Deep cleaning your home can be tiring and not to mention time-consuming, especially if you neglected some basic cleaning tasks over the past few weeks. In spite of that, you ought to start sooner or later, as the more you delay, the harder it gets later on.
Before we get into step-by-step guide, however, let’s firstly discuss…
How often should you deep clean your house?
To avoid the build-up of dirt, dust, limescale, ground, etc. inside your home, consider deep cleaning it at least once every 6 months. In the meantime, make sure to follow a weekly cleaning routine, which involves vacuuming, dusting, laundry, dishwashing and so on. Your future self will thank you.
And something which some of you might be thinking about now…
Should you hire a professional cleaner?
Hiring a professional cleaner almost always ensures better results in a shorter time span. The question is rather if you can afford to hire someone. If you have to think about it, you probably shouldn’t, so quit stalling, read this article and get to work!
Important note: Hiring a domestic cleaner to help with household chores is completely different than hiring someone for an end-of-tenancy cleaning or steam carpet cleaning. In those situations, assuming you want to get your deposit back, it’s best to rely on professionals.
Now that we addressed the elephant(s) in the room, let’s begin going over…
What are the steps to clean a house
1. Remove clutter
You’re probably aware of this and likely already doing it, but it never hurts to remind ourselves. The very first thing you are to do before actually starting to clean your home is to remove all items which don’t belong. For example, dirty clothes should go in the washer, and dirty dishes and cups in (you guessed it) the dishwasher. In this way, your electric appliances will also join you in the deep cleaning journey, making things slightly less lonely.
2. Go from top to bottom
Once everything is in its place (kind of), prepare yourself to dust places, which you previously may not have even seen with your bare eyes. We’re speaking about the top of the kitchen cabinets, the top of your fridge, the cupboards and so on. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure you dust it as well – most forget about it altogether. And while you’re at it, check if there are any cobwebs which need removing.
To do this, you’ll need to get high (and not that way) by climbing onto a portable ladder. In case you don’t have one, use a dining chair. If the chair doesn’t provide the necessary height, however, you may have to improvise, but please… be careful. Once you’re high enough, use a microfibre cloth and/ or a microfibre dusting wand accompanied with an all-purpose cleaning spray.
3. Clean windows and window frames
You shouldn’t require too much guidance on this as window cleaning is fairly simple. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to know a few tips and tricks. Firstly, make sure you vacuum the sills and tracks by using the brush attachment. If you haven’t done that in a while, you’ll be surprised by how much dust is picked up.
What you need to do next is to grab your favourite window cleaner, spritz the windows and wait 30-60 seconds. Then, start wiping from top to bottom, left to right. Again, we recommend using microfibre cloths as they pick up the most amount of dirt and dust. If you don’t have any, newspapers are a great alternative.
4. Re-organize drawers and shelves
You could very well skip this step, but if you’re really determined to do a proper deep clean – don’t. You’d be surprised by how fun it can be to take a stroll down memory lane. Just don’t take too long, as most of the work is still upon you. As a side note, please don’t be afraid to throw away items, which you no longer use or have no intention of using again.
5. Clean electric appliances
5.1. Cleaning the oven and microwave
Thinking about cleaning the oven is something which we’ve all done at some point or another. Actually doing it is a whole different story. But don’t worry – it’s definitely not as bad, and it doesn’t usually take too long. For starters, remove everything from the oven such as racks and trays, and slip into a pair of cleaning gloves.
Then, spray the inside of the oven with an oven cleaner, avoiding the heating element, and let the product work for 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, do your best to remove any built-up grease on the racks and trays using the same oven cleaner and a steel scrubber. Once you’re done with that, go back to the oven and wipe the inside, and you’re basically good to go!
Important note: Most oven cleaners are quite not what you call “eco-friendly”, and breathing in their fumes definitely isn’t recommended. Because of this, leaving windows open is a must, and it may not be the worst idea to also put on a mask.
Now, onto the microwave. Into a microwave-safe bowl, pour one cup of tap water and add a few slices of lemon. Pop the bowl inside on the highest setting and leave it until it starts to boil (this should only take a few minutes). Once it does start boiling (you’ll know due to the steam inside the microwave), turn it off and let it cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Then, grab a cloth and wipe the inside of the microwave, and… that’s it – you’re done!
5.2. Cleaning the oven hob and extractor
To clean the hob, you’ll firstly need to wipe it over with a wet rag in order to remove any crumbs and bits of old food. Then, remove the burners and grates and pop them into the sink filled with hot water, fairy liquid, some white vinegar and baking soda. And before you begin scrubbing the hob itself, place the extractor fan filters in the sink to keep the burners and grates company.
Leave them be for about 20 minutes or so, or until you’d done cleaning the hob and extractor hood, which should take you roughly the same amount of time. Now grab the oven cleaner, spray the hob and start scrubbing. You’re best off using a steel scrubber as the rough part of a sponge won’t really do much. What you will need the sponge for is the extractor hood.
Spray it with the oven cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner and wipe it over. Lastly, use a scrubbing pad to remove the grease and dirt from the burners, grates and extractor filters. Leave them to dry and put them back to their places.
5.3. Cleaning the dishwasher
You’d firstly want to empty it out and remove any debris. After that, remove the dishwasher’s filter and run it under hot water. Grab an old toothbrush, put some fairy liquid on top and gently scrub it until it’s visibly clean. Once it is, pop it back into its place. Finally, put a dishwasher cleaner tablet and run the bad boy on an empty cycle.
5.4. Clean the fridge and freezer
For starters, remove everything from the fridge. Then, combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 litre of water into a bowl and stir it up. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle, and spritz it over all fridge surfaces. Wipe them with a clean cloth, and put back everything to its place.
It’s a similar story when it comes the freezer. Empty it out and mix your cleaning solution by combining white vinegar and hot water 1:1. Before you put it to use, however, dampen a cloth in warm or hot water and melt any ice that’s in your way. Once finished, spray the freezer interior, wipe it over, and onto the next bit!
6. Wipe down kitchen cabinets and countertops
The next most logical step after cleaning the appliances is to clean the rest of the kitchen, in particular the kitchen cabinets and countertops. Start by removing everything from the cabinets, in order to give the cabinets themselves a good wipe (from the inside and from the outside). We would once again recommend using a microfibre cloth and an all-purpose cleaner.
When ready, put everything back, and turn your focus to the countertops. Naturally, you’ll firstly need to remove whatever’s already there (duh). Afterwards, simply wipe down the countertops, and… you guessed it – put everything back to its place (or re-organize of if needed).
7. Clean your curtains, mattresses and sofas
Cleaning or washing anything that’s upholstered is a vital part of any deep clean. It’s where dust loves to build up, which is why said items deserve your attention.
Most curtains and blinds can be washed, so not much to talk about there, but in case yours can’t, take them to your local dry cleaner. As for the mattresses, simply use the crevice attachment of your hoover and give them a quick go-over. This will not only deal with dust, but also small debris particles, hairs and some harmful allergens.
In terms of sofa cleaning, firstly remove all cushions and vacuum where the sitting cushions usually are, working your way to the back of the sofa, the arms and finishing with the base. And if the cushions also need some love, put the covers in the washer as well (assuming they can be washed).
8. Cleaning the bathroom
Deep cleaning the bathroom surprisingly doesn’t take too much if you already have a plan, and that’s where we come in, of course.
Firstly, spray the toilet and bathtub with a bathroom cleaning spray, and give them a good scrub with the toilet brush. You can then use the showerhead to wash away the dirt. Follow that up with a wipe down of the mirror, then throw the bath, hand towels and shower curtain (if you have one) in the washer.
As for the grout in between the tiles, that can be removed with a mixture of vinegar baking soda and water. The same solution can also be used to remove limescale. This may take some time, so take breaks if you get overwhelmed. Finally, give the floor a good mop and you’re done (with the bathroom that is)!
9. Cleaning the floors
Hopefully, it’s no surprise to you that floor cleaning is one of the last things you need to do when performing a deep clean. Remember – always go top to bottom when cleaning your home.
Now, focus your attention and efforts to cleaning the carpets and rugs. While you hoover them, make sure you make a mental map of all stains and marks, which you would soon need to treat. Now, assuming you’re done vacuuming, go to the kitchen and prepare your stain removal spray. A solution of white vinegar and water 1:1 should remove most dirt and grease marks from your carpet.
Important note: Always test any cleaning product (regardless if homemade or store-bought) on an inconspicuous area.
Once you have the spray ready, grab a few clean cloths and go back to the problematic carpet areas. Apply the solution onto a stained area and dab it with a cloth. Repeat until the stain is no longer visible and rinse with cold water.
If a stain persists, we discourage you to go at it with any further cleaning products, as you risk damaging the carpet. And if your carpet is generally quite soiled, consider calling in a professional carpet cleaning company. At least then, you will have the peace of mind that the best possible condition is indeed achieved, without the risk damaging or over wetting the carpet.
As for the hard flooring, simply grab a mop and go over it with the appropriate amount of moisture and floor cleaning products.
10. Finishing touches
Now that you’ve essentially completely deep cleaned your property, we urge you to take a quick 10-15 minute break and try and remember… have you missed anything in the process? If you have, don’t worry! Here is a list of things, which you may have overlooked:
- The indoor and outdoor mats
- The a/c filters
- The kid and pet toys (and pet bedding)
- The washing machine and dryer
- The indoor bins
- The skirting boards
- The TV and other electronics, which you may have missed earlier
- The inside of cupboards
Frequently Asked Questions
The answer naturally depends on the size of your property and as well as its current condition. Naturally, a five-bedroom house will be difficult to clean in one day all by yourself. However, if we assume that you’re a single person in a one-bed flat, deep cleaning it in a matter of a day shouldn’t be too much of an issue!
Apart from following our steps, partnering up with a friend or a… partner will significantly reduce the time needed to deep clean your home. Plus, it can certainly make things more fun! Make sure you have a clear plan of how you're going to clean and what you'll do first, organise tasks and go at them one at a time, so you can be as efficient as possible.
In reality, you don’t really need a checklist in order to maintain your home clean and safe. All you need is some motivation and discipline. If you’re easily distracted, however, feel free to leave yourself sticky notes, or ask for gentle reminders from your loved ones.