Do-Lit-Yourself: Dust Your-shelf Off

As anyone with a sizeable book collection knows, keeping your bookshelves clean and free of dust can be a real pain in the spine. We’ve rounded up four preventative methods and cleaning tips to keep your shelves in ship-shape.


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Here are four tips for keeping your bookshelves clean. For the record, none of these will involve holding your books individually and seeing if they give you joy (you’re welcome).

1. Invest in some glass-fronted bookshelves.

We know: you’re probably thinking, “Ouu, All Lit Up, you fancy, huh.” Not true, reader. If you have an IKEA Billy Bookcase – which, to be honest, most of us do – glass-fronted doors cost just $40 each. While this could still be a sizeable investment if you have a lot of books (if you’re here, we’re guessing you do), maybe start with the shelf with your most prized reads on it.

2. Make these “Linen Dust Shields” (They’re a Good Thing.)

Martha Stewart got us on these DIY dust shields, which cover the tops of your books and make your bookshelves look more uniform, all at once. Saying that they came from old Swedish Libraries sent us on a weird Google spree, where we found scholarly articles like “Dust in Historic Libraries” that was co-authored by FOUR PEOPLE (we also got a picture of an old-school dust shield from that one, to the right).

3. Wax paper is your friend.

Nix questions of “what is wax paper even for?” with this easy hack for the top of your bookcases: just put a sheet of wax paper up there to collect dust. No one will know and you can replace/wipe off every month.

4. Sock puppets are for more than putting on budget productions of Ro-boot-o and Mule-iet.

Buy a pair of those microfibre socks from the dollar store and put them on your hands. Get weird caressing your books and shelves for about two minutes and then throw your new, eco-friendly dusters in the wash. Next week, do it all again.

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Happy cleaning, all. For the record, and as Brian Busby can attest, not all Dusty Bookcases are bad. For more do-lit-yourself, click here.