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Ever wondered which is the right way to clean your home? Should you vacuum or dust first?

And does it make a difference anyways?

Both are meant to tackle the bane of all housekeepers – dust! But each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

So here’s the breakdown of why the sequence matters and how to optimize the way you clean your home with these two different methods!

Should You Vacuum Or Dust First?

So do you vacuum or dust first? The answer is dust first, and vacuum after. Because dusting lifts and moves dust from the surfaces they are resting on, and into the air. Eventually, they will settle on another surface. You should aim to get them on the floor, where you can just suck them up with the vacuum!

As a rule of thumb, always dust higher surfaces first, then work your way to lower surfaces. If you start with lower surfaces first, they’ll just get dirty again when you dust the higher surfaces later.


If you happen to own a very old vacuum model that has a tendency to kick up dust as you’re vacuuming, it would make sense to dust after vacuuming then.

And it might be time to look into replacing the filter (or the whole vacuum itself – why not a cordless vacuum cleaner?). HEPA filters are the best in the market.

Vacuums Are Good For Getting Dust And Other Small Debris Off The Floor And Carpets
Vacuums Are Good For Getting Dust And Other Small Debris Off The Floor And Carpets – Photo credits to Anete Lusina (Pexels)

Dust Furniture Or Vacuum First?

Based on the same notion as what was explained earlier, it’s better to dust furniture first.  And vacuum right after.

Choosing to vacuum first, and dust furniture after is  a waste of your energy as you may end up having to clean twice:

Dusting your furniture will inevitably leave dust on your newly-vacuumed floors. Which leaves you with 2 choices – either vacuum again or leave the dust there.

We don’t think you want to do either of those things so really, the only viable option is to dust first, and then vacuum so you will remove as much dust with as little energy as possible.

Yay for higher efficiency!

Why You Should Vacuum And Dust

Keeping your house presentably clean is more than just looks:

Anyone who suffers from allergies from pet dander or hayfever will better understand the significance of keeping the dust in your home under control!

Too much dust will have an effect on your sinus, resulting in constant sneezing, congestion or overproduction of mucus.

Vacuuming and dusting your home regularly will prevent this! And as a bonus, who doesn’t enjoy living in a neat and tidy home?

Dust Your Home Regularly To Keep Dust At Bay
Dust Your Home Regularly To Keep Dust At Bay – Photo credits to Karolina Grabowska (Pexels)

Where Does All The Dust Come From?

Dust can come from anywhere:

  • A busy road outside your home
  • Hair and skin cells you and your household shed daily (yuck, but true)
  • Plant pollen that gets in from the outdoors
  • Poop from dust mites (double yuck)
  • Fibers from your clothes, furniture, or carpet, etc

And it usually doesn’t take long for dust to creep up:

If you care to look around you now, you’ll probably spot a collection of dust on ledges, the top of your TV or PC, shelves, decor, etc – All areas that are commonly overlooked as we go about our day.

And it can build up faster depending on the area you live in.

How Often Should You Be Dusting/ Vacuuming?

Don’t wait until you start sneezing to start cleaning! Arrest the issue before it begins by dusting and vacuuming your home at least once a week.

Twice if you have higher cleaning standards and for the areas of your home that see high traffic.

You might even want to clean more often if you live in a dusty area (I.e. highly populated city, near a highway, industrial area, etc).

How To Maintain A Clean Home

You can upkeep a clean home with frequent speed cleaning sessions too:

These can be under 30 minutes and limited to accessible areas including shelves at and below eye level, as well as electronics.

Clean different areas of your home, one day at a time!

Although eventually, a deep cleaning session that’s more thorough is necessary every couple of months.

Deep Cleaning Your Home

When we say deep cleaning, we mean moving heavy furniture to get behind them, and getting out the ladder to dust the fans, or the top of the fridge and doors!

And if you really want to go the extra mile, you can dust one final time after you vacuum to pick up any dust that escaped.

This is also a good time to get the mop out. Don’t know which mop is best? Or if you should vacuum or mop first?

Dust Mop On Hardwood Floors
Dust Mop On Hardwood Floors – Photo credits to Pixabay (Pexels)

What To Use To Dust Your Home

Something as simple as a damp cloth will be effective as a duster. Microfiber dusters also work well (if you want a zero-waste option, look into wool dusters) to pick up dust.

Dust mops and retractable dusters exist too and are highly convenient to reach high places and cover more area faster.

For electronics, a can of compressed air will get dust out of those nooks and crannies! There are also dust mite vacuum cleaners specifically meant for cleaning mattresses and other upholstered furniture.

Other Tips:

  • Turn off the fan before dusting
  • Don’t forget to dust the leaves of your houseplants! A blow-dryer can get dust off without harming the plants
  • Empty that vacuum dust container – a full dust container decreases the efficiency of your vacuum cleaner
  • You will waste less energy by using a systematic approach when dusting or vacuuming. Don’t just zig zag the vacuum any which way. Work in straight lines to cover your imaginary grid of your home.
  • Reduce the amount of pet fur in your home by brushing your pet regularly
  • Some vacuums come with dust attachments – USE THEM. And you’ll be able to dust and vacuum at the same time!


Is it better to vacuum or dust first? Ask most cleaning experts or experienced housewives (and househusbands) and they’ll probably say dust first, vacuum after.

Do keep in mind though that while cleaning your home isn’t rocket science, it’s all about increasing your efficiency and regular upkeep! As covered in this post!

If you really don’t like the sound of regular upkeep, it might be worthwhile to invest in a robot vacuum cleaner. See our top recommendations for robot vacuum cleaners.


Janice is the founder & editor for Wanted to be an author as a kid, got a D in English (First Language), but somehow now a content writer with an engineering background. Bakes, does yoga, plays the piano, reads, and most other introverted indoor hobbies.