First, only 100% ostrich-down feathers reliably attract dust. Yes, ostriches have down feathers just as geese do. Any just like the goose variety, ostrich down is softer, more pliable, and more valuable than run-of-the-mill feathers. Forget cheap synthetic dusters, brightly dyed chicken-feather dusters, or even regular ostrich feathers. They don’t work. Ostrich down works, but it’s not cheap. Expect to pay more for a good ostrich-down duster. The length of the feathers isn’t of primary importance; softness and flexibility are. Don’t get too large a duster for normal households. Two-foot-long feathers are almost impossible to maneuver into tight spots without knocking over almost everything in sight.
To avoid stirring up dust it is essential to use the right dusting technique. Pull the feathers along the dusty surface, using a steady, even stroke. Come to a dead stop at the duster from the surface, the dust is attracted to the feathers by static electricity. Shake out accumulated dust from the feathers by tapping the duster against your ankle every once in a while. The dust then settles to the floor, where you can later vacuum it away.
By the way, feather dusters work well only when used to maintain a basically clean home. If your home (I mean other people’s homes – not yours, of course) hasn’t been dusted in six months, you (I mean they) must remove the accumulated dust with a vacuum or by wet-cleaning with a cloth. Then a feather duster can be employed on a regular basis.
Even if you have an ostrich-down duster and use it skillfully, you’ll still have to polish and wipe occasionally. For example, you may be able to dust a seldom-used end table with a feather duster for weeks at a stretch, but eventually you’ll have to reach for the furniture polish and a cloth to remove dust thoroughly and to enhance the surface shine. It’s the same with baseboards. You can dust them most of the time with a feather duster, but they’ll need an occasional swipe with Red Juice and a cleaning cloth to stay clean. And you would never use a feather duster on a dining table that’s used three times a day. That table need furniture polish and a polishing cloth or a good wiping each time you clean.