Dusting is one of those chores that we must all do at some time or other. If and when done on a regular basis it will be more effective than otherwise. There are many types of dusting tools, including microfiber dusters, Swiffer-like disposable dusting cloths / duster, those multi-colored electrostatic plastic gadgets, and the old fashioned feather duster. With all of these choices how do you know what is the best?
What to Look for in the Best Feather Duster
Although expensive (and can be hard to find) the best is the medium sized duster with black ostrich feathers from the mature male once it has been properly secured into a high quality wooden handle. This will result in a cleaning tool with the softest feathers that are pliable, flexible but not too large for most of the tasks at hand.
The type of feather used in the duster is critical. That said, most feather dusters are made from gray ostrich feathers, as they are the easiest to source, or worse goose down and/or chicken feathers. Simply put, they may look the part, but they do not work as well.
Note: Gray ostrich feathers are from the female bird. Since there are 4 times more female ostriches there are more of the gray feathers. A bright colored or pure white feather has been processed and lost its dust capturing abilities.
Why These Characteristics?
The black feathers are the softest, yet are pliable (bend) and captures the most dust and dirt. They are reusable as well as being easy to clean (after all in real life birds are exposed to water).
Using a different type of feather you will find that chicken feathers will simply dislodge the dust and stir it up rather than trapping it. Thus yielding a potentially bigger mess than you began with!
Even if you have the best feather duster and use it skillfully, you will still have to wipe and polish the furniture occasionally.
Furthermore feather dusters cannot be used wet (or even damp). It is also imperative that you are VERY gentle with the feather duster. If not you will have a mess on your hands when a dirt particle ends up scratching the fine wood or antique furniture. Additionally these are not effective for the big clean, only when used regularly where only a minimal amount of dust has accumulated.
Ostriches are big birds with big feathers. As a result these dusters are usually too large to work with easily resulting in an ongoing battle and struggle to dust the small items and/or tight corners.
A Great Option! Microfiber Dusters
If you want a long lasting option and prefer to avoid animal products while power dusting, consider the microfiber duster.
While most microfiber dusters are manufactured from split microfiber, the fluffier versions (such as the microfiber duster offered on Amazon by CleansGreen®) will most closely replicate the best feather duster while also overcoming the shortfalls of the traditional feather duster.
Fun Feather Duster Info: While the original idea for the feather duster was conceived in an Iowa broom factory in 1870, the ostrich feather duster was first created in 1903 by missionary, Harry S. Beckner in South Africa.