You can’t avoid having to dust — two of the biggest components are skin cells and fabric bits — but you can reduce the amount you have to do. Donna Smallin, author of “The One-Minute Cleaner Plain & Simple: 500 Tips for Cleaning Smarter, Not Harder” offers some suggestions:
Dust cloth or duster? Instead of using your husband’s old T-shirt or a mod feather duster, use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth to capture dust. Microfiber dusters, with loops or strips of microfiber to trap even more dust, also come in various shapes and lengths for reaching blinds and ceiling fans. If you don’t use microfiber, dampen your cloth. Damp microfiber cloths are excellent cleaners — a mirror will come out streak- and dirt-free without any cleaning solution.
Wet or dry mop? A damp mop will clean better than a dry one, but water is hard on some surfaces, such as wood. Microfiber mops come in both dry and wet varieties. And although it may sound like overkill, if you dry-mop your wood floors every day, you’ll pretty much nip dust in the bud stage.
Which comes first, vacuuming or dusting? Smallin prefers vacuuming first because vacuums can blow around small dust particles, which you can get rid of by dusting post-vacuuming. But the many dust-first aficionados point out that gravity is on their side; even lightweight dust will eventually end up on the floor, where you can vacuum it up after you dust.
Vacuuming matters. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps more of the tiny stuff, and run it once a week on high-traffic areas.
Stop it before it starts. Change the air filters in your heat and air-conditioning system once a month or even more often.