How to Clean a Dusty Living Room – and Keep it That Way

From movie nights and friendly get-togethers to peaceful evenings spent with a good book, your living room is a place of comfort and joy. Yet, with all the activity, this cherished space can also become a haven for dust, making it less inviting and potentially irritating for those with allergies.

Keeping your living room clean and dust-free doesn’t have to be a Herculean task, though. With the right approach, you can transform your living room into a clean, comfortable haven in no time.

Let’s embark on a journey to reclaim your living room from the clutches of dust and grime. It’s time to arm ourselves with the right tools, helpful tips, and a bit of determination, and show that dust it’s no match for your sparkling clean aspirations. Soon, your living room will be a place where cleanliness complements comfort, making it a truly inviting space for all your activities. Read on to learn how to clean a dusty living room – and to keep it dust-free after all that work.

The Dustiest Places in Your Living Room

Before jumping into cleaning, let’s talk about the dustiest places in your living room; once you have an understanding of these, it will make more sense where and why you need to clean them to keep your living room dust-free.

Couch Cushions & Upholstered Furniture

Why couch cushions and upholstered furniture are one of the dustiest places in your living room is a mix of reasons. First, your couch is the centerpiece of your living room and it’s visited by all the members of your family who bring dusty particles from the outside. Second, because we clean them superficially. Some fabrics are more complex to clean than others and in an attempt to not hurt the fabrics and do more damage than good, we simply let them the way they are.

Blankets & Throw Pillows

What’s better than snuggling under your favorite blanket and sinking into your sofa surrounded by throw pillows on a cold winter afternoon? Pretty much nothing. But, here’s the thing, blankets and throw pillows are ideal breeding grounds for dust mites as they’re filled with dead skin cells that they feed off. While dust mites are harmless, their little feces contain an allergen that can set off asthma or sinus problems in those with dust allergies.

Rugs or Carpet

It’s no surprise that rugs and carpets are dust magnets. They are on the ground, and you have people with shoes that pick up dust and dirt walking on them and you have pets running around on them with dust and dirt on their paws. Also, gravity drops all atmospheric dust that enters through doors, windows, and heating and cooling systems on them. Last but not least, carpets and rugs are composed of layers and twists of yarn. Because of the density and thickness of the yarn, it is able to hold dust. The thicker and heavy the weight of the yarn, the harder it becomes to get the dust out.

Under the Furniture

Dust builds up under the furniture due to all the skin particles, hair, pet dander, and other types of dirt that gather in the living room. Also, it’s mostly due to the way that air currents work. Once the dust settles under the furniture, it is less likely to get caught by a breeze that will drive it elsewhere. And so it collects, and collects, and collects until you attack it.

Shelves, Mantles & Sills

Shelves, mantles, and sills are big dust magnets since they are flat surfaces that don’t usually receive cleaning on a daily basis. In the case of mantles, fireplaces are dusty places by nature and the soot (fine black powder) and smoke tend to go up, settling on the mantle’s surface.

Appliances & Cords

It’s uncanny the amount of dust appliances attract. This is because some household appliances give off a slight static current that attracts dust. As for the cords, you’ll notice that if they are lying on a smooth floor, they’re covered in a blanket of dust. The main reason for this is that they act as barriers to heavier dust sliding and rolling with air flows, but also, most people rarely reach behind the desk and TV to clean back there, even when they’ve dusted elsewhere in the house.

How to Clean a Dusty Living Room

To clean the dustiest places in your living room we’ll follow the basic rule of cleaning: always go from top to bottom. This way, you don’t have to clean twice as the dust and dirt fall o the ground, which will be the last place you clean.

Dust Shelves, Mantles, and Sills

Start by clearing off the shelves and mantles if you have any decor pieces. Then, use a microfiber cloth or duster to wipe down the surfaces. Since our number one goal is to remove dust, use a damp cloth as a moist fabric picks up dust better and a dry cloth will cause micro scratches in the finish of many surfaces.

Wipe Down Appliances

Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down all the appliances in your living room. You can also use a few drops of vinegar or an all-purpose cleaner to remove greasy particles from the appliances, especially the ones that generate heat.

Vacuum the Couch & Cushions

Vacuums are your number one ally when it comes to getting rid of dust. First, head to the couch in your living room and see if the cushions are attached to it. If not, remove them and clean the couch using a vacuum with the brush attachment to remove debris and dirt from the surface. Be sure to reach the crevices where pet hair, food crumbs, and dirt accumulate. Then, grab the cushions and vacuum both sides.

Vacuum Upholstered Furniture

You’ll also vacuum your upholstered furniture. Some vacuum cleaners have upholstery attachments for making vacuuming your furniture simpler. If not, the regular attachment will also work, don’t worry. Just always be careful and don’t rub it with force so you don’t damage the textiles. Oh, and don’t forget to follow a pattern for vacuuming. Start at the top of your furniture, working from the high back to the arms, to the cushion pad, and then the base.

Wash Blanket & Throw Pillows

Blankets and throw pillows are the easiest to clean. The first thing you’ll do is throw your blankets in the washing machine. Next, grab your throw pillows, remove the covers, and put them in the washing machine. Now, most pillows can be cleaned in a washing machine using warm water on a gentle cycle. But you still want to read the label for cleaning instructions first. If you got the green light, put your pillows in the washing machine.

Shake & Beat your Rug Outside

If your rug isn’t very large and is portable, we recommend including the old-fashioned way to clean a rug. First, take it outside and drape it over a clothesline or near a railing and beat it using a big stick or something similar. Let your rug air outside for a few minutes. This would usually get most of the dust out.

Vacuum Rugs & Carpets

What’s the best way to get rid of dust in a carpet? Vacuum, vacuum, and more vacuum. Empty the bag. Wash the filters. And vacuum again, in the opposite direction. Repeat. And then vacuum the carpet diagonally. Now, go outside and grab the rug and vacuum it. Say goodbye to those dusty particles!

Vacuum-Dust Under the Furniture

The best way to reach and remove the dust under the furniture is by removing them. However, if you don’t have time or energy for that, there are a few solutions. One option is getting a vacuum cleaner with a long nozzle to reach the dust sitting under the furniture. The second option is to get a good extendable and bendable duster to pick up all the dust, hair, and pet fur.

Wash Cords

Before anything else, make sure you unplug all your appliances. Next, mix dish soap or detergent with warm water. Grab a sponge to soak the solution and run it up and down the cord until all the dust and debris are off. Using a towel or microfiber cloth dry the cord down. Make sure there’s no moisture left in the cords to avoid any incidents.

Keeping Your Living Room Dust-Free

Living with a certain amount of dust in your living room is unavoidable. However, there are a few strategies for reducing it.

  1. Here’s an obvious one: regular cleanings and thorough vacuuming gather the unavoidable dust and dispose of it. You can check out our living room checklist to get a detailed step-by-step cleaning routine. The tasks are broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly checklists.
  2. Frequent changes of filters on heating and cooling systems that circulate air in your house will help keep dust from getting pumped around from room to room
  3. Encouraging visitors and residents to leave outdoor clothing and perhaps shoes when they enter the house.
  4. Hiring a professional cleaning company. Here at Summit Maids, we offer services that tackle every nook and cranny and all the dusty places you’ve missed in those endless cleaning days. Also, as you can infer from this list, cleaning the dustiest places is no joke! With the help of one of our cleaners, you will remove all dust from your living room with less stress and less time.


  • 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. Bailey Jacob W.