Older woman dusting her family photos.

How To Eliminate Dust: 20 Simple Tricks To Reduce And Prevent Dust And Dirt In Your Home

Jamie Johnson8-minute read
UPDATED: May 25, 2023

Dust and dirt are an inevitable part of homeownership. No matter how well you clean your house, it will continue to collect on the surfaces and in the corners of your home. But dust can cause health problems, especially for anyone dealing with seasonal allergies or asthma.

You may have heard that dust comes from dead skin cells, but that’s only a small part of the picture. The majority of dust in your home actually comes from pollen and other outdoor allergens.

If you’re living with young children, have pets that shed or spend a lot of time outdoors, dust will be an ongoing battle for you. So, while we can’t tell you how to eliminate dust, this guide will provide some strategies on minimizing the amount of dust in your house.

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How To Remove Dust From Your Home

To eliminate dust from your home, you need to know where it’s collecting. Some areas of your home will be messier and more prone to dust than others.

Once you’ve identified the source of the problem, start by wiping down the surfaces of your home from top to bottom once a week with a microfiber cloth or damp towel. This will help you collect and capture dust particles.

After you’ve dusted, run a vacuum cleaner over the carpets and rugs, and mop the hard-surface floors with a gentle cleaner or even just water. Replace sheets and pillowcases each week, and wash comforters, duvets, pillows and blankets monthly.

Let’s look at 20 tips for removing dust from your home.

1. Wipe Down Walls And Ceilings

You may be surprised to find that your current cleaning process could be re-introducing the dust back into the air for it to settle somewhere else. So, if you haven’t updated your cleaning products and tools in a few years, it may be time to upgrade to something more effective.

Microfiber towels are a great way to clean up the dust without disturbing it to the point it gets blown around. If you don’t have microfiber cloths, a regular damp cloth will also do the trick.

Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down the walls and ceilings, starting from the top and working your way down. Cleaning from top to bottom ensures that dust particles don’t fall from the ceiling onto lower surfaces that have already been cleaned.

2. Dust Furniture – And Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can be a major magnet for dust, and they can be a pain to clean so most people don’t do it regularly. Since the dust collects for long periods of time, you can end up with a big mess when you finally do clean your ceiling fans.

To avoid this, try cleaning fan blades with old pillowcases. Stick the pillowcase around the fan blade and then pull it off, wiping the dust so it falls into the pillowcase instead of onto your bed or the floor.

Dust can also collect on the furniture, and the best way to stay on top of it is by cleaning regularly. Come up with a weekly schedule for wiping down furniture and removing the dust.

3. Brush Blinds And Clean Curtains

Your blinds and curtains are great for privacy and blocking out light, but they also tend to harbor a lot of dust and dirt. To dust your blinds, close them completely so the slats are facing downward.

From there, you can wipe the blinds from top to bottom with a microfiber towel. You can also use a vacuum cleaner attachment on a low setting to clean the dust from the windows.

Then flip the slats in the opposite direction and repeat the process. You can either vacuum, wash, or steam curtains.

4. Vacuum Weekly

Weekly vacuuming is an important part of managing the dust and dirt in your home, especially if you have a lot of carpet in your house. Vacuum the bedrooms and main living areas at least once a week. You may want to vacuum more frequently during allergy season.

However, your vacuum can also exacerbate the problem if it's blowing dust around instead of sucking it up. To avoid this problem, get a vacuum with a HEPA filter that will capture even the smallest dust particles.

5. Shake Out Your Rugs

One of the best ways to remove dust from your rugs is by taking them outside and shaking them out. You can also use a rug beater, which is more effective at getting rid of dust and dirt than vacuuming.

6. Mop Hardwood And Tile Floors Regularly

If you have mostly hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, you’ll want to add regular mopping to your cleaning schedule. Start by sweeping the entire area and getting rid of as much dirt and debris as possible. If you skip sweeping up, you’ll likely just push the dirt around once you begin mopping.

Once you’re removed any excess debris, you can mop the floor with a clean microfiber towel and cleaning solution. Mopping regularly will keep your floors clean and make your home look nicer.

7. Utilize A Humidifier

Using a humidifier can be useful during the winter months when the air tends to be dry and contribute to health issues. A humidifier adds moisture to the air which prevents dryness and unnecessary respiratory issues. Just make sure you research different types of humidifiers to find the one that’s best for you.

8. Keep Your Home’s Humidity In Check

It’s important to regularly check and monitor the humidity levels in your home and to keep them within the optimal ranges. When the humidity levels are too high, it can cause dehydration and affect the quality of your sleep. High humidity levels can also lead to mold, which can cause health problems.

But low humidity can be a problem as well – it can cause static electricity and dry skin and hair. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping humidity levels between 30% and 50%.

9. Purify The Air

If you or one of your family members deals with allergies or has a respiratory condition, using an air purifier can help. An air purifier can help reduce dust and improve the air quality in your home.

They do this by capturing the dust that pollutes the air and causes health problems. However, this can be a significant investment so make sure you do your research first. And an air purifier should be used in conjunction with your regular cleaning and dusting routine.

10. Avoid Carpeting

If you want to reduce the amount of dust in your home, eliminating carpet may be the best way to do it. Carpeting harbors a lot of dust and releases it into the air every time you walk on it.

Of course, replacing your carpeting with hardwood floors can get expensive. Here is a list of alternative floor types that collect less dust:

  • Laminate
  • Vinyl
  • Tile
  • Bamboo
  • Rubber flooring
  • Concrete

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11. Switch Sheets Each Week

You sleep on your sheets every night, and this causes dust mites to collect in the bedding. That’s why it’s a good idea to clean your bedding at least once a week.

Remove all pillowcases, mattress pads and comforters and wash them using a mild detergent. Your pillows need to be washed periodically too – you can do this in the washing machine, by hand or you can take them to the dry cleaners.

12. Zip Up Fabrics

Once spring arrives, it’s a good idea to store those sweaters and other winter clothes. Store any unused clothes, bedding and pillows in vacuum-seal or regular garment bags. When you store clothing and bedding you don’t expect to use for a while, it’s not just sitting around your house collecting dust.

13. Tidy Up Closets

Another way to reduce dust in your home is by cleaning out your closets and keeping them tidy. The more items you have sitting around, the more opportunity there is for dust to build up.

Start by going through your wardrobe and getting rid of any items that you no longer wear. You can donate your unwanted clothes or sell them on sites like eBay or Etsy.

Once you’ve reduced the number of items in your closet, you can begin organizing everything. But it’s not enough to just clean and organize your closet once – make sure you come up with a plan to keep it organized going forward. 

14. Edit The Clutter

If you have piles of books, paper and other clutter sitting around your house, this is contributing to the dust in your home. If your home has become overrun with stuff, it may be time for you to declutter.

Start by identifying one area that is a source of clutter in your home – books, papers, clothes and sentimental items are the biggest issues for most people. Start by tackling one category and getting rid of anything you don’t need or enjoy.

15. Replace Air Filters

It’s important to regularly replace your air filters, especially during the winter months. Replacing your furnace filter is relatively inexpensive and an easy way to cut down on dust. Most manufacturers recommend changing your HVAC and furnace filters every 3 months but changing them every 30 days will have the biggest impact.

16. Pamper Your Pet

If you have pets, it’s important to get them groomed regularly. This is especially important for dogs that go outside a lot and track dirt and dust through the house. Regular grooming can also help reduce the amount of pet hair in your home.

If you don’t want to pay for your pets to be professionally groomed, make it a point to bathe and brush your pets at least once a week. And if you have a cat, using a covered litter box will reduce the dust in your home as well.

17. Keep Windows Closed

There are few things more enjoyable than opening the windows on a beautiful spring day. But most of the dust in your home comes from the outdoors. So, if you want to minimize the dust and allergens in your home, it’s better to keep the windows and doors closed as often as possible.

18. Add A Doormat

Another way to minimize dust is by adding high-quality exterior and interior doormats. That way, guests can wipe the dirt and dust off their shoes before entering your home.

19. Remove Your Shoes

In some parts of the country, it’s considered rude to walk into someone’s home with your shoes on. That’s because most of the dirt and dust that enters your home comes in on somebody’s shoes.

Implement a no-shoes policy in your home for your family and any guests that are visiting. You can offer clean slippers to guests who may be uncomfortable walking around your home barefoot.

20. Throw Out Throw Pillows

Another way to reduce dust is by limiting the number of textiles in your home – that includes things like throw pillows, blankets and drapes. Fabric creates and traps a lot of dust, so reducing textiles will minimize the amount of dust you have to deal with.

And every time you vacuum, make sure you use the attachments and run them over your furniture. If your furniture has removable cushions, periodically take them outside and shake them out to get rid of the dust.

If the dust in your home is really bothering you, you might consider choosing dust-resistant furniture materials like leather or vinyl.

The Bottom Line

You’ll never completely get rid of the dust in your home, but by implementing the strategies we outlined in this article, you can greatly reduce it. Reducing the dust in your home will make your house look nicer and will greatly improve the air and your family’s quality of life.

Once you’ve conquered the dust in your house, you may be motivated to tackle other home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. Be sure to look at this home maintenance checklist for ideas before getting started.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about a variety of personal finance topics, including loans, building credit, and paying down debt. She currently writes for clients like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Insider, and Bankrate.