How To Clean Drywall Dust Off Furniture

During any remodel or new building project, you will eventually have to contend with drywall dust. Luckily, after the grueling task of hanging, mudding, and sanding the drywall, clean up is not too big of a chore. Before you begin finishing a room, you have to deal with all the dust. If you have to leave things in a room while finishing drywall, or dust has migrated out of the workspace and landed on furniture, never fear.  this article will guide you through proper preparation and provide a few tricks to ensure an easier and quicker cleanup. 

how to clean drywall dust off furniture

Dust on Furniture

Even if you’ve taken everything out of an area for a remodel or addition, dust in the air may very well travel into other areas of the house, settling on all kinds of furniture and surfaces. The short of it is: you’ll need to wipe all surfaces, including furniture with a damp cloth. Now, there are several things you can do prior to hanging and sanding drywall that will aid in your cleanup and reduce the amount of dust that settles on furniture. 

Before you even begin to cut, hang or sand drywall, there are several steps you should always take to limi dust spread and make clean up easier. Lay plastic drop cloths, secure edges with tape on the floors, and cover furniture you can’t remove from the room. When you’re ready to clean up, simply roll the dust up into the tarps on dispose of them. 

Seal off the area. Try to limit the number of entrances and exits into the work area, to cut down on the amount of dust that escapes into other rooms. Also, turn off any central heating or air that would 

Start with a sweep. Collect the large piles of dust in the room by gently sweeping towards the middle. Avoid overzealous motions- this will just kick more fine dust into the air. Sweep the dust into the trash – do not be tempted to vacuum large piles. Regular Vacuums will quickly overheat with the fine particles. 

Vacuum the remaining dust. After sweeping, you can run a vacuum along the floors and edges of the room. It’s recommended you use a Shopvac with a HEPA filter, so that the vacuum doesn’t spew drywall dust back out through the exhaust. 

When the majority of your dust is cleaned, you can concentrate on getting the remaining bit of dust off of your furniture. For hard surfaces, you just simply use a damp microfiber cloth, or a bottle with water and dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the dust. Continue to clean your wet microfiber cloth and replace the dirty water. 

For fabric and upholstered furniture, use a vacuum with a vacuum dust brush attachment for settled dust. You may have to go over every surface several times as the remaining dust in the air settles. Upholstered furniture like sofas and cushions are by far the hardest things to get completely dust-free. Continue to beat at cushions to test whether you’ve cleaned.

Related: Using shop vacs for drywall dust.

Helpful Products

Though you can clean up furniture with a simple damp cloth and vacuum (for upholstered furniture), though you’ll have to go over everything at least a couple of times, there are a few tools that will make clean up a little easier.

Dust Mask

Even when cleaning small amounts of dust, it’s a good idea to always wear a dust mask. Some drywall compound contains silica, which is harmful to breathe, and regular drywall dust irritates the eyes and lungs. 


If you do a good job of sweeping and wiping walls and surfaces, you can use a regular vacuum on surfaces and floors, but a Shopvac is a powerful way to make clean up a little quicker. You still can’t suck up huge amounts of drywall dust (it will still clog the vacuum) but wet/dry vacuums can use a special drywall dust collection bag that makes cleaning out the drum much easier. 

HEPA filters

It’s recommended you use a heavy-duty HEPA filter in your Shopvac. It will keep the vacuum from spewing particles back into the air. Keep a spare around so you don’t have to interrupt your cleaning. 

Tape Zip-up Dust Containment Doorway

Another option for dust containment – This product is a convenient way to keep dust corralled into one area. It’s a lot like your plastic drop cloths – the edges tape easily around the doorframe, and you can zip them shut when not in use and roll them up to carry large items through the frame. 

Sweeping compound

You can find this product in water or oil-based forms. It’s a powder that you sprinkle over floors that dust sticks to and keeps it from flying back up into the air. 

Box Fans

Try putting a box fan in the window facing out of the area you’re putting up drywall in. The box fan should help blow some of the air-born dust outside before it settles on surfaces and furniture. 

Professional Cleaning Service

If your dust problem has really gotten out of control, it may be time to avoid more misspent time and seek the advice and methods of a professional cleaning service. There is only so much a damp microfiber cloth and vacuum can do for heavily soiled upholstered furniture. For questions regarding natural fibers and expensive furniture, it’s best to consult a friend in the biz. 

Almost any build or remodel is going to use drywall, and with it is going to come a lot of dust. The best place to begin is always to do as much as you can to prepare for the dust: lay drop cloths, move your furniture as far away from the construction as possible, cover your vents and take care not to track dust into other parts of the home. When your ready to clean, you will probably find some dust has escaped into furnished areas of your home. Don’t worry, a little elbow grease and a few passes with damp cloths and the vacuum will have your space dust free in no time.