What options do you have in dusting tools? The most common products are:
- Feather dusters
- Lambswool dusters
- Synthetic dusters
- Microfiber cloths
- Impregnated disposable dust clothes
- Extension dusters
- Pipe dusters
- Hand dusters
- Counter dusters
- Split dusters
- Dusting attachments for your vacuum cleaner
Each of these categories have subtypes, and if you add in even more specialty dusters, you will find that buying a duster is more than just choosing between a couple of options.
Just as a mechanic or handyman chooses the right tool for the right job, choosing a duster depends upon what you are going to use it for. Are you dusting small, confined areas such as a desktop or mantel loaded with knick knacks, or are you dusting wide open, expansive areas like filing cabinets in a huge office? What type of environment are you dusting in—an upscale home with little traffic or an office attached to a manufacturing plant that is laden with thick dust on a daily basis? Is there a lot of high dusting or dusting of exposed pipes in the ceiling? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered when making your equipment decisions.
Even within one category of duster, there can be many types. Take a feather duster, for example. The most common dusters are made from ostrich feathers, but the quality of the feathers can vary greatly, depending on the kind of feather. The types include black, grey, and floss ostrich feathers, each coming from a different part of the bird. Other types of feathers, such as goose or turkey feathers, can be used, usually in an effort to cut costs. While cheaper, these budget dusters are typically of inferior quality. Real feather dusters clean not by static electricity, but by the fact the feathers are covered with tiny barbs that “grab” the dust and hold onto it. Frequent shaking and occasional washing keeps them clean and effective.
Lambswool dusters are common in commercial applications where you often find large, flat, open areas well-suited for their use. As with feather dusters, the natural lambswool collects and traps dust, and is cleaned by shaking them out and occasional washing. Also available are treated disposable dust sleeves that fit over these dusters, keeping the duster itself clean, which allows the duster to last much longer. Sleeves made of microfiber are also available and are a good choice because they're very durable, washable and can last for years if well taken care of.
Synthetic dusters use long fibers which generate static electricity to collect dust. You have probably seen these multicolor dusters, made from polyester, which have the advantage of being able to be bent into any shape to contour to any shape. Similarly, specialty dusters such as pipe dusters and split duster are used in applications where a particular shape in needed. Most of these types of dusters come with extension handles to reach high surfaces.
The most popular trend in the cleaning industry has been the use of microfiber cloths. These cloths have many uses, and are color-coded so that each color is designated for a specific function (dusting, glass, bathrooms fixtures, etc.) These cloths are highly effective in “grabbing” dust with thousands of tiny fibers. They can be used wet or dry, and can be laundered to be used over and over again. They are the most effective method to remove dust for most applications.
Another method of dusting involves using a dusting attachment on an extension of your vacuum cleaner. This is particularly useful for high dusting, getting into tight areas, corners and behind furniture. By using a vacuum, the dust does not enter the air, nor do “clumps” of dust fall to the surfaces below.
If you practice environmentally-friendly cleaning services or “green cleaning”, you should avoid using static dusters and feather dusters that make dust airborne. Instead, use microfiber cloths, microfiber extension sleeves, and vacuum attachments to remove the dust.
As you can see, the types of dusters you choose depend on the circumstances. You want to choose one that is effective, but at the same time you need to be efficient. Time is money, so getting the job done quickly is also important. It is safe to say that you will probably use more than one type, depending on the job to be done. An investment in the right tools will pay off for you in the end.