Dust On, Dust Off - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Dust On, Dust Off

by | Apr 12, 2023 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

Photos by author
A coating of dust on any painted surface will take the shine away. Washing is the solution, but who wants to wash a vehicle every day? A California Car Duster makes short work of removing dust — without scratching the paint.

Keeping a tow vehicle or dinghy clean can be a never-ending battle. Wash the truck one day and by the time you reach your destination, it’s dirty again. So, out comes the bucket and microfiber towels and after an hour or two, the paint is shiny clean. But what if the only “blemish” is dust? Car buffs who display their prized vehicles at shows always have mega-expensive paint jobs and they know that keeping the dust off is important. Most turn to a California Car Duster (calcarduster.com) for quick touch ups. It works well when removing the thin layer of dust on your tow or dinghy vehicle between trips, and can actually work on the RV, although there’s way more area to cover.

The California Car Duster has been around since 1989, and it’s the one everyone wants to copy. Typically, knock-offs commonly found online and at discount stores are not very effective, and those owners who are knowledgeable about car detailing overwhelmingly turn to the Original California Car Duster.

Dust is lifted off the surface by 100% cotton strands that have a special wax baked into the fibers. These strands of red-colored cotton will last a long time and, as a matter of fact, the company says the duster will pick up more dust as the strands get dirtier. It’s possible to wash the strands, but the company also recommends against it. If you insist, wait until the strands only move the dust around. Then you can wash with soap and water, but the process will degrade the effectiveness of the duster. Trust me, the duster lasts long enough to amortize the small investment in buying a new one and the cost is worth the convenience afforded by fewer washing sessions.

I’ve been using the Original California Car Duster with a plastic handle (part #62443) for years and it seems to be large enough to clean my Ram 3500, dual-rear-wheel truck; it sells for $20.99. The duster can also be purchased with a wooden handle (#62442) for $27.99. I’m going to replace my current duster with the X-Large California Super Duster (#62557, $32.99), which has a wooden handle and is 30 inches long; the extra reach and larger mop head will make it more practical to cover the hood and roof of the truck as well as RV sidewalls.

a hand holds up Original California Car Super Duster in its packaging
The Original California Car Duster and the Super Duster come with storage bags. There are several knockoffs around, but they do not work as well.
close view of a hand pulling back a section of the cotton mop head
The duster’s mop head is made of 100% cotton strands that have baked-on wax to capture the dust. These strands last a long time, and according to the company, they work better as they get dirtier. Refrain from washing the mop head because doing so will degrade the effectiveness of the stands. This model comes with a plastic handle, but for a few bucks more, you can opt for a wooden version.

Recently, the California Mini Duster caught my attention. It’s perfect for dusting dashboards and instrumentation, which otherwise requires reaching into the nooks and crannies of the dash with a towel, which most times just pushes the dust around. The Mini Duster (#62447) has a plastic handle and is 12 inches long — but the mop head is only 7 x 5 inches, which is small enough to reach into tight quarters. It’s also perfect for dusting mini blinds inside the RV. Basically, if there is dust in small places, the Mini Duster will reduce the effort by leaps and bounds. If you want the version with a wooden handle (#62446), the price jumps from $12.99 to $14.99. All the dusters come with carry bags.

close view of a hand holding the Mini Duster
a hand uses the Mini Duster to wipe the dashboard screen of a Ram truck

A perfect companion to the California Car Duster is the Mini Duster, which is designed to get into tight areas, like the dashboard and instrument panel; it even works well cleaning mini blinds inside the RV. Overall length is 12 inches and you can opt for the wooden handle for two bucks more (shown is the plastic handle).

One place the Original California Car Duster really comes in handy is for cleaning the top of the roll-up bed cover on my truck. I prefer not to roll up the dust when opening, so between washings I clean the material with the duster; it works like a champ. It only takes a few minutes to cover the big dually truck from top to bottom. If you appreciate driving clean vehicles, you’ll want a California Car Duster in your cleaning kit.

the Original California Car Duster is used to wipe down a truck bed cover
Keeping the dust off a roll-up bed cover is an ongoing chore. I prefer not to roll the dust up when opening the cover, so I clean it regularly with the Original California Car Duster; the Super Duster (not shown) will make the job even easier.
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