Should You Vacuum or Dust First: Right Cleaning Process Makes a Happy Home

Cleaning houses might sound simple, but many people have been performing the wrong cleaning process and cannot make their houses as clean as they want. To make your house as clean as possible, dusting and vacuuming are two things you should never skip. So, Should You Dust or Vacuum First?

In this article, Clairoliviawayman will be answering different questions about dusting, vacuuming, and the cleaning process so that you can get the right information to make your home spotless. Keep on reading to find out!

Should You Vacuum or Dust First?

Always Dust Before Vacuuming

You should always dust first and vacuum later. The reason why you should not vacuum before dusting is that vacuuming alone cannot take away really small dust particles from the surfaces of your house, floors, and other surfaces. 

When dust has been formed for a while, its layers become thick and cannot be taken away easily. In this case, you will need to dust it with a piece of cloth so that the dust layers can be removed easily.

With thicker and more stubborn dust layers, you might have to clean them multiple times to make sure the surfaces are clean before vacuuming. 

Why Shouldn’t We Vacuum First and Dust Later?

If you vacuum your house first, you will find out later that so much dust on your house cannot be removed, and you might have to vacuum one more time.

Dust first and vacuum later has been proved to be the right order of a cleaning process for this reason. Vacuuming might be powerful to help you get rid of the dust.

Still, as we explained earlier, the dusting process should not be missed or done after vacuuming to make sure you can clean away all the smallest dust particles or thicker dust layers on different surfaces. 

Also read: Mop or Vacuum First – Which One to Choose?

What Is the Best Method for Dusting First Vacuuming Later?

As we mentioned above, it is always better to dust before vacuuming. Besides, there are some different dusting first and vacuuming later processes that we can follow up. 

Right now, we are going to show you the best method of the dusting first vacuuming later process that guarantees you will get the best results with your cleaning process. The steps are below.

Step 1: Dust the Higher Areas First

If you want a clean house, you need to dust not only your floor, but also the higher areas such as your bookshelf, table, stairs, and so on. You have to do this step first because if you sweep or dust the floor first and clean the higher areas later, the dust from these areas might drop onto the floor, and all your efforts will come to nothing. 

You should prepare some fabric, cotton, or microfiber cloth to clean the dust and prevent the dust from flying everywhere.

Higher areas should be dusted first

Step 2: Dust the Floor

When you are done with the higher areas, dust the floor carefully. Make sure to pick up and clean all the trash, human hair, or animal hair before the next step – vacuuming, to ensure the best quality of your vacuum process.

Step 3: Vacuum Higher Areas

Just like dusting, you should vacuum the higher areas before continuing with the floors. Get the extender hose attachment of your vacuum out and start vacuuming all the higher parts of your house, such as the walls, drapes, chairs, furniture, and more. 

Step 4: Vacuum the Floor

Now, carefully vacuum all of the floors and corners of your house. After doing all the above steps, you will see how easier it is to vacuum your floor now. You can also see your home is much cleaner after following all these steps. 

Step 5: Dust and Clean Your House One More Time

After vacuuming, there will be some dust remaining on the floor. In this step, it is recommended that you use a cloth to clean off all the remaining dust from your floor. It will even be better if you use a wet cloth to wrap all the dust there. 

Basically, you are done with the cleaning process just by following all of the step-by-step guides above. However, if you are more careful with a cleaning process and wish to have a perfectly clean house, then you can wait for about two hours later to dust your place one more time.

Why should you do that? Well, when you are dusting and vacuuming your house, the dust particles not only stay on the floors but fly everywhere and remain in the air for several hours before dropping on the floors again.

Those particles stayed in the air for so long because they are so small and lightweight. So, it is ideal for you to wait for another two hours after the main cleaning process, and then dust your house one more time.

Read: How to Clean Your House After Tapeworms? The In-Depth Guide!

What Should I Use for Better Cleaning?

For basic cleaning, a mop and a vacuum are enough for you to get rid of most of the dust on your house. However, it would be best if you considered using extra cleaning items to make your home even cleaner. So, here are what you should use along the way!

Dry and Wet Micro Cloth

There is a big difference between using a cloth and not using a cloth. When you use a fabric piece, it is always easier to remove the dust on different surfaces and some higher areas. 

Using cloth can also protect your lungs from breathing in too many dust particles while cleaning. You can choose to use dry or wet pieces of cloth while cleaning. 

Microfiber cloths are ideal to use compared to cotton ones. Micro cloths can clean up around 99% of the amount of the bacteria staying on your surfaces, while cotton can only remove approximately 30% of them. So, make sure you always have microfiber cloths with you while you are cleaning any parts of your house.

Using cloths helps you clean dust from surfaces better


If you want to get the best results after the cleaning process, you should have a mop with you. The mopping process can be done before dusting time to help you remove the trash from the floor, such as small pieces of paper, plastic, human hair, or pet hair. 

Ceiling Duster

It is way more comfortable and much safer if you have a ceiling duster with you. The ceiling can become dusty if we do not clean it for a while, and climbing on a ladder to clean the roof does not sound safe at all.

Ceiling duster makes it safer for you to dust your ceilings and higher areas

Should I Sweep Before Vacuuming?

You do not have to sweep before vacuuming every single time, but it is recommended that you do it once in a while to take away the dust on some particular areas. 

If you decide to sweep before vacuuming, you can follow these simple steps to get the job done in the right order!

  • Step 1: Sweep the higher areas first and then move to the lower ones.
  • Step 2: Take the dust or sand from your carpet, then sweep the whole floor.
  • Step 3: Start vacuuming from higher areas to lower areas.
  • Step 4: Dust or sweep again after vacuuming.

How Often Should I Dust and Vacuum?

You have more dust formed and stayed on the floors of your houses every single day. So, if possible, you should dust your house every day or once every few days, especially when you have pets or live in the area with polluted air.

For vacuuming, you do not have to do it as often as dusting. You can always have a clean house if you dust once every few days and vacuum once every two weeks. 

However, if you have a pet, you might need to vacuum your house more frequently to get rid of the hair. You will also need to dust carefully before you vacuum to prevent the hair from sticking in the vacuum and block it from cleaning the dust. 

In summary, people who do not have pets can have a cleaner house if they dust once every few days and vacuum once every two weeks. It is recommended for pet owners that they dust their place every day and vacuum every week.

Pet owners should vacuum once a week

How to Get the Best Result with Vacuuming?

Clean the Vacuum Filter Oftenly

Nearly all the new models of vacuum nowadays have filters. Some vacuums have bigger filters, and some others have smaller ones. To get the best results with vacuuming, you will need to check if your vacuum filter is still clean enough before you do the job. 

It is also recommended that you clean your filter regularly, or clean it after you do vacuuming to keep it as clean as possible. 

Vacuum Right

Most people carry their vacuum and randomly move it back and forth on their floors, thinking they are cleaning all the dust. However, it is not the best way to vacuum your house and might take too much time to clean up the whole surface. 

To have the best results in the shortest time, you should carefully follow the vacuuming technique. You need to vacuum each area in a straight line at once, not just randomly push and pull it back and forth. 

Clean As Much Pet Hair As Possible Before Vacuuming

Pet hair can stick into your vacuum and prevent the vacuuming system from cleaning your house probably. So, in the dusting step, make sure you clean as much pet hair as possible so that you can vacuum your home easier, get better results, and maintain your vacuum better.

Pet hair should be clean before vacuuming

Vacuum Furniture and Other Objects

It is not easy to have a spotless house if you forget to vacuum furniture such as your carpet, sofas, couches, and other objects – those objects needed to be cleaned too. If not, the dust and dirt from them will fly around and make your floor dirty quicker just after you finish your cleaning process. 

Read: How To Get Rid Of Apartment Hallway Smells? – Tips & Tricks

Can I Use My Vacuum to Dust? 

Yes, you can use your vacuum to dust if you are in a hurry at the moment because the vacuum will still clean so much dust on your floor away. Compared to not dusting or vacuuming at all, vacuuming only is still better for your house. 

However, if you can, it is still recommended that you dust your house first before vacuuming because it is beneficial for both the vacuum system and your health. 

Why? When you vacuum without dusting first, the pet hair (if any) will stick on the vacuum and prevent it from cleaning your house probably. Vacuuming without dusting first might also give you a dirty atmosphere that is not healthy for your lungs. Why? Because the dust particles will stay in the air, and you might breathe them unconsciously. 


A clean house has the power to make you feel comfortable and happy after coming back home from a stressful working day. However, if you do not know how to clean your house in the right order, then the home might be harder to clean, and the whole house might get dirty quickly. 

Dusting and vacuuming are the two most important parts of the cleaning process. So, should you vacuum or dust first? We think you already have the answer after reading this article. By dusting first and vacuum later, your house will be cleaner and stay clean for longer. We hope this article can help you have a cleaner and more comfortable place to stay!

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