basically just spraying it throughout your house every time the air blows. Using a screwdriver, remove your air vent covers. Dip a soft cloth in soapy water and rub the cloth along the vents until all of the dust is gone.
This one is pretty quick, but you may need a stepladder or stool to reach your fans. Spray an all-purpose cleaner like Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner on a soft cloth, and wipe the top of the blade until you’ve thoroughly removed the dirt and dust. Repeat this step for each fan blade.
Your window sills are basically a lovely little shelf for dust. To clean them, run a vacuum’s soft bristle brush extension along the sill to get rid of any loose dust. Then dip a soft cloth in soapy water, and run the cloth along the sill to pick up any stuck dust. Dip a thin, old paint brush in the same soapy water, and use it to get dust out of nooks, crannies and corners. Run a dry rag over your dust-free window sill and you’re done! Tip: Windows act as dust magnets, so repeat the process at least once a week to keep dust away.
Before you clean your coils, place a towel or piece of cardboard on the floor to catch dust. Unplug your fridge. Grab a vacuum’s brush attachment and vacuum all the loose dust off of your coils. (If you’ve never done this before, brace yourself for a dust storm.) Then, use a damp paintbrush to pick up any remaining dust. If you're not sure where your fridge coils are located? Read this. Safety Tip: Anytime you're going to move your fridge (even if you're just pulling it away from the wall), it's a good idea to remove everything from the top and grab a buddy to help you.
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