Doing a deep cleaning for your house is like taking it for a spiritual retreat. It’s a detox. A renewal. It’s a way of breathing new life into your home after it’s collected the dust, grease, grime and little critters from the previous year.
If your house is really, I mean really dirty, or you feel it’s time to take your house for it’s own yearly spiritual retreat, you probably want to hire a professional to do this for you. It can be an overwhelming task and it feels so good to leave this to somebody else who does this everyday.
But if you want to do this yourself – and make this a family activity (more on that below) – this is the perfect guide for you.
Before You Get Started, Plan Your Deep Clean
According to Better Homes & Gardens, the best way to approach your deep clean is to break it down into easy-to-tackle steps. They recommend decluttering the home before even starting the cleaning process.
“Clearing clutter makes deep cleaning easier and seeing those tidy surfaces can help boost your motivation to keep going,” says Jessica Bennett in her article for BHG.
Then plan each room one by one. In fact, it might be a good idea to write down your plan so you don’t forget anything.
For example, your list might look a little like this small sample list:
- Bathrooms: clean the toilets, grout, tiles, mirrors, sink, cabinets.
- Kitchen: clean the kitchen cabinets, behind the refrigerator, top of the fridge, top of the stove, oven, behind the oven, refrigerator condenser, range hood, and more (for more on easy-to-forget areas of your kitchen, read our blog post on important areas of your kitchen to clean).
- Kids’ bedroom(s): vacuum the carpet, under the bed, the closets
Brainstorm as much as you can on a room-by-room basis so that you know beforehand what to do before you get to each space.
Get the Family Involved
Let’s face it: a deep cleaning can be a hard, thankless job, especially if you do it all by yourself. But it can be a really fun family activity.
Involve the kids. Do it as a couple. Invite extended family members. Order a pizza for lunch and turn it into a little party. You’ll be surprised how time will fly when you turn it into a fun group activity. (For more on getting help from family to help, read our article on getting your kids to help with chores).
You can even turn it into a contest: assign each room to a different member of the family, then choose somebody to be the ‘inspector’ who goes from room to room and decides who did the best job. Then you can have an awards ceremony where you give a prize to the best cleaner!
The point is to make it a fun, social activity where the adults and kids can bond over an important activity. It’s a great way to create lifelong memories, and you can even turn it into a regular yearly or twice-yearly affair that everybody looks forward to.
The Materials You’ll Need
Before you get started, you need to have the right equipment. This is not a regular cleaning. You’re going to clean stuff you haven’t seen or touched for ages. You need to make sure you can get out those deep stains, reach those hard-to-get-to nooks and crannies, and clean on a deeper level than you’re used to.
Here is our recommended list of supplies:
- A clean microfiber mop or a duster with a telescoping handle for those hard to reach places like fans, or behind sofas.
- A microfiber cloth in places where it’s awkward to use a mop.
- Squeegee to clean the windows.
- Clean sponges.
- Lint roller (you’ll use this for upholstery and even lamp shades).
- Clean paint brushes for dusting delicate items.
- Stiff-bristled brush for shower door tracks, drains and more (this should be toothbrush sized).
Eco-friendly cleaning chemicals we recommend:
At Cleaning Time, we respect the environment and take care to keep your home free of dangerous chemicals. We also recommend you use these environmentally friendly chemicals:
- A solution that’s four parts water and one part white vinegar for windows.
- Baking soda: to wipe down messy surfaces, to remove grease from dirty dishes, and more.
- Environmentally friendly, streak-free window cleaner.
- Multipurpose cleaner.
Your 2022 Deep Cleaning Checklist
Finally, the part you’ve all been waiting for: the Ultimate Deep Cleaning Checklist for 2022!
- First, take out all food items before unplugging your fridge. With warm, soapy water, use a sponge to clean the inside and outside of the fridge. The soapy mixture will serve as a degreaser to break down any oils that have accumulated.
- Clean the top of refrigerator
- Clean and disinfect the countertops and sink(s).
- Clean the inside of the range hood.
- Clean drip pans or glass stove top surfaces.
- Clean and polish surfaces and outside of appliances.
- Clean front of cabinets.
- Clean inside of microwave
- Clean the inside of the oven. If you have a self-cleaning oven, remove any pots and pans you have stored there. Clean up as much baked-on food and grease as you can, using a non-scratch spatula. Lock the oven door and use the oven’s self-cleaning function as per the instructions that came with the unit.
- Clean tables and dust chairs, including the chair and table legs.
- Clean washer and dryer surface
- Dust mini-blinds
- Clean window sills
- Clean doors and door frames
- Discard expired personal care products and makeup, and bring old medications to a drop-off site
- Clean and disinfect toilets, sinks and counters
- Clean tub and shower
- Scrub tile grout and clean shower doors
- Clean showerhead
- Clean front of cabinets
- Wipe mirrors and lamps
- Wipe window sills
- Wipe walls
- Wipe baseboards
- Clean baseboards
- Clean doors and door frames
- Vacuum and damp mop floor
- Clean makeup brushes
- Clean vanity
- Replace shower curtain liner
- For kids’ bedrooms, remove all the toys from the closets or toy cabinets first.
- Dust all visible surfaces
- Vacuum the floor
- Use a vacuum attachment to clean the comforter and pillow shams if you don’t have time to wash them
- Make sure the bedding is fresh and the pillows are fluffed
- Clean the windows and dust the blinds
Living room and/or family room
- Clean random debris that doesn’t belong there, and either throw it away or put them where they belong (kids’ toys, paperwork, paper clips, scissors)
- Dust visible surfaces, such as end tables and the mantle
- Run a disinfecting wipe over items such as TV remotes and light switches
- Vacuum the floor and spot-clean the carpet if necessary
- Fluff your throw pillows and blankets – if they’re looking a little sad, toss them in the washer on gentle.
- Straighten up any furniture or other items on your front porch and sweep away any leaves and other outdoor debris
- Use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar and water and a microfiber cloth to brighten up any entryway windows, including those in your door
- Make sure things that tend to pile up at the front of your home, such as shoes, coats, keys, and mail, are put away or at least neatly organized
No matter what the room, here is a general checklist for all spaces in your house:
- Brush dust return air vents
- Dust ceiling fans
- Dust ledges, high shelves and lamps
- Dust window treatments
- Dust high corners
- Dust all furniture, woodwork and shelves
- Vacuum furniture as needed
- Dust window sills and ledges
- Dust baseboards
- Clean doors and door frames
- Remove cobwebs
- Vacuum all floors, rugs and carpets
- Vacuum accessible areas under furniture
- Damp mop floors
Finally, How to Disinfect Your Home in the Era of COVID-19
We said this was the ultimate deep cleaning list for 2022, and any 2022 list must include advice that’s appropriate for the times we live in.
How do you disinfect your home to avoid COVID-19?
As we said in an earlier article about disinfection services:
“…we have come to the understanding that prevention is better than remediation and that the cleaning and disinfection of surfaces are needed…”
But if you want to continue with disinfection, here is what we recommend:
“We have chosen to use VitalOxide, a disinfectant that contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and kills a wide range of viruses and bacteria. It is safe to use on almost any surface including food (Food Contact Sanitizer) and textiles, particularly important as we want to be able to get to all the nooks and crannies where disinfection is needed. VitalOxide is also a Mold and Mildew Killer, Allergen Eliminator, Odor Eliminator and ensures the maintenance of high air quality. While VitalOxide is a powerful disinfectant, no amount of disinfecting, cleaning, or sanitizing kills 100% of bacteria and viruses.”
You could choose to do it yourself, but we highly recommend you choose a professional to do this part for you. It requires precision and care, and frankly it’s a difficult task.
We’ve given you a pretty complete list for your deep clean, including some ideas for how to plan, as well as how to turn it into a family activity.
But you can make this even more thorough. You can divide your deep clean over a month, and do each room in the house every weekend. For example, you could do the bathrooms one weekend, the kitchen the following weekend, and the bedrooms and living room/family room the following two weekends.
If you’d like more information on each space, including the garage and, check out these resources: