How to Clean a Feather Duster (and Other Duster Types)

Cleaning feather dusters and other types of dusters is an important part of maintaining them and keeping them working effectively for dusting. A clean duster will pick up and hold more dust, while a dirty one will simply move dust around. With some simple cleaning techniques, you can keep your feather dusters, microfiber dusters, and other dusting tools clean and functional.

Why It’s Important to Clean Dusters

There are a few key reasons why regularly cleaning dusting tools like feather dusters is recommended:

  • Removes built-up dust and dirt – Over time, dust clings to the fibers of dusters and builds up. Cleaning removes this gritty buildup so the duster can work better.
  • Extends the life of the duster – Dirt and debris wears down duster fibers. Frequent cleaning keeps them in better condition for longer effectiveness and lifespan.
  • Improves dust pickup – Dust, hair, and other particles cling to clean duster fibers and get trapped. A dirty duster repels and scatters dust.
  • Limits the spread of allergens and irritants – Dusters harbor dust, pollen, pet dander and other allergy triggers. Cleaning helps limit spreading these around.
  • Makes dusting more effective – With trapped dust and dirt removed, the duster fibers can reach into crevices better and attract and hold more dust.

Regularly cleaning feather dusters, microfiber dusters, and other dusting tools is key for removing allergens from your home and keeping surfaces clear of dust buildup.

Supplies Needed

Cleaning dusters is a simple process, but having the right supplies makes it easier and more effective:

  • Stiff brush or comb – For feather dusters, use a stiff brush to work dust out from between the feather fibers. A comb can also work well.
  • Broom or stick – Use this to reach the tops of tall feather dusters and dislodge stuck-on dust and dirt.
  • Old toothbrush – For microfiber or electrostatic dusters, an old toothbrush scrubs out dirt trapped in the fibers.
  • Vacuum cleaner – After brushing out a duster, use the hose attachment to vacuum up and contain the loosened grit and dust.
  • Mild laundry detergent – If doing a deep clean, add a small amount of mild detergent to the wash water for microfiber dusters. Avoid harsh detergents.
  • Washing machine/tub – For a periodic deep clean of microfiber dusters, the washing machine or a tub for hand washing works best.
  • Clean rags or paper towels – Dry your wet dusters with clean absorbent cloths or towels after washing.

Having these basic cleaning tools on hand makes routine duster maintenance quick and easy. Keeping dusters clean extends their lifespan and effectiveness.

How to Clean Feather Dusters

Feather dusters require regular cleaning to keep their feathers fluffy and able to attract dust. Here are some tips:

Dusting and De-Clumping

  • Shake outdoors – Take the duster outside and shake vigorously to release loose dust and debris. This contains the dust cloud.
  • Brush with stiff brush – Use a stiff bristle brush or feather duster comb to work dust out from between the feather fibers. Work from top to bottom.
  • Use broom handle – For tall or extension dusters, use a broom handle to slide between feathers and knock off stuck dust and dirt from the top and underside.
  • Fluff and pat – After brushing, gently fluff and pat feathers to separate and lift them. This helps remove more embedded grit.
  • Vacuum clean – Use the crevice tool and hose of a vacuum to thoroughly clean up loosened dust and dirt from the duster.

Regularly dusting and de-clumping keeps feathers clean and fluffy for optimal dust attraction.

Deep Cleaning Methods

For a more thorough periodic cleaning:

  • Hand wash – Mix a small amount of mild laundry detergent into warm water in a tub. Swish the feather duster feathers gently in the water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Vinegar rinse – For extra deodorizing, rinse the washed duster with equal parts vinegar and water. This helps remove any soapy residue.
  • Air dry – After washing, gently press water out. Lay the duster on a towel and let air dry completely before using, keeping feathers fluffed.
  • Spot clean – For small dirty spots, use a damp cloth with mild detergent and gently dab dirt away. Let area fully dry.

Follow up any washing with thorough brushing to restore feather fluff once fully dry. Proper drying is key to prevent mildew.

Cleaning Microfiber Dusters

Microfiber dusters trap dust in their dense split fibers. Follow these steps to clean:

  • Shake it out – Shake the duster outdoors or in a garage to release loose surface dust and dirt.
  • Vacuum – Use the crevice tool and hose of your vacuum to thoroughly clean both sides of the microfiber pad.
  • Spot scrub – For stubborn dirt, use an old toothbrush and mild detergent to scrub out grimy spots.
  • Rinse and air dry – If scrubbing with detergent, rinse the microfiber pad well. Allow to fully air dry.

For periodic deep cleaning:

  • Wash – Add a small amount of mild laundry detergent to the washing machine. Wash microfiber duster on a gentle cycle with cool water.
  • No fabric softener – Avoid using fabric softener, as it coats the microfiber fibers and reduces dust adhesion.
  • Air fluff dry – Take the duster out immediately after washing and lay flat or hang to air dry, preventing mildew.

Regular cleaning keeps microfiber dusting pads free of dust buildup for better performance.

Cleaning Other Duster Types

There are many other dusting tools that also need occasional cleaning:

Lambswool Dusters

  • Shake out and air regularly to refresh.
  • Hand wash gently in mild detergent and cool water when needed.
  • Lay flat to fully air dry. Brush fibers when dry to fluff up.

Wool Dusters

  • Vacuum gently using the brush attachment.
  • Spot clean soiled areas using wool detergent and cool water.
  • Lay flat or hang to air dry thoroughly before using.

Feather Fan Dusters

  • Wipe fan sticks down with a dry cloth.
  • Use a vacuum crevice tool to clean between fan pleats.
  • Shake out gently and brush pleats when needed.

Chamois Dusting Cloths

  • Launder in the washing machine with mild detergent and cool water.
  • Don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets which coat fibers.
  • Hang or lay flat immediately after washing to dry.

Dusting Mittens

  • Machine or hand wash mittens in cool water with mild detergent.
  • Reshape mitten before drying if needed.
  • Air dry thoroughly.

Regularly cleaning all types of dusters helps them attract and trap dust more effectively to keep your home cleaner.

Cleaning Dusters Properly

Follow these general tips for keeping any duster clean:

  • Shake outdoors frequently to release dust.
  • Vacuum using the appropriate attachment after shaking.
  • Spot clean soiled areas as needed with mild soap and water.
  • Wash microfiber or launderable dusters periodically using cool water and gentle detergent.
  • Avoid harsh detergents that could damage fibers.
  • Skip fabric softener which leaves behind a coating residue.
  • Air dry thoroughly after washing by laying flat or hanging up.
  • Reshape or fluff fibers after drying to revive dusting ability.
  • Replace dusters once they become overly worn and unable to attract dust.

Proper cleaning methods will keep your feather dusters, microfiber dusters, lambswool dusters, and other dusting tools working efficiently for longer.

Storing Dusters

Proper storage between uses helps keep dusters clean and neat:

  • Allow to fully dry – Before storing, let any damp dusters dry completely to prevent mildew.
  • Seal in container – Place dusters loosely in a sealable plastic bin or bag so dust can’t accumulate.
  • Hang up – For feather dusters and other hangable styles, store by hanging on a hook to retain shape.
  • Keep bristles up – Store upright with bristles and feathers at top to avoid crushing fibers.
  • Avoid compression – Don’t tightly squeeze dusters into spaces or their dusting ability will suffer.
  • Keep dry – Store dusters in a dry spot away from moisture which can promote mold.

Proper sealed storage keeps dusters clean for their next dusting session.

When to Replace Dusters

With regular cleaning, most dusters will last approximately 1-2 years with average use. Watch for these signs it’s time to replace your overworked duster:

  • Missing or broken feathers
  • matted, bent, or crushed fibers/bristles
  • fibers no longer fluff back up after washing
  • duster no longer attracting or picking up dust
  • duster falling apart or coming unattached from handle
  • duster looking overly dirty, worn, or frayed

For the healthiest home, replace feather dusters, microfiber dusters, and other styles about every 2 years or when no longer effectively collecting dust.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Dusters

Cleaning dusters regularly helps prolong their lifespan and effectiveness. Here are answers to some common questions on duster maintenance:

How often should you clean a feather duster?

Ideally, feather dusters should be cleaned 1-2 times per month. Quick dusting maintenance should be done after every few uses. Do a deeper cleaning every few months.

Can you wash feather dusters?

Yes, feather dusters can be gently hand washed with mild detergent and cool water. Rinse thoroughly, press water out, and allow to fully air dry before using again. Avoid machine washing.

How do you clean a microfiber duster?

Regularly vacuum microfiber dusters and spot clean as needed. Machine or hand wash occasionally using cool water and mild detergent without fabric softener. Air dry completely.

Should dusters be washed or just shaken out?

For feather and lambswool dusters, regularly shaking and spot cleaning is recommended. Microfiber dusters can be machine washed periodically. Avoid over-washing more delicate dusters.

How do you get caked on dust off a duster?

For heavy dirt on feather or microfiber dusters, soak in warm water with a small amount of mild detergent. Then scrub gently with an old toothbrush before rinsing and drying.

Can you put dusters in the washing machine?

Microfiber dusters can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Wool or feather dusters should be hand washed only. Always air dry dusters completely.

Where should dusters be stored?

Store dusters in a sealable plastic bin or bag in a dry spot. Hang feather dusters on hooks. Keep bristles up to avoid crushing. Don’t tightly squeeze dusters when storing.

Keeping your dusters clean optimizes their effectiveness for dusting. Follow these tips to maintain your dusting tools.


From feather dusters to microfiber, regularly cleaning dusting tools is simple and essential. A clean duster can collect and hold more dust, while dirty dusters simply move dust around. Basic cleaning like vacuuming, shaking, spot washing, and occasional laundering keeps dusters in great shape.

Be sure to brush feathers, fluff microfibers, air dry thoroughly, and store properly. Deep clean feather dusters by hand washing and microfiber dusters in the washing machine once in awhile. With regular maintenance, most dusters will last about 1-2 years. Replace when fibers appear worn, matted, or no longer attract dust.

Keeping your feather dusters, microfiber dusters, and other dusting tools clean optimizes their performance and extends their lifespan. By removing built up grit and restoring fluff, cleaning helps dusters pick up dust better to keep your home cleaner and healthier. Invest a few minutes in regular duster cleaning for sparkling dust-free surfaces.