How to Clean a Dusty Dining Room – and Keep It That Way

If you’ve ever paused mid-conversation to write “dust me!” on your dining room table, or wondered if your living room could be declared a dust bunny nature reserve, then this is the guide for you. Maintaining a clean living and dining space can often feel like a never-ending battle against dust, especially if these are the heart of your home.

But fret not! We’re about to arm you with the tips, tricks, and strategies you need to tackle that pesky dust and keep your living room sparkling and your dining room gleaming. Say goodbye to the era of the dust bunnies and hello to a cleaner, brighter living space.

Read on for a complete guide on how to clean your dusty dining room – and ways to keep it dust-free.

The Dustiest Places in Your Dining Room

You’ll probably want to jump straight away into the ins and outs of how to clean a dusty dining room. However, knowing which are the dustiest places in your dining room and how each one contributes with its grain of dust to that white layer you see wherever you set your eyes on when you enter the dining room.

Carpets and Rugs

Carpets and rugs act as a magnet for dust particles. The main reason they’re dusty is because you have people walking across them constantly. When people walk across them, they bring dust from outside and disturb the dust that’s already settled, causing it to become airborne and eventually settle back onto the carpet fibers. Also, the texture of carpets and rugs can trap dust, making it difficult to remove through regular cleaning methods like sweeping or vacuuming.

Upholstered Furniture 

Upholstered furniture, such as dining chairs and sofas, often have fabric or leather coverings that can attract and retain dust. The fibers and crevices in the upholstery can trap dust particles, especially if the furniture is not regularly cleaned or if the room has poor air circulation. 

Under the Furniture 

The areas underneath furniture, such as dining tables and chairs, fall into the category of what we call if I don’t see it, I don’t clean it. These areas are typically less cleaned or accessed because they’re out of sight so they’re easier to ignore. As a result, dust tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces. Another reason is that because of the way that air currents work, dust particles will not travel to another place and get stuck under the furniture. 

Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are dusty mainly because they don’t get cleaned as often as they should. And it makes sense. They are hard to reach or they often have intricate designs and surfaces that are even harder to clean. Also, when the fixtures are turned on, the heat generated can cause the dust to rise and circulate in the air. Over time, the dust settles back onto the floor, making the room appear dusty.

Mirrors & Art

Even if you don’t touch them, mirrors and art on the walls can get dirty. Why? Because of the wind. When the wind blows, it carries with it tiny particles of dirt, dust, and pollen. These particles attach to the glass and frames and create a dirty film. Over time, this film builds up and makes the glass look cloudy.

Shelves, Mantles & Sills

Shelves, mantles, and window sills provide horizontal surfaces where dust can settle. These areas often accumulate dust because they are frequently overlooked during regular cleaning routines.

How to Clean a Dusty Dining Room

We’ve covered the dustiest places in your dining room. Now, it’s time to learn how to give battle to all that dust. Follow this quick step-by-step guide to clean a dusty dining room and leave it ready to host your next house party.

Wipe Down Light Fixtures  

Before you start cleaning, ensure that the lamp is turned off and the light bulbs have cooled down to avoid any potential burns or electric shock. If your lampshade is removable, detach it from the lamp base as it will facilitate the task. Take a microfiber cloth, preferably slightly damp, and gently dust the lampshade in a circular motion to remove loose dust and debris. Allow the light bulbs to cool completely before using a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or fingerprints.

Dust Shelves, Mantles, and Sills

Start by clearing off any decorative pieces from the shelves and mantels. Then, using a microfiber cloth or duster, wipe down the surfaces. Since our main goal is to remove dust, use a slightly damp cloth, as it tends to pick up dust more effectively than a dry cloth. Also, using a dry cloth may cause micro scratches on the surfaces.

Wash your Mirror

Washing a mirror is pretty easy. Just spray a glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water onto a soft cloth. Wipe the mirror in a circular motion to remove dirt, smudges, and streaks. Remember to pay attention to the edges and corners of the mirror. For larger mirrors, you may need an extendable cleaning tool or a step stool to ensure better access.

Shake and Beat your Rug Outside

This step is for smaller rugs. Thanks to their size, they can benefit from a double-cleaning process. Start by taking the rug outdoors and hang it over a clothesline or near a railing. Use a large stick or similar object to gently beat the rug, removing accumulated dust and debris. Allow the rug to air out for a few minutes. This method helps eliminate a significant amount of dust from the rug.

Vacuum rugs and carpets

Vacuuming is the most effective method for removing dust from bedroom rugs and carpets. Before you start, empty the bag and wash the filters. Then, vacuum the carpet and rug, working in overlapping rows. Move the vacuum cleaner slowly and steadily across the rug or carpet, starting from one end and moving to the other. Ensure that you cover the entire surface. Repeat this process in different directions to ensure no dust particles are left behind.

Vacuum Upholstered Furniture  

Next, vacuum your upholstered furniture. Begin at the top of the furniture and work your way down to prevent dirt and debris from falling onto already-cleaned areas. If you have upholstery attachments, use them. Otherwise, use smooth and gentle strokes, making sure to cover all the surfaces, including the seat, backrest, armrests, and cushions. Be sure not to damage the fabric.

Vacuum-Dust under the Furniture

Vacuuming under furniture is one of the most challenging tasks as it involves moving your furniture around. But there are a few techniques to help. If your furniture is lightweight, it’s best to move it to a different location so you can access the floor underneath. However, if moving the furniture isn’t feasible or if you live in a small space, you can use a good extendable and bendable duster or a vacuum cleaner with a long nozzle to pick up all the dust, hair, and pet fur.

Keeping Your Dining Room Dust-Free

Even if you clean a dusty dining room regularly, having a bit of dust is unavoidable. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take measures to keep it at bay. 

  1. Regular cleanings: This is common sense. To keep a dining room set free you need to clean it often, go for at least once a week. If you don’t know how to organize your cleaning session, check out our dining room cleaning checklist. 
  2. Remove clutter: Dining rooms are popular places so they get cluttered with things that belong to other rooms of the house. Besides the visual mess, accumulating things on top of your table and furniture only adds more surfaces for dust to settle
  3. Clean air vents and filters: This is crucial to seek your dining room dust-free. Your HVAC system has air filters that trap dust and debris before it can enter the ductwork and circulate throughout your home. Cleaning air vents and filters will prevent that dust from circulating and settling in your home. 
  4. Hiring a professional cleaning company: We know how hard it is to find the time to clean your house. That’s why hiring a professional cleaning company to deal with the mess is a great alternative. At Summit Maids, we offer services that go over all the dusty places we listed above. Our cleaners will work with an extra level of attention and tackle every nook of your dining room.   


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.

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