Did you know that, on average, Americans spend six hours every week cleaning their homes? And did you know that one-third of them report that they feel that is not enough? There are many reasons for this, but one of them may be that when we clean or tidy, we are skimming the surface.
Do you feel that you have a fairly clean home but that it still feels a bit dirty? How often do you deep clean your house? If you are not sure when or how to start, do not worry. The information below can help you develop a plan and put things in motion.
The first thing you will want to do is pull together all the cleaning supplies for the task. The basics are:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Cleaning cloths, pads, and brushes
- Cleaning sprays and solutions
You probably know that there are almost endless choices when it comes to cleaning products. But you may have everything you need lying around your house.
Microfiber rags will pick up more dust than regular cotton ones. And fancy sprays can help make your home smell nice. But an old rag and a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water will clean most surfaces. Add in a few drops of essential oil for a pleasant aroma. Even an old toothbrush can come in handy for dirty kitchen or bathroom corners.
When To Deep Clean Your House
Some people do a thorough deep cleaning once or twice a year. But you can do the tasks listed below anytime. Instead of tackling it all at once, you might clean particular rooms whenever you feel like they need it. A good way to divide it up is by:
- Bedrooms/living rooms
- Bathrooms/laundry room
These three categories each require particular supplies and methods to deep clean them. This also will make it more manageable.
The first thing you will want to do in any given room is to pick up items lying around. This is not a time to clean out drawers or closets, but to gather anything visible that could get in the way.
Tidying it up will make it easier to get into the spaces that need cleaning. And it will protect the items from dust in the air.
Bedrooms and Living Rooms
For these rooms, you will want to work top-town. Meaning, dust ceiling fans, and window shades first. You can sweep up any dust that falls on the floor. Consider applying a dust repellant, which will help prevent accumulation in the future.
For carpet and rugs, first vacuum. Then treat stains with a one-to-five ratio of distilled water to hydrogen peroxide. Add to that a few drops of dish soap. If your carpet is in particularly bad shape, look into purchasing a steam cleaner from your local hardware store. You can also hire a professional service that can knock out all carpeted rooms in your house in a single visit.
For any type of wooden floors, sweep, and mop. If you have a wood polish, this is a good time to apply it. For real hardwoods, some people put down a thin coat of wax every few years to protect it from liquid damage.
Next, wipe down floorboards with your water-vinegar mixture. Clean windows that may have been neglected. Remove the screens and wipe down the sills.
Wash all bedding, including duvet covers and mattress pads. This is a good chance to flip your mattress if you have not done so in a while. In kids’ rooms, wipe down plastic toys with a little soap and warm water.
You probably vacuum or sweep your living room on a regular basis. But how often do you vacuum beneath your couch cushions or under large furniture? These spaces do not accumulate dirt like the open floor. So hitting them once or twice a year can go a long way to keeping them clean.
Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
For bathrooms, use either the water-vinegar mixture or a standard bathroom cleaner. These rooms are cleaned regularly but think about areas that may get neglected. Empty and wash out bathroom trash cans. Clean or replace bath mats and shower curtains. Take the extra time to clean the floor and cabinets. It is a good idea to unscrew faucet tips to check the filters for clogs.
Laundry rooms may not seem like a priority for deep cleaning. Guests rarely see them, and they often double as utility storage spaces. But a deep cleaning of your laundry room can be a refreshing step to a cleaner home. And cleaning your washer and dryer can help keep them running longer.
Most people do not ever think about cleaning their washing machine. But detergent and hard water minerals can cause buildup. Wash it out with vinegar or a detergent dispenser, then run a complete cycle with an empty machine.
Did you know that about 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year? Did you know that failure to clean the machine is the leading cause of these incidents? If you have not cleaned your dryer lint screen in a while, now may be the time to do it. After that, once a year is enough. Be sure to check for lint that has fallen from the screen into the filter space. You can use a vacuum to easily clean it out.
While you are at it, you may check the ductwork and vent to the dryer. Slide the machine out from the wall and disconnect the tubing from the vent. Over time, these can accumulate lint and cause fires as well. The screen for the vent may be on the outside of the house. Check it as well for buildup.
For kitchens, wipe down the surfaces with a non-toxic spray. Clean out and wipe down your refrigerator, inside and out.
Heavy-duty cleaners, such as decreasers, may come in handy for cooking appliances. And a commercial oven cleaner can help loosen any residue. Appliances with heavy buildup may need multiple cleanings.
If your oven has a self-cleaning component, run it first. Then tackle the inside. Thoroughly wipe down the range, including the hood. This is a good chance to clean all appliances that have been sitting out and have been exposed to food splatter or dust.
Empty out your cabinets. Wipe down the insides and all the appliances in there. A good trick for freshening up your garbage disposal is to run some saltwater and lemon rind through it.
Wear gloves and be cautious if you are using chemicals like bleach or ammonia. And avoid dispensing these chemicals in areas where you prepare food. Also, never combine them. It can create a chemical reaction and emit toxic fumes.
Now Your House Is Clean
Deep cleaning can require some work, but it is not rocket science. If you focus on one room at a time, it is a manageable task.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling a major cleaning project, consider hiring a professional. For a nominal cost, a company can come in and get your home in great shape in as little as a day.
After you deep clean your house, you can feel good about having a bright and healthy place for you and your family to live.