The Best Way to Clean Drywall Dust in a New Building

By: Hayden Bodiford
December 27, 2022

Installing drywall is necessary for finishing many interior rooms, but it can also be tedious and complicated when cleaning the room afterward. Not only must drywall dust be cleaned before a new building is usable, but you may also find it hard to get rid of for a few weeks after too! Fortunately, by implementing proven dust-capturing methods, you can ensure a quick and efficient clean-up that won’t force you to scour your space for wayward dust particles later on.

Or, if you’re looking for help cleaning your building following drywall installation, trust the experts at 360clean. As leaders in the commercial cleaning industry, our specialized approach to cleaning protects your employees and clients from dangerous germs while also protecting your business’ bottom line. To learn more about our commercial cleaning services for offices, warehouses, and more, contact us today for a free quote.

How to Contain Drywall Dust

We know you’re probably eager to move furniture into your new office building. Still, the first and arguably most crucial step to containing drywall dust is removing everything from the room. However, if you need to move some furniture in immediately, wrap those pieces in plastic and tape up the edges so that wandering dust can’t creep in. Don’t just drape an item and assume it is protected—dust can still seep through even the smallest openings. It’s best to do this now rather than spending hours cleaning dust out of your furniture later.

Once you’ve confirmed that there’s no way dust can get through the plastic, it’s time to cover all vents, closet doors, and floor edges with painter’s tape. As with the furniture, take extra care to ensure that all edges are sealed. Failing to do so will likely result in you being forced to spend more time cleaning later.

Experts recommend paying attention to where two pieces of tape meet and ensuring they overlap. Taping them next to one another instead of together creates a space where dust could get in and make a mess.

Containing Dust in the Entryway

For the entrance to the space, experts recommend installing a zip-up dust containment doorway. However, if this isn’t feasible, you can create your own by hanging two pieces of plastic next to one another. Position the sheets vertically with a significant amount of overlap, then position a third piece over the entirety of the doorway. When properly positioned, the two layers create a kind of antechamber that keeps dust from escaping.

To this end, keep your makeshift doorway taped shut while working. You’ll appreciate this suggestion later when you’re relaxing instead of cleaning dust out of the nooks and crannies of neighboring rooms.

How to Clean Drywall Dust

Preparation is one of the most crucial aspects of any drywall-related task, including clean-up. After all, running back and forth to track down essential items after the project has already begun creates more chances for dust to get tracked through your building. Here are a few items you should consider acquiring before you start.

Personal Protective Equipment

Properly cleaning drywall dust starts with personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes a dust mask, gloves, and proper eye protection. These accessories will prevent any dust particles from getting into your eyes and lungs, where they can cause real harm. You might also choose to wear earplugs, depending on the amount of dust you suspect you will be dealing with. Few things are worse than trying to clean dust out of your ears. Just ask any contractor!

Spray Bottle

Once you’ve selected your PPE, purchase a spray bottle and fill it with water. While there are many ways to clean drywall dust, good old H20 is the best. Dust absorbs the water, and the dust becomes weighed down and unable to dissipate into the atmosphere. After spraying the dust, you can use a broom or vacuum to remove it without fear of it floating into the air.

The Clean-up Process

The next step to cleaning up the dust is to use a damp cloth to wipe down all walls, doors, and other surfaces. Once you’ve done that, spray every surface in the room with water, including the plastic sheets covering your entryway. Be careful, though, as too much dust-infused water can also cause issues.

Once you’ve sprayed everything and the dust is adequately saturated, you’re free to choose whichever clean-up method works best for your preference. Some people swear by wet-dry shop vacuums, while others prefer to continue using a cloth to wipe the surfaces down. You can also use a broom to sweep the dust into a dustpan, though this method won’t be as effective on wet dust.

By the time you’ve completed this step, your plastic drop cloths should be somewhat clean. From here, you’ll want to mist them again, remove the tape, and fold them up. Carefully collect these items and place them in a garbage bag. Take a moment to inspect the bag for holes and confirm that it’s properly sealed before taking it out. After you’ve discarded the trash bag, change your clothes before using a damp cloth to give the room one last wipe down.

How to Clean Drywall Dust Off the Furniture

It’s still possible to get drywall dust on your furniture after following the most stringent precautions. That’s because it’s an incredibly fine substance that can be extremely difficult to contain completely. Fortunately, there are proven ways to get it out of even the most troublesome surfaces.

Don’t Use a Household Vacuum

Most household vacuums don’t contain a HEPA filter, which is crucial for vacuuming drywall dust and other potential irritants. If you’re unsure whether your vacuum has one, it probably doesn’t. If you use a vacuum without a HEPA filter, it could end up becoming clogged with dust, leading to additional (and expensive) issues. Consider renting a shop vac if your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter. These specialized vacuums are ideal for removing fine dust particles. If you’re concerned about whether a specific shop vac will work for your job, you can always consult the rental company.

At 360clean, we proudly use Hepa Vacuums with four levels of filtration. To learn more about our commercial cleaning services, remember to contact us for your free quote.

Fans Are Your Friend

If you have upholstered furniture, take it outside and use a high-powered fan to blow the dust out. You can also strike the upholstery with a broom to release the dust. By using these two methods in tandem, you can get your furniture dust-free in no time.

Damp Cloth

When you’re finished with the broom and fan, take a damp cloth and wipe the furniture down from top to bottom to collect any lingering dust. If you’re working with wooden furniture, you can use a damp cloth or dust-collecting cleaner like Pledge.

The Dangers of Drywall Dust

In addition to being frustrating, drywall dust can also be dangerous. Inhaling it can result in several long-term issues, including:

  • Throat irritation
  • Increased phlegm
  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Silicosis (a persistent lung disease caused by breathing silica dust)
  • Lung cancer

For this reason, it’s essential to take proper precautions when cleaning drywall dust. Taking the time to ensure that you have adequate PPE and appropriate cleaning materials will allow you to keep your building dust-free while saving you a serious headache.

Leave the Cleaning to the Experts

If the thought of cleaning up drywall dust fills you with anxiety, why not leave it to the experts? At 360clean, we focus on cleaning so you can focus on the many responsibilities involved in running your business. We understand that safeguarding the health and well-being of your employees, customers, and vendors is your top priority. That’s why we deploy our proven JaniMed® system.

The system consists of specialized training, hospital-grade disinfectants, touch surface disinfection, and state-of-the-art equipment, including micro-fiber technology and Hepa Vacuums with four levels of filtration. The best part is that we can often implement our JaniMed® system at the same price or even less than your current commercial cleaning service. To learn more about our commercial cleaning services offices, warehouses, and more, contact us today for a free quote.

Hayden Bodiford

Social Media and PR Manager for 360clean. Based in Charleston, SC

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