How can I get away with dusting less often?
April 6, 2015 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Please help me be a domestic god and a lazy person at the same time. Spring has sprung and I am getting my house nice and clean. I am dusting, sweeping, mopping, cleaning baseboards and windows, washing bedding and other fabrics and just basically doing things up right. My problem is, it doesn't stay this way. Does anyone know some magic to keeping a clean house with a couch based lifestyle short of getting worse lighting?

With spring, my windows and doors are open more, and the layer of dust resettles within a day or two. The biggest offenders are shelves, tvs, and wooden surfaces where it's so visibly obvious that something is schmutzy or only half wiped down. I am getting frustrated already and can't keep up a daily regimen of domestic catch-up for much longer. I have looked at previous questions and, while they have been quite helpful for the first-round cleaning tips, they don't really address the problem of maintaining cleanliness. I would like to shoot for a weekly schedule at the most.

PS. I am willing to make small financial investments in equipment and/or embark on reasonable furniture refinishing projects if they will really work.

PPS. Complications/Details: small house in PNW North America, no carpeting, no shoes in house, yes pets, yes they go outside but I do try to get them to clean their paws, no smoking and candles are a rarity, no central heat/air - so no air filters, open doors/windows are necessary for sanity and climate control, yes screens on doors/windows, no major allergy issues, ceiling fan upstairs in bedroom but no place for one downstairs (I don't think).
posted by dness2 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Have you used a swiffer? I LOVE them. I have concrete flooring and dog, and I use one any time I see random dust or dog hair. You can just use the sheets and your hand, or the swiffer duster thing which has a telescoping handle. I also use them on the floor to sweep and on the dustboards, where the hair seems to collect on the ledge.
posted by Brittanie at 4:40 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you have air conditioner/furnace, change your filters more often and don't skimp on cheap filters. I live in a 1910's plaster dust monster of a house and that was the best advice I got. I change them every 21 days, they also said to keep the fan running even when it wasn't heating & cooling, and it helped as circulating dust was sucked up into the filter, I hated wasting electric that way, maybe a localized air filter in the rooms that are the worst offenders might help.
posted by wwax at 4:42 PM on April 6, 2015

I have similar issues, and all I can say is vacuuming, rather than dusting and sweeping, is your friend. I have dustbuster on a stick and I go over the floors with that on a regular basis. I also dust using a spray (like Endust, but generic), and a microfiber cloth or shop towel. I have a canister vac that I get out for special occasions, and a floor upright vac for the bedroom rug.

But my special friend is the dustbuster on a stick. You can remove the head and it has a nozzle attachment. Plus it has a cord, so no obnoxious recharging.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2015

Since you don't have central heat/air, try a freestanding HEPA air filter to reduce the amount of ambient dust/hair/pollen that is available to settle on your surfaces.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I will pay money if something is worth it (loved my Dyson when I had carpet), but I hate to just get stuff that "might" work, so is Endust really a dust repellent spray superior to other cleaners? and what HEPA air filters have worked for you?
posted by dness2 at 5:00 PM on April 6, 2015

I have a similar to the Bissel "DustBuster on a stick" and swear by it. I'm eagerly awaiting to see what folks have to say about Hepa filters and similar. I have the same problem, thanks for asking this question.
posted by jbenben at 5:12 PM on April 6, 2015

nthing vacuuming. I run my roomba a couple of times a week, and it comes back with a trap full o' crud most times.

Also, polish surfaces that can take polish, so the dust doesn't stick in the first place.
posted by zippy at 5:17 PM on April 6, 2015

Get a Neato! We run our Neato every day (why not, it's a robot) and it really cuts down the dust and cat hair.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:41 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

So I just read something, on like, Yahoo News or somewhere, that said one of the biggest contributors of household dust is...fabric. Textiles. All the fabric in your house is constantly decaying and spewing off tiny pieces of textile dust. They recommended vacuum-sealing any stuff you won't be using for awhile (comforters, winter clothing, etc.) and regularly washing stuff like drapes.
posted by Bron at 6:01 PM on April 6, 2015

Piggybacking, because I have the exact same problem down to location and pet status: does a HEPA air filter work when the doors and windows are open all the time anyway?
posted by librarina at 1:21 PM on April 7, 2015

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