How to Clean Sheetrock Dust?

Tidy up like a pro even in the most dusty room!

When you install drywall or remove it, you will always end up with the same all around dusty room no matter how you try to keep it clean! However, cleaning up is essential, especially if you are planning to proceed afterward and, let’s say, apply paint onto the walls or the ceiling.

This is why we decided to remind you how to clean up sheetrock dust effectively and quickly using a minimal number of instruments. Read attentively and memorize so that next time you will be able to get rid of that mess with a few simple moves.

How to Clean Sheetrock Dust Before Painting?

Actually, it does not matter whether you are going to paint anything after working with sheetrock or not. It does not even matter much whether you were removing the drywall or you were installing it. In each case, whether it is sanding or cutting, drywall will leave tons of dust.

It usually happens if we sand or cut drywall in the wrong way. See, it contains such substances as silica, mica, gypsum and others that release tiny particles when being cut or sanded. Those particles of dust can be very harmful for our throat, eyes, and respiratory system in general. This is why people often want to know how to clean sheetrock dust and get ready for paint or simply keep the room tidy again.

Since drywall dust tends to collect on almost any surface, such as windows, walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and even carpets and furniture, knowing how to clean up after sheetrock dust is a must.

There are a few easy methods that everyone can use to make an area clean again after the drywall was sanded or cut there. Those include:

  • Ventilation
  • Sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping

And now let us describe in detail a step by step instruction on how to make use of each of these methods to make it work successfully.

Open the Windows

Start with letting more fresh air in! Open all the windows and even doors in the house to increase ventilation. In addition, make sure that all the vents, heating, as well as air conditioning systems are switched off!

Like this, you will keep the drywall dust settled more or less and prevent it from spreading all over the house. Also, such measures will keep the least of that dust circulating while you clean it all up.

However, do please note that you must wear a respiratory mask or a dust mask when ventilating to prevent inhaling those tiny particles of drywall dust!

How to Clean Sheetrock Dust Before Painting
Credits: GeorgePeters, via Canva.com

Place a Fan At the Window

When sweeping drywall dust in piles around the room to throw it away later, we would recommend you set a fan at the window and turn so that it blows outside. Like this, you will blow away the dusty particles that are floating in the air after sweeping.

Also, this method will work way more effectively if you open one or better two windows and place a fan at each of them. But even if you don’t have that many fans, simply keeping the windows open will do the job perfectly.

Sweep And Remove the Bulk Of the Drywall Dust

After you finish working with drywall, remember to sweep the floor with a wide broom and collect the drywall dust in a pile (better one than several) to collect it in dust bags later. If you see that the dust is way too airborne, spraying it with water mist may help to settle it down a bit.

Of course, you will not be able to clean up all the dust like this, but still you will definitely manage to collect most of it. By the way, it is important that you let the dust settle after you collect it into a bag. Just let it sit for fifteen minutes before you proceed with cleaning up.

Vacuum All the Surfaces

Vacuuming will free all the dusted surfaces from the layer of drywall dust particles that gathered on them while sanding or cutting it. Our recommendation is to make use of a good vacuum cleaner designed specially for the drywall dust. It has a brush attachment so you can collect as much dust as possible.

Simply turn the vacuum cleaner on and work with it from top to bottom, left to right all over the dusty surfaces. Remember to move gradually since drywall dust tends to cling to walls. Also, if you previously pulverized water onto the drywall dust, you might want to make use of a really strong shop vacuum cleaner designed for a dry and wet vacuuming. Like this, you will avoid clogging its filters.

Vacuum All the Surfaces
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Clean the Floor With Mop And Water

After you work with the shop vacuum cleaner on all the surfaces that were covered with drywall dust, the next step will be to finish the cleaning procedure with mopping. For that, you will need to either make use of a wet mop or opt for a wet cloth. Anyway, take the type of surface you will be cleaning into consideration!

For instance, if you are going to wipe the hardwood flooring, you can make use of a microfiber cloth. But for cleaning the concrete floor, a normal wet mop will do perfectly well. As for the rough surfaces (for instance, masonry or tile grout), a damp cloth will be the ideal solution since it will allow you to collect the dust without turning everything into a muddy mess.

Mopping Walls Before Priming.  Painting New Wallboard or Drywall.  New construction painting.Mopping Walls Before Priming. Painting New Wallboard or Drywall. New construction painting.

Ventilate the Room

Finally, the very last step that needs to be taken is to ventilate the room where the drywall was removed, sanded, or cut.

This is the basic plan on how to clean up the drywall dust in your house with the minimum of instruments and effort. If you take all these steps and do everything right according to the provided instructions, you can be sure that the room will return to its initial clean state easily.

Is It Fine to Vacuum Drywall Dust?

This question is often asked by the homeowners since they are afraid that the drywall dust can damage the appliance somehow. And indeed, there is a risk of clogging the vacuum cleaner’s filters if you use a common household device for vacuuming this type of dust.

This is why it is strongly recommended to stick to a strong shop vac to cope with the task successfully without causing any harm to the device. As an option, if you can’t buy the vac like this, you can install a heavy duty HEPA filter into your regular vacuum cleaner to protect it from damages.

Like this, you will be sure that, while vacuuming, the drywall dust will not be spewed back into the air!

Is It Fine to Vacuum Drywall Dust
Credits: GeorgePeters, via Canva.com

What to Do With Drywall Dust On Concrete Floors?

If you have ever wondered how to clean sheetrock dust off concrete flooring, you will now receive a detailed instruction. First of all, when working with drywall in a room that has concrete flooring, it is recommended to keep it sprinkled with water. Like this, you will catch that floating dust much easier and prevent it from spreading around.

Also, since concrete is the type of material that is not that easy to scratch or damage somehow, you will be able to easily and safely clean it up by scraping the drywall dust and mud from the floor later. For the cleaning procedure, you will simply need a trowel and some water, and also a sponge and a piece of microfiber cloth.

The cleaning process itself will look like this:

  • You scrape up the excess drywall mud from the floor with the trowel
  • Now spray some water on the dirty areas
  • Scrub the flooring with the sponge that you previously prepared
  • If there are any stubborn drywall spots that don’t go away easily, add more water on them and repeat the whole process from the beginning
  • Finish with wet mopping the floor and ventilate the house well

But of course, if there is not that much drywall dust on your concrete floor, it is ok if you simply vacuum it from there with a dry-wet shop vac that has a brush attachment! And remember to mop the floor in the end with a wet microfiber pad to delete any drywall particles that may remain after the cleaning.

What to Do With Drywall Dust On Concrete Floors
Credits: GeorgePeters, via Canva.com

Dealing With Drywall Dust In Your Carpet

Did you ever experience drywall dust ending on your carpet? If you did, then you know how extremely exhausting it is to get it out of this fluffy stuff! carpets tend to absorb that dust like crazy making it almost impossible to get it out later, especially if you don’t do this at once after the carpet was dusted.

Unfortunately, the only way you can clean such a dusty carpet up if the sheetrock dust found its way into its fibers is to hire a carpet cleaning machine. To use it properly, follow the simple guide:

  • Dampen your carpet with clean water
  • Run the carpet cleaning machine in small sections
  • Repeat the whole process from the very beginning to extract all the drywall dust particles from the carpet fibers
  • Let the carpet flooring dry completely before you start using the room

However, we would suggest you simply remove the carpet from the room where you are planning to work on the drywall. It will be easier and also it will allow you to avoid a cleaning procedure later.

Dealing With Drywall Dust In Your Carpet
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How to Clean Up Drywall Dust From Windows, Ceilings, Doors?

Drywall dust is an extremely airborne stuff that can easily end up on your windows, ceilings, doors and any other surfaces. This is why cleaning it off will strongly hang upon the type of surface you are working with.

For the doors, wipe the drywall dust off using a damp cloth and allow the door to dry. Later, wipe again using a clean and dry piece of microfiber cloth. Like this, you will easily remove the streaks and lines if there are any on the surface of the door.

To clean the windows, use soapy water and a soft microfiber cloth. Rinse them with clean water and end up with using WD-40 for wiping to remove the streak marks.

As for the ceiling, if it is made of sheetrock, never sprinkle water on it! Instead, dry wipe it or use a brush attachment with a long hose on your home vacuum cleaner to collect the drywall dust.

How to Clean Up Drywall Dust From Windows, Ceilings, Doors
Credits: GeorgePeters, via Canva.com

How to Prevent Dusting?

Of course, the only obvious way of skipping the cleaning is to prevent the room from being dusted. And if you work with the drywall often enough (and thus you often have to deal with the drywall dust!), it makes sense to invest in good equipment that will help to reduce the amount of dust released in the air.

What we advise you to do is to check out the most effective dustless tools that you can use for applying drywall:

  • Dust bubble drill that allows you to drill without dust
  • Abranet ace HD film
  • HYDE dust-free sponge sander (especially good on flat surfaces including wood)
  • Abranet Max Sponge

As an alternative option, think of wet sanding. Like this, you will prevent that annoying dust from contaminating the whole house! Simply add a wet-sanding attachment to the drywall sander you are using, and you will see how easily you will get rid of the drywall dust.

So now you are totally informed about how to clean sheetrock dust from different surfaces easily and safely. Now you know what to do if the drywall dust ended up on your ceiling, on the doors or windows, and even deep in your carpets!

You also have a complete and detailed guide on how to clean that dust in general no matter the surface and the material it is made of. With all that handy information in mind, you will be able to keep your house clean and even make the room where the drywall was removed or cut quickly enough.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long does it take to clean up drywall dust?

Depending on the tools used, it may take you from a few hours to the whole day.

⭐ How to clean sheetrock dust off furniture?

Try to vacuum it with a strong vac.

⭐ How to clean sheetrock dust off hardwood floors?

Sweep the floor and then vacuum it and mop in the end.

How do you clean off drywall dust before painting?How do you clean off drywall dust before painting?
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