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How to get rid of cobwebs and keep them away

 Cobweb underneath armchair on a wooden floor.
Cobweb underneath armchair on a wooden floor.

I defy you to tell me you don't get troubled by cobwebs in your house. Despite how regularly you may clean, they always have a way of appearing in those hard-to-reach corners of the room.

But if you afraid of spiders, fear not. The eight-legged creatures have moved on to better things, leaving their cobwebs behind to gather dust. You’ll find their abandoned nests in the corners of your ceiling, behind furniture close to a wall, under chairs, in the attic, and within recesses in your basement.

However, if you discover a spider’s web that is clean and shiny, the spider is still at home. So, move the spider outside before cleaning away its web.

Here we share our top tips on removing cobwebs and how to prevent spiders from returning.

1. Vaccuum

Vacuuming cobwebs off a plain white wall
Vacuuming cobwebs off a plain white wall

A household vacuum cleaner is one of the easiest ways to blitz those pesky cobwebs. Attach a long wand attachment to your vacuum and clear away the web.

A cordless vacuum cleaner is your best bet. It is easier to manoeuvre without worrying about needing a plug socket nearby. Cordless vacuums also tend to be lighter, which will take the hard work out of reaching into high ceiling corners.

However, whatever type of vacuum your own, it's a good tool to clear up dusty cobwebs.

2. Use an extendable duster

Extendable cobweb duster cleaning a high ceiling
Extendable cobweb duster cleaning a high ceiling

For a quick sweep, grab a soft, extendable duster. Although the duster will need cleaning afterwards, it is more flexible than the straight edge of a vacuum attachment and can reach into tighter spaces.

I use mine to sneak behind tight spaces between furniture and walls or where cobwebs have appeared between curtain poles and delicate curtain fabric. You’re much less likely to knock into and damage furniture and soft furnishings with a soft duster than a vacuum cleaner.

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3. Spray

Peppermint essential oil in labeled bottle with fresh peppermint on the side
Peppermint essential oil in labeled bottle with fresh peppermint on the side

Numerous sprays can be purchased to deter spiders from entering your home, such as this Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent ($9, Target), which is natural, safe, and suitable for use around pets.

However, it’s also easy to make up a spray, especially if you have a few essential oils to hand. Laura Fummerman at A Beautiful Mess suggests using lemon, peppermint, tea tree and lavender to ward off spiders. I’ve made a version using peppermint oil and have experienced the benefit of using a natural product with a delightful scent. Apart from banishing spiders, it's an inexpensive room fragrancer.

Grab a spray bottle and fill it with water. Then, add a few drops of essential oil with a small amount of dish soap to help the oil and water mix. The spray can be used around your home as a deterrent. Spray it around the areas where spider problems are more prevalent, such as around your doors and window frames.

As an added bonus, you can also use the spray outside, as spiders tend to form their webs around outside doors and windows.

4. Seal the cracks

Crack between floor and wall
Crack between floor and wall

Check around your home to see where spiders can creep inside, then seal the cracks. These tiny creatures can squeeze in through window sills, fixtures and gaps between doors and walls.

Once you’ve detected the entry points, fill the gaps with sealant or caulk. Home Depot says that caulk is more rigid than sealant when dry, whereas sealant works better in spaces prone to expand and contract, making sealant the best option for windows.

5. Clean regularly

Woman dusting a wall-hung shelf
Woman dusting a wall-hung shelf

Rather than cleaning whenever you feel up to the task, a routine will help you keep on top of the dust and dirt, and will help stop any spiders in their tracks before their webs become dust traps.

If you spot any spiders during your regular clean-up, you can move them outside and clear away their webs, putting some preventative measures in place to stop them from returning.

However, if your home has more than its fair share of cobwebs, you might have an infestation problem. If so, your best call will be to a specialist cleaning company.

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