My Grandmother’s Dust-Busting Cleaning Secret Is Too Life-Changing Not to Share

published Dec 18, 2023
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Wiping down coffee table with dusting cloth

I like to work smarter, not harder, when it comes to cleaning. That’s especially true when it comes to dusting. No one wants to have their entire Saturday earmarked for cleaning the house, but it seems like the dust builds up without fail each week, leaving you to wipe down and dust the same shelves and cabinets in rotation. But what if I told you that you could cut back on dusting if you used a cheap, homemade spray instead?

According to my Polish grandmother, you don’t need a whole caddy of cleaning supplies to get your home into tip-top shape. In my experience, you can cut your cleaning time in half using dust-repellant spray rather than just ordinary surface cleaner. All you need is vinegar, olive oil, and a touch of soap to recreate my grandmother’s dust-repellant spray recipe. The coating the spray leaves helps more dust propel off surfaces and onto the floor, which means you’ll have to clean those hard to dust places a little less.

To make the spray, she combines 2 cups of water, 1 cup of vinegar to disinfect and cut through grime, 2 tablespoons of olive oil to polish and keep dust away for longer, and a drop or two of dish soap for extra cleaning power. Mix it all together and use it in place of your regular surface cleaner for best results. My grandma would then pour this concoction into an old spray bottle and use it to wipe down everything from her credenzas to her coffee tables.

Now, this spray isn’t a miracle worker, so you will eventually have to dust your shelves and furniture. But I find that I can get away with wiping my surfaces biweekly rather than weekly when using this regularly. (For reference, I have two cats, so dust and hair build up in my home relatively fast!)

If just the spray is no match for your dust piles, my mom, who is a housekeeper, also recommends using fabric softener sheets over baseboards and lamp shades to repel dust. When using this method, I only need to dust my baseboards once a month compared to weekly. Having said that, you can also use 1 tablespoon of fabric softener in place of olive oil in your dust repellent spray to achieve the same results. You can, of course, fiddle with the ingredients and ratios to achieve a recipe that is best for you (and that will fit whatever spray bottle you have handy.) Happy dusting!

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: My Grandmother’s Dust-Busting Cleaning Secret Is Too Life-Changing Not to Share