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A Butter Knife Can Clean Your Air Vents

An air vent sits at the base of a wall at a hardwood floor.
Claude Huot/Shutterstock.com

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but you should be cleaning your air vents. When skipped, this small part of your house can really build up serious dirt and dust over time. Luckily, there’s an easy trick to cleaning them.

To clean your air vents, all you need is a butter knife and a microfiber cloth.

How is this going to work? Think about how your air vents are shaped. The long, thin slats are difficult to get in between with a traditional duster or sponge. But a butter knife would slide right along the slats. Add the microfiber cloth, and you’ve got an easy clean.

HOMEXCEL Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

12 Pack Cleaning Towels with 4 Color Assorted (Green/Blue/Yellow/Pink) 11.5X11.5

To use this cleaning hack, simply wrap the microfiber cloth around the butter knife (preferably in a single layer so it can be thin enough) and insert it between the slats. Run the knife and cloth back and forth on the air vent slats to remove dust and buildup.

If you have any stubborn sections, you can wet the cloth first to capture more dust. Repeat a back-and-forth motion on all the slats until every bit of dust is gone.

While you’re at it, make sure you examine your air filters to be sure they’re the best fit for your vent size and aren’t too clogged with dust. High-quality air filters improve your home’s air quality by reducing airborne pollutants (and they can keep your vents less dirty).

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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