Even the tidiest homes can use a good deep cleaning from time to time. To avoid becoming overwhelmed when deep cleaning a house, it's helpful to break the process down into smaller, more manageable tasks. With our deep house-cleaning guide, you'll start with six basic tasks. Once you've completed those, you can move on to tackling a few room-specific chores. This whole-home cleaning checklist comes in handy before you host company or when daily clutter and messes have started to pile up. You can also follow these steps as part of your annual cleaning regimen in the spring or fall. Soon you'll have a clean and tidy home that can pass a white-glove inspection.
How to Deep Clean Your House
As you go through each room in your home, begin with these deep cleaning tips to streamline the process.
1. Declutter Before Deep Cleaning
Find a new place for (or better yet, get rid of) any visible clutter that does not belong in the room. Save the stuff behind closed doors for another day to help simplify your deep cleaning checklist. Clearing clutter makes deep cleaning easier and seeing those tidy surfaces can help boost your motivation to keep going.
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2. Start High, Go Low
Tackle large, hard-to-reach surfaces in this order: ceiling, ceiling trim, ceiling light fixtures (including bulbs), walls, the rest of the trim, and baseboards. The best tool for these surfaces is a clean microfiber mop ($12, The Home Depot) or a duster with a telescoping handle ($18, Bed Bath & Beyond). Bonus: These tools are typically thin enough to get behind the sofa without moving it. Above eye-level, a spritz of water is all you need on the mop. Surfaces closer to the floor tend to build up dirt and dust, so use warm water mixed with a drop of dish soap. In bathrooms, add a splash of white vinegar to the mixture to stop mold and mildew. For spots where using a mop is awkward or inconvenient, use a microfiber cloth ($3, Target). Rinse often and wring thoroughly.
3. Deep Clean Windows
Cleaning windows is fairly simple, and the payoff is huge. First, vacuum the sills and tracks. Then spritz the window with glass cleaner ($4, Target) from top to bottom. Let the cleaner do its thing for a minute, then squeegee it off. If you wipe in one direction on inside windows and another on outside ones, it will be easier to see and fix streaks.
4. Spruce Up Window Treatments
Save yourself the trouble of taking down blinds or shades. All you really need to do is vacuum them using the brush attachment. And instead of laundering and ironing curtains, just fluff them in the dryer for a few minutes while you wipe off the rod and rings. Then hang them right back up.
5. Remove Dust from Surfaces
Wipe all remaining hard surfaces (wood furniture, shelves, built-ins, etc.) using furniture cleaner and polish ($8, The Home Depot) and a soft cloth. For an extra-quick clean, put a clean cotton tube sock on your dominant hand to dust surfaces, moving objects out of the way with the other hand. Finally, take a lint roller to the lampshades.
6. Deep Clean the Floors
To do this right, you'll have to move the furniture, even larger pieces like beds and sofas. To make moving heavy pieces easier, place furniture slides ($7, Target) under the legs of big pieces. Then break out your vacuum's crevice tool to get at the dirt in corners and along baseboards. If you have a hard floor, clean it with a microfiber mop and the appropriate cleaner for the surface. If you have carpet, now is a good time to rent a professional-grade cleaner. And if you have pets and/or kids, think about investing in your own.
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Room-by-Room Deep Cleaning House Checklist
Follow these steps to deep clean every room in your home.
How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom
- Launder Bedding: Wash the bed skirt, duvet cover, shams, and pillows, even down-filled items. Give them an extra spin cycle to make drying faster, and dry down pillows on low with clean tennis balls to prevent clumping. The best way to dry synthetic pillows is by air-drying them outdoors. For bulky comforters, hit the laundromat and use one of the extra-large front-loaders.
- Freshen Mattress: While your bed is disassembled, clean your mattress. Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up using the hose attachment. Flip or rotate the mattress per the manufacturer's advice and repeat the process.
- Declutter Closet: Pull out the clothes you didn't wear this past season and bag them for consigning or donating. Then treat your wardrobe to matching hangers. If your closet looks nice, you'll try harder to keep it under control.
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How to Deep Clean the Kitchen
- Polish Cabinets: Wipe the exposed tops first, then cut newspaper or shelf liners ($5, Bed Bath & Beyond) to fit inside. The lining collects the dust, so next time all you'll have to do is replace the paper. Next, wipe the cabinet doors front and back with wood cleaner (for painted or laminate surfaces, use warm water with a squirt of dish soap). You can also try the tube sock trick here: Put one on each hand, spritz with cleaner, and wipe in circular motions.
- Deep Clean In and Around Appliances: Wait until the fridge is nearly empty, then wipe it down, inside and out. Do the same for the stove and dishwasher. If possible, pull appliances out from the wall to get at the surrounding walls and the floor.
- Tidy Countertops: Move everything off the counters, then clean and dry them thoroughly, along with the backsplash. Once the surfaces are dry, return only what you use daily. Find hidden spots for everything else.
- Bonus Deep Cleaning Task: Take everything off your pantry shelves and wipe them down. Consider using a large roasting pan as a crumb catcher while you clean. You can also rent an air compressor and blow the dust bunnies off your refrigerator coils to boost its efficiency.
How to Deep Clean the Bathroom
- Wash Shower Curtain: Check the label first, but most shower curtains can be washed with the gentle cycle on cold. Set dryer on low and remove and rehang curtain before it's completely dry. Either wash the plastic shower liner on cold and hang it to dry, or purchase a new one ($3, Target).
- Make Shower Doors Sparkle: To get rid of water spots and soap scum, heat distilled white vinegar and wipe it on the doors, reapplying to keep them wet for 30 minutes. Then scrub with baking soda sprinkled on a non-scratch pad. To keep the shower cleaner longer, add a squeegee and switch to glycerin soap. Animal fat and talc in regular soap leave that icky residue.
- Declutter Vanity and Cabinets: Bring order to the chaos under the sink. Pull everything out, toss what doesn't belong there, wipe down what does, and reload it by category. Repeat for your medicine cabinet or any additional cabinetry.
How to Deep Clean the Living Room and Family Room
- Freshen Furniture: Remove cushions and vacuum every upholstered surface, including the backs, with the brush attachment.
- Dust Frames: Take all framed artwork and photos down and dust them front and back using a damp microfiber cloth. Be careful not to spray anything directly on the glass. It could seep into the corners of the frame and potentially ruin the picture and mat.
- Dust Under Electronics: You don't need to unhook and move everything to clean around your electronics. Just use an ultra-thin dusting wand ($14, Bed Bath & Beyond) and run it under the components.
- Bonus Deep Cleaning Task: Launder all the throws and throw pillow covers. Also, take a good look at the DVDs, CDs, video games, and other media tucked behind closed doors. Is there anything you can get rid of, maybe even sell for a little cash?
Supplies Needed to Deep Clean Your Home
Deep cleaning your home requires a wide variety of tools and cleaners. We asked four of our favorite cleaning pros (professional organizer Aby Garvey, cleaning blogger Becky Rapinchuk, and cleaning experts Leslie Reichert and Mary Findley) for their must-have supplies for cleaning an entire home:
- Baking soda in a shaker
- Clean paintbrushes (for dusting delicate items)
- Dish soap (liquid or powdered)
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lint roller (for lampshades and upholstery)
- Microfiber cloths (both multipurpose and glass-only)
- Microfiber mop with covers for different types of floors
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Nylon non-scratch scrub pad ($2, Walmart)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Stiff-bristled, toothbrush-size brush (for shower door tracks, drains, etc.)
- Streak-free window and glass cleaner
- Telescoping duster with cobweb, ceiling fan, microfiber, and squeegee attachments, ($50, Bed Bath & Beyond)
- Wood cleaner/conditioner
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in a deep clean?
Deep cleaning a house means scrubbing, dusting, or vacuuming all surfaces of your home from top to bottom—including the nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach areas. During a deep cleaning, you may also plan to get rid of clutter; clean and disinfect your appliances; organize drawers and closets, and address any broken or missing home elements.
How often should a house be deep cleaned?
As opposed to regular maintenance cleaning, a deep cleaning is typically done only once or twice a year (or when you move in or out of a place). There are several benefits to doing a regular deep cleaning (not the least of which is having a fresh start) like eliminating allergens, dust, and mildew and preserving the integrity of your paint, trim, furniture, and appliances.
What is the difference between regular cleaning and deep cleaning a home?
With regular weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, the goal is to keep things fresh and tidy. This usually involves wiping surfaces in your kitchen and bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and general tidying up. Deep cleaning is meant to eliminate the hidden (and not-so-hidden) dirt, grime, dust, and other gunk that accumulates over time.
Clean the whole house, not one room at time
Cleaning is much more efficient if you pick one task (dusting, vacuuming, mopping) and do the same task in every room in the house, rather than cleaning the kitchen, the bathrooms and then the bedrooms.
As Kennedy notes, the kitchen might be the most crucial area to keep clean; after all, it is where we make our meals. While wiping down kitchen counters daily is common practice, we don't always think to clean our sinks.How do you deep clean a house fast? ›
- Declutter Before Deep Cleaning. Find a new place for (or better yet, get rid of) any visible clutter that does not belong in the room. ...
- Start High, Go Low. ...
- Deep Clean Windows. ...
- Spruce Up Window Treatments. ...
- Remove Dust from Surfaces. ...
- Deep Clean the Floors.
- Better Techniques. 1/17. Household cleaning is such an exciting thing to do—said no one, ever. ...
- Gather the Gear. 2/17. ...
- Use Products First. 3/17. ...
- Declutter, then Clean. 4/17. ...
- Establish a Pattern. 5/17. ...
- Skip the Mop in the Bathroom. 6/17. ...
- Dust First, Vacuum Last. 7/17. ...
- Vacuum Furniture. 8/17.
Professional cleaners know that a timesaving secret is to vacuum every floor in the house, including bathrooms and the kitchen. It's the fastest and most efficient way to pick up dust, hair, and all the little bits of debris that like to hide in corners.Which room in your house should you clean first? ›
Bathrooms and kitchens are known as 'wet areas'. These often take the most time to clean. That's why they should be first in the order you clean your house. Once you've done step 1 and 3, dust everything and then get down to work in your bathrooms and kitchen.What are the 2 most important rooms in a house? ›
The kitchen and the master bathroom. Buyers tend to show more interest in these rooms than any other in a home.How often should each room in a house be cleaned? ›
Vacuuming and mopping should happen at least once a week. Clean carpets every three to six months. Living rooms and bedrooms should be attacked at least once a week.How do people keep their house so clean all the time? ›
- Make the Bed.
- Tidy Up as You Go.
- Wipe Down Surfaces.
- Tackle Laundry Each Day.
- Categorize Paper.
- Donate Regularly.
- Clean Your Fridge Weekly.
- Clean Up After Cooking.
The short answer for how long to deep clean a house is to allow roughly 8 hours for a three bedroom house with a family bathroom, and move up and down by one hour for each additional bedroom and bathroom.
A lot of people prefer to have their home cleaned on Thursday or Friday so that the house is neat and tidy before the weekend comes. Weekends often involve entertaining and many people want to have professional cleaning done before company comes.Do you tip for a house deep clean? ›
In conclusion, tipping is a personal decision when it comes to hiring a house cleaner for a deep clean. A 15-20% tip is a good starting point, but it's ultimately up to your discretion based on the quality of the work and your satisfaction.What do cleaners do when they deep clean your house? ›
- Hard-to-reach ledges, windows, light fixtures and above cabinets.
- All taps de-scaled.
- Remove HVAC vent covers and wash them in the sink with warm soapy water.
- Windows inside and out, frames and glass.
- Ceiling Fans.
- Shampoo carpets and upholstery.
- Hard floors scrubbed.
It's not a secret that the dirtiest and most difficult place to clean is a toilet. There will always be many harmful microorganisms in the bathroom and toilet, even if you wash them systematically. Therefore, the health and hygiene of the family will be heavily dependant on how often you clean this room.Is it safe to mix vinegar and Dawn dish soap? ›
First, both ingredients are excellent at dissolving tough grime. However, vinegar alone will simply run off of most surfaces, while dish soap is too thick to use as a spray. But when you mix them together, you get an effective, sprayable cleaner that sticks to any surface!Can you mix vinegar and Dawn? ›
This match made in heaven has been a household staple for a long time and I make sure to keep it handy. To make the solution is simple and easy on the wallet! Pour equal parts of vinegar and Dawn into a spray bottle. Gently shake, then spray liberally onto the surface to be cleaned.Do you sleep better in a clean house? ›
Does a clean room help you sleep better? The simple answer is yes. Your bedroom shouldn't cause stress, and clutter is known to affect your ability to focus, affects your sleep as well as your anxiety levels and mental well-being.Should you clean house or shower first? ›
Wet places include bathrooms and kitchens. These are often the most time-consuming to clean. That is why they should come first while cleaning your home to remove those mineral deposits and leave them streak free.Is cleaning house at night good or bad? ›
In Vastu Shastra, Acharya Indu Prakash talks about the right time to use the broom to clean the house. The first four hours of the day are considered appropriate for sweeping the house, while the last four hours of a day i.e. at night are considered inappropriate for this work.What is the most important room in the house? ›
Not only does it contain everything that is needed to prepare meals, it's also a hub of storage and seating. It's also the centre of communications. The kitchen is the most important room in the home because it gives the household a focus and a direction.
- Kitchen. The kitchen lies at the heart of any home, big or small. ...
- Bathroom. Next up, who doesn't love a clean and sophisticated bathroom? ...
- Balcony or outdoor area. ...
- Create a guest room.
As most real estate agents and new home sales consultants will tell you, a great room is a large space on the ground floor, located in or near the center of the home. A great room can be used like a living room, meaning it can fit couches, comfy chairs, and a television that people can gather around.How long should it take one person to clean a house? ›
Allow yourself 2 1/2 hours a week to clean a two-bedroom home. You should also add an extra 1 hour a week when you decide to deep clean. 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Home: If you have a typical three-bedroom home or apartment, you can expect to spend about three hours a week on basic cleaning.How often should sheets be washed? ›
How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets (And How to Get Them Really Clean) Experts recommend washing or changing sheets once a week.How often should you clean the toilet? ›
Daily: Flush your toilet every day (even if it's not in use) to discourage the growth of bacteria. Weekly: Deep-clean your toilet once a week or biweekly—this includes the toilet bowl, exterior and toilet seat. Yearly: Clean your toilet tank twice a year.How often do most Americans clean their house? ›
How Often Does The Average Person Clean Their House? Research by the American Cleaning Institute found that Americans spend 6 hours cleaning every week, while a third wonder if they are cleaning enough and correctly. Most homeowners sweep and mop, vacuum, clean the bathroom, and dust furniture once a week.Why do some people not keep their house clean? ›
If you don't clean your house, it might mean you are busy and have little time to clean and organize. It might be a sign that you have too much stuff. Or it might be the result of having young kids in the house who are usually not motivated to clean up after themselves.How clean are most peoples houses? ›
Surprisingly, we found that half of American homes are always clean, while just 1% of Americans never lift a finger and do the dirty work. In between these extremes, about 1 in 4 respondents clean once a day and another 23% make at least some effort but let their duties slip on occasion.How many rooms does a housekeeper clean per day? ›
The average hotel housekeeping worker is required to check and/or clean between 12 and 20 rooms in an eight-hour shift.How much can a cleaner do in 1 hour? ›
Generally, one hour is long enough for one person to keep on top of the basic cleaning tasks needed in a home – hoovering and dusting, for example. An hour, however, isn't ideal if you need your cleaner to clean more of your home, and if your house is bigger and dirtier.
- Clear out the garbage.
- Clean dirt and grime off surfaces, walls and floors using bleach and other heavy duty cleaners.
- Paint with Kilz any surface where there is still staining or odor.
- Friends remove their shoes when they come over. ...
- You prefer to clean as you go, especially when cooking. ...
- You make your bed. ...
- You put things away when you're done with them. ...
- You own a proper duster—and you aren't afraid to use it. ...
- You have a schedule.
Optimal Season For Power Washing
A good rule of thumb is to pressure wash your house between the months of March and November. This is the ideal window of time to make sure your home is clean and protected before harsh winter weather and freezing temperatures set in.
If no one is in the building, there's no need to keep the lights on at night. Plus, cleaners can rely more on natural light during the day rather than artificial light. Daytime cleaning is also safer, especially if the cleaning staff must put the trash into an exterior dumpster or maintain walkways and entrances.Where do I start cleaning when overwhelmed by clutter and mess? ›
Here are some good places to get started: The floor - Sit and tidy or sort piles of mail or books, grab a broom and sweep up crumbs, or vacuum the living room rug. A cluttered or dirty floor can make everything else in the room appear messier as a result, so starting here can make a big impact.When your house is so messy you don t know where to start? ›
Some of the articles advised you to start with the room that's bothering you the most. Others suggested starting with your bathroom because it's the smallest and easiest. The rest said to start with your bedroom so you have one clutter-free space in your home to relax in.Is it more efficient to clean by room or by task? ›
Try the total method.
“House cleaning is much more efficient if you pick one task, such as dusting, mopping or vacuuming, and do the same task in every room of the house,” he says. “Focusing on one task will save you hours of time in the long run and it'll help you avoid starting the same task over and over again.”
Basic cleaning a bedroom takes 15–60 minutes. Why the wide range? Maybe it's your kid's or teen's room. Cleaning time depends on the quantity of debris and how regularly it is cleaned.How long should it take to clean each room? ›
Now that you know how long it takes to clean your house, you're ready to make your house sparkle. Although the time you will spend cleaning your house will depend on how many rooms, you should expect to set aside 1.5 hrs a week per room to clean your home.How often should you clean each room in your house? ›
Vacuuming and mopping should happen at least once a week. Clean carpets every three to six months. Living rooms and bedrooms should be attacked at least once a week.
Weekly house cleaning (average: 3–5hrs)
For example a 2 bedroom home will require 2hrs of domestic cleaning, a 3 bedroom home will need 3 hrs and so on. A domestic clean includes general cleaning, wiping of surfaces, dusting, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.
You're not obligated to tip your housekeeper, regardless of them being with a service or doing an extraordinary job. It's simply a way to show appreciation and recognition for the work they're doing.How many rooms can 1 housekeeper clean per day? ›
The average hotel housekeeping worker is required to check and/or clean between 12 and 20 rooms in an eight-hour shift. That allows for only 20 to 30 minutes for room at best, since time to restock the cart and traveling between floors must be considered as well as breaks in the hotel housekeeper's shift.How clean is average house? ›
How Messy Is The Average House? Surprisingly, we found that half of American homes are always clean, while just 1% of Americans never lift a finger and do the dirty work. In between these extremes, about 1 in 4 respondents clean once a day and another 23% make at least some effort but let their duties slip on occasion.How long does it take to deep clean a bathroom? ›
If your bathroom is dingy and not smelling fresh, it's probably time for a more thorough cleaning. To get everything shiny and germ-free, expect it to take from 20 to 45 minutes to clean a bathroom. That includes cleaning and disinfecting toilets, showers, bathtubs, and more.How long does it take one person to deep clean a house? ›
One professional cleaner will take around 3 to 3.5hours to clean a 3 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms. This again is dependent on the maintenance and cleanliness of the home in-between visits. We would recommend that two professional cleaners are hired to clean a home with four bedrooms and 3-4 bathrooms.