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Do I Dust or Vacuum First?

Do I Dust or Vacuum First? First, if you put the right kind of mat at all the entrances to your home, you’ll cut dusting and vacuuming in half. Mats prevent housework. Once your matting is down, always dust first. At least 80 percent of the dirt in your house originates outdoors, and most of this is tracked in on people’s feet.


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A vacuum has to be maintained. If you empty or change the bag frequently, you’ll spend a little time emptying it or slipping in a new one instead of a lot of time wondering why the vacuum isn’t picking up like it used to.

What are the Most Favorite and Most Dreaded Housework Tasks?

Favorite (after turning on the dishwasher, hiring a maid, and being through): vacuuming, washing clothes, cleaning the kitchen. Most dreaded: bathrooms, dusting, cleaning blinds.

Is it Cheaper and Better to Make My Own Cleaning Products?

No. If you want to make life simpler, I’d advise you to have only four types of cleaners: 1) all purpose 2) disinfectant 3) quick-evaporating, alcohol-based glass cleaner 4) heavy-duty cleaner/degreaser.

What's the Best Way to Get Rid of Cobwebs?

A dustmop treated with professional dust treatment or a damp towel on a broom head will pick up the webs efficiently. Pick your cobwebs when fresh, and it will go easy and fast.

Don, I Live in a Crowded One-room Place. How Do I Keep it Clean?

Dejunk. Do it now. Make the bed. Keep food carefully contained. Keep floors policed daily or weekly. Dust occasionally. Dump trash regularly. Have the right tools, which include one spray bottle filled with diluted cleaner, two terrycloth cleaning towels, small broom, one white nylon-backed scrub sponge, a cleaning caddy to keep all this in.

The Routine of Housework Really Gets Me: How Can I Break it?

Compete with yourself to cut the time a routine thing takes to do. Eliminate the routine jobs that weren’t necessary in the first place. Delegate.

Where Do You Draw the Line Between Clean Enough and Too Clean?

Decide on the level of cleanliness, order and sanitation that suits you emotionally, physically and financially, and hold on to it. We clean for three basic reasons: 1) aesthetics 2) health 3) economy. Decide how much each of these goals means to you.

Is it Worth It?

Sure it is! Although important, cleaning’s number one value is not the removal of the physical dust, dirt and disorder around us. Cleaning is one of the healthiest activities around, physically and mentally, because it improves our quality of life.

(Excerpted and condensed from Do I Dust or Vacuum First? (c) 2005, Don Aslett. Used by permission of Marsh Creek Press. All rights reserved)


Do I Dust or Vacuum First?:  Created on March 26th, 2006.  Last Modified on January 21st, 2014


About Don Aslett

Don Aslett

Leading cleaning expert Don Aslett began teaching and writing about cleaning efficiency in the mid-70s, and in 1980 wrote his first book, Is There Life After Housework? He is the author of more than thirty books that have sold over 3,000,000 copies, including several best-sellers. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. His Web site is