Dust is universal and there’s no magic bullet to stop it completely, but there are ways to reduce dust in your home and buy yourself more time in between dustings. 

It doesn’t matter if you live in a fancy, modern home or a tiny prewar apartment; dwell in the city or hold court in the countryside: Dust accumulates everywhere and from a range of sources, some of which are pretty disgusting when you dig deeper. The most common components of dust are soil, pet hair, clothing fibers, dead insect matter and, yes, much of it is our own dead skin. 

Can you ever stop dust from accumulating in the first place? No, but you can definitely slow its momentum and eradicate it more completely when it starts to pile up. Removing shoes, brushing pets and equipping high-traffic rooms with a HEPA air purifier to snatch dust out of thin air are just a few tactics to employ in your unending battle against dust in the home.

dusty shelf up close dusty shelf up close

Dust is made up of hair, dead skin, dirt and bugs.

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Where is all that darn dust coming from?

Open a window at night to help you sleep cooler. Hottest sleeper by the window. Open a window at night to help you sleep cooler. Hottest sleeper by the window.

An open window will fill your home with dust in a hurry.

Getty Images/ ZenShui/Sigrid Olsson

High-traffic homes and those with pets and children are likely to accumulate more general dirt, and that includes filth and grime in microscopic form, aka dust. 

If you live in a rural setting, you’re also more likely to track dirt into the house from outside. But urban dwellers aren’t safe from dustbowls, either. If you live on a busy city street with loads of foot or car traffic, dirt and dust become agitated and airborne, and some of it will inevitably find its way into the home.

dog sitting on couch dog sitting on couch

Pets are undeniably the best but they’re also a big source of dust.

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Leaving doors and windows open allows dirt, hair bugs and other small particles to get into the house, even through a screen. There’s a reason why blinds and window sills are some of the dustiest spots in the house.

High humidity also causes increased dust build-up since it serves as a fertile environment for dust mites and other tiny creatures — future dust — to thrive. And if you live near buildings or factories that produce smoke or reside in regions prone to wildfires, you can expect unusually high levels of dust. 

Ways to reduce dust in your home 

Lose the shoes

Wayfair Shoe Bench Wayfair Shoe Bench

Find somewhere to store your dirty shoes, preferably in a mud room or outside the front door.

Screenshot by Nina Raemont/CNET

Shoes are typically the biggest catalysts for dragging dust into the house. Try to take them off before stepping in and leave them in the mudroom if you have one. If you leave them inside by the door, that dirt has still breached your home and some of it will eventually find its way to all your nooks and crannies. 

Brush pets regularly and clean those paws before entering

dog's paw being cleaned by mud buster device dog's paw being cleaned by mud buster device

The genius MudBuster is made to clean your pet’s paws before entering the house.


Cats and dogs both shed and track in dirt from the outdoors. Brushing them regularly will keep fur from spreading throughout the house.

Cleaning your pet’s paws before coming into the house will also help stop the spread of dirt and dust. Pet wipes are effective but cause waste. This $12 paw cleaner is a simple but effective answer to dirty paws and won’t add anything to your weekly garbage output. These devices are mostly meant for dogs. If you do attempt to use one on a cat, we only ask that you record it and send us the footage.

Spring for a HEPA air purifier 

The BlueAir Blue Pure 311i Max air purifier sits on a table in front of a wooden wall. It's CNET's top-rated air purifier for medium-sized spaces, and our top overall pick for most shoppers. The BlueAir Blue Pure 311i Max air purifier sits on a table in front of a wooden wall. It's CNET's top-rated air purifier for medium-sized spaces, and our top overall pick for most shoppers.

BlueAir Blue Pure 311i Max was the best air purifier for removing solid particles from the air. 

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

HEPA air purifiers don’t just filter out germs and bacteria, they remove dust particles from the air and reduce the amount of it that accumulates in the home. Set one up in the higher traffic rooms and be sure to change the filter regularly. 

CNET tested more than 15 air purifiers in our lab in Kentucky. Of the models we put through the wringer, the $230 BlueAir Blue Pure 311i Max removed the most particles from a smoke bomb we set off in a controlled chamber. It’s also energy-efficient and compact, making it an easy pick for the best air purifier in 2024.

Use microfiber cloth instead of a duster

hand holding dusty microfiber cloth hand holding dusty microfiber cloth

Microfiber holds dirt far better than a feather duster. 

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Feather dusters may be fun to use and work temporarily, but they often just move dust around and send it flying only to settle again on a shelf or under a door. 

Instead of a duster, use microfiber cloths to wipe dust. Microfiber is better at grabbing dirt and dust than your typical duster or a common rag — and they’re cheap. You can snag a pack of 12 on Amazon for like $8. Once enough dust builds up, you can take it to the sink, rinse it, wring it out and get back to wiping. 

Also, when wiping away dust, start with higher points and work your way down. Dust will inevitably fall during cleaning; if you finish with the floor, you’ll get more of the overall dust.

Use a HEPA vacuum and empty it regularly 

Removing dirt from soft carpet with a vacuum cleaner Removing dirt from soft carpet with a vacuum cleaner

Vacuuming is key but equally important is emptying the dust bin regularly. 

Hazal Ak/Getty Images

Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter won’t prevent dust from accumulating, but it will remove more of it when you do clean. Pick a model with a dust-buster attachment so you can clean all those nooks and crannies as well as the floor.

Just as important as vacuuming is emptying the vacuum dust bin regularly. Vacuums mostly remove dirt but a full dust bin can release it from the machine’s cracks and crevices, too. Try to empty the bin outside since dust and dirt are bound to go flying the second you open the compartment. 

Read more: Here’s the Right Way to Vacuum Your Home (and It Isn’t the Back and Forth Method)

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