Removing Interior Construction Dust


Question: “My husband and I just finished building a house and now I’m tasked with cleaning up the construction mess. Any tips on how to get all that dust off the floor and window sills? We’ve tried sweeping, swiffering (both wet and dry), and a big soft floppy mop. Our hardwood floors are an engineered product – maple wood with an amber finish. They are hand-scraped. Any other construction clean-up tips you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!”

Construction projects make wonderful changes to our homes, but leave a blanket of dust that is more of a challenge to remove than one may expect. Patience and perseverance are key with this post-construction task. Here are some methods you can use to get rid of the dust for good.

You Will Need:

  • Air filters
  • Soft towels
  • Broom
  • Tape
  • Used dryer sheets
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Cleaner for specified flooring type
  • Plenty of patience

Methods for Removing Dust:

Dust needs to be trapped rather than spread into the air or it will just land in a new location. With the high levels of dust produced during construction, it will take several cleanings to remove it all. Here are a couple of methods to get rid of dust for good.

  1. One of the first lines of defense against dust is the air filters in your home. They trap dust, but they can also add it to the air if they are not cleaned and replaced regularly. Check your air filters first and replace as needed. For more information, see How to Clean Your Homes Air Filter.
  2. Shelves and ledges are an obvious target when dusting, but remember to include the walls and other vertical surfaces as well.
  3. To easily remove dust from walls, moisten a soft towel with water and wrap it around the bottom of a broom. Secure with tape if necessary.
  4. Push the towel around the wall to collect any dust and wipe it away. The broom handle will help to reach the tops of the walls.
    Warning: If the walls have been recently painted, avoid using anything too moist on them as it can damage the paint. Most paints require 30 days to cure completely.
  5. For baseboards and ledges, used dryer sheets make great dust collectors. Bounce dryer sheets, which have already been through a cycle in the dryer, will collect dust like a magnet. Simply wipe them along ledges and baseboards then toss them in the trash.
  6. For floors, sweep/vacuum (if your vacuum has a filter, be sure to monitor it and clean as needed) and mop regularly using normal cleaning methods for your type of floor. It may take several cleanings, but eventually the dust will be under control.
  7. If there are vents present, remove the covers and vacuum inside of the vents as thoroughly as possible.

Additional Tips and Advice

For steps to clean other areas of your home after construction, see these related articles:


  1. KB says:

    Professionals will take dampened sawdust, sprinkle it around (even on the windowsills), sweep off and most of the fine dust will be trapped in the larger particles and you can pick up the sawdust, then vacuum or Swiffer up the balance. It works really great in the shop too.

  2. J H says:

    Get a wet/dry vac and the brush/floor attachment at your local home improvement center. Buy an extra filter or two. The amount of dust and dirt collected compared to sweeping alone will amaze you.

  3. Paul says:

    I was blessed going through your teaching.
    Thank you so much.

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