Whether you’re in the process of moving or looking to make a fresh start in your current home, a thorough deep cleaning can make everything feel brand-new. In some cases, it may be that the mess has simply got out of hand and it’s hard to know where to start, or you may have larger items to remove (in which case you can rent a dumpster). Luckily, we have listed a deep dive into deep cleaning from top to bottom.
What You’ll Need
To deep clean your house, you will need the following:
- Set of storage boxes
- Scrub pads (ideally multiple colors)
- Rubber gloves
- Broom and dustpan
- A window-cleaning set with a telescopic pole
- Scrubbing brushes
- A firm-bristled toothbrush
- Toilet brush and holder
- A spray bottle
- A bucket
- A caddy
You will also need a set of trash bags for recycling and disposal, and a mop. Cleaning hard floors is generally better if done with a cloth (and kneepads), but if you have difficulty getting down to that level, you can mop instead.
There’s a dazzling array of products to make your home sparkle, but you only really need a few: an all-purpose cleaner, a mild abrasive and a polish such as furniture wax or olive oil (this is optional).
Where possible, try to go the eco-friendly route and choose biodegradable, non-toxic options such as white vinegar. Chemicals (or essential oils), should be kept well away from children and pets, as these can be toxic if inhaled or ingested. Avoid mixing certain cleaners, as this can be dangerous.
The Night Before
Make a list of the items in your home and where they should live. You can categorize these into clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental items.
Leave any “overnight” cleaning solutions such as oven cleaner to work their magic (if using strong chemicals, use PPE and remember you may need to ventilate (exercise caution when opening windows in case of small children or pets).
Lastly (unless you’re using a carpet cleaning machine) sprinkle baking soda on your carpets and leave overnight to refresh them, but be wary of use around pets or children.
Clear the Decks
Tidy clockwise, in sections. Put any “odd” items into the storage boxes and place them to one side. Try to keep these in some form of order, as you’ll need to redistribute them later.
Next, put any clothes or washable items into the laundry, including curtains (take care with “dry clean only” items). Remove any trash from the room and place it into the “recycling” or “disposal” bag as appropriate.
Clean Top to Bottom
Work from the ceiling down: dust lampshades, shelves and cobwebs lightly with feather duster and clean the windows inside and out. Wipe any electrical items using a microfiber cloth and use the most appropriate cleaning solution for other surfaces.
In the kitchen, wash and dry any dirty dishes and wipe down your counters. Clean your
cupboards, oven and refrigerator inside and out and unplug and clean any small appliances according to manufacturer instructions, drying completely before use.
In the bathroom, clean the toilet using a toilet brush and separate scrubby pad, spraying antibacterial spray into any nooks and crannies. Remove limescale from faucets using a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda and wipe down the entire bathroom top to bottom.
Clean hard floors, drying as you go (keep wooden floors as dry as possible) and wash rugs according to instructions. If you have a very dirty carpet, you can hire a carpet cleaning machine for the day. Otherwise, vacuum thoroughly, starting with your crevice tool to go around the edges before working on the main areas of the floor with the main vacuum head.
A Home for Everything
Now that you’ve cleaned your home, there’s one more job to do: putting everything back in place. Take the original list you made and redistribute everything, but don’t just put it all back: decide whether to keep, donate, sell or recycle it, as you may have been holding onto things you don’t really need.