The Super-Gross Thing You Probably Need to Clean (Right This Instant)

published Nov 8, 2022
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With the holidays approaching, chances are you’re in (or at least thinking about) holiday cleaning mode. Maybe you’re preparing to bake a bunch of cookies! Maybe you’re getting ready to host guests. Maybe you have a check list of things you have to do. Maybe you’re just planning to wing it. Whatever the case, there’s one thing you should probably clean ASAP: your dusty air vents.

Why You Should Clean Your Vents ASAP

According to a recent TikTok posted by Ohio-based Groovy Cleaning Co, vacuuming the vents can help prevent dust from spreading, along with improving air quality in your home. Plus, removing all that debris can boost your A/C and heat’s efficiency and possibly cut down on utility bills (and help the environment). 

This tip feels especially relevant to me, since my vents are white to match my walls, and they quickly put dust and debris on display for all to see. I also have allergies, and I don’t want to be blowing dust and other allergens into the air my family breathes. Plus, as someone who’s extra sensitive to temperature, I basically always have my heat running during the freezing Wisconsin winters, and in the scorching summer months (yes, it gets hot here!) I like my house to feel a little chilly, especially at night. 

In the past, I’ve cleaned my vents with a microfiber cloth, but there may be an easier (and more effective) way to get the job done… with a vacuum’s hose attachment!

How to Clean Your Vents

I decided to combine my method with the one I came across on TikTok to make my vents extra clean. First, I turned off the A/C or heat so there was no air blowing through the vents when I cleaned. Then, I used the wand vac function on my Dyson cordless to suck up bigger debris. Finally, I wipe the vent and surrounding area down with a microfiber cloth to get smaller particles. (Pro tip: While a wet cloth might seem like a good idea, I’ve found it just spreads dirt around and makes it harder to clean.)

If you’re looking for a deeper clean, then you can also remove the vent cover with a screwdriver and clean it with soap and water in the sink. While the cover is drying, use your vacuum’s hose attachment or a wand vac to clean dust from the inside of the vent. Then, breathe easy, knowing you’re not blowing dusty air into your living (or cooking) space!