The idea of dusty cobwebs are spooky-cool from October 1 until about midnight on October 31. After that, the sticky dust collector is back to being banished. Now, cobwebs are just abandoned spider homes, wisping and swaying in quiet crevices like tiny white flags of surrender. They’re easy to ignore and sometimes hard to spot initially …but once you know they’re there, you can’t unsee them. Here are the best and (worst) ways to cast out dust, cobwebs and critter carcasses collecting in your corners, top and bottom.
Doing dusting dirty: The feather duster
True, they will catch most cobwebs and spiderwebs but a traditional feather duster doesn’t really pick up much dust. Because dust is actually quite sticky, depending on the surface itself, and if there is any kind of humidity or moisture in the air. Actually, feather dusters mostly just disturb dust so it floats around in the air for a bit before settling right back down somewhere else. If you love a good feather duster, they’re best used for wiping webs from walls and textured surfaces since they won’t damage paint and do a decent job catching sticky webs that adhere to flat surfaces.
Best dust-and-web banisher: Vacuums
If you missed out on our handy vacuum cleaner guide, you can check that out here because when it comes to vacuum cleaners, accessories matter. You want two key accessories for effective dust and cobweb cleaning: A long nozzle tool and a brush tool. The long nozzle is awesome for hard-to-reach areas, while the brush tool combines bristles with vacuum power to get into corners and along window ledges. The brush tool also does a good job loosening up dust that might be sticking to surfaces. We love vacuuming up cobwebs and dust because it sucks everything up in one fell swoop – no sweeping that dust off one surface just to have to vacuum it up off the floor. Plus, if there are any tenants present in any of the webs and you really don’t like ‘em, you can deal with them easily and hands-free.
Pro-tip: If your vacuum cleaner comes with extra extension pieces, use ‘em to reach as high up as you can.
When height matters: Extendable microfibre dusters
Don’t get up on ladders to dust. For high-up places with high ledges, ceiling fans, and crown moldings, opt for an extendable duster with a microfibre cloth. You can dampen the cloth with a cleaning solution, or go dry. Downside to keep in mind: You have to wash the cloth dust collector after each use because a dirty duster won’t attract dust.
Pro-tip: Start with the high spots and work your way down. That way, you can vacuum up any dust that escaped the microfibre cloth and found its way onto lower surfaces.
Sticky situation: You’re not allergic to dust … you’re allergic to the teeny-tiny bugs living in the dust
So sorry to gross you out, but dust allergies affect millions of Canadians and maybe even someone in your own household. It’s worth understanding where dust allergies come from because they are no fun – it feels like having a perpetual cold, with red, watery, itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. It can even cause asthma.
“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
– T.S. Eliot
Dust allergies are actually an allergic reaction to dust mites, super-tiny bugs that are too small to see with the naked eye. They, ahem, eat your dead skin cells and live in your furniture, bedding, carpets and rugs. Cobwebs also come into play because webs are sticky by nature. They are nature’s best dust collector, attracting not only bigger bugs but dust mites, too.
Here are some tips from the Canadian Lung Association to reduce dust mites and curb dust allergies in bedrooms specifically:
- Vacuum bedrooms at least once per week, and get under those beds!
- Ditch fabric curtains and opt for blinds and shades, which you should dust and wash periodically
- Wash all your bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, blankets and duvet covers, bedskirts, pillows and mattress protectors in hot water at least once a week
- Vacuum your mattress regularly
- Keep humidity levels in your home below 50%
- Reduce the number of items in your home that collect dust, like stuffed animals and excess pillows
- Wash your pillows regularly and aim to replace your pillows once a year
- Invest in mite-resistant mattress and pillow covers
Hire a pro dust collector to wipe out dust build-up and webs
The best defense against dust and cobwebs is a strong offense, with regular dusting in all those corners and crevices that spiders love to spin in and then abandon for a more prime location. While dusting isn’t particularly difficult for the average person, it’s time-consuming and annoying. And if you face any kind of mobility challenges, dusting is not something you need to spend time and energy dealing with.
So don’t. Hire a weekly or biweekly home cleaning service to tear down those wispy spiderless shacks and kick out tenants in active webs as part of a regular and thorough cleaning routine. Make sure your cleaner uses one of the methods above to do your dusting and de-webbing for best results.
ICYMI: How to get rid of spider mites on plants
We’ve covered pest control using essential oils before, but if you’re all about banishing dust mites, you definitely want this DIY recipe for an all-natural spray to kill those nasty spider mites on indoor plants.
Mix 2 cups of water with 20-40 drops of pure peppermint oil and spritz on plant leaves