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Should You Dust or Vacuum First?

Some people may think that this is a simple question, but it’s not. You’re here because this has been nagging you for some time. So, should you vacuum or dust first? The simple answer is that you need to dust the house first before vacuuming.

Once you finish dusting, take your vacuum and pick up all dust from the floor or carpet. Some vacuums also have attachments that you can use to remove dust from above-floor surfaces – walls, ceilings, upholstery, stairs, and furniture.

However, if your vacuum stirs up dust or lacks a sealed filtration system, then you must vacuum first then dust. A proper filtration system should trap all the dust inside the vacuum and not blow it back into the air.

In this article, we tell you why you should dust first before vacuuming. Also, we’ll let you know the main sources of dust and how to keep it away from your home.

Sources of Dust in Homes

Among the many pollutants and allergens, dust is the most common. Besides, once it accumulates for long, the items in the house including clothes will become too dirty – an eyesore to you and your visitors.

Also, lots of dust can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, colds, and congestion.

Why is there too much dust in your house? There are a few reasons why whenever you swipe your finger on the table it picks up dust.

Dust from outside

Dust presents itself as fine particles and is can be a single substance or a mix of soil particles, dead skin, tiny hairs, clothing fiber, pollen, bacteria, dust mites, and tiny pieces of dead bugs or plastic.

Based on some studies done in the state of Arizona, researchers discovered that up to 60 percent of dust comes from outside. This dust finds its way into your home through open windows, doors, and air vents. However, it’s very hard to prevent dust from outside settling on your furniture, floors, and so on.

For proper aeration, it’s good to open your doors and windows from time to time. This is the reason why you have to find other ways of removing the dust from the air. A good air purifier should do the trick.

Some of it sticks on clothes and shoes

Whenever you come back from outside, you may bring in dust and dirt that has settled on your clothes. Also, dirt and dust tend to stick to the soles. So, if you don’t use the doormat properly, some dust will find its way into the house.

Then, if you have an air conditioning system, the dust will be agitated as the air is circulated. The dust floats around before settling on surfaces. However, if your AC has a HEPA filter, you are less likely to experience this.

Use of an ionizer

If you have an ionizer in your home, you are very likely to see lots of dust on surfaces. Ionizers work by producing negative ions that bind to airborne particles such as dust and pollen. This makes them heavy and they fall on the floor and other surfaces such as shelves and furniture.

The best thing to do is to have the ionizer work for specific durations and not 24/7.

How to Minimize Dust in Your Home

Apart from sticking on your furniture, laptop keyboards, remote controls, drapes, windowsills, and countertops, dust can cause issues such as allergies. So, you can try to reduce the amount of dust by doing this:

  • Close your doors and windows
  • Use a microfiber duster to reach tight spots
  • If you can, avoid using an ionizer
  • Use HEPA-standard air purifiers and HVAC systems
  • Regularly check the filter and clean it or replace it if worn out
  • Take off your shoes at the door

For a consistently clean house, I suggest you dust and vacuum at least once a week. If you live in a dusty neighborhood, you can do it twice a week.

How to Properly Dust Your House

To ensure that no dust remains behind, employ a top-to-bottom approach. Before vacuuming, dust the house from the ceiling down to the baseboards following this order:

  1. Ceiling
  2. Ceiling fans
  3. Walls
  4. Stair railings (if any)
  5. Doors and their frames
  6. Windows
  7. Window sills
  8. Electronics
  9. Furniture
  10. Baseboards

After you finish dusting, you can now start vacuuming. By the way, I’m assuming that your vacuum cleaner is in good shape, with a tightly sealed filtration system. If not, dust may still be blown out. You can check out some of the best Shark vacuums that have HEPA filters and an Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology.


Should I dust or vacuum first? That is a question we get a lot. If you have read through today’s post, you can see that we prefer dusting then vacuuming. However, if your vacuum tends to stir up dust and dirt, you are better off vacuuming first then dusting.

All in all, ensure that you dust and vacuum your house at least once a week, and you will hardly notice dust on top of your furniture or electronics. This YouTube video by Assured Comfort has a few more tips:

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