Dust on the desk, best way to clean
October 14, 2020 5:58 AM   Subscribe

My desk gets quite dusty, and cleaning it by removing everything is time consuming and annoying. Is there a better way?

Yes, I know that in an ideal world, I wouldn't have much on the desk to begin with. For the purposes of this question, assume that is not the answer. I'm especially annoyed by the many power cords I need and have wondered about the box-like things they sell for corralling them. Papers that I use on a regular basis are also a problem. I've also wondered if a handheld vac would help. Specific product recommendations would be awesome. If you recommend a handheld vac, please bear in mind that I have issues with my hands and I'd really need one that's light. (I have a regular-size vacuum, but I find the attachments hard to use with something that's high up - like my desk - also, my desk is upstairs, and carrying it up and down the stairs is problematic).
posted by FencingGal to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Keep miscellaneous stuff in baskets or trays, much easier to move them around, dust as needed.
posted by theora55 at 6:02 AM on October 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

I recently got a mini USB vacuum (like this but an equivalent version from the UK) and I really like it. I find myself weirdly delighted when I notice a new dusty patch upstairs because I enjoy using the tiny vacuum so much. My desk, guitar, nearby armchair, shelves, nearby skirting boards etc. are all so much less dusty since I got this thing.

The one I linked to weighs about 12oz, not sure if that would be too heavy/unmanageable for you but if not then one of these might be worth a try. The fact that it lives on my desk and I don't have to go to another room to get it if I notice something needs cleaning up makes the barrier to actually doing the cleaning way lower, so hopefully this would solve your problem of needing to carry around the regular vacuum cleaner or having to switch out attachments.
posted by terretu at 6:08 AM on October 14, 2020

Trays are a good idea to make it easier to move things and corral them. A simple Swiffer on a handle will be light and easy to use, and you can push it in the nooks and crannies to grab the dust. Cord management is a whole thing - I have used those corrugated plastic tubes and it works pretty well.
posted by XtineHutch at 6:14 AM on October 14, 2020

Seconding the Swiffer duster. I keep one on my desk at home. It squeezes into tight spaces, and you can go a long time before you need to replace the duster part.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:35 AM on October 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Feather dusters are optimised for this application.
posted by runincircles at 6:38 AM on October 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

To prevent buildup, you could also have a small fan running, though having one always on isn't everyone's thing.
posted by aggyface at 6:44 AM on October 14, 2020

Put a felt pad over the entire desk surface, or some other not super smooth fabric. You might need a non-slip rug mat / shelf liner to keep it in place. The dust will kind of settle into it instead of coating the wood, and then you can just pop it in the wash (cold water, hang dry if you use felt!) when it gets dusty/dirty.

Bonus: no more coffee cup rings on your desk!
posted by ananci at 7:16 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Feather dusters are optimised for this application.

Literally this. If you don't own one, just get one and try it. There's a reason these things exist.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:24 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you don't have drawers everywhere below the desk top, another option for dealing with cords is to drill a strategic hole through the work surface and trim it with a desk grommet. This can allow you to keep most of the cable chaos hidden underneath.
posted by jon1270 at 7:31 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Air dusters?
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:35 AM on October 14, 2020

Smaller air filters are actually pretty good for gathering ambient dust like this. After a couple years of wildfire smog in the late summers we bought an array of the things and they’ve honestly made a huge difference in the dust and cat fur situation, which was not their intended use but nice nonetheless. You can get ones that are lightweight and about the size of a computer monitor that can sit on a bookshelf and keep the room’s air filtered pretty passively. It won’t do everything of course but it cuts down on the labor you have to do.

Feather dusters are also still extant for exactly this situation, as noted above. Once you get the dust unsettled though what doesn’t stick to the duster goes back into the air... which you could then filter.
posted by Mizu at 8:03 AM on October 14, 2020

The all-knowing algorithms of Amazon Prime Day just sent me this:
Desk pad
posted by nkknkk at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Running an air purifier in the area will be the best passive means of reducing the dust.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:57 AM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

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