Real Simple answers your questions.

Q. When I’m cleaning a room, what should I do first, vacuum or dust?
Amy Greenlee
Buckingham, Pennsylvania

A. Dust first, then vacuum. Dust, allergens, and other particles are constantly floating through a home’s air. To stop your sneezing, wipe your surfaces first using a damp cloth or a microfiber duster, which will trap the dust. No technique can remove all the dust, so vacuuming afterward helps to remove any remaining dirt, says Sonia Alexander Hill, a spokesperson for Merry Maids. If you save dusting until the end of your cleaning routine, dirt particles will linger in the air and eventually land back on your surfaces, meaning your next dusting will come sooner than you’d like.