What Is a Stair Dust Corner?—And How to Know If You Need One

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Say hello to the stair dust corner. This vintage cleaning shortcut is equal parts classy and practical.

As far as household chores go, sweeping is one of the more relaxing tasks. There’s no lugging around large or heavy pieces of equipment, and the simple, repetitive motions can even feel soothing. That is, until you get to a tricky area, like a staircase or awkward corner, and you can’t get rid of those bits of dust and dirt out no matter how hard you try. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this snag—meet the humble stair dust corner, a beautiful and functional cleaning hack that’s been around since the Victorian era.

What Is a Stair Dust Corner?

Stair dust corners are flexible, triangle-shape pieces of brass or nickel that keep dust from accumulating in stair corners. They were introduced near the end of the 19th century as a way to simplify sweeping. True to their name, stair dust corners prevent clumps of dust from developing in hard-to-sweep areas. Simply put, their small, concave shape prevents dust from gathering in corners by getting rid of corners altogether. These stair dust corners from Etsy, for example, are just 2.5 inches tall and 3.1 inches wide. (They’re one of our favorite Etsy home finds!)

As an added bonus, stair dust corners are not just functional—they’re fashionable, too. Find them in a variety of finishes and patinas, plus choose from smooth metal or decorative details. Dust corners add vintage charm to your staircase, especially in an old home.

The only downside? Stair dust corners are great at fending off dust, but don’t work well with stringy items like pet hair.

How to Use a Stair Dust Corner

There’s only one thing you need to do to reap the benefits of stair dust corners—install them! Assembly is simple: just wedge the stair dust corner into place and secure with a long nail. For best results, add two stair dust corners to every step of your staircase, one on each side. From there, go on with your cleaning routine as usual.

Even though they were developed for stairs, dust corners can easily fit into other elements of your home. Try adding them to other spots you can’t easily reach with a broom, like fireplace corners or the pesky corner space below your kitchen cabinets. Talk about a cleaning hack!

Where to Buy Stair Dust Corners

Dust Corner Silo Ecomm Via Etsy.comvia merchant

We recommend these corners from Etsy, available in both a bronze and brass finish for about $5 each. You can find similar options on Amazon. Once they’re installed, say goodbye to tedious sweeping and make a plan for how you’re going to spend all that extra free time!

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Sarra Sedghi
Sarra Sedghi is a Birmingham-based writer and editor specializing in food, travel, and history. Her work has appeared in Allrecipes, Atlas Obscura, Eater, MyRecipes, Polygon, and Tasting Table. She excels at narrative writing, and received her MFA in Narrative Nonfiction from the University of Georgia in 2017.