How to: Chemical-Free Dusting

Raise your hand if you use a dusting spray.

My hand would have been up, WAY UP a couple of years ago.  The aerosol dusting spray can and I were best friends forever.  My sister is probably nodding her head as she reads this.  We shared a bedroom and not once did she have to dust.  I was all over it.  And the spray was all over our room.

But then I stopped.  Not dusting.  Just spraying dusting spray.

spray bottle

Martin and I were gathering cleaning supplies here in Germany several years ago, and I needed to find dusting spray.  “No one uses that stuff here,” Martin told me.

I ignored him like all new wives do when their husbands offer cleaning advice.  How else would Germans dust?

I kept looking for spray.  We finally found some… and get this – the bottles were completely covered in dust!  No one was buying them.

berlin kitchen

Now I use a damp rag to dust everything.

I’m skipping the nasty spray bottle and fancy equipment, and I’m finding better success than I ever thought possible.  I’ll never reach for the bottle again.

The key is to wring out the rags really well so they’re just slightly damp.  That way you won’t leave water behind and damage your wood or leave water marks.  When they get really dusty, I rinse out my rag in the sink.  (Sometimes I have to use two rags.)  My rags are nothing but an old towel that I ripped up.

I’ve heard of people doing chemical-free dusting with microfiber cloths.  I haven’t ever seen something like that in Germany, and I like having one less cleaning thing to squeeze under the sink since old towels serve so many purposes.

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I’m not sure how surprised I was this last summer when we were moving some of my old furniture – you know, the furniture I dusted until the cows came home as a kid.  The wood was all kind of greasy.  It felt like dirty hair.  The grease was my dusting spray.

For more green cleaning tips, check out these posts: Green cleaning, Avoiding a moldy washing machine, Repurposing cleaners you don’t use, and Removing water stains.

So what do you say?  What are some tricks you’ve learned about keeping the house dust-free?

First Image from Flickr)