One of the temptations that come with owning floor length curtains is believing that you may not have to do a whole lot of dusting at floor level, since the curtains more or less prevent dust from gathering along areas such as molding and baseboards, right?
Not quite, though you may catch a break in some areas. Dusting baseboards makes sense because, being so close to floor level, they’ll often “catch” whatever debris doesn’t land anywhere else. And curtains need to be regularly freed of dust because they constantly filter the air between your home’s interior and the outside world. The buildup can be intense.
To clean these surfaces, follow these tips, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Home Guides section:
To clean baseboards, first use a slightly wet microfiber cloth to pick up as much dust as possible. The guide recommends doing this as often as every week, which will help in preventing too much buildup. Start working on one side of the floor and keep going through the turns until you’ve returned to your starting point. You can use a dusting cloth on an implement with a long handle, such as a broom or mop, to reach areas behind furniture. From time to time, use a water-and-soap solution to give the baseboards a good washing. A sponge will work fine.
If your curtains are washable, as may be the case with some kinds of Cotton Curtains (check label), then remove them with care so that you don’t loosen dust that you’ll end up having to collect later. Shake them while outside and then place the curtains in the washer.
For drapes that need to be dry cleaned, try to gather the built-up dust with a vacuum cleaner that has a soft brush accessory. Sweep across the top of the curtain (or valance), and carefully work the tool in-between folds. Always vacuum from the top of the panel to the bottom, working in vertical sweeps. Make sure the machine’s suction level is at a low setting.