The 8-Hour Top-to-Bottom Deep Clean
The last thing you want to do when the weather turns nice is clean, right? You want to be outside grilling, soaking up the sun, and enjoying the warmth after a long, cold winter. That’s why we’ve created a one-day deep cleaning schedule that is bound to get your home clean as a whistle in one day, so you can get outside and enjoy yourself! Here we go!
9-10AM – Let’s start in the bathroom.
The first thing you’ll do is wipe down the walls and ceiling. Use a vacuum first to make the task easier, and remove dust and hair. Doing this now will save you time down the line because you’ll avoid the inevitable buildup that will accumulate through years of neglect. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum first, cleaning up dust and cobwebs. Don’t forget around the baseboards, too, which is where a lot of hair and dust accumulates.
Now, wipe down the walls with a gentle all-purpose cleaner. Don’t worry – this won’t affect the paint on the walls or the finish of any woodwork. Be especially diligent in cleaning the wall behind you as you face your bathroom mirror. This is where lots of hairspray and perfume build up both on the wall, and on the floor surrounding where you generally stand. Wipe down towel bars and rings, and wipe the top of the shower curtain rod, too.
Shake out your bath rugs outdoors and run them through the washer on a short, delicate cycle. When they’re done, let them air dry outside. Fluff them for a minute in the dryer when you bring them back inside.
Wash the mirrors and inside windows with newspaper and glass cleaner. You can use paper towels if you like, but newspaper is great to recycle this way, and you’ll end up with sparkling glass surfaces with absolutely no streaks!
Starting at the top of the shower, spray a strong cleaner over surfaces such as the shower, faucet, handles, and surround or tile. When you’ve hit every surface, leave the room and close the door. Go take a short break, and when you come back, rinse everything from the top down. Follow the same action with the toilet, and sink/vanity, going from top to bottom. Throw any cloths you’ve used directly into the washer.
Apply a deep cleaner to the floor, and let it soak for a minute or two. The last thing you’ll do is use a mop to rinse the floor, and you’re done!
10AM-12:30PM – Let’s tackle those bedrooms.
Following the same action as in the bathroom, vacuum and wipe down all the bedroom walls and ceiling. Next, dust everything that could have dust on it, including door frames, light switch plates, wall art, shelving, knick-knacks, dresser and headboard surfaces, window frames, and light fixtures.
Strip the beds of all linens – sheets, blankets, duvets, pillow covers, dust ruffles, etc. Now we’re going to air out the mattress. Open the windows of the bedroom (so long as it’s not raining), and close the door behind you, bringing the linens over to the laundry room. You’ll wash the linens based on what goes back on the bed first, so a dust ruffle and mattress pad would go in first. As soon as they’re out of the dryer, they go directly onto the bed – no folding needed! Repeat this process until all the bedding is laundered, dried, and replaced back onto the bed.
Completely launder winter bedding before you store it, as moths and bugs love perspiration and perfume. Be sure everything is folded nicely so you don’t end up with wrinkles in the fall. Add a couple of cedar balls for good measure, and store in a chest or a plastic tote indoors.
Remove rugs, shake them outside, then launder them the same way you did your bathroom rugs. A short, delicate cycle is usually all that’s needed unless your rugs are extra dirty. Then, place them outside to dry in the fresh air. Fluff them a bit in the dryer when you bring them back in (no heat), and replace them on the bedroom floor.
On to the windows! Remove and clean all window treatments. For heavy drapery, you can either vacuum them with your vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment, or send them out for dry cleaning. Light curtains can go into the dryer for a few minutes (no heat) with a dryer sheet to freshen them up and remove lint and dust. Blinds can be dusted using a blind duster specifically made for this purpose. Wash the insides of windows, and any mirrors in the room with window cleaner and newspaper.
Thoroughly vacuum carpets, or use a hard-floor steam cleaner for hardwood floors or wood laminate. If your carpet needs deep cleaning, rent a steam cleaner at your local hardware or grocery store on another day. (That’s an entire-day project!)
12:30PM-2PM Come on in the kitchen
Going from top to bottom, take everything off the top shelf and using all-purpose cleaner and paper towels, wipe down the shelf as well as the sides and back of the refrigerator. Work your way down the shelves one by one. Now clean the door, removing everything from the shelves and wiping them down, then replacing the food. Wipe around the door seals with hot water and mild dish soap.
Take a look at your freezer. Does it need to be defrosted? If so, take the food and put it in a cooler (throwing out food that is old, freezer-burned, or won’t be eaten) and turn off the freezer, keeping the door open to let it thaw out. You may need to keep a thick towel on the bottom to soak up the water that results from the melting ice. Once all the ice is melted, you can clean the inside, turn it back on, and when it’s cold enough, replace the food in an organized way.
Take a look at your stovetop. Remove the grates and any other removable parts. Wipe down knobs with a mild solution of Mr. Clean and water. For super degreasing power, use full-strength Mr. Clean on a sponge, making sure to rinse the part thoroughly. Wash the surface of the stove with the milder solution and rinse. Soak the grates and drip pans in a strong Mr. Clean and hot water solution in your sink. The more gunk that has built up on these, the longer they’ll need to soak. Scrub them clean with steel wool, wearing rubber gloves.
Wipe out the inside and outside of your microwave with all-purpose cleaner and paper towels or newspaper.
Clean window treatments and insides of windows as previously described.
Wipe down the countertop surfaces and cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner, or a degreaser if necessary. If you need to, remove utensils from drawers and vacuum, then wipe them down and replace the utensils. Do the same for the insides of cabinets. Now is a great time to throw out what’s old or won’t get eaten, and re-organize your cabinets.
Vacuum the floor, and assess whether your kitchen floor needs a deep clean. If so, apply cleaner and let it soak for awhile before rinsing with a clean mop. If your floor doesn’t seem to require extra attention, just mop as usual!
2-5PM – Living room/family room/great room
Whatever your family calls it, this is the biggest room to clean. Starting at the top, use an extender rod with a microfiber duster (or a ladder) to reach your ceiling fans and dust them off. Neglecting your ceiling fans will result in dust buildup that is hard to believe if you haven’t experienced it, so a twice-yearly dusting really is necessary. Use the ladder, or duster, to remove the dust and cobwebs from the tops of bookcases and high shelves, too.
As we’ve done in previous rooms, vacuum the walls and ceilings, and wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner.
Don’t neglect your upholstered furniture – sofa, loveseat, and chairs. These furnishings can become full of dust mites if they’re not regularly cleaned, so hire a professional to come out and steam clean your upholstered furniture, or do it yourself with an upholstery-cleaning machine readily available at home improvement stores. (A carpet cleaning machine with an attachment designed for cleaning upholstery will also work.)
Wipe down lamps and even the light bulbs, to keep them working at peak brightness. Dust fabric lampshades using a microfiber duster, and be sure to dust the inside of the lampshade, too.
Use compressed air canisters (you can buy these at office-supply stores) to dust the crevices in electronics. Wipe electronics down with a damp cloth, making sure you don’t get the unit wet at all. Once they have dried, use a microfiber cloth or duster to dust off remaining lint. Move and dust underneath speakers, stereos, dvd players, televisions, and computers. Dust the surface of all electronics with a microfiber duster.
If you own a fireplace or a wood stove, remove all ash by sweeping out the interior. There is no need to wipe any of this down, but clean and dust your tools to keep them in great condition. If you have log storage inside your home, remove the unused logs to the outdoors, and sweep out and/or vacuum this area as well to remove debris and lessen the chance of insects inside.
Vacuum your carpeting well, and assess the need for a deep cleaning. If you decide to deep clean your carpets, don’t spot clean them – do the entire room, or you risk ending up with two-toned carpeting when it dries.
Now, sit down, put your feet up, pop open a favorite beverage, and enjoy a job very well done.