Dusting walls
February 8, 2024 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I am caretaking for my brother who has ALS. And living in his home. The walls are quite dusty in some rooms,

Even cobwebby. I have never had to dust walls in my life before and don't know what people do. I am 77 years old and not about to wash down walls with soapy water. Do people use a dry dust mop on them,? Would I spray the mop head with Endust or a similar product? The walls are basic flat paint...I don't want to mar the finish. Thank you.
posted by Czjewel to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Good microfiber cloths.

If the wall is too high, try wrapping the cloth around the end of a broom or mop. Try dry first, you don't want to mix water with the dust/dirt and create muddy walls. If the dust has turned into actual dirt/grime attached to the walls, first try just a little bit of dampness to the microfiber cloth. If that does not work, you may want hire a cleaning service because full-on wet cloths will be needed that might mar the finish, but I think the dry microfiber cloth will work wonders.

I have walls in my house that get dusty, something to do with the furnace's airflow.
posted by RoadScholar at 10:43 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

I would suggest getting a nice lightweight vacuum cleaner with a really long tube attachment and a flat head with a tiny brush inside (these are commonly included with the vacuum). That way you minimize inhalation of dust, and you can extend your reach really far. Models like shopVacs have tiny rollers on a tiny powerful canister and follow you around really easily, unlike upright vacuums. You can use the "crevasse tool" for baseboards and corners.

Uprights have a "hardwood floor" setting that are great for large, flat surfaces and low texture carpets.
posted by effluvia at 10:44 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

The cleaning dude I zone out to on IG (@jack.designs) seems to clean his walls every week. He uses Swiffer-style mop and dry cloth attachments (sometimes microfiber attachments).
posted by cocoagirl at 11:37 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Yes, came here to say vacuum the walls. I have a Dyson Motorhead which has a very lightweight shaft. For cleaning on walls or other high places you can attach any of the attachments to the end of the shaft.
posted by capricorn at 11:42 AM on February 8

I use a micofiber feather duster with a long telescoping handle I got on the internet somewhere for like $15. Works like a charm. Basically like this, but doubt it's the same one.
posted by General Malaise at 11:55 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

I also occasionally get cobwebs in my apartment and I also use a thing like what General Malaise posted just above.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:49 PM on February 8

Don't "dust" with those feathery floofy things, whatever you do. They'll just spread it everywhere.
Microfiber floofy things, however, work reasonably well.

We've also had success with swiffer-type mops with microfiber heads, or the dry or damp sheets. Anything that captures the dust rather then sends it into the air, that's the goal. (If you've got anybody that crochets, it's easy to make cotton swiffer mops, too - dampen them just a bit, and then they are LOVELY for situations that need more scrubbing!)
posted by stormyteal at 1:37 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

One of the most basic things you can do is put a sock on the end of a broom handle, not the end that has bristles, and dust the walls using that. It's the quickest way to get rid of cobwebs.

People sometimes crochet a duster that goes on the end of the broom the way the sock does. My aunt used to make them and cover them with pompoms.

They look like this.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:33 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

I Swiffer them, when I think to do it. Dry Swiffer for walls (cat hair, dust), Wet Swiffer for kitchen ceiling (grease).
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:26 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

I have dusty walls with paper that I don't want to vacuum (it came with the house and I love it and don't want to damage it). I just purchased a dry Swiffer for use on it, which worked very well and also took care of cobwebs near the ceiling. The Swiffer starter kit comes with several sample cloths, wet and dry, but you can replace them with microfiber as you use them.
posted by verbminx at 9:44 PM on February 8

Stiffer duster are extremely lightweight and you can get an extension pole. They work quite well. They’re labeled disposable but I shake them out and wash them because I hate contributing to plastic waste.

You’re kind to take care of your brother, is a cleaner an option, even occasionally?
posted by theora55 at 6:52 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters are great. They work really well because the fluffy material is statically charged, so it attracts & holds more dust than a normal cloth. If possible, use your fingers to fluff out the duster before using, so the maximum surface area is exposed.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:35 PM on February 9

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