How to Clean Drywall Dust Off Subfloor

Dealing with the aftermath of a drywall project can be daunting. Not only do you have to clean up all the dust, but you also need to figure out how to get it off the subfloor so you can start painting or re-flooring. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to do this. This article will discuss how to clean drywall dust off subfloor.

How to Clean Drywall Dust Off Subfloor

Drywall dust can be a significant pain to clean up, especially if it gets on your subfloor. How you clean drywall dust off the subfloor depends on what type of subfloor you have and whether or not it has been sealed.

For example, if your subfloor is concrete, all you need to do is sweep the dust-up with a broom and then mop the floor with a wet rag. This should take care of any drywall dust that gets onto the concrete in most cases.

Tools and Materials

  • Flashlight (optional)
  • Drop sheet or large piece of cardboard
  • Dust mask and goggles (optional)
  • Leaf blower/vacuum with attachments to reach under the studs
  • Paper towels or rags

A Stepwise Guide on How to Clean Drywall Dust Off Subfloor

Step 1 : Protect the Flooring

Before trying to clean up a drywall dust disaster, cover all flooring with a drop sheet or large piece of cardboard. This will help you catch all the falling dust and avoid tracking it back into your house after you’ve completed this task. You can also use a leaf blower/vacuum combo tool with attachments to reach under the studs.

Make sure to sweep up any loose pieces from the top of the subfloor before using either method, as this is where most of the dust accumulates. If incredibly stubborn parts persist in sticking out from under the edge of a board, then try sandwiching a rag or paper towel between them and lifting until they come free.

Step 2 : Prepare the Area

Turning Off Furnace

Ensure the area is well lit and there are no ignition sources nearby. You don’t want to ignite any dust! Turn off the furnace, pilot lights on appliances, etc. If you have a flashlight, use it to check under your cabinets because this is where dust tends to accumulate beneath first.

Don’t do this barefoot or in shorts, though; wear pants and closed-toe shoes just in case you knock something over! Also, if you’re doing this project during summertime, be careful not to blast all that hot air into wiring behind your wall — open a window or two for ventilation before starting.

Step 3 : Open Windows and Place a Fan

Next, open up all the windows and place a fan in one of them. If you don’t have a lot of cross-ventilation in your house, then find the most significant fan available to maximize airflow while you’re working on this project.

Opening Window

Opening the window closest to the outlet will help minimize how much ambient dust gets into that area during cleanup. If it’s too cold outside to do this, use an extension cord for the fan and plug it into another room.

Step 4 : Sweep Up All Loose Dust

This will help keep dust from getting kicked up into the air later on when you’re cleaning up all that drywall mess. Next, use a broom, wet mop, or vacuum with attachments (if available) to sweep up any loose pieces of drywall and insulation around the subflooring.

Afterward, check under your cabinets for loose bits of lath board, caulk, etc. Drag out anything larger than 1″ in size so you can get rid of them without having to sweep them up first. Get the big chunks out before they become dust! This is a crucial step in how to clean drywall dust off subfloor.

Checking Under Cabinets

Step 5 : Blow or Vacuum the Dust

Once you’ve swept up all the large pieces, use your leaf blower/vacuum tool to remove any remaining dust. How much of this stuff accumulates depends on how long ago you last did any drywall work and how thorough that person (or persons) was at removing all traces of dust before putting everything back together.

We’re talking about splitting-hair attention to detail here; don’t expect it to be spotless if multiple people work on a project in a production line manner with no regard for cleaning after themselves! You can also try sweeping again just in case there’s more loose material lingering below the surface — but if you find yourself sweeping more than once, then you should be using your vacuum instead.

Step 6 : Sweep Again and Use a Dustpan for Smaller Particles

Use a dustpan and brush as necessary for those small pieces that continue to persist. It may sound like overkill at this point, but it’s better not to leave anything behind than taking the chance of tracking all that drywall dust back into your house later on after you’ve finished up! If you’re paranoid, then suck it up and do another sweep anyway — it only takes a moment and makes you look all clean and considerate afterward.

Step 7 : Clean the Floor With Mop and Water

Now you can mop the floor with a wet mop. How much water depends on how big an area you are cleaning – but don’t flood it or leave standing water either. You want to use enough that you feel comfortable that all the dust is gone, not so much that it’s dangerously slippery.

Moping Floor With Wet Mop

For the area next to cabinets, you can use a wet rag instead. Just make sure not to leave it there for too long – what’s the point of mopping if you’re going to have drywall dust flying all over your kitchen again?

Step 8 : Ventilate the Room

To clean the room, open all the doors and windows and turn on the kitchen fan. While it is still blowing out air, use a damp rag to wipe down any cabinets that you might’ve missed while mopping (remember to spray your rag with water before wiping).

If you’re not going to do this for another couple of hours, then try hanging a moist towel near an opening of one of your front door cracks. This will help pull some dust from outside back inside so you don’t have to worry about it accumulating again while you wait! Also, these steps will help in how to clean drywall dust off subfloor.

Step 9 : Clean Drywall Dust Off Your Clothes and Body

You can keep working, but take off what you were wearing and put on something else if at all possible. If it’s a pain to remove stuff with gloves on — which is a bad idea anyway because you’ll likely start tracking dust back onto the floor when it gets inside your gloves – then at least take off your socks and shoes, so you don’t have dirt from outside tracked in when you leave. It’s not like anyone else will be walking around barefoot or anything like that.

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Additional Tips

  • Brush it out. After you have vacuumed the area, a brush should be used to help “lift” any leftover drywall dust from the carpet fibers. A bristle or hard bristle cleanup/utility brush works best for this task.
  • Mix 1 cup of water with one tablespoon of white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well to combine. Spray the solution on the affected area and blot with paper towels until damp dry (do not soak). Repeat until all residue is removed. Dry overnight with fans if possible! This method may take more than one application, depending on how much residue is left behind, but it can usually lift most of it away without too much scrubbing involved.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of hot water. Fill a bucket with the solution and use a scrub brush to remove the drywall dust from your carpet fibers. This method is most effective immediately or within 24 hours after drywall finishing work.
  • Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol (70% works best), dish soap, and water together in a bowl. Moisten several paper towels in the mixture and place them over the affected area for 30 minutes before vacuuming up. This may need to be repeated more than once if heavy drywall residue is on your carpeting.


We recommend using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner with an extension wand to clean the area. This will remove all dust and debris from underneath your flooring, so you must do this before installing new floors or carpeting.

So now you know how to clean drywall dust off subfloor. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information!

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