The best way to remove drywall dust from any surface in your home
Best Way To Clean Drywall Dust
We have done tons of projects around here that have required new drywall.
Our first One Room Challenge guest bathroom makeover, which is the first time either of us had even touched drywall ourselves, and it was a beast.
Not to mention the entire first flip house, Beverly and now Archie have had to have new drywall in the whole home.
And now throw in our new kitchen renovation we are in the middle of, and we have had our share of experience with drywall dust.
But how do you clean it up? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
How To Clean Dust Off Drywall After Sanding
Containing Drywall Dust
If possible, regardless of the size of your project, it is beneficial to at least attempt to contain the dust in the working area.
If not, you’ll run into the issue that we did (even though we contained it) and have it travel everywhere.
To contain the dust, we recommend using Zipwall. You can zip up this plastic to get in and out, but it helps keep the dust at bay.
You can also just use painter’s plastic and tape it up, but the problem is that if it gets on you or your shoes, it will absolutely travel.
We had it from the laundry room (which is attached to the kitchen), and it somehow ended up upstairs, simply from us having to traffic through the mess before we went upstairs.
Drywall Dust on Doors, Windows, and Ceilings
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Depending on where your drywall dust is, you’ll want a few things on hand to help you clean things up:
- Zipwall or painters plastic
- Face mask
- Broom and dustpan
- Microfiber cloth or tack cloth
- Surface cleaner (this can be something like my favorite scented Clorox wipes or a more natural solution like a DIY homemade cleaner)
- Mop (I prefer a Swiffer, but you can use any kind of mop like this super inexpensive microfiber mop from Amazon that I love!)
- Optional: Spot cleaner for rugs or fabric furniture
If you don’t have a shop vac, now is a good time to invest in one! We got ours at Harbor Freight for next to nothing, but you can try Home Depot or Amazon if you don’t have a Harbor Freight.
Here are some highly-rated options if you’re in the market for a shop vac:
Hard surfaces – Ceilings
The best advice I would give is to work your way from the top down.
Use a microfiber mop or a microfiber cloth on the end of a mop to get dust from the ceiling and walls.
Wood floors/tile or baseboards
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure all the big pieces are off the floor.
When working with drywall dust, you’ll most likely have chunks of drywall or drywall mud that you’ll need to sweep.
Sweep all the large pieces into a pile and use your Shopvac to suck it all up.
Then go back in with a microfiber or tack cloth to remove more.
Pro tip: Be careful using a tack cloth on cabinet surfaces because sometimes they can leave a residue that is hard to clean off of some cabinet surfaces.
While we didn’t have carpet inside of the place where we had drywall installed, we have rugs in all of our bedrooms.
Drywall dust travels very easily, especially if you’re going to be walking a lot in the areas. It will suit you best to either pull up the rugs in rooms or make sure you have a good spot carpet cleaner on hand.
We have and love our Bissell Little Green Steamer, which you can use for quick spot cleaning.
If you have full-blown carpet, just make sure it’s covered as much as possible. I promise you, it’s going to be a disaster.
It’s detail time after you’ve done the bigger pieces and gotten most of the dust.
I like to use some type of Clorox or Lysol wipe for hard surfaces that allow.
I also have a secret weapon:
A dryer sheet.
I find that after I use a microfiber cloth, it acts as a tack cloth a bit but doesn’t leave the residue.
My dryer sheet was able to pick up this much dust in one tiny area after using a shop vac and a microfiber cloth.
It may take a couple of times to mop before it comes clean, but I promise you, there is an end in sight.
Now that you know how to actually clean up drywall dust, it’s time to do that very unfun part of starting to do it. Make sure you have all your supplies gathered beforehand and be as thorough as possible when cleaning.
Take your time! Once you’re finished, you can admire the hard work of your freshly drywalled space.