So, you’ve decided to take on the task of cleaning your house from top to bottom? Congratulations, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your House to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Read on to find out how to get your house looking spotless…
Introduction: Let’s Get Squeaky Clean
There is no better feeling than drinking a hot cup of coffee in a freshly cleaned house.
For a lot of us, this isn’t something that happens very often. For two reasons, (1) we think we’ve cleaned our house when actually we’ve just removed the clutter. (2) We don’t clean our house because the job seems so overwhelming and we just don’t know where to start.
As the Heath Brothers once said, ‘What looks like resistance is often just a lack of clarity.’ What they mean by this is that a lot of the things we find ourselves not wanting to do, end up being a lot easier when we have fully prepared for them.
That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to cleaning your house. This guide will give you clarity on what you need to do to get the clean house you’ve always wanted.
We will be talking about why you need a clean home and how to get one. We will also be looking at all the things you need to do this, and drawing on some advice from professional cleaning experts.
And of course, we have included a step by step guide to cleaning your home from top to bottom.
Why Having A Clean Home Is Important
Studies have suggested that not only is having a clean home important for your physical health, but it can also drastically improve your mental health too.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’, this is a mindset we should be applying to your whole home. Our brains find it easier to function in a tidy environment. Larger amounts of clutter or poorly organized storage can cause our brains to feel cluttered and badly organized themselves. Keeping a clean home will help you to feel relaxed on a whole other level.
Not cleaning your home can allow nasty unseen organisms to move in with you. These small organisms can play havoc with your physical health. Two things you should be particularly conscious of are build-ups of dust and mold.
Black mold can often build up in our bathrooms and on our window sills when we’re not on top of our cleaning game. Although these little black specks can often look harmless they are something you should deal with as soon as you spot them. Developing Mycotoxicosis (mold poisoning) can happen a result of exposure to Black mold. Symptoms of Mycotoxicosis include headaches, nosebleeds, and memory loss.
Dust mites a small organism that feeds off dust. They cannot be seen by the naked eye but can cause all sorts of huge health problems for you and your family. The major danger surrounding dust mists is their ability to trigger asthma attacks, which can be deadly. Allergic reactions to dust mites can also be very severe. Dust mites also live in shredded pet hair.
Essential Cleaning Supplies You Will Need
Below is the conclusive list of everything you will need to deep clean your house, and then keep it clean after that.
With this range of basic tools, you will have no problem getting your home sparklingly clean.
Kitchen sponge (one with a scrubbing side)
Dry, dust mop
Long handle broom
Long handle duster
*Microfiber Cloths – These are the type of cloths you should be using to dust. Particularly, dry dusting as they are not very absorbent but the dust sticks well to it. Their lack of absorbency makes them a great option for polishing cloths.
*Paper Towels – These are to be used to clean up greasy, sticky messes that you wouldn’t want to contaminate your reusable cleaning items with. Clean with these, throw them away and then give the area a secondary clean with a wet microfiber cloth.
*Cotton Rags – We often cut up old clothes to make our cotton rags. You will want a handful of these in your cleaning kit as they are a great multifunctional option to have at hand.
Here is the list of the chemical cleaning supplies essential to all good house cleaning kits.
Carpet cleaner (foam or powder)
Floor polish (if you have any wooden floors)
Washing up liquid
Here is a list of electrical tools that you will need to deep clean your house:
Mobile phone (for music and a stopwatch)
The Importance of A Good Vacuum Cleaner
Now let’s talk about vacuum cleaners as they are arguably the most important tool for cleaning your home.
As we mentioned above, one of the main reasons for keeping your home clean is to reduce the number of dust mites in the house. This will be very difficult to do unless you have a good vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum cleaners are strong enough to remove even the smallest particles of dust from our carpets, fabrics, and curtains. If we cannot remove the dust then we cannot remove the dust mites.
A good vacuum cleaner will be able to remove the dislodged dust particles (the ones you have kicked up whilst dusting) from your carpet and wooden floors, without creating more mess.
What makes a vacuum cleaner good is different for everybody. But we do in fact have a personal favorite vacuum cleaner for deep cleaning our house. We were once recommended this by a professional cleaner and haven’t gone back to anything else since.
When cleaning your house we highly recommend getting a robotic vacuum cleaner. One of the main reasons we love robotic vacuum cleaners is because they can be set to automatically roam. That means if you turn on your vacuum cleaner after you’ve finished dusting the house, you can leave it to clean all the carpets whilst you move onto the next task.
This was a real game-changer for us, as it gave us so much extra time to focus on cleaning other areas of the house. When it comes to cleaning, anything that can make the process quicker is a winner in our books.
When considering which vacuum cleaners are the right ones for you there are a few things you should consider:
Upright? Robotic? Canister? Handheld?
UPRIGHT – Upright vacuums are what most of us would recognize as a classic vacuum cleaner. They are a all in one machine, that comes with an attached dust bin, and is usually on wheels. These are a great standard option.
CANISTER – We were honestly quite shocked when we found out that some companies still sell canister vacuums. Canister vacuum cleaners look similar to Upright vacuums except they come with a separate dustbin that has to be carried around by the vacuumer. The benefit of a canister is that the dust bin is a lot bigger so if you don’t want to have to constantly stop to empty the dustbin then this might be a good option for you.
ROBOTIC – We could talk about our love for robotic vacuum cleaners all day. They are literally effortless to use and are powerful little machines. They make the perfect cleaning combination along with the next category.
HANDHELD – these are small, often wireless, vacuum cleaners that can be held in one hand. They are mostly used for cleaning in hard to reach areas and have are a very concentrated power vacuum. We think that a robotic vacuum cleaner for the floor and a handheld one for the high shelves is a dream combination.
Cord or Cordless?
As modern science has developed so has the humble household vacuum cleaner. Gone are the days when we had to work around temperamental, brittle power cords. Now, we can simply charge and go, with nothing to hold us back.
We love cordless vacuum cleaners; like our little robotic one or other upright models. Cordless upright models, however, are still quite expensive as the technology is pretty cutting edge. If you’re looking to save a lot of money, then settling for a vacuum cleaner with a cord is a good way to do this.
Another welcome development in the world of modern vacuum cleaners is the severe drop in noise levels. Even budget brands are now offering quiet vacuums that are still powerful. If you see a modern vacuum that is still loud, we would recommend avoiding them.
Some vacuum cleaners come with built-in accessories, while others come with attachable accessories. When purchasing a vacuum cleaner you should research what types of accessories you will require to clean your house. Make sure not to purchase a vacuum cleaner that is lacking any of the ones you need. Buying them separately can be very expensive.
Get Organized: Setting A Cleaning Schedule
‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail.’
Setting the time aside to do one deep clean of your house will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. It is best to tackle the cleaning all in one go, and start with a fresh slate, rather than picking away at it and becoming overrun again.
Many professional cleaners can clean a whole house in four hours. We know that may sound impossible but it’s true. Here are a few tips from cleaning professionals to help you perform your deep clean faster.
Set Aside a Separate Day To Clean Your Kitchen – The most time-consuming part of deep cleaning your house is deep cleaning your kitchen. Many professional cleaners recommend treating the kitchen as a separate project and setting aside a day before your big clean to do it.
The Difference Between Tidying And Cleaning –
Many people claim they clean their house when all they actually do is tidy it. Our definition of tidying includes surface-level cleaning like doing your laundry and tidying away clutter. It is possible to regularly tidy, but still, have dust piling up in your house. Professional cleaners would have expected you to tidy before they arrived, so to speed up the deep cleaning process do all the small tidying jobs the day before as they will otherwise add hours to your cleaning process.
Work Smart, Not Hard – By planning in advance you will be able to spot many ways to cut down your working time. For example, do your laundry whilst you clean every week. Whilst you’re waiting for things in the bathroom to soak, move onto the bedroom. Set your vacuum to clean the floors whilst you work on something else. Yes, cleaning can be hard work, but if you’re smart about it you can become a lot more efficient.
Creating a cleaning plan before your deep clean can feel overwhelming enough to put you off the whole endeavor. We have some good news for you though, if you scroll down a little bit further you’ll see that we have created the ultimate house cleaning plan (it’s based on the way dozens of different professionals approach their weekly house cleans). The second piece of good news is that once you have done your first deep clean you can use this guide as the structure for your smaller weekly cleans.
All you have to do on your end is to find a time slot to do the cleaning in. We suggest doing it at the same time every week, and attempt to make a habit out of your weekly house cleaning. When an activity becomes a habit it requires less effort on our part to perform the activity.
Make the activity as pleasant for yourself as you can. Put on your favorite music, or break out a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to. We have torn through many audiobooks thanks to our weekly cleaning process.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Your Home
Let’s get started.
Remember to put on something fun to listen to, try to avoid TV as it’s too easy to get distracted by. You want to be as focused and as safe as possible when cleaning.
Speaking of which, think carefully about what you want to wear whilst cleaning. We recommend setting aside a comfy outfit that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained by cleaning products. Use this outfit for your initial deep clean and then your subsequent weekly cleans. The outfit should be light but cover as much of your skin as possible to avoid irritation from the cleaning products. We recommend wearing sneakers or plimsoles to avoid stepping in anything harmful.
We begin our cleaning journey in the bathroom.
Start With Bathrooms
Nothing beats a sparkling bathroom.
We recommend you tackle all of the bathrooms in your house at the same time.
Here is a step by step guide to bathroom cleaning.
Step 0.A – Take down your shower curtain and put it on a cold wash. Once it is done hang it back up and allow it to air dry.
Step 0.B – After this wash and dry your bath mats.
Step 0.C – Remove all the items that aren’t nailed down (toothbrushes, shower gel bottles, etc) and put them in a pile in another room.
Step 1 – Apply grout cleaner to your tiles, grouting, and window sealant. Leave it on.
Step 2 – Spray down your tub, shower, and sinks. Leave these to soak as well. Add bleach to your toilet bowl.
Step 3 – Empty the bins in all in your house, starting with the bathroom bins.
[At this point, skip to the next section, until we tell you to return]
Step 4 – Use a dense bristle brush to remove any mold or build up grime from your tiles, grouting, and window sealant. Then wipe the areas down with warm water.
Step 5 – Scrub your sinks, tubs, and showers with a sponge. Then wipe these down with warm water. If you have a glass shower door, scrub this down at this point. Limescale remover is a great option here, or white vinegar if you’re looking for a more natural option.
Step 6 – Scrub your toilet bowl, and dust down the rest of it. Don’t forget to clean the base where dust and dribbles can build up.
Step 7 – Dust and wipe down all your shelves, and counter faces.
Step 8 – Wipe down all the items you removed and return them to their rightful place. Recycle any expired products.
Step 9 – Clean your mirrors. Glass cleaner and newspapers are our favorite way to do this. It sounds weird but trust us. Polish faucets and sink drain.
Step 10 – Clean out your extractor fan and dust your light fixtures.
Step 11 – Clean your bathroom floor, then replace your freshly cleaned bath mats.
YOU CAN NOW MARK YOUR BATHROOM AS DONE. NEXT STOP, THE KITCHEN!
Dusting and Cleaning Walls
[Do this in between Steps 3 and 4 of bathroom cleaning.]
This dusting routine covers the majority of the cleaning you will be doing in your house. Go through the process fully in each room.
Step 1 – Put all fabric covers in the wash
Step 2 – Remove all surface clutter and put it in a pile in the middle of the room.
Step 3 – Clean the inside of your windows with glass cleaner and newspaper. If there are any mirrors in the room, clean them at this point.
Step 4 – Apply grout cleaner to the window sealant and leave to soak.
Step 5 – Starting at the highest points of the room, and not forgetting the corners, dust, and wipe down your walls and furniture.
Step 6 – Wipe down your light fixtures (don’t forget to turn them off before you do this).
Step 7 – Polish any wooden or metal items of furniture.
Step 8 – Vacuum any fabric items (including lampshades).
Step 9 – Use a bristle brush on the grout cleaner, then wipe the whole windowsill down with warm soapy water.
Step 10 – Go through the pile of clutter. Bin anything not needed. Return the rest to their rightful places.
Step 11 – Set your robot vacuum cleaner loose, and let them clean up all the dislodged dust.
(Once a month you may want to add ‘using carpet cleaner’ in before Step 11)
RINSE AND REPEAT FOR EACH ROOM OF YOUR HOUSE
Now The Bedrooms
[Do this in between Steps 3 and 4 of bathroom cleaning.]
After you have completed the dusting routine in this room follow these steps.
Step 1 – Strip your bedding. Wash the old set, put on a new one.
Step 2 – Organize your bedside cabinet/table. Remove any clutter, put your changer in an easy to reach spot. Add anything you regularly use at night – like hand creams, sleeping masks, books, etc.
Step 3 – Do a laundry inventory. Set aside time later in the week to catch up if needed.
Lounges And Common Areas
[Do this in between Steps 3 and 4 of bathroom cleaning.]
After you have dusted the lounge and common areas there are still a few other steps to the deep cleaning. These are areas in the house that see the most use, and therefore see the biggest build-up of grime – particularly dust. Therefore in these busy areas, we like to add a few extra deep cleaning steps.
Note ~ we include the areas around your front and back doors to be common areas.
Step 1 – Clean underneath and behind all the heavy furniture (in other rooms this only needs to be done once a month, however in busy rooms like lounges you will want to do this more frequently).
Step 2 – Take any clutter that has migrated into the wrong room back to where it belongs.
Step 3 – Wipe down all the electrical items, and vacuum out the cooling vents. Dust loves to clog up vents.
Step 4 – Organize the electrical wires and make sure they are not tripping hazards.
Step 5 – Deep clean the carpet using carpet cleaner powder or foam. If you have wooden floors in these areas use a floor cleaner than polish.
Step 6 – Disinfect door handles and light switches in these busy areas.
Step 7 – Remove all the shoes and coats from your shoe or coat racks. Clean any that need cleaning before placing back in a sensible order. The shoe rack will need to be wiped down, polished, and disinfected.
Step 8 – Wipe down and disinfect your front door, back door, door handles, and letterbox. Check that the hinges on the door are well oiled and that your door locks are in good condition.
Step 9 – Wash your doormats.
NOW RETURN TO STEP 4 OF CLEANING YOUR BATHROOM.
Move To The Kitchen
Even if you aren’t doing a deep clean of your kitchen, it will still most likely take the longest to clean. However, it is very important that you do not avoid cleaning this room. If you want any room to be clean it is your kitchen. It is where you make your food, drinks, and is the place where you are most likely to ingest unwanted bacteria.
Follow this step by step guide for a foolproof way to keep your kitchen clean and safe.
Step 1 – Wash your oven mitts, tea towels, napkins, and any other fabric items in your kitchen.
Step 2 – Gather up any washing up and put a load in the dishwasher.
TIP – add a spoonful of baking powder to warm water when soaking dishes. You’ll notice a huge difference.
Step 3 – Wash, wipe down and disinfect all of your chopping boards. Plastic boards are particularly good at retaining bacteria, so pay special attention to those.
Step 3 – Empty your cabinets, wipe them down, and replace your items. Remove any food that has expired, or that is in the wrong place.
TIP – cutting sheets of newspaper down to the right size and using them to line the shelves of your cabinets and draws will make cleaning them much easier. The newspapers will collect the dust and then can be easily disposed of and replaced.
Step 4 – Remove the knobs, drip trays, and any detachable rings from your stovetop. Leave them to soak in warm water. After they have soaked clean and disinfect them before returning them to the stove.
Step 5 – Wipe down the stovetop, making sure to remove any staining. Disinfect the stovetop after wiping it down.
Step 6 – Remove everything from your countertops. Wipe down your countertops as well as the door of your fridge, microwave, and oven. You should also wipe down the fronts of all your cabinets.
Step 7 – Wipe down the inside of your oven. If this is your first big clean we recommend getting an oven cleaning kit. This will remove any long built-up, baked-on grime.
Step 8 – Move onto the microwave. To make the microwave easier to clean, heat a small cup of water in there for a minute. The steam will help soften any of the mess inside. Wipe the whole microwave down, and vacuum the cooling vents at the back.
Step 9 – Wipe down your drying rack.
Step 10 – Then turn your attention to the sink. Using the bathroom cleaner, wipe down the sink and the surrounding area.
Step 11 – Use a small amount of drain cleaner to prevent any big blockages. Also, use a small amount of grout cleaner on the outside of the drain to keep it sparkling.
Step 12 – Wipe down your appliances and anything else you store on the countertop, one by one before returning them to their rightful place.
Step 13 – Clean your kettle. Boiling your kettle with a spoon or two of baking powder inside will help to remove any limescale build-up.
Step 14 – Empty out your toaster. Toasters quickly fill with crumbs and look really messy. Taking the time out to clean it will help it be clogged by bread crumbs. Place the toast upside down on a paper towel and leave it to empty itself for 20 minutes.
Step 15- Remove any expired food from your fridge.
Step 16 – Empty the rest of the fridge. Vacuum the cooling pipes of the fridge (on its back). Wipe down the inside of the fridge. Remove and soak any shelves if necessary.
Step 17 – Disinfect the door, cabinet and drawer handles, and the faucets. This is a good time to also wipe down your cleaning products and tools.
Step 18 – Clean your kitchen floor.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE CLEANED YOUR KITCHEN YOU ONLY HAVE YOUR WARDROBE LEFT TO TIDY.
Finishing With Closets
People have built entire careers off helping people to organize and gain control of their closets. It is the place where many of us hoard items, people often find them too overwhelming to even open.
You can remove this area of stress from your life by tackling it at least once a week. You may find an initial deep declutter helpful to regain control.
Step 1 – Pull out anything that is in the wrong place and put it in a pile behind you.
Step 2 – Put away any clean and folded laundry from the last week.
Step 3 – Using what is left in the wardrobe make sure all your organization systems are functioning. If they are not, redo them.
Step 4 – Add the pieces from the pile behind you back into the newly organized wardrobe.
Step 5 – Take stock of what you have in there. What you have and haven’t worn recently. If anything needs fixing, or if there is anything you are ready to declutter. Set aside these pieces.
The Final Sweep
Take a final walk back through your house to check there are no areas you’ve missed. At this point, your robot vacuum cleaner should have cleaned up most of the dislodged dust.
Check that you have returned everything to its rightful place. Check you haven’t forgotten to dust in any of the corners. Empty the bins again if you need to.
Then make yourself a cup of tea (or grape juice, no judgment here), sit down, and enjoy your clean home.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CLEANING YOUR HOME
Read on to find out more about keeping your home clean and get some advice from professional house cleaners.
Expert Tips For A Clean Home
Below we have broken down the two most common tips that we have been given by professional cleaners. These guys really know what they are talking about.
These two tips are absolute gold.
It is possible to clean a whole house in four hours. Cleaners do it all the time. So why does it often take us laypeople so long to clean our own homes?
One professional cleaner suggested that there are few things you can do to speed up your cleaning experience.
Tidy the night before. Pick up all your dirty laundry, recycle those old newspapers, do the washing up. Get these little jobs out of the way before you start cleaning so they don’t distract you.
Fully commit and reward yourself. It is hard to find the motivation to clean and to carry on cleaning once you’re two and a half hours in. We suggest approaching your deep cleans like a pro. They are able to find motivation because cleaning is their job. They are getting paid to do it. So, promise yourself a reward for doing the deep clean. Whether it’s a bottle of your favorite wine, a new book, or even a new lipstick. Nothing helps motivation more than a reward system.
Make a habit out of it. We talked briefly earlier about how training your brain to treat your weekly clean as a habit can make the whole experience a lot more efficient and pleasant for you. Habits require less brainpower, which means you can focus on other things whilst cleaning – like the audiobook or podcast you have on. It makes the time pass quicker, you clean faster, and the whole experience is a lot more fun for you.
In our cleaning guide, we briefly mentioned a few alternative cleaning items.
Throughout their years of cleaning experience, professional cleaners pick up some odd tips and techniques. Below are three left-field ideas that have made a world of difference to the pros.
Below we have broken down why we think they are a valuable addition to your cleaning arsenal.
White vinegar – it is possible to clean your bathroom with white vinegar, it is very effective. But bear in mind your bathroom will smell of vinegar for the next few days.
Baking Powder – many people swear by baking powder for its stain-removing powers. If you are looking for natural cleaners this is one to consider.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner – We’re obsessed with our robot vacuum cleaner. It has cut our monthly vacuuming time down by over an hour. Being able to set this to clean whilst we are working on something else has changed the way we approach cleaning our houses.
How To Maintain A Clean House
As we have mentioned above, the best way to maintain a clean home is to do small regular cleaning sessions.
Nobody wants to do a deep clean of your house every week, but if you do a small weekly clean you won’t need to. Regular scheduling in cleaning for yourself will not keep your house looking good, but it will stop mold and dust mite build-up.
Weekly vs Monthly
When preparing for your weekly cleans, the best thing you can do is write down a list of what you want to clean and what order you want to do it in. There are some things you don’t need to do every week, so we recommend keeping a rolling list of bigger tasks you need to do once a month. To avoid forgetting about doing them.
We recommend creating detailed plans as you possibly can. This includes marking the time you will be setting aside to do your cleaning, as well as marking down when in the month you will be doing the less frequent cleaning tasks. It has been widely proven that planning in advance can help you be more productive.
Here are some of the tasks that you only need to do once a month:
Cleaning your outside windows
Cleaning behind and under heavy furniture
Deep cleaning your fridge
Cleaning light fixtures
Decluttering your wardrobe
Decluttering your medicine cabinet
Decluttering your kitchen cabinets
All these activities should be put in your cleaning schedule once a month. You may find it easier not to do them all on the same day/
Conclusion: The Final Touches
So there you have it, the ultimate guide to cleaning your house.
Having a clean house is not an unreasonable dream. It simply requires a two-step process.
Step 1 – A big, deep clean to create a fresh start. Set aside four hours every 3 months to do this.
Step 2 – Small weekly cleans to maintain the cleanliness of your home. This will take you about an hour each week.
It really is that simple, and here you have a guide to help keep yourself on track. Remember that the more time you spend making preparations for your cleans the easier it will become.
So grab your duster, and a great podcast or audiobook – and get cleaning! What are you waiting for?