Wondering how to clean a house professionally? Get expert deep cleaning tips and a comprehensive shopping list for a thorough transformation!
As the festive season approaches, the concept of seasonal home cleaning makes us all the more excited for Diwali. Beyond the festivities, maintaining a clean and organized living environment is important for our overall well-being too.
Why We Love Deep Home Cleaning
Honestly, who has time for a deep clean every weekend? That leaves us with seasonal cleaning – and for us Indians, what better time than Diwali to beautify our homes?
For me personally, it’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a harmonious space that nurtures our physical and mental health. A clean home is really a sanctuary that fosters positivity, productivity, and relaxation. By clearing away clutter, dust, and dirt, we create a carte blanche for transformation, influencing our mindset and attitude.
And when this happens each year, the act of cleaning becomes a ritual of rejuvenation, ensuring that our homes radiate warmth and comfort throughout the year.
What is Home Deep Cleaning
First of all, let’s understand exactly what deep cleaning means for homes, so you can mentally prepare (as this is no easy task!):
- What does deep cleaning include? Deep cleaning involves thorough cleaning of the home, including often-neglected areas, such as under furniture, behind appliances, and inside cabinets.
- Is deep cleaning different from cleaning? Yes, deep cleaning goes beyond regular cleaning by focusing on less frequently cleaned areas and intensive cleaning methods to ensure each surface is cleaned. We reserve it for Diwali, yes!
- How do I deep clean my house? Deep clean your house by decluttering, dusting, cleaning walls, windows, appliances, and floors, aiming for a detailed and refreshed environment.
- How to do professional deep cleaning? Professional deep cleaning involves systematic cleaning, using specialized tools and methods for a meticulous outcome.
- What are home cleaning services? Home cleaning services offer professional cleaning solutions, tailored to your needs, ensuring a pristine living space. However, if you want to do this yourself, I’ve created a complete DIY guide below.
- What order to clean your house? Start by decluttering, then tackle each room methodically, from top to bottom, ensuring a comprehensive cleaning process. Read more for details.
- What is the difference between routine cleaning and deep cleaning in homes? Routine cleaning maintains surface cleanliness, while deep cleaning addresses hidden dirt and grime, involving more time and effort.
- Is deep cleaning done in one session? Technically, deep cleaning can be done in a single intensive session. However, it could take up your whole day. So it’s best to spread over multiple sessions depending on your schedule.
Preparing for Deep Cleaning
Before diving into the cleaning process, preparation is key. So take time to plan and organize, prioritize tasks to allocate time efficiently, and anticipate challenges (like lack of supplies, or all those nostalgic items that distract you!). Also, don’t forget that cleaning is time-consuming, so try to have pre-cooked meals in your fridge.
Breaking It Down
The idea of tackling an entire house can be overwhelming. So break down the cleaning tasks into smaller, manageable steps to give you a sense of accomplishment, instead of anxiety. This approach also prevents burnout and allows you to focus on specific areas that need attention.
Here’s a categorization of tasks for a comprehensive home deep cleaning (I’ll discuss the exact how-to tips for deep cleaning below):
1. Decluttering and Organizing:
- Clearing surfaces of unnecessary items
- Organizing cabinets, closets, and storage spaces
- Sorting and disposing of items no longer needed
2. Dusting and Wiping:
- Dusting all surfaces, including furniture, shelves, and decor
- Wiping down countertops, tables, and other flat surfaces
- Cleaning light fixtures, ceiling fans, and vents
3. Wall and Ceiling Cleaning:
- Wiping down walls and removing smudges and marks
- Dusting and cleaning crown molding and baseboards
- Cleaning cobwebs and dust from ceilings and corners
4. Window and Glass Cleaning:
- Washing windows, both inside and outside
- Cleaning glass surfaces, mirrors, and picture frames
5. Appliance Cleaning:
- Cleaning the interior and exterior of appliances (fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher)
- Wiping down kitchen appliances and countertops
- Dusting and cleaning electronics and entertainment systems
6. Furniture and Upholstery Cleaning:
- Vacuuming upholstered furniture
- Cleaning and polishing wooden furniture
- Washing or dry cleaning removable covers and cushions
7. Flooring Cleaning:
- Sweeping and vacuuming all floors, including under furniture
- Mopping hard floors and using appropriate cleaning products for each floor type
- Deep cleaning carpets and rugs, using steam cleaning or professional services if needed
8. Bathroom Deep Cleaning:
- Scrubbing and disinfecting toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs
- Cleaning and descaling faucets, showerheads, and tiles
- Washing and disinfecting bathroom surfaces, including mirrors
9. Bedroom and Linen Cleaning:
- Changing and washing bed linens and pillowcases
- Vacuuming and rotating mattresses
- Cleaning and dusting bedroom furniture and decor
10. Outdoor and Special Areas:
- Sweeping and cleaning outdoor spaces, such as porches and patios
- Cleaning and organizing the garage or storage areas
- Wiping down and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and light switches
Of course, you don’t just need the right cleaning supplies, but also some beautiful and comfy tools that’ll make these chores fun! For a successful cleaning spree, make a list of items you might need, from microfiber cloths to mops and brushes. And most importantly, a cleaning playlist! Yay!
Focus on one room at a time. A comprehensive checklist for each room and nook, so that no corner is left untouched. From clearing out closets to wiping down windows, add every task to your list.
Reviving After Summer
After the hot months, a deep clean is particularly important. Removing dust and dirt that accumulated during summer will allow fresh air to circulate. Additionally, decluttering and rearranging furniture can give your home a new lease of life.
Seasonal Cleaning for a Medium-Sized Home
1. Tips for Decluttering
Decluttering is the foundation of effective seasonal cleaning.
Here’s how to go about decluttering your home:
- Begin by tackling one area at a time, and go over all your items, including clothing, accessories, decor items, furniture, etc.
- Sort items into categories like keep, donate, or discard.
- Consider whether items still serve a purpose or bring joy when decluttering. When in doubt, keep it in a storage box. If you miss it within a year, you can keep it, if not, it gets donated or discarded next year.
Streamlining possessions not only creates a cleaner environment but also makes cleaning and organizing more efficient.
2. Room-by-Room Breakdown
Break down your cleaning tasks by room. Here’s what exactly to focus on if you’re short on time.
- In the living room, focus on vacuuming the carpet and dusting upholstery.
- In the kitchen, clean appliances, sanitize surfaces, and organize cabinets.
- Bedrooms require changing bed linens, vacuuming, and decluttering.
- Don’t forget areas like bathrooms, hallways, and home offices, tailoring your efforts to each space’s unique needs.
3. Comprehensive Shopping List
To streamline your cleaning routine, create a shopping list of essential cleaning products and tools. Include multipurpose cleaners, disinfectants, glass cleaners, mop and bucket, microfiber cloths, scrub brushes, and garbage bags. Make sure you have an assortment of eco-friendly cleaners and skin-friendly products if you have allergies.
Here’s a comprehensive shopping list for cleaning supplies for a thorough deep-clean of your home:
General Cleaning Supplies:
- All-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Disinfectant cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner
- Kitchen cleaner
- Stainless steel cleaner (if applicable)
- Wood cleaner (if applicable)
Tools and Equipment:
- Microfiber cloths (for dusting and wiping surfaces)
- Cleaning sponges
- Scrub brushes (soft and stiff bristle)
- Broom and dustpan
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Mop and bucket
- Toilet brush and holder
- Window cleaning kit (squeegee, washer, extension pole)
- Steam cleaner (optional, for deep cleaning carpets and upholstery)
Specialized Cleaning Supplies:
- Oven cleaner
- Stainless steel polish (if applicable)
- Tile and grout cleaner
- Mold and mildew remover
- Hard water stain remover
- Brass or copper cleaner (if applicable)
- Leather cleaner (if applicable)
Floor Care Supplies:
- Floor cleaner suitable for your flooring type (wood, tile, laminate, etc.)
- Carpet cleaner or spot remover
- Floor polish or wax (if applicable)
- Broom or vacuum attachment for hard floors
- Carpet or rug brush for thorough cleaning
- Trash bags (various sizes)
- Rubber gloves
- Apron or cleaning caddy to keep supplies organized
- Bucket for carrying water and cleaning solutions
- Paper towels or lint-free cloth
- Duster or microfiber wand for high and hard-to-reach places
Safety and Environment Considerations:
- Eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products if preferred
- Adequate ventilation (open windows, use fans, etc.) when using cleaning solutions
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks if handling strong chemicals
Before purchasing anything, consider the specific surfaces and areas you’ll be cleaning, and check the list against anything you already have, to ensure you have the right products.
4. Tips for Cleaning Prep
Start with preparation. Remove all the curtains, paintings, cushion covers and decoration pieces for separate cleaning.
Before diving into cleaning tasks, gather all necessary cleaning supplies. Organize your supplies in a cleaning caddy or bucket, so you can move seamlessly from room to room like a pro.
5. Tips for Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning involves reaching those often-neglected corners and surfaces. Here’s how to deep-clean your home:
- Start with thorough dusting. For this use a wet and a dry dusting cloth.
- Go over all reachable surfaces with a dry cloth. This includes books, plants, furniture, white-goods, wood-work, window and door frames, stair railings, mirrors, door-knobs, etc. You can also use detergent water and a wiper for mirrors and window glass.
- Go over the dirtier surfaces again with a wet cloth, then dry again with the dry cloth.
- You can also clean your belongings like laptop, chargers, lamp-stands, etc. with a partly-wet cloth.
- Next, use a microfiber duster with a long handle to clean cob-webs, door and window heads, fans, chandeliers and wall-mounted lighting fixtures.
- Now for the dust under the furniture, use a cleaning brush or a dusting cloth to clean under the desks, chairs and tables.
- To clean all the plastic and ceramic decorations like artificial flowers, lamp-shades, etc., put them in soap-water overnight. Or add a spoonful of detergent to a bucket of water.
- Next, it’s time for washing walls, curtain rods, windows, and light fixtures. Use a mild cleaning solution, a soft cloth, and a sponge and a mop with handle for hard-to-reach areas.
- For kitchen sink and bathroom wash basins, use soap and a sponge to scrub. Alternatively, spray them with detergent and then leave for an hour before scrubbing.
- For the floors, start with a basic brooming session. Then go over the tiled and wooden flooring with a mop. You can also use a brush or hand-mop to clean the corners and edges.
- For the bathroom and kitchen floor, use detergent and a brush to thoroughly clean all the grime. Same with the kitchen and bathroom tiles. For dirtier areas, you can use a cleaning solution like Mr. Muscle (wear gloves to avoid rashes).
- For the curtains, you need to know if they’re machine-washable or not. If so, you’re in luck. If not, just soak them in detergent overnight, and hand-wash them the next day. It’s a good idea to iron them before hanging again.
- For cushion covers, pillow covers and bed-sheets, just throw them in the machine. Make sure they’re machine-washable, and check which settings they require.
- Now we go for the appliances. For less used ones like mixer and food processor, it’s enough to just dust them. For microwave and oven, you can use soap and sponge to deep-clean them from the inside. The microwave plate and oven grill are washable separately.
- Clear the refrigerator and go over all the surfaces with a wet cloth and then a dry one. For corners, use a small brush and detergent if needed. The trays and shelves can be taken out and washed with detergent.
- Now comes the hard part – the upholstery, and carpets. For these, you can simply vacuum the carpet and dust the upholstery. If you really need to deep-clean, it’s easier to just hire professional cleaners who can wash your carpets, sofa and dining chairs. If you wish to DIY, make sure you’re using appropriate cleaning solutions, unless you want to stain them with the wrong products.
Ah, congratulations for this meticulous approach that even makes your mom jealous (I mean proud)!
6. Air Circulation and Humidity Management
As you clean, prioritize good air circulation and humidity control. Open windows to let in fresh air, promoting a healthier indoor environment. This is especially important because certain cleaning solutions and detergents have fumes that can be harmful in enclosed spaces. Consider using air purifiers to filter out allergens and pollutants. In humid seasons, use dehumidifiers to prevent mold growth and ensure your home’s comfort.
7. Fall Cleaning and Winterization
Diwali cleaning is also a time to prepare your home for the winter, also called winterization. Autumn or fall cleaning serves as a transition from the warmer months to colder temperatures. Inspect windows and doors for drafts, seal gaps, and consider adding weather stripping if you live in colder areas. Clear gutters to prevent water buildup.
As winter approaches, focus on insulation and energy efficiency if you’ll be using heaters. Covering windows with thermal curtains and sealing gaps prevents heat loss, ensuring a cozy and efficient home during the colder months.
Yes, if you missed the Diwali home-cleanse, you can still do it next season. Spring cleaning is considered a symbolic act of renewal in many cultures. As nature awakens from its slumber, we too rejuvenate our living spaces. The process embodies a fresh start, inviting positive energy.
Okay, so I hope my guide to deep cleaning your home was helpful, and inspirational too! I’ve done a few of these at home for Diwali, and once I even did it in one day – gosh that was an exhausting Diwali! But all worth it, am I right!
Shilpa Ahuja is a designer and editor of Decorisk Magazine. She has worked in hotel interiors at The Park Hotels, India, and has completed several home interior design projects as a freelancer.
She completed her Masters in Design Studies (MDesS) degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She also has a Bachelor degree in Architecture (B.Arch) from Chandigarh College of Architecture. Her work has been published in Indian Design & Interior magazine and exhibited at Harvard University and at Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh.
Shilpa is also the Editor-in-Chief of Shilpa Ahuja Digital Media, which includes ShilpaAhuja.com, one of India’s most-read digital fashion magazines. Originally from Chandigarh, she is currently based in Chennai, and can be reached at [email protected].