Cleaning

6 Deep-Cleaning Tips To Keep Your Home Spotless

The whole process is so much easier than you think.

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March 15, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

We've partnered with Miele to give you A Spruce-Up for the Season with smart, doable tips for keeping your home spick and span.


So Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix really got to you. After binge-watching the entire season, you spent the first month of the year organizing your closets, cupboards, and drawers, and donating anything that didn’t spark joy. Now your home is decluttered, your clothes are neatly folded, and everything has a place. But alas, the work is not complete. Your next (and final) step is to get rid of dust, dirt, and potential allergens. I'm talking about a deep clean.

Deep cleaning is actually nowhere near as intense as the name makes it sound, especially once you break it down into manageable steps. If you can stay even vaguely organized and follow this step-by-step guide, the whole process is actually pretty painless. Here's a full rundown on how to make deep cleaning way easier—and how to conquer two particularly stressful chores without breaking a sweat.

Get organized with a checklist

Simple as it sounds, creating a checklist will make the whole process so much easier. If you’re a visual person like me, take a stroll through your home and jot down everything that could use a good clean. This will range from large appliances like your oven and refrigerator, to furnishings like your carpets, upholstered furniture, and countertops. Once you have that list, group everything together by task type. For example: laundry (cleaning your shower curtain, bath mat, and kitchen towels); wipe-downs (for cabinets, surfaces, and stovetops); scrubbing (toilets, sinks, and shower walls); and vacuuming (carpets, tiled floors, under the bed, and baseboards).

Make a schedule that works for you

Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s easy to slot them into your schedule—even if that means tackling just a couple of items per day. Because I live in a one-bedroom apartment, it’s easy to knock out an entire task group in one afternoon because the whole thing takes just an hour or two. If you have a bigger home, deep cleaning will probably take a bit longer, so you might want to split up the tasks by room or by floor over the span of a couple of weeks.

Assemble your cleaning kit

Having a checklist also makes it much easier to understand what you need to get the job done. A basic cleaning kit should include gloves, an all-purpose cleaner, a special cleaner for mirrors and glass, disinfectant (like a spray or wipes), furniture polish (if you have wooden furniture), microfiber cleaning cloths, sponges, paper towels, a mop, and a good vacuum with attachments—I find a dust brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool (which is great for hard-to-reach places like in between furniture, window tracks, or the lint vent in your washing machine) to be the most useful for deep cleaning.

Rent equipment for major cleaning projects

Local hardware stores, home improvement stores, and even some grocery stores rent out large cleaning appliances by the hour or day. You can rent a floor polisher, furniture steamer, or pressure washer for situations where elbow grease just won’t do the trick.

Clean upholstery by yourself (yes, you can!)

Think that cleaning your upholstered furniture is a task for the professionals? Think again—the process is super straightforward. Step one: Take any cushions off your furniture and use your vacuum's upholstery attachment to suck up crumbs, dust, and pet hair. Then check the tag on your furniture (or look it up on the internet) to see if there are any specific care instructions.

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Top Comment:
“If your deep cleaning is painless, you are any mix of: someone who is always cleaning, has no pets, has a small space, lives a minimalist life... As someone who cooks regularly and lives in a highrise with other ppl/pets, deep cleaning is a (necessary) evil. By the time all spots are DC, it's usually time to start over. Kitchen has a new layer of grime between steam/fur/air circulation. Bathroom is ready for grout cleaning and tile scrubbing. Corners, plants, fabrics, etc, are ready for more attention. ”
— M
Comment

If the care tag says steam is okay, move on to step two: Use a professional steamer (a handheld clothing steamer also works) to kill bacteria and lift smells from the fabric. Steam an inconspicuous corner first to do a spot check (in case something weird happens), then simply hover your steamer about six inches from the fabric and eject steam as you move the tool over the furniture (move as if you were vacuuming). Once you’re done, let everything dry for at least one hour.

Don’t forget about the window treatments

Curtains and blinds can get very dusty, so it’s really in your best interest to clean them regularly (you don’t want to breathe in all that grime!). You can easily dust blinds using a tube sock, tongs with socks on the ends, or—the easiest—a vacuum with a dust brush attachment (you can also vacuum shades using this attachment). If your curtains are machine washable, wash them on a cold cycle, and lay them flat or hang them on a line to dry. And if the idea of taking down your curtains is just too much (I feel you), try vacuuming them with an upholstery attachment to get rid of dust, followed by a quick steam to lift bacteria.

Do you have any deep-cleaning tips? Share them in the comments below!

Looking for a vacuum that works well for all types of floors? Check out the Miele HomeCare Collection to find the vacuum that is best suited for your needs.

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Nina is a writer, editor, and enthusiastic home cook in New York City.

24 Comments

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hellocleanerae March 29, 2020
Bedroom Deep Cleaning Checklist: We spend about 1/3 of our lives in bed. Since sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on your quality of life and even your life expectancy, it’s important to make sure your bedroom is a clean, tidy, and relaxing space.

Get your bedroom cleaner than ever before—and keep it that way—with these easy step-by-step tips.

Pick up clothes and clutter. Better yet, try to make it a habit to keep your room tidy all the time. Toss dirty clothes straight in the clothes hamper after wearing. If your dirty laundry never makes it to the chair or floor, it doesn’t just look better—it’s also one fewer step you need to clean the room. Also, give everything a place. Get a bookshelf for your books and a shoe rack for your shoes.

Strip the bed. Wash your sheets every week, pillow covers every month, mattress covers every 3 months, and your comforter and pillows every 6 months or when soiled.

Rotate your mattress. Rotate the position of your mattress every 3 months to keep it from sagging. This is especially important when you share a bed with a partner because this can quickly cause uneven wear on your mattress.

Clean and tidy the closet. Tidy clothes, shoes, and other stored items. Wipe down the walls and doors with a damp microfiber cloth, if needed. Vacuum the floor.

Dust all surfaces. Work from top to bottom so you won’t have to clean anything twice. Dust the ceiling fan with a pillowcase. Dust the furniture with a damp microfiber cloth. Don’t forget the baseboards, light fixtures, and switches. If needed, wash the walls with a microfiber mop.

Wipe windows and mirrors. Get a streak-free shine with microfiber and polishing cloths. Wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, then buff with a dry polishing cloth.

Clean the floors. Vacuum carpets, or sweep, vacuum, and mop hardwood floors. Launder throw rugs at least once a month or when soiled. Clean under the bed with vacuum attachments.

Vacuum the drapes. Clean the drapes with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment. If they’re machine washable, toss them in the washer every 1–2 months.

Make the bed neatly. Take your sheets straight from the dryer to your bed to prevent wrinkles from folding. Plus, who doesn’t love crawling into a nice, warm, freshly made bed?! Enjoy your wonderfully clean room!
LINENS:

Make your bed every day to improve sleep quality and keep your bedroom tidy. That’s right—making your bed may seem like just another annoying and unnecessary chore, but a National Sleep Foundation poll found that most people say making their bed every morning improves their sleep quality. Making your bed every morning also keeps your sheets clean, your bedroom neat and tidy, and your bed linens newer longer, and it may help you start your day off right.

Hang shirts so that they’ll stay put. Hang the shirt as usual, and thread the clothing tag at the neck of the shirt through the hook of the clothes hanger to prevent the garment from sliding off the hanger.

Save time finding linen sets in your linen closet by storing sheet sets in pillowcases. Store each set of sheets together in a pillowcase to keep your linen closet neat and organized. When you make your bed, you can just grab a set and go.

Get a better night’s rest with DIY lavender linen spray. Lavender essential oil has a calming effect on the body and helps reduce stress and improve sleep quality. This homemade spray will freshen linens between washes, so you can sleep better and wake up feeling rejuvenated! Never use essential oils around cats and birds. Lavender is considered safe for use around children and dogs.

2 tablespoons witch hazel or vodka
10 drops lavender essential oil
6 tablespoons water
4-ounce glass spray bottle

Add the witch hazel or vodka and lavender essential oil to the spray bottle.
Cover the bottle opening with your finger, and shake well to combine. (Essential oils don’t emulsify with water, and this step will help all the ingredients mix together.)
Add the water, screw on the spray cap, and shake again to combine. Use this spray on your pillows and linens anytime they need refreshing.

Wash your bedsheets at least once a week. Sweat causes bacteria to grow on your sheets, and skin cells attract dust mites and bedbugs, which can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other health issues. If you are sick or you perspire a lot, wash more often than once a week. Wash and dry your sheets on the hottest settings allowed for the fabric.

Use all your space by storing belongings under the bed. Some beds have builtin storage. You can use the same idea even if you don’t have this type of bed by storing items in flat plastic bins or repurposed old dresser drawers. To make dresser drawers easy to move, install 4 little wheels on the bottoms of the drawers so they can be wheeled in and out easily.

Store bulky clothes and linens in vacuum storage bags. You can store bulky comforters, sweaters, blankets, coats, and more without taking up so much space if you suck the air out of the bags. Put your bulky items in the special bags and seal them. Vacuum out the air to make it nice and compact.
 
anna058 December 10, 2019
This is excellent information about cleaning. Thank you a lot for sharing this blog.
 
noreldine November 16, 2019
An amazing post on the deep cleaning of the house. I am based in Dubai, and I always use professional deep cleaning companies in Dubai to get my house top to bottom cleaning. Now I will try these tips and do it my own.
Keep up the good work and keep sharing :)
 
jordan March 26, 2019
I've read other places about using a tube sock and tongs for blinds. Does it really work? ?
Is there a certain cleaner I should be using with it? I'm ashamed to say my blinds have some dirt stains on them :(
 
Jorge B. March 16, 2019
I too am retired and do a monthly deep clean. You need to be somewhat organized to make it easier. We start with the 5 ceiling fans and work our way down to the floor. I liked your article because one can never get enough information. Keep up the good work and don't mind the negative people with negative comments. These people probably are the worst housekeepers.
 
Jenny March 16, 2019
Now I'm retired I try to do a deep clean in my house at least once a month, I've wooden floors as I think they're Bette to clean and I do have a steamer for the bathroom and kitchen and utility rooms. I find doing a deep clean rewarding sitting down in a lovely clean lounge rewarding getting into a clean bed and bedroom wonderful, my hubby thinks I'm crazy but I love having a beautiful clean home
 
Abi M. March 16, 2019
This was the most ignorant thing I have ever seen. Have you ever really cleaned a house? Please give advice on something you actually know about.