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How to deep clean your house – step by step with printable PDF

Inside: A checklist for spring cleaning your home – giving it a proper deep clean.

I don’t know about you but I never seem to have the time to properly clean my home. Sure I give the surfaces a wipe down and vacuum every day, but look beneath the surface and the grime is there.

Having kids means I spend most of my time tidying and doing the everyday chores such as washing and doing the dishes. So things like cleaning the skirting boards or vacuuming under the beds just doesn’t get done.

So, I always fully embrace the tradition of spring cleaning (I actually do a deep clean twice a year – doing the other one after summer in readiness for the winter months) as it gives me the chance to really focus on the grime.

When to deep clean your home

I like to give my home a deep clean twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn / fall. The first prepares for the summer and the other prepares for the winter.

Twice a year is enough to keep the house clean in the in between times, with basic cleaning on a week to week basis to maintain it. It is only towards the next deep clean that the underlying dirt tends to show more – and that is the signal that I’m due another deep clean!

I tend to start my spring clean once the days start to get longer and the warmer breeze starts to blow. That way I can open up the windows and doors to get fresh air circulating – quite literally blow the dust from out of the house.

And similarly, if it is my post-summer clean, I do it before the cold air starts so that I can have the windows and doors open to get the dust out before closing up for winter.

What do I need to deep clean my house?

It is a good idea to create a cleaning crate that you can take around the house with you. Fill it with everything you need for the job and that way you won’t need to go back and forth to the cleaning cupboard every 5 minutes.

You will need:

Rags or scrub pads
Two buckets (one for the dirty water and the other for clean water)
Dish soap and disinfectant spray
A pair of rubber gloves
A spray bottle full of cleaner
A scrub brush and old toothbrush

Download my printable deep cleaning checklist pdf

HERE’S THE FULL CHECKLIST:

Deep cleaning tasks around the home

There are some tasks that are generic for the whole home, I like to do these in bulk so that I can use particular tools and products all in one go.

Dust. Focus on bookcases, shelves, behind radiators, the tv and other electrical equipment (including lightbulbs) and any knick knacks you have around your home.

Vacuum. Go around the entire house, top to bottom.

Mop. If you have any hard floors then mop them thoroughly.

Shampoo carpets and rugs. I have been eyeing up the Vax power cleaner but otherwise we usually hire out a Rug Doctor for the job. The amount of grime we have in our rug is disgusting.

Clean windows and window frames (including sills). I split this into two jobs – the inside and the outside. I do the whole of the inside first and then go around the ground floor to do the outside. The upstairs is done by a window cleaner as I don’t trust myself not to fall!

Clean blinds & wash curtains. This is something people really neglect but think of the dust that gathers!

Clean baseboards & door frames. This can be tied in with vacuuming when you pull out the bigger furniture so you can clean behind them too.

Clean and disinfect the light switches. It is surprising how grimy these get! I like to give them a blast of disinfectant aerosol regularly too as well as the door handles in the house.

Check fire alarms & Carbon Monoxide detector. Not a cleaning job but something that needs to be done regularly.

Cleaning the entryway

Clean the front door. The rain and mud that splashes up against it through the winter creates a film of dirt that needs removing. I use sugar soap for this job as it is gentle on my door paintwork.

Replace the doormat or shake out if it still has life in it.

Organise shoes. Put the winter boots and wellies away and get out the lighter shoes for the season.

Change over coats and jackets. Put away anything that won’t be needed and get out anything that will be worn this season.

Cleaning the kitchen

Deep clean fridge. Wipe inside, outside & clean behind.

Clean freezer. Take out everything and check expiry dates. Throw out any that have passed their best and give the whole of the inside a wipe down. If it needs, run down the food and defrost it to be able to clean it properly.

Deep clean oven. We use Oven Pride to do this as it makes the job so much easier. But essentially, you need to clean inside, clean stovetop, hood fan and stove grates if you have them.

Clean backsplash & counters. Move anything you have on the counters so that you can give the surfaces a good clean. Use this time to wipe down any appliances or accessories you have out on the counters at all times.

Degrease and dust top of high surfaces. This includes the top of the fridge, the microwave and the tops of the cupboards. I use The Pink Stuff cream for this as it really cuts through the grease.

Deep clean dishwasher. I use a dishwasher cleaner for this but I also empty the filter and give the inside a wipe down by hand.

Clean microwave. Spray on cleaner and give the whole of the inside a good scrub.

Clean cupboards & organize. I’m never sure how but the inside of my cupboards always get so dirty. Remove the contents and give the insides a good wipe down. Organise everything neatly as you return the items to their home.

Wipe the baseboards. These are the boards under the cabinets and they gather a surprising amount of grime.

Cleaning the laundry room

Obviously not everyone has one, but this will apply to your laundry appliances nonetheless.

Clean washing machine. I use white vinegar for this job and it always leaves my machine sparkling. I also remove the detergent drawer and give that a thorough clean. Make sure to wipe the glass door and inside the rubber seal as this gathers so much grime.

Clean dryer. Wipe down the inside, remove and clean the filter.

Wipe down any surfaces

Cleaning the living room

Wipe down remotes and landline phones. Dirty fingers spread those germs everywhere!

Vacuum sofa, wash pillow covers & throw blankets. I do this fairly regularly anyway because kids and a dog mean they get filthy quickly, but I make sure to do it at least twice a year.

Cleaning the dining room

Dust and polish furniture. I like to take this time to treat any wood with beeswax. We also have leather seats so I use special leather cleaner to moisturise the material to keep it lasting longer.

Cleaning the bedrooms

Wash throw blankets and cushion covers. Obviously bedding gets cleaned regularly but the bedding accessories will often get forgotten.

Flip or rotate mattress. Check if flipping is necessary for your type of mattress as not all can be flipped due to their composition.

Vacuum your mattress. You don’t want to know what is lurking in there! Give it a few hours to air before putting on the new bedding.

Clean out drawers & wardrobes. Decluttering can be saved for another day but you can give the drawers and base of cupboards a wipe down.

Dust side tables and dressers. Take the opportunity to throw away anything that shouldn’t be there.

Wash curtains/ blinds.

Clean under bed. Our super king is too heavy to move so a top tip is getting a hair drier and blasting under the bed so that the dust blows out the other side – I then pick it up with a vacuum.

Cleaning the bathroom

Clean the toilet. We use citric acid (a natural cleaning agent) to get the limescale from inside and it works a treat. Give the entire toilet a clean, including the base and the tank.

Clean the bath, sink and taps. The only thing I have found to work on limescale is Viakal and we buy it in both the spray and the neat version. We take the head of the shower off and pour it inside to clean out the holes.

Wash the bath mats.

Clean the grout and reseal as necessary.

Clean the mirrors. I use Mr Muscle for this job as it’s the only one I’ve found that doesn’t smudge.

Clean out cabinets. Replace toothbrushes for new, clean out pots and throw away any empties.

Cleaning the playroom

Wash soft toys that are used regularly.

Sanitise the plastic toys that get played with often and wash the little things like LEGO in the bath.

Have a quick scout around for anything to be donated.

Cleaning the office

Dust and polish furniture.

Dust bookshelf and electronics.

Sanitize keyboard and mouse.

Cleaning the garage

Air out the space.

Sweep the floor.

Clean garage door and check the opening mechanism.

Cleaning the outside

Clean gutters to remove moss and leaves.

Clean outdoor furniture if it is outside all year round. Or clean it ready to store away if you are putting it away for the winter.

Pressure wash outdoor surfaces such as the patio or driveway.

Remove moss from the tiles of the patio.


I am really looking forward to getting started this year, aren’t you?

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