Dust Removal

We live on a dirt road and thanks to certain neighbors who refuse to slow down, we are constantly wiping dust off horizontal surfaces in our house. I'm sure there must be dust inside my components but am not sure of the best way to deal with it.

Blow it out w/ compressed air?

Use a vacuum?  


I'd use a soft brush in conjunction with a vacuum cleaner (small hand held one probably best). Sweep with brush, suck up dispersed dust with vacuum at same time.

What are you doing to prevent the dust from affecting your gear?  Covers for speaker and electronics, running an air purifier, installing heavy drapes around doors and windows?

Same here,gravel road and three dogs that shed all summer. I keep them covered with squares of fabric and vacuum the speakers. There are custom covers you can  buy also.There's one or two companies that come up if you Google it.

I use compressed air. There is an electronics cleaner that is similar to brake cleaning fluid but it will not hurt anything electronic. Techs use it to clean switches and such. If the have air handlers for heating and air conditioning you need to have hi performance filters installed. They will improve thind dramatically. I would say in my house by about 90%. I would not worry about the stereo. I would worry about breathing that stuff in all the time. Read up on Silicosis! 

I don’t have a real problem with it but I do keep a microfiber cloth over both of my turntables when not in use.

I would start by trying to solve the problem of dust entering- that might be sealing windows with appropriate materials and looking at other places where dust or detritus enters the residence. I am now in an 1880's wooden house that is tight as hell, from a pest expert who screened every inch of the crawl space, to addressing window leakages- the house was restored to museum standards in 2004 but not all was practical. I've been addressing that as part of continual maintenance of an old house (I've had many).

Assuming you have done the best you can reasonably do on that front, what does your HVAC system look like? How tight are the filters? There's a trade off between filtering incoming air and efficiency and you don't want to burden your systems. I use MERV 11 filters that are 4 inches deep and HEPA stand alones in a few critical areas, including the record cleaning area.

The system room itself- I vacuum, but I have to be very careful around the equipment. I have a cleaning regime that includes using a fabric sticky roller for the platter, alcohol non fiber cloths to clean the tone arm rail and various things to dust- the Tiger Cloth, recommended to me by @antinn is not only useful for getting the odd post cleaning dust mote off an otherwise clean record, but a good dust cloth. 

It's a Sisyphean task in the sense that it is ongoing, but there are ways to reduce the amount of "pollution" that comes into your house. I'm not big on canned air b/c of the accelerants; I do try to keep the components relatively dust free. It's a large, dedicated room with a lot of records, a second room that is office and record storage and a utility area adjacent where the record cleaning equipment resides.

I'm OCD enough to maintain it. I'm starting to feel my age a bit. In ten years, will I still go through this? Don't know. Who does? 

Some very uban answers here.  Dust is a fact of life in dry rural areas. 

It won't hurt your gear.


One way may be to use better furnace filters.  Use Merv 11 to 13.  Also, you can build inexpensive high quality filters out of a box fan and Merv filter. 

Yes, compressed air, but it can lead to short-term condensation, so make sure your gear is UNPLUGGED before blowing any air cans..  Let it sit for 20 minutes before plugging back in. 

Sneak some speed bumps on the road about 50' on either side of your home overnight and feign innocence when asked about it.


Sneak some speed bumps on the road about 50' on either side of your home overnight and feign innocence when asked about it.

Hah!  I really wish I could get away with that -- we get mighty sick of the jerks who use our private road as a dirt-bike race course. But given the attitudes and personalities involved, it could lead to armed conflict, so best not. 

I really feel for you, having to live (survive?) under those circumstances. We were making such progress as a species only to have the bar lowered.

All the best,


Unfortunately, one guy’s Dark Age is another guy’s Golden Age.

How can humanity move forward if a large percentage want to go back... and if one guy’s forward is another guy’s back?

In a rural area such as this, prone to both intense snow events and intense wildfires, no one can really afford to allow personal politics/culture war attitudes to define interactions with others. It comes down to survival.

It’s galling that a whole Lotta folks seem to have no regard or conception of, what used to be known as the social contract but I don’t see anything’s to be gained by confrontation. I’d just as soon not know about my neighbors’ politics. It's a matter of practicality.





That's some of the finest advice and way of looking at life I've heard. You've adapted to your surroundings ensuring your survival and safety. 

I grew up in a time when the neighbors on both sides of my parents house could just walk right in, as well as we in theirs. We'd have summer water fights that involved an entire block or two. We could always count on each other for that emergency ride to the hospital of if the car broke down, a ride to the supermarket or school event.

My dad used to work at the studios and he'd bring home 16mm versions of movies and TV shows. He'd set up in the driveway with a big pull down screen and spool the film up in the projector. My mom would make the popcorn, hot dogs and set out the chips and sodas along with the seating. When the sun went down, the neighbors would all gather round and we'd watch the shows. 

Now it's every man for themselves and who can be the local warlord. They'd laugh at the notion of any kind of social contract unless they are the ones dictating it, regardless of how you feel about it.

Sounds like you'd be a great neighbor.

All the best,

The dust storms in the California desert are just awful. They are bad enough to ruin the paint on cars! With that and five dogs in the house, I had to sweep and vacuum everyday.

On the other topic, when I got up here to my sister’s house in S. Washington she had a lawn sign that proclaimed "Black Lives Matter". I don’t believe in subjecting others to your unsolicited opinions (some here may find that claim specious ;-), and took it down.

Beside getting way from the desert dust, my new listening room sounds fantastic, and the neighborhood is the quietest I’ve ever lived in. Plus there are lots of great local record stores, good sounding small music venues (this past Wednesday I saw Joe Henry live in a beautiful old church in Portland), and cool weather. Those 115-120 degree days in the desert got to be real old!

These people are driving up and down your private road? Are they also residents of the private road? If not, I would be considering a gate and appropriate signage. I totally understand the points you've made but surely there comes a limit to what one must tolerate of those who cannot see beyond what directly influences them.


I remember how things used to be, as you describe. I suppose every generation tends to believe things were better "back in the day" but the evaporation of what was once called " common courtesy" is truly lamentable.

At the same time, I believe it’s critical these days to resist the impulse to place others in "either/or" categories, because that just feeds polarization. They become "one of those people" -- we cease to regard them as individuals, which, in my experience, does not support positive interactions or understanding.


I agree re: such signs. They are not going to change anyone’s mind who disagrees. "F**k Biden" flags and signs are common in these parts and in other areas, there are signs proclaiming homeowner’s liberal views. This is a touchy subject, though and I would never suggest how anyone else ought to handle it!

We live in the Sierra Foothills at around 3000" and the soil is extremely fine. In the summer, it’s like red talcum powder (high iron content), although not as red as say, Sedona. Anyway, we put a "please drive slowly when dusty" sign and many just speed right past, training great plumes of dust. Because it’s so fine, it can drift a surprisingly distance.


These people are driving up and down your private road? Are they also residents of the private road? If not, I would be considering a gate and appropriate signage. I totally understand the points you’ve made but surely there comes a limit to what one must tolerate of those who cannot see beyond what directly influences them.

Yes they do and no, they aren’t. For various reasons, a gate isn’t practical. Some of us have complained to the Sherriff’s dept. to no avail. And the law protects trespassers. If someone rides their dirt-bike on my property and gets hurt, I’m liable. There are folks around here who simply enjoy antagonizing others and there’s not a whole lot we "others" can do about it, unless we’re willing to risk incarceration. This is part of a trend -- what was once called "license" is now regarded as "freedom", as in "It’s my right to do whatever I please with no regard for others".

In 2012 an old friend and I drove from L.A. to Austin, to look at the housing market there. All across Texas the lawn signs read "Romney For President" until we approached Austin, at which time the signs read "Obama" for same. Texas is bipolar 😊 .

On the way back a Texas Ranger pulled me over for speeding (everybody drives at least 80 mph in L.A.), and he was quite a bit more pleasant than are California Highway Patrolmen. He let me go with a warning.

I have used Caig's compressed air in canisters.  But you need to make sure to not spray from the nozzle too close to the components and make sure it is a gentle flow of air to dislodge the dust and dirt.  Mostly I try to keep a cloth over the equipment when we are not using it.

@bdp24 ....what chunk of TX did the Ranger snag you in?

Some of the 'natives' I rubbed elbow with used to speak of 90+ on some of the 'ruler roads' existing..
...which I employed going from rural west of HOU to HOU Intercontinental, to drop shipping at UPS or FedEx overnight airfreight....

A Tacoma Toy, loaded 'proper', would be nice 'n stable for forays of such... ;)

Never Nabbed...👍  For speed, anyway....*L*

Even then, only once.

Different story.... ;)



It’s a sad state of affairs.

Yes, and I don’t expect it will get any better until a sufficient number of people reach the conclusion that the benefits of compromise outweigh those of fighting and demonization. Of course, the former requires a certain amount of humility and does not offer the ego gratification associated with the latter.






That looks promising. Thanks. 

Amazon sells similar units with lower power ratings. 

I'm curious why you chose the 250 watt unit. 


@stuartk I didn't want a rechargeable unit and I picked 2 speed 250w/600w so I'd have some control. I had no idea whether it would work well but it did.

Low power isn't enough for under and around components.

@asvjerry: I don't remember where in Texas we were Jerry. On a trip from L.A. to NYC in 1982, it took me 5 days in total (we stopped every night), one of them just to make it through Texas alone. Asleep At The Wheel's "Miles And Miles Of Texas" came to mind 😊 .

@bdp24 Texas Rangers do not make traffic stops, DPS Troopers do. My daughter is a Texas Ranger. 

@mc1968: Ah, okay. Live and learn! I was gonna ask but looked it up instead: DPS is Department Of Public Safety.

The Rangers are part of DPS but they are the tactical and investigative arm. My daughter is on the Tactical Operations team (swat) and is deployed in the RGV supporting border security.