In my cleaning business, I would say that lack of dusting is the prime mess maker of a house. Dust combines with grease in kitchens and over time makes an inpenetrable goop that sticks to every surface, from cups to range tops to the outside of cupboards. To me, dusting my kitchen once a week is every bit as important as keeping up on the dishes and wiping down my counters. This includes the top of the fridge...you'd be amazed at what accumulates there...and the sides and tops of cupboard doors. I even dust the top of my washing machine and dryer, and the top of the water heater. It just seems to me that things work better if they're not bathed in dust.
Granted, I clean for people with
special needs, who often struggle with the organizational skills of
housework. It gives me first hand knowledge of a.) how much dust can
really accumulate in a house just in a month and b.) how much dust can
damage a house. I have seen dust rise like silt waves on walls behind
furniture and coat surfaces like a grey lint coat. And I've seen dust
bunnies that have transformed into some sort of under-the-bed ferile
rodents. When you consider that dust is actually a not-so-lovely combo
of hair, skin cells, dirt, and bacteria, and how it can affect the
breathing of those compromised with lung ailments such as asthma...well,
suddenly, dusting is not just a dainty, busy-work task for a little
maid with a feather duster.
The secrets of thorough, quick
dusting are to do it regularly and not to look for dust, but instead to
dust every surface as if it already IS dusty...whether you can see the
dust or not. I use Swiffers--the best invention to mankind--and try to
stay away from the furniture polish. (I know that there are waxy
buildup is supposedly a thing of the 1950s, but I'm still afraid that
my woodworker father will hear the hiss of that lemon-yellow aerosol
can from across town and come at the speed of sound, hurtling himself
onto my coffee table, braving putting his life on the line for
authentic varnished oak.)
So, I use Swiffers (honestly, this is
not some sort of product placement, honest), and I work from top to
bottom. I do all the upper corners, door frames and lightly brush the
walls. Mother-in-law, no smug smile and smeared white glove for you!
Working my way down, I then get to the tables, end-tables and seats of
chairs, paying especially close attention to the legs and backs of
chairs. As mentioned before, I do this religiously every week...every
Tuesday, as a matter of fact. Yes, I really am that Felix Unger-ish....
But you can see your reflection in my coffee tables, and that's a cheap thrill.