How to dust properly

Dustcloths can be cut from discarded clothing of soft cotton or wool. These fabrics absorb dust naturally and will not scratch furniture. Or you can buy a chemically treated cloth that attracts and holds the dust.

The cloth should be clean, otherwise dirt particles may scratch your furniture. Keep turning and folding it as you work so that dust is trapped inside and you are wiping with a clean surface. Shake it outdoors. If you use an oil- or wax-base polish, spray it lightly onto your dustcloth, not the furniture. Use an oil-base polish for oiled furniture, a wax-base for waxed.

For light dusting, especially of small objects and hard-to-reach places, use a duster with a handle and a fluffy lamb’s-wool head. This is better than a feather duster because wool attracts dust instead of whisking it around. To remove cobwebs from the ceiling, cover a mop with a dustcloth or use the long-wand and small-brush attachments of your vacuum cleaner.

It’s best to work from high places tops of bookcases and frames- to the lower ones-tables, chair rungs, and baseboards-to avoid settling dust on freshly cleaned surfaces.