4 Items That Should Be Washed, Not Dusted

published Apr 12, 2023
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

One thing I don’t love about my new home is that it gets dustier than our old place — and it seems to happen faster than ever. Fingers crossed most of it is due to the renovations we were having done, but I suspect that some of it is because the house is older, bigger, and has carpeting. 

Since dusting is one of the most tedious chores there is and since the dust has such a big impact on whether a space looks and feels dirty, I obviously wasn’t thrilled to discover I’d have to dust more often. 

One day, as I was dusting the special things on my dresser (a collection which consists of a meaningful decorative perfume bottle, a porcelain flower sculpture, another porcelain jewelry bowl with a lid, and glass flowers, among other little things), I realized that there was a better way than running my Swiffer over them or wiping them down with my dusting glove

Because the items are so intricate, my regular methods don’t work so well and these kinds of possessions never seem to get truly clean. Then it dawned on me: I could rinse them off. This was the best way to slough off the dust. I gently brought my treasures to the sink, set out a towel on the counter, rinsed them, and left them out to air dry. When I put them back on my dresser, they were cleaner than I’d ever seen them. 

I was excited to think of the other things I could wash instead of dust. Think how much I could cut down on my dusting time! Here are four things I came up with that would be better rinsed than dusted: 

  • Plants. Plants benefit from a shower every now and then. Not only does it give them a good soaking, but it also washes all their leaves, which helps with both dust and pest control. You can run your plants outside when it’s going to rain or you can gather them in your shower and rinse them off that way. 
  • Artificial plants. Most of these you can’t fully soak. If the plant materials allow you to wet them, fill a sink or bin with water and overturn your artificial plant into the water. Gently shake and then set out to dry, in the sun if possible. For really stubborn dust (like artificial plants that are coated in grease and dust from proximity to the stove, for instance), add a few drops of dish soap to the water. 
  • Vases and other decor. Decor items that are decorating your bookshelves or coffee table, for instance, may also be washed instead of dusted. Of course, you wouldn’t do this every time you dust, but periodically, it would be a quick way to dust super thoroughly. 
  • Glass light fixture globes. I love the look of these, but I do not love how often I have to dust them. You can get away with dusting opaque fixtures less often, but as I know from experience, dusty clear glass fixtures are… not pretty. Particularly if they’re in the kitchen and affected by the sticky dust that happens there, washing them is far more effective than merely dry dusting. Turn off the lights, remove the globes, and gently wash in warm, soapy water. They’ll sparkle and you’ll love them more than ever. 

What other items do you wash instead of dust? Share it in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 4 Items You Should Really Wash Instead of Dust