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Water Cooler: How to keep dust to a minimum

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 7, 2021

A dust storm rolled into Spokane with gusty winds in early October 2020. Closing up your home during dusty times of the year helps reduce the amount that come inside.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A dust storm rolled into Spokane with gusty winds in early October 2020. Closing up your home during dusty times of the year helps reduce the amount that come inside. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Dust is a constant battle, but there are a few things you can do around the house to help minimize its reappearance.

Upgrade equipment

You want to trap particles when you dust, not just push it around. Upgrade to something that will be a bit more handy and practical than an old T-shirt or sock. Using a microfiber or a quality feather duster will help trap small particles. A handheld vacuum can also make dusting easy work, as well as being versatile for other tasks like vacuuming the car or other hard to reach areas of the house. A vacuum is especially handy for quickly trapping pet hair and dander, making it great for spot cleaning and dust maintenance throughout the week.

Use doormats, take shoes off

Create a landing space for each entrance to your home, complete with a mat and somewhere to remove shoes and outerwear. This helps cut down on small dirt particles that come into the house on shoes and clothes. A mat with a rough texture is great for removing and trapping dirt and debris. Add a table or some hooks to complete the area and make it a space that naturally encourages everyone who enters your home to pause and put away shoes and belongings.

Keep on top of grooming

Dead skin cells and hair are a huge source of interior dust, and animals contribute their fair share. The best way to prevent pet dander and hair from accumulating on surfaces around the home is to take it off with a brush. Brush and bathe pets as needed to help your home stay clean and your furry friend feeling fresh.

Keep windows closed during poor air quality

During times of the year when there is a lot of dust, pollen, smoke or other particulates in the air, keep the windows shut if possible. This will cut down on the particulates that come inside.

Opt for hard-surface flooring

Carpet feels nice, but its fibers will inevitably trap a good amount of dust. Regular vacuuming will help combat this, but a hard-surface floor will always be easier to keep dust-free.

Cut down on textiles

Textiles are wonderful for home decor, but they’re also very good at accumulating dust and can be hard to clean. Try to strike a balance between making your home cozy but also easy to clean, and try to opt for washer-friendly textiles to make it easy to keep them fresh and clean.

Don’t stop at sweeping

Water is excellent at trapping dust and air particulates. After dusting and sweeping, spray a bit of water (or other liquid such as room freshener) to help trap dust that was kicked into the air during cleaning. Let it settle for a few minutes and mop the floors. This will help grab any remaining dust or particulates missed during dusting.

Declutter, tidy up

It’s much harder to stay clean if there is a lot of clutter around the home, especially if it is on the floor. The more knickknacks, clutter, nooks and crannies you have through your home, the more frequent and detailed dusting you will have to do.

Rachel Baker can be reached at (509) 459-5583 or

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