How to Dust
As I’ve mentioned before, regular dusting is essential to both prolong the life of your furniture and to remove allergens. You want a cloth with a fuzz or nap because dust adheres best to these. A clean, washable cloth of soft cottons, like a well-worn dish towel, a piece of flannel, cheesecloth or chamois are all excellent choices for dusting. Microfiber is also a good choice. No matter what you choose, make sure the cloth contains nothing to abrade or scratch furniture surfaces such as buttons, zippers, snaps, thick seams, thick buttonholes, or in the case of microfiber, nothing embedded in the fibers from a previous job. It’s best to keep cloths explicitly dedicated to dusting and not used for anything else. Don’t use materials that lint. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when dusting lacquered furniture as lacquered wood scratches easily.
We at Castle Keepers find dusting with a plain, slightly damp microfiber cloth mush superior to dusting with oils or sprays. “Damp dusting” is also much easier than dry dusting and more effective because it catches more dust. Dampen your choice of cloth lightly with water then ring tightly until almost dry. NEVER GET WOOD WET. The cloth should only be slightly damp enough to pick up the dust and keep it in the cloth but not wet enough to leave streaks of dissolved dirt.
If the furniture you want to clean has a rough surface, old paint, or splinters, try brushing with a soft artist’s brush to avoid any danger that a dusting cloth will snag. Do not use a stiff bristled brush.
If you prefer to use a “dusting aid,” a little goes a long way
If you prefer to use a “dusting aid,” a little goes a long way. Use just a drop of lemon oil or mineral oil on a dust cloth. Because oils leave a film, do not use oilcloths on the glass, china, etc., that may be dulled or smeared. Never use a treated or oiled cloth on paintings or other works of art or their frames. If you overdo it, oily films can also attract dust and hold it on furniture surfaces. Pick a dusting aid and stick with it – using a dusting oil over a silicone-based spray, or vice versa can leave streaks that take forever to buff out.
When dusting, use gentle, oval motions along the grain of the wood, with slight downward pressure to wipe off the dust. Turn or fold the cloth over as soon as the used portion of its surface shows an accumulation of dirt. Keep an ample supply of cloths on hand to change as soon as you no longer have a clean part of the cloth to use. Use only a fresh cloth to dust especially valuable, cherished or antique items. Lift, do not slide, objects such as lamps and knickknacks to dust under and around them. Avoid soiling upholstered surfaces adjoining wood furniture. Use a soft brush to get the dust off clawed furniture, and out of grooves, curlicues, scrolling, carvings, and cracks. Wash soiled dust cloths or other washable dusting tools after each use.
Some people swear by real ostrich feather dusters, but we haven’t had much luck with them. Damp dusting with a soft cloth or microfiber is much more efficient. Also, if a feather should break while you are dusting the sharp edge of the quill might scratch wood surfaces.
Caution: Never use a damp cloth on gilding or gold leaf on picture frames or furniture. These items should only be cleaned by a professional.
About Castle Keepers House Cleaning
Castle Keepers House Cleaning has been at the forefront of innovation and leadership among house cleaning professionals for years. The company pioneered environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning methods in residential cleaning. Castle Keepers is independently owned, not a franchise, with branches in Atlanta, GA, Charleston,, SC, Greenville, SC, Portland, OR, and Dayton, OH. To find out more about us, click here.