13 Places You're Forgetting to Dust in Your Home—But Need to ASAP

And, we aren't even talking about your ceiling fan. (Face palm.)

Woman dusting a shelf in a child's room.
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

There's no way to sugarcoat this: Dust can make you sick and even if you dust on the regular there are certain spots in your home that you've probably never even thought to dust. The good news: We've got the full list of these frequently missed places where dirt and germs tend to lurk. Keep reading and get ready to banish dust and all the nasties that come with it (we're looking at you, dustmites) for good.

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Pillows and Bedding

You may make a habit of washing your sheets weekly, but your blankets, duvet, and pillows are just as exposed to those dead skin cells you shed last night (shiver). Plus, your bed is a holding place for all kinds of dirt and bacteria: you rest your suitcase on it to unpack from a trip and tiredly drop down on it in the clothes you wore outside all day. Whenever you wash your sheets, make sure to throw in your blankets, throw pillow coverings, and duvet, too.

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It's true: sofas and armchairs collect a lot of dust. Be sure to vacuum cushions regularly and run a damp cloth over the backs and arms of any furniture with a washable surface. Lift the cushions to be sure you’re capturing hiding dust bunnies and dust mites. And don't forget to tackle the area under your armchairs and sofa!

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Undersides of Furniture

When you look under the bed or couch you’ll most likely find a few tumbleweeds rolling around, which can be quickly eliminated with a vacuum or a quick swipe of a dust mop. However, have you studied the actual bottom of your furniture, itself? You might be surprised to find layers of dust, spider webs, and even eggs (gross!) clinging to bed frames and the underside of tables and sofas. Wipe out all the yuck with a handheld vacuum or dust wand.

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Next time you’re home, take a closer look at your walls. Are they a little furry? Dust can cling to any kind of surface, and loves those tiny crevasses in textured wallpaper. And, If you’ve just moved into a new apartment or house, you could find an ever-so-slight layer of sawdust making your white walls appear a little yellowish. To clean fuzzy walls, start at the top and work your way down with a dust mop. Finish by wiping light switches and door knobs.

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Even chronic cleaners may miss the top of door frames, cabinets, and picture frames, as well as ceiling corners. Tackle dust pileup with a disposable duster that has an extendable handle; it's the easiest way to clean high, hard-to-reach places.

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The Inside of Drawers

Make certain you’re dusting the inside of drawers, whether in your vanity or refrigerator. Use a Clorox wipe to scrub plastic bin drawers of the fridge, and a damp cloth to wipe down wooden drawers that hold your intimates and folded clothing.

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Lampshades are usually clad with fuzz, but are easier to clean than you’d think. Use a vacuum with a small brush attachment or wipe them down with a damp rag.

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The sleek bookshelf you found at your favorite home store was a great buy, but it may be more time consuming to properly clean. Pick up each book individually and use a dust rag to wipe down all sides, including where the book was resting on the shelf.

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Window Treatments

Your vacuum is the handiest way to capture dust on blinds, shades, and curtains. To maintain cleanliness (and not make it such a grueling task), dust these areas once a month. If the vacuum isn’t fully covering the blinds, put an old sock over your hand, dampen it, and run it between the slats.

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Air Filters and Vents

Air conditioning filters are a breeding ground for dust, and can blow dust mites back into the air of your home. If you have reusable filters, handwash them in the sink. However, many experts recommend replacing them completely. You can actually buy affordable customizable filters that you can cut down to fit your window air unit.

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Televisions, computers, keyboards, phones, and speakers tend to be dust magnets. Wipe them down with a damp cloth, microfiber rag, or special screen cleaner. Be sure to pick them up and wipe behind and underneath them, as well. One electronic you may forget about though? The electric toothbrush charging station. It not only gets covered in toothpaste and gunk, but is also a huge dust collector. Wipe it down with a damp cloth or wash it in the sink.

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Indoor Plants

Like all surfaces, a house plant's leaves can collect dust, which attracts pests and bacteria, and hinders a plant from photosynthesizing. Erin Marino from The Sill, a modern plant boutique in New York City, recommends dusting indoor plant leaves once a month. “Take a smooth cloth moistened with warm water, and gently wipe the top and bottom of your plant’s leaves,” says Marino. But, refrain from using cold water which can shock your tropical houseplants. And don't overdo it with the water—leaving leaves soaking wet can attract pests and spread fungal diseases from leaf to leaf, Marino adds.

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Cleaning Tools

Don’t forget to clean your cleaners! Use a handheld attachment on your vacuum to rid broom bristles of dust and hair, wash dust rags, and empty vacuum bags.

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