Vacuum before you dust or dust before you vacuum?

Vacuuming illustrationWhen I was a child my mother taught me always to dust before I vacuumed so that I’d vacuum up all of the dust after dusting it onto the floor.  This is a similar concept to cleaning up the spill on the counter before cleaning up the spill on the floor.  Working from the top down makes sense in almost all home cleaning procedures.  So you’ll imagine my surprise recently when I was at my friend’s house, who has worked as a maid for many Winnipeg cleaning services, and it came up that she always vacuums before she dusts.  The rationale is that vacuuming actually kicks up loose dust particles, and if you have a good duster, then almost all of the dust should stick to the duster, and very little should fall on the floor.  Obviously neither method is perfect, but if you weigh out the pros and cons one option should be superior to the other.  Obviously two factors that play into this are the types of floors being vacuumed (carpet, tile, wood etc.) and also the height of the lowest dust collecting surfaces in the room.  Other factors that would have an effect would be the type of vacuum being used and the quality of the duster being used, as well as how often each is cleaned.  With so many variables involved I decided to take a poll of the top home cleaning services in Winnipeg and see if one method was used more than the other.  Of the seven cleaning services called six of them dust first and vacuum second, and one vacuums first and dusts second.  I understand that this isn’t a large enough sample to be statistically valid, but since this is the way I’ve been doing it my entire life I have no plans on changing now.  If you have a very good duster, and your vacuum is not so good, you might want to consider doing this the other way around, or if you have very low flat surfaces that can collect dust.  Assuming however, that you are using a typical feather style duster, and a mid range vacuum, you’re probably better off to start with the dusting and then vacuum after.  Another good method that could solve this issue all together would be to dust and vacuum on opposite schedules.  This way you’re never directly undoing work that you’ve done, and every few days you get to enjoy a new clean aspect of your home.  You can check out some other people’s answer to this question on this yahoo answers question.  I’m very interested to hear thoughts from my readers, so if you have a strong opinion on this (not so strong opinions are okay too) then please leave a comment below.  If you like this style of post that involves me doing a little research and contacting local companies then please also let me know about that.  It was actually really fun calling all of the maid companies and asking to speak with the employees that actually do the house cleanings.  They were all really excited to talk to me, and gave me some other great tips for cleaning my house that I’ll be sure to put into action, and most likely blog about at a later date.