A deep cleaning checklist can help you tackle those home cleaning tasks without getting overwhelmed thinking about having to clean the entire house. This checklist will break down the deep cleaning tasks so you can enjoy a clean and well-maintained home without all the stress of figuring out what areas you should work on while deep cleaning.
Even though deep cleaning may seem daunting, there are various significant benefits to why you should do it, even if you do not want to. Deep cleaning can help maintain your home’s functionality and help preserve your investment. Deep cleaning also removes allergens such as mold or dust that can have negative health implications.
You want to deep clean your house without getting bogged down with running around your house and jumping from task to task. That’s why we have prepared this easy-to-follow deep cleaning checklist.
Step 1: Determine when you will clean
You likely will not be able to deep clean your entire house in a day. Instead, set a realistic schedule that you can stick to. How often will you tackle deep cleaning tasks? You can put some of your tasks on a seasonal rotation. Others should be done more frequently. Make a plan of attack for when you will clean the house.
If you devote even just one day per month to deep cleaning tasks, you can set realistic expectations for what you can get done in that time. You do not have to keep a running list in your head of all the house projects you want to work on. Instead, focus on what you can accomplish on that day.
Once you have determined the frequency you will deep clean, you should put it on your calendar. Then, make that appointment with yourself, so you have time blocked off explicitly for deeper cleaning tasks.
Step 2: Collect the needed decluttering supplies
When you get in the cleaning mode, you do not want to stop what you are doing to gather additional supplies. Instead of breaking the flow of your work, collect the necessary supplies before you start. Then, you are ready to go and knock tasks off your deep cleaning checklist.
Here are some ideas of what you may need depending on what areas you plan to work on during your first deep cleaning day:
- Plastic bucket
- Spray bottle
- Rubber gloves
- All-purpose cleaner
- Cleaning cloths
- Vacuum cleaner
- Scrub brush
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- Glass cleaner
- Baking soda
Step 3: Declutter
Before you start cleaning an area, you should first declutter it. Not only will this reduce the number of things you have to clean around, but it will also make a space feel more open and inviting. While decluttering may strike fear in the minds and hearts of many, it does not have to be a cumbersome project.
Start with the obvious things. Is there trash that you can throw away? Toss it. Is an item out of place? Put it where it belongs. Is something broken? Get rid of it. Is an item no longer used or desired? Declutter it. Go room by room and work your way through your house.
You can limit your possessions to a certain number of items. This way, you can keep what is practical or enjoyable and eliminate the rest. This will help your home feel more spacious and result in fewer items for you to clean and maintain or clean around.
Step 4: Choose a deep cleaning strategy
There are two main deep cleaning strategies that you can choose from. One is to clean by task, and the other is to clean by zone.
Clean by task
With this approach to deep cleaning, you choose a task and do that task throughout your entire house before moving on to the next job. For example, if you opt to clean the light switches first, you would clean all the light switches throughout your entire home. This way, that task is completely finished, and you are ready to move on to the next task.
Clean by zone
This strategy is different. Instead of picking a task, you choose a room, then clean it from top to bottom. Once you are done with the room, you are ready to move on to another room and start the cleaning process there.
While neither strategy is better, there are differences. For example, if you clean by task, you do not get the joy of seeing a room completely deep cleaned all at one time. On the other hand, if you clean by zone, you have to haul your cleaning supplies all around the house to move from room to room.
It may be easier to clean room by room since you get the psychological boost of seeing your cleaning tasks accomplished and knowing that a room is spotless (1). However, ultimately the choice is yours.
Deep cleaning checklist
For the purpose of this deep cleaning checklist, we will list the cleaning tasks by room. Some tasks apply to multiple rooms. They are listed in a separate section below.
Throughout your house
These generic tasks should be done throughout your house and are not specific to one room:
- Empty trash and wash trash cans out
- Wash window treatments
- Clean light fixtures
- Wipe walls down
- Use a disinfectant spray on commonly touched surfaces
- Clean windows and window sills
- Clean baseboards
- Remove pet hair from the floors and surfaces where your animals commonly lay
- Dust ceiling fans
A variety of family members frequently enjoy this room. Unfortunately, that means that dirt and dust can quickly accumulate. To deep clean the living room, you should do the following:
- Dust the furniture, knickknacks, and picture frames
- Vacuum the carpet and rugs
- Clean electronics, including remote controls
- Vacuum the couch
- Toss pillow covers or blankets into the wash
- Shampoo or wash rugs
- Deep Clean Wood Floors
When you think about deep cleaning tasks, you probably think of the bathroom. It is no secret that moisture and water can cause mold or grime to build up in the bathroom. To deep clean your bathroom, be sure to complete the following cleaning tasks:
- Use a scrub brush to clean the sink, shower, and tub
- Wash the shower curtain and bathmat
- Wipe down the mirror
- Clean the toilet – interior, tank, and base
- Wash the towels
- Go through the cabinets or drawers to declutter them, toss anything that is expired or no longer needed, and wipe it clean
- Mop the floor
- Clean grout with a brush
- Clean out the toothbrush holder
- Clean the showerhead
Be sure to complete the following tasks to deep clean the kitchen:
- Clean the coffee maker
- Wipe down the countertops
- Clean out the stove
- Move the appliances and clean behind them
- Wipe down the backsplash
- Clean out the microwave
- Clean out the toaster and any crumbs nearby
- Clean out the refrigerator, including the shelves and drawers
- Run the dishwasher without dishes in it to clean it out on the inside
- Wipe down any drawers or shelves
- Wipe down the cabinets – both inside and outside
- Sweep the floor
- Mop the floor
- Organize the pantry and kitchen cabinets
- Sanitize the kitchen sink
- Throw away expired food
- Clean out the garbage disposal
- Clean the utensil holder
- Was the dish towels
It is important to clean your bedroom properly because this is where you spend a lot of time. In addition to basic cleaning tasks, you should also regularly complete these deep cleaning tasks:
- Dust the furniture
- Clean the mattress
- Flip or rotate the mattress
- Clean underneath the bed
- Wash the sheets and pillowcases in addition to the blankets or pillow covers
- Vacuum the carpet and/or rugs
- Declutter any drawers or closets
The laundry room may be an overlooked area of your house when considering your deep house cleaning schedule and checklist. However, bacteria can grow here, so it is essential to clean this area properly:
- Clean out your washing machine
- Clean your dryer to remove any built-up lint in the lint trap
- Clean the floors
- Make a note of any laundry supplies that need to be restocked
If you have outdoor space, make a plan to maintain it as part of your deep cleaning routine properly:
- Clean out the gutters
- Clean the chimney
- Wipe down outdoor furniture
- Clean the porch
Remember that deep cleaning only encompasses some of the cleaning tasks to do. For example, we have not included important daily cleaning tasks in the checklist. Washing dishes, squeegeeing shower walls, and wiping down the kitchen table would fall into this category.
You want to wipe clean these surfaces so that bugs are not attracted to the food particles, and grime does not build up as quickly in the shower.
You should complete some tasks weekly. For example, cleaning your mirrors and sweeping/mopping/vacuuming the floors. While completing these tasks daily may be excessive, you should allow only a little time between cleanings.
Some cleaning tasks are more suitable for monthly completion. This includes things like dusting the blinds or light fixtures throughout the house.
Finally, deep cleaning tasks occur less frequently but are nevertheless important. These are the types of tasks detailed in this deep cleaning checklist. Think about it. Do you remember cleaning your shower curtain liner or vacuuming your mattress? What about when you last deep-cleaned your carpets?
These cleaning tasks are important but often get overlooked due to more urgent basic cleaning tasks like changing bed sheets or wiping down glass surfaces.
Tips for deep spring cleaning
While deep house cleaning can seem to be a daunting list of never-ending tasks, it can be manageable if you have a reasonable strategy to approach it. Building systems to perform basic household cleaning tasks regularly will help prevent your housework from getting too overwhelming. Then, when it is time to add in a less frequent cleaning task, the whole process is streamlined.
To integrate deep cleaning, you must have realistic expectations on when the tasks will be done and how long you have to devote to them. This will vary based on various factors, including the size of your house, when you last deep cleaned, how many people live in your house, and your personal desired level of cleanliness.
For example, is “good enough” fine, or are you looking for immaculate?
Set calendar reminders to help you remember when you should complete deep cleaning tasks. While it may be easy to overlook some of these tasks, you do not want to have dirt, grime, or bacteria building up on commonly used or touched surfaces.
In addition, some of the tasks take little time to complete once you remember to do them. For example, you should be sure to wash curtains regularly, including fabric shower curtains, so they are clean.
In most cases, this is as simple as taking them down and putting them in the washing machine. Alternatively, some deep cleaning tasks will take more effort. For example, you must use a detail brush, warm soapy water, or another chemical cleaner to remove built-up soap scum from your shower tiles.
Finally, keep in mind that you have a choice. If you would rather not tackle these projects yourself, you can outsource the work by hiring a cleaning service. Home cleaning services can vary from weekly cleanings that provide routine cleanings to once-a-quarter or once-a-year cleanings that focus on deep house cleaning projects.