Spring Cleaning – Dust or Vacuum First?

March 3, 2011 by  

Cleaning Debate Here We Come!


What do you do?  Do you Dust or Vacuum first when you are cleaning?

Hasn’t that been one of the long standing debates?  Kind of like the chicken or the egg.

When dust, the dust that doesn’t stick to the dust cloth falls down onto the floor.  (So then you can suck it up by the vacuum right?

But…. when you vacuum, it stirs up dust and makes things dustier.

So – Which do you do first?  If you dust first, the vacuum will pick up the dust that falls on the floor. But when you vacuum, it stirs up dust and then you need to dust?

Which do you think I do first? hmmmm…. you’ll have to read and see.


Dust… ewww….   how can you watch one of those 60 Minute TV shows on dust mites and ever look at dust the same way again?  lol  It’s much easier not to think about that isn’t it?

I’m sure not all of your homes get this dusty, but I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. I have two dogs, carpet and seven people in the house. All of those add up to dust. It doesn’t matter that the windows have not been open, and no one has been digging a foundation right near my house in dry weather stirring up all the dust. It’s just life.


When I dust, I prefer to use a spray cleaner.

dustingI’m not endorsing Endust. I usually use it, but I’ll also use other products.  You pick what ever product you like to dust with, it makes no never-mind to me (that reminds me of my Grandmother talking… lol)

I prefer to spray the Endust directly onto the dust cloth, not the furniture. Why? Because that is how my Momma taught me.  Simple as that.


Dust away…..


Doesn’t it look great after you have dusted?  Are you a good duster?  Do you always dust the entire piece of furniture, down the legs, behind it… the sides?  Or are you a surface duster?  Me…. I tend to me a little in between.  I probably lean more on the side of surface dusting on most days. What about you?


Dogs?  Sometimes I wonder why in the world I have them.  Their dog hair (Sadies’ fur) gets everywhere.  Their dander creates so much dust and dirt, there are those occasional accidents (Gizzy) and muddy paws.  But the love, licks, and smiles you get from them every time they see you is worth it (I think)

This shot is of a little end table that is right between the wall and the couch. The green basket is the dogs toy basket, you can see (not only one of their toys, but some ear phones) all the dog hair and dirt on the carpet and edging.


How about these stairs.

dirty stairs

Look at that baseboard along the stairs. and all the dog hair stuck in the edges of the carpet.

Yes… Vacuuming is essential.

vacuumingHere is another question for you.  Do you like the lines in your carpet after you have vacuumed?  I have a good friend who says she gets upset when her kids come in and ruin the lines in the carpet, from the vacuum cleaner.   Does the carpet feel cleaner when there are lines?  I think that is what the represent to me. “Freshly vacuumed carpet”


When you vacuum, do you go in the same pattern?  Do your lines have to be straight?  Aren’t these fun questions?

To answer my own question, I vacuum first and then dust.  Again, that is what my mom taught me to do.

I’d love to see your dusting/vacuuming or spring cleaning tip! Blog about them and then come back and

link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !!

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!!

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22 Responses to “Spring Cleaning – Dust or Vacuum First?”
  1. Jennifer says:

    I chuckled at the end when you said, “that is what my mom taught me to do” because I was already planning on answering I dust first because that is what my mom taught me to do. My kids have learned to dust first also since that is what their mom has taught them to do.
    I think we have the same carpet on our stairs. That picture looks like you took it in my house!

  2. Sandy says:

    lol Do you have dogs too? omg… some days I think.. I just want to get rid of them and have a cleaner house. But… I love them too much and the second I’d get rid of them, I’d be out looking for a puppy. So it is just one of those things I have to not beat myself up over, and just do the best with the dog hair.

  3. Robyn :) says:

    My mom taught me to dust first, then vaccuum. In my current house we have one area rug and then all hardwood floors. So it is dust first, then mop floors LOL.

    My mom and dad also taught me to spray the dust cloth with Endust, but I use swiffers now, no sprays.

  4. Cindy says:

    Like your, my mom taught me to dust first then vacuum. It wasn’t until I started cleaning other peoples homes that I learned to dust first then vacuum. The reason this is done is so that you are not leaving your foot prints on the carpet after you have vacuumed. When vacuuming you do it from the corner and work your way out of the room. While doing hardwood/tile/vinyl floors I always sweep, vacuum and then mop. For dusting I only use a damp rag, no sprays. Then for windows/mirror get you a glass rag! They are the best no streaks and you only use water.
    It’s funny when you clean another persons home how you come home and see things you missed while doing your own home.

  5. Sandy says:

    Very good points Cindy! I’ve never heard of a glass rag, I’ll have to look into that.

  6. Shawna Bates says:

    Im not picky about vaccum lines. Im just happy when the house is vaccumed! My only little tip that pertains to dust is, if you can find a duster made of ostrich feathers they are fantastic!! they hold the dust so well. Also the swiffer dusters do a good job…of course this is for those in between days when you aren’t trying to get down to the nity gritty!

  7. Sandy says:

    Thanks Shawna for the tip! I’ve never heard that about the ostrich feathers. Heck… ostrich feathers, glass rags… I’m learning lots from you all

  8. Nina says:

    I dunno seems weird because if you vacuum then dust what happens to the dust and sometimes depending on the season even cobwebs that gets one the other areas where you’ve just vacuumed and that have trickled down to the floor? It has been better I have seen when you dust first then vacuum getting everything that remained.

  9. Nancy Rose says:

    Thank you for your free tips. They make sense to me. I can tell these are house cleaners and know what they do.

  10. Stacey says:

    When I was a kid, my mom taught me to vacuum first, then dust. Back then, we all had vacuum cleaners with bags in them, and the dust from the zippered vac bag would billow out when the vacuum was turned on. Nowadays, with all the bagless vacs, especially like Dyson, etc. there isn’t that problem. I will vacuum first, wait awhile (10min. or so), then go back and dust with a damp microfiber cloth. So far, so good!

  11. Sandy says:

    Thanks Stacey. True about the bag vs bagless vacuums.

  12. Joe Stallings says:

    My wife and I are having the ‘dust vs vacuum’ debate (which is how I found your forum). I’m surprised at what I’ve read so far. I was taught the vacuum cleaner spewed dust far and wide, so you naturally vacuum first, and then dust. Maybe that idea is a bit outdated now, with hepa filters on the newer model vacuums. The bottom line, for me anyway, is that I doubt either way is perfect. There is always the possibility of dropping dust bunnies on the floor while dusting, and any vacuum cleaner is going to make some dust. It’s what they do. — What I do is sweep the hard floors, then take the broom and sweep the 2″ of carpet next to the baseboard, and the baseboard. Gretting those corners clean makes a huge difference in the floor’s appearance, and it’s surprising how much can be removed with a good broom. Then, of course, vacuum it all up.

    Thanks for the info!

  13. Jessica says:

    Why don’t we just start vacuuming, dusting, then vacuuming again?

  14. Debbie says:

    The reason for spraying the cloth instead of the furniture is to avoid using wasting product, which can get everywhere, including on your carpet or floor — if it’s a hard surface floor it gets VERY slippery. My homemaking teacher taught us that in the ’70s (1970’s, not 1870’s, of course).

  15. My mom taught me to do the same. First vacuuming then dusting. Unfortunately I usually first dusting. In my opinion this way I clean faster…. I know there is no reason to think that it is faster. I just think I am faster if I dust the furniture first. Thank you for sharing your post! Keep posting!

  16. I’m with you. I dust first then vacuum. The dust from the furniture can be push off to the carpet/floor to be caught in the vacuum. Plus most vacuum cleaners nowadays have filters in them to prevent the dust from blowing back into the room.

  17. maggie says:

    I’ve always dusted, then vacuumed. We live on a farm and burn wood in the winter so dust is a constant battle here. I either dust with a damp rag (or the brush attachment for the vacuum if I’m not interested in polishing the furniture), then vacuuming the carpet. I never use the vacuum on hardwood or vinyl flooring because it always seems to throw junk everywhere. I use a broom, gently!, then follow up with a damp microfiber rag attached to my old swiffer handle and mop pad. Works great!

  18. Luci says:

    I was always taught to clean from the edges in. I take a broom and sweep across baseboards (and occasionally crown molding) and the space between the carpet and baseboards to brush the dust/dirt inwards. Then I vacuum rugs and swifter/dust mop floors and then dust. Yes, I am somewhat a surface duster and then I have my crazy nesting days where I dust top, sides, legs etc. Last I steam clean my tile floors using only the steam – NO SOAP. Soap gets into the grout joints which attracts dirt and eventually makes them look awful. I always try to seal grout joints after a new tile job to help prevent that from happening in the future. Well, time to get off my duff and do my housework toodles

  19. barbara says:

    Great post. I agree with your opinion. I think that a multi-surface vacuum cleaner is essential for cleaning the entire home. This type of vacuum cleaner cleans everything likes floors, carpets, pet hair, upholstery etc. Thanks for nice sharing.

  20. Amaza says:

    great points! I have never heard of a glass rag, I will have to look into that.

  21. Thank you for your post. Most dust settles on the floor and other surfaces, but not all of it.

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