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How to Clean a California Duster

by William Zane

A popular automotive cleaning tool, the California Duster is a large hand-held duster that is used to remove light dust and dirt from a car’s paint and is intended to be used between washing and waxing of the paint. The duster is made with a special paraffin wax that is baked into the brushes and picks up the dust from any surface that it is wiped over. Though California Dusters are designed to perform for years without being cleaned, occasionally they may need to be cleaned, particularly if they subjected to heavy use.


Shake the duster out very thoroughly after each time it is used. Do this over a trash can or simply outside away from your vehicle. According to the company that makes it, the dirtier a California Duster is, the better it functions.


Wash your California Duster with a mild laundry detergent and cool water if it is very dirty. This should only be done if the duster actually stops lifting dust from the surfaces that it is being used to dust. Fill a container with cold water and some soap and dip the duster in the soap and water mixture. Use your fingers to work the water in between the brushes until the dirt is removed.


Rinse the duster with cold, clean water and then let it air-dry. Do not use hot water to wash it or hot air to dry it--this may damage the paraffin waxes in the duster. Be sure that the duster is completely dry before attempting to dust a vehicle.

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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.

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