Getting rid of dust might seem simple but it’s actually tricky business. Composed of various substances such as plant pollen, “dead” human skin cells, animal hairs, and soil, dust particles are extremely fine and can thus easily get into nooks and crannies. What’s more, because of its lightness, it scatters quickly and can coat surfaces within just a few hours.

The good thing about dust is that it’s easy to remove, in general. There’s no need for special cleaners or fancy tools to clean your dusty shelves. However, you definitely need the right kind of duster to effectively clean different areas or surfaces. In fact, professional cleaners have different kinds of dusters that they use to handle different kinds of dusting jobs. Here’s a quick list so you can familiarise yourself with popular types of dusters, as well as how and where to use them.

Feather Dusters

Feather dusters are considered the least effective for regular dusting. This is because they don’t pick up dust but rather just push it off a surface. However, feather dusters are the perfect tools for cleaning delicate items like glass figurines or intricate picture frames.

For a truly effective feather duster, choose one that’s made with ostrich down feathers. Ostriches have thick, soft down, which can effectively capture dust instead of just moving it around. The fibres of ostrich down are also flexible, which means they can reach even tight corners and tiny crevices. Do note that ostrich feather dusters are quite expensive. Still, with the quality results you get from them, every cent you spend will be worth it.

Natural Fibre Dusters

Feather dusters are also natural fibre dusters because they’re derived from animals. Aside from feathers, other natural fibres that can be used for dusting are cotton and lambswool. The latter is a particularly good material for dusting, as it naturally contains lanolin and is thus excellent in attracting and trapping dust. Lambswool is also incredibly flexible, thanks to its elastic inner cortex with cuticle layers composed of overlapping scales. These scales are what trap the dust particles. Finally, the scales have an epicuticle or outer layer that prevents abrasions on even the most delicate surfaces.

The downside of natural fibre dusters is that they’re quite expensive and less sustainable. Thankfully, there are now man-made fibres that mimic the characteristics of natural filaments.

Microfibre Dusters

Microfibre is one of the most effective materials for dusting. The structure of each filament features deep grooves or cavities, which pick up not just dust but also moisture droplets. What’s even better is that microfibre is highly durable. You can wash it hundreds of times using warm water and mild detergent without affecting its capability of picking up dust and grime. What’s more, microfibre dusters can be used for both dry and wet cleaning.

The key thing to remember about microfibre dusters is that you shouldn’t use fabric softeners, since these can clog the grooves in the fibres. What’s more, don’t wash microfibre with cotton items since the lint will cling to the filaments. Finally, be sure to use clean microfibre for delicate surfaces. If you use a dirty one, the trapped dust and dirt in the filaments can cause scratches.

Compressed Air Dusters

Electronics, particularly computer keyboards, are notorious dust magnets. Your best bet in getting dust off from every nook and cranny of your electronic gadgets and appliances is a can of compressed air. Also called canned air, compressed air dusters shoot pressurised air out of a nozzle. This stream of air blows away the dust; you can also attach thin tubes to the nozzle if you want to target smaller spaces. After getting the dust out, you can use other types of dusters to finish the job.

Before buying a can of compressed air, make sure to check that it doesn’t contain greenhouse gases. You should also turn off and unplug electronics before cleaning and make sure to aim towards the part you want to dust off. It’s also ideal to wear protective equipment such as goggles and a mask so that the flying dust particles don’t enter your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Vacuum Dusters

You can’t simply pat or shake off upholstery, carpets, and sheets to remove deep-seated dust. Not only is this ineffective, but it can also scatter dust around and make things even messier. It might even trigger allergic reactions. For this kind of job, vacuum dusters are the best solution. Handheld ones are ideal, since they’re lighter and easier to control.

Make sure to use the right attachments so as not to damage the fabrics. Brush attachments with long, soft bristles are perfect for carpets with deep naps. You can also use smaller brushes with telescoping handles to dust off electronics, especially those with plenty of corners and grooves.

With the right kind of duster in your hands, you can improve your cleaning routine at home and in the office. Keep this list in mind and you’ll soon be a dust-busting pro.