How to Clean a Big Dusty Bookshelf – the Ultimate Guide

The Colour Red

Photo by craiglea123

Most people are always particular about where they keep the most precious things in their homes. You might be imagining a wardrobe or a locker where you store jewelry.

But for a person who loves books, his or her bookshelf is much more precious than any locker, because that is where all the books are stored. As the bookshelf houses your most precious belongings – your books – you must take care of it. In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to clean a big dusty bookshelf.

1. Remove everything

In the first step, remove everything from the shelves. At this point don’t bother with sorting, just get the shelves empty.

2. Clean bookcase

Once you empty the bookcase, pull it out from the wall and dust both the back of the case and the wall behind it. When you are done, it is a good time to vacuum the floor behind and beneath it. During this step, use an extension duster if you need to. Make sure to dust the bookcase inside and out, and clean any grimy spots.

3. Sort through your books

In the third step, sort through your books and give away any that you no longer find interesting. Consider using a free service like BookMooch, if you want to trade your discards for more books. Bear in mind that you will just pay to ship the books you are giving away and the books that you are receiving come free of charge. You can also randomly donate books using a site like BookCrossing and maybe cultivate your book karma. How does this work? It is simple: You register your books and leave them in public locations for other people to find. When a person stumbles on your book, he or she registers it as found and passes the love along once he or she has read it.

4. Clean each book individually

Clean your books individually by dusting them, both inside and outside the dust covers where debris builds up. Use a hand-held vacuum in order to dust along the tops of the pages.

5. Organize books

In this step, you should organize your books in a way you plan on displaying them. For example, you can display fiction books by subject and then author in one bookcase, and non-fiction alphabetized by title in another bookcase. Feel free to do it as you like.

6. Return books to the shelves

In the last step, return your books to the shelves. During this step, feel free to play around with how you arrange the books. Contemporary, colorful books become decorative objects when you place them horizontally like bookends, while leather-bound books look lovely all in a row. Coffee-table, photography and art books almost look like paintings when their covers are displayed face-forward.

7. Clean bookshelves weekly

Once you’ve cleaned your bookshelf, it is important to keep it clean on a weekly basis. It is sufficient to dust the sides and top of the shelves with a microfiber cloth, then the part of the shelves that stick out beyond the books and the tops and spines of the books. Take this chance to also restore misplaced books to their proper location, and to remove any items that do not belong on your bookshelf.