What’s the Idea?
Here are step by step, room by room, easy to follow instructions gleaned from cleaning experts on how to make sure you can deep clean your home properly from top to bottom.
What’s the story
While we are all stuck indoors and with a virus circulating its important more than ever to ensure your home is clean and germ free.
If you’ve been avoiding giving your home a thorough once-over, you’re not alone. This is perfect time to do it. Stick on some music, grab your cleaning kit and have a go.
People should do this because…?
If you put it off it will get worse!
For many of us, the thought of steaming our carpets or cleaning out the refrigerator makes us want to crawl under the covers.
Since we’ve all been isolating keeping a clean home is even more important but if you need some extra motivation to get your rubber gloves on, I’ve found some expert advice on how often you should clean everything.
Your home is harbouring more bacteria than a litter bin. But it’s not just your toilet seat that’s riddled with germs; experts suggest computer keyboards and microwaves are also likely culprits.
Motivated yet? Take a deep breath and read on to find out how frequently you should be cleaning your house. Truth time: It’s more than once a year
Microwave Frequency: Every week
Bed Linens Frequency: Every one to two weeks
Bathtub Frequency: Every week
Refrigerator Frequency: Every month
Pillows Frequency: Every three months
Computer Frequency: Every week
Mattress Frequency: Every two months
Carpet Frequency: Every six to 12 months
Towels Frequency: After every three uses
Kitchen Countertop Frequency: Every day
How do you do it?
Follow a system
Finish one cleaning task before begin tackling another
Clean each room top to bottom, so you’re catching dust as it falls.
Make some space – Try to declutter your house first – donate anything not used in 6 months to charity
Deep cleaning a Kitchen
How to clean a stainless steel sink
- Dampen the sink
- Coat evenly with bicarbonate of soda
- Scrub gently but firmly with an old toothbrush
How to clean a ceramic sink
- Prepare the sink by washing it with washing up liquid, warm water and a clean cloth
- Spray the sink with a bleach based cleaner and leave it to sit for a few minutes
- Apply Barkeepers friend or a similar product to scratched, scuffed or stained areas
- Scrub gently in circular motions with a soft kitchen scrubber or sponge
How to deep clean a dishwasher
- Remove the filter and soak it in warm, soapy water
- Give it a quick scrub with a toothbrush to remove any residue then replace it in the dishwasher
- To remove lime scale, put a cup full of white vinegar in your otherwise empty dishwasher and run a full clean cycle
- Coat the bottom of the dishwasher evenly with bicarbonate of soda
- Leave the bicarbonate of soda overnight and then run a full clean cycle in the morning
How to clean an oven
- In a bowl, mix bicarbonate of soda with water to make a paste
- Coat the inside of your oven with the paste and leave overnight
- Once the mixture has dried, use a spray bottle to spritz the bicarbonate of soda with white vinegar
- Leave for a further four hours
- Scrub thoroughly with a scrubbing brush or textured sponge
How to clean a glass top stove
- Remove any loose debris that may have been left
- Coat the hob in a non-abrasive, cream cleaner and leave for 10 minutes or as instructed
- Use a microfibre cloth to scrub the hob. If you find tough areas, try a textured sponge, but don’t use anything too abrasive
How to clean an electric stove top
- Remove hotplates if can be removed, take them off the hob
- Follow the steps detailed above for glass stove tops
- To clean the hotplates, you can use a stronger cleaner and brillo pads to scrub off any burnt on food
- Rinse the hotplates and put them back on the hob
Cleaning a gas stove top
- Lift off the gas rings and place them in a mixture of detergent and warm water
- Rub with a clean cloth to remove dirt. For tougher areas an old toothbrush works well
- If your burners can be detached, remove and clean them using a specialised hob spray and a sponge or small scrubbing brush. Avoid using water as this can saturate the burners and prevent them from working
- Wipe the burners with a damp cloth to remove any excess cleaner
- Coat the hob in a cream cleaner and leave for 10 minutes or as directed
- Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge to remove any dirt and stains, then wipe with a clean damp cloth
How to clean an extractor fan
- If you have carbon or paper filters in your extractor fan, replace them don’t clean them
- If you have a metal mesh filter, remove this from cooker hood, place in hot, soapy water with a mugful of white vinegar and leave it to soak overnight
- Wipe down the filter to remove any lingering grease
- For stainless steel surfaces around the mesh filter, make a paste using bicarbonate of soda and water
- Apply this to the extractor hood and scrub with a toothbrush
- Wipe down the hood with a clean damp cloth then replace the filter
How to deep clean a fridge
- Remove everything from the fridge before cleaning it – shelves, trays and attachments that can be taken out
- Soak these items in a food-friendly antibacterial cleaner, then rinse them under the tap
- Spray the interior of the fridge with the disinfectant and leave for as long as instructed
- Wipe clean using a damp cloth
- Return the parts of the fridge you cleaned earlier and leave a cup full of bicarbonate of soda in the fridge for a day or two to absorb any strong leftover food odours
How to clean kitchen cabinets
- Empty the cabinets and hoover inside them
- Mix together washing up liquid and warm water, then use the solution to clean the cabinets, inside and out, using a clean, soft cloth
- Wipe down with a clean, damp cloth then leave the doors open while the cabinets dry
How to clean vinyl linoleum floors
- Hoover the floor to make sure there’s no debris
- Mix a cupful of white vinegar with a tablespoon of washing up liquid in a large bucket
- Use a mop with nylon scrub bristles and the cleaning mixture to scrub the floor
- Empty the bucket and then fill it again using warm water
- Wring out the mop and use it to rinse the floor
- Wring out the mop again and use it to soak up any excess water
- Use a little jojoba oil or WD-40 on a soft cloth to buff away any scuff marks
How to clean hardwood kitchen floors
- Hoover the floor to make sure no debris
- Choose specific wood cleaning product and dilute it following the directions provided
- Saturate rag mop or sponge in the mixture and then wring it so that it is only damp
- Mop the floor, don’t leave any puddles of the solution
- Only rinse floor if the cleaning product requires it
- Wipe up excess liquid so as not to damage the floor
How to clean tiled floors
- Hoover the floor to make sure it’s clear of any debris
- Lightly spritz the floor using white vinegar
- Mop the floor using a damp mop
- If stains persist, particularly in the grouting, use a steam cleaner
How to clean a Microwave
- Fill a microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water and 1/4-cup of white vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar, you can substitute one teaspoon of washing up liquid
- Cook the solution cook in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on your microwave’s wattage. E.g. 1,200-watt + =1.5 mins, 700-watt microwave=2 minutes. It needs to be steamy but not to boil over.
- Once finished, keep the door closed for 3 minutes letting the steam heat up the bottom, sides, and roof of your microwave.
- After 3 minutes, carefully remove the bowl using oven mitt as its hot.
- Wipe off all the sides with a paper towel or cloth, use an abrasive sponge to remove stubborn, stuck-on foods.
- Hand-wash the rotating plate with soap and water. You can run the rotating plate through the dishwasher if needed.
Cleaning a Bathroom
Deep Clean Your Toilet
- Apply the toilet bowl cleaner inside the rim of the toilet according to the instructions on the bottle and close the lid.
- Use dry paper towel to wipe base of toilet clean. Do the same on the top of the tank and area between the lid and the toilet tank. Take another paper towel and spray it with the bathroom cleaner. Wipe down the outside of the toilet as many times as necessary.
- Using the toilet brush, scrub the inside of the toilet, under the seat and anywhere with stubborn residue. Flush the toilet and rinse the brush.
Deep clean your bathroom sink
Pour white vinegar or baking soda down plughole
Flush with hot water.
For the taps use disposable disinfecting wipes or kitchen towel with disinfectant to significantly reduce bacteria
Deep Clean Your Bath and Shower
- Remove shower curtain and place on washing machine cycle with 2 old towels.
- Spray shower walls with the mold and mildew cleaner and leave to settle.
- Spray the sides and the bottom of the bathtub with the bathroom cleaner. Let the cleaner sit according to the directions on the bottle. Take sponge and run it under the warm water. Using scrubbing side, scrub any stains, rings, or caked-on soap until they’re gone. Repeat if necessary. Rinse out the sponge and use the smooth side to finally rinse off all residue.
- Using the sponge, go back to your shower walls and rinse off the mold and mildew cleaner from shower walls. If you have shower doors, clean using glass cleaner or vinegar.
- Re-hang clean shower curtain
- Remove showerhead build-up residue on by tying a bag of vinegar around it and leave it to dissolve overnight. Rinse in the morning.
Refresh Dingy Grout
Dip a grout brush in straight bleach and scrub any discoloured areas; rinse well. Be sure to ventilate the room and cover your mouth and nose during application.
Cleaning Tile, Walls, and Ceilings
- What to do: Spray tile, countertops, walls, and the ceiling with all-purpose cleaner and turn on the shower, cranking the hot water until steam builds.
- Turn off the water, shut the door on your way out, and let the steam and the cleaner mix for 20 minutes. Then wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth. To reach high spots, use a clean, dry microfiber mop.
- Wipe the tile floor, too, but only after you’ve finished the rest of the dirty work.
Cleaning a bedroom
- Strip the bed of sheets, pillowcases, comforter and mattress cover and wash.
- Aim to clean your pillow every six months or quarterly if you have allergies.
- Use a vacuum’s upholstery brush to remove dust from a mattress. Run it over mattress including all crevices and sides.
Freshen old bed sheets
Soak bed sheets in bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. This helps breathe life back into bed sheets and destroy lingering odours. Rinse well to eradicate the vinegar smell before using.
Deodorise your mattress by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda all over your mattress – leave for up to eight hours. Then vacuum up any excess powder and your mattress is as good as new.
Wash walls and windows
- Dust walls and corners using vacuum to suck up cobwebs from the top corners.
- Vacuum your heating and air conditioning vents to clear them of dust.
- Use a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water to wipe the window sills and tracks and use glass cleaner to polish the windows.
- For overhead lights with removable globes, wash them in the sink and set to dry. Otherwise, dust well.
- Clean light switches and doorknobs with a cloth and disinfectant spray.
Cleaning bedroom surfaces and storage
- Use a clean damp cloth to dust all surfaces, furniture, door frames and lamps.
- Vacuum the folds of your bare mattress until it’s really clean. Then flip it over to help it wear evenly over time. If you have a pillow top, try rotating head to foot instead.
- Take down curtains to wash or dry clean them according to care instructions, or use your vacuum’s hose attachment to thoroughly dust them.
Remove clothes from wardrobes and drawers and vacuum both well using attachments. Wipe down the shelves with a damp cloth and dust top.
Always clean top to bottom as dust and dirt falls downwards
Use a microfibre or soft cloth, a little water, and a fibre duster.
Turn off the TV or monitor, use a dry microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen.
If necessary, dampen the cloth with distilled water or with an equal ratio of distilled water to white vinegar. Never spray liquid directly on an LED, LCD or plasma screen — it could damage it.
- Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets to absorb stale or musty odours. Vacuum after 1 hour.
- Buy floor mats for every entrance which help reduce tracked in dirt.
For really dirty or stained carpets try using a high-performance vacuum cleaner or hiring a professional steam cleaner will allow you to breathe new life into your carpets.
- For skirting boards – Use damp, clean absorbent cloth and in soapy solution, wring dry as possible.
- Wipe from one end to other around the room
- Go over the dry skirting boards again with a used fabric softener tissue from your dryer. This will help prevent dust from settling on the clean baseboard.
Sweeping the floor
Dust the room first
Sweep high traffic areas every day
Use a clean broom
Use a dustpan at the end to clean it up the dirty piles
Start in one corner and work toward the exit
Sweep each section of the room with small strokes – Don’t move the dirt pile around, as this will make the floor dirtier.
Vacuum high traffic areas at least 3 times per week. More if you have a pet or a child with allergies.
Move all small furniture out of room once a month to vacuum floor beneath
Move large toys and pet beds off the floor
Clean out the vacuum cleaner after every use
Vacuum the edges of the walls and furniture with the crevice attachment
Vacuum beneath any raised furniture
Vacuum slowly so the machine has a chance to be effective
Mop floors once a week using manufacturers recommended cleaning product
- Vacuum or dust the curtains
- Wash or dry clean the blinds.
- Clean window tracks
- For smaller windows and mirrors, use balled-up newspaper and spray vinegar or glass cleaner
- Larger mirrors and windows, use a squeegee with a handle attachment.
Polish the wood furniture.
Vacuum cloth upholstery. Clean and condition leather upholstery.
Vacuum under and in between cushions.
Clean under the couches.
Target dust on the back of furniture using vacuum attachment
Homes with pets
Remove pet hairs using rubber gloves
Brush your pets every 2-3 days to remove excess fur/hair
Vacuum every day
Remove pet odours using spray bottle filled with white wine vinegar and spray carpet. Cover sprayed areas with baking soda and allow to dry. Vacuum excess soda.
Let products time to do their work – spray, let it sit for a few minutes then wipe off
Clean your oven by adding bicarbonate of soda to water in a spray bottle.
Spray solution on the interior surfaces of your oven, avoiding the heating elements.
Leave overnight and wipe clean the next day. If any soda remains, spray with vinegar to remove it.
Cut a lemon in half and place the two halves in your fridge: one on top shelf and other bottom shelf. Lemon absorbs smells.
Clean your fridge using a toothbrush and toothpaste to tackle stains
Place children’s plastic toys (without batteries) into the dishwasher with dishwasher soap on normal cycle.
Remove stains out of your microfibre sofa
Using isopropyl alcohol, a white sponge and white bristle brush on any microfibre sofa or chair stains will make them look like new. Ensure you use white tools so that the colour dyes don’t transfer to your fabric.
Stubborn carpet stains
- Use White Vinegar, Water, a Spray Bottle, A Rag, and an Iron.
- Spray the spot with a solution of 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water.
- Lay a damp rag over the spot.
Iron on the steam setting for about 30 seconds. If the stain is really stubborn, repeat the steps.
For oil based stains on carpets
- 1. Scrape up the liquid
- Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on stain to let absorb for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
- Mix one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.4. Using a white microfibre sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution and blot until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Sponge off with cold water and blot dry.
Stuff you may need
Ensure you have the right tools – have a cleaning caddy/bag with everything in it
Use multi-tasking products –
- disinfecting all-purpose cleaner that also cleans glass
- disinfecting bathroom cleaner
- floor cleaner that is safe on wood and tile
- bicarbonate of soda
- white vinegar
- wood polish if you have wooden furniture.
Quality micro-fibre cleaning cloths, sponges, a handle and detail scrub brush, spray bottle, vacuum for hard floors and carpets, a microfiber “feather” duster, a micro-fibre mop, a toothbrush for cleaning tight spaces.
Links to other articles on the web