Laundry & Cleaning

Stuck inside? Here's how to deep clean your home

It's time to finally do something about that stain

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My office has been in a different spot every day for the past week. Some days I'm writing at the dining room table, while others I'm lying on the rug having a conference call. No matter where I'm sitting, I spot something that needs to be cleaned, whether it's a corner coated in cat hair I'd never noticed before or something lurking under the couch that I really hope is an old fruit gummy. Thankfully, I've suddenly found myself with more time during the day to address these issues.

I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning. I can do it, but I’d prefer to do literally anything else. My husband, however, loves to clean—it helps him relieve stress and makes him feel happy. As a result, we dedicate a few hours to cleaning every weekend, and with the recent pandemic, both of us are discovering new things both inside and outside of our home that need some serious Lysol TLC.

Whether you're looking for a house project that will keep you productive or you can't spend another hour staring at that stain on the wall, it's time to channel your energy into a refreshing deep clean. Grab the all-purpose cleaner, load up your favorite cleaning playlist, and stick to these cleaning tips as you tackle your home.

Please note—if you're looking to disinfect your home, or you've got someone in your household who has come into contact with coronavirus (COVID-19), we recommend you read through the guidelines from the CDC on how to disinfect and properly sterilize your home.

Start by tidying up around the house

Tidying up
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Start your deep clean by putting away anything that shouldn't be out.

For the most effective deep clean, you’ll be getting into all your home’s nooks and crannies. Start by clearing frequently-used surfaces and picking up all the cat toys and trinkets on your floors. All that clutter has to go—you’ll be going room by room and scrubbing everything you can find, so start with the basics and make sure everything is in its proper place.

If you’re struggling with finding spots for your stuff, there are lots of inexpensive things we recommend that will help you better organize your living space. Martha Stewart has some great tips for tidying your space, as well.

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Dust everything you can see (and stuff you can’t)

Dusting
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Get your favorite duster and get to work.

Once you’ve cleared the floors, counters, and surfaces, it’s time to dust—and we’re talking every piece of home décor, all your bookshelf shelves, the tops of appliances and electronics, ceiling fans, any games and Blu-Ray players, and even those dusty areas under your furniture.

I swear by these microfiber cloths for dusting—they catch every piece of debris and they’re machine-washable. For dusting under surfaces, I’ve found there’s nothing better than a classic Swiffer.

Vacuum all your floors and rugs

LG cord zero
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Break out the vacuum before you wet clean your carpets.

Once you’ve got all the dust off the shelves, it’s time to suck it all up (along with any other dirt that may be on your floors). Break out your trusty vacuum cleaner and get to work. Our in-house expert Jon Chan wrote an incredible guide to vacuuming that breaks down exactly how to vacuum like a pro, which walks through how to ensure you’re getting the most effective clean with your machine.

For the rugs in your home, review how to properly vacuum your rugs—they are not created equal. You’ll want to follow different techniques for cleaning antique rugs than you would for shag rugs to ensure you’re not ruining either.

Wet clean your carpet and floors

o-cedar mop
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The O-Cedar mop is our favorite traditional-style mop.

If you’re looking to deep clean your carpets, it doesn’t get more thorough than bringing out the wet vac. These machines can tackle deep stains and make your carpets look fresh, especially if you’ve been walking around the house a lot more frequently this month. Chan walks through how to deep clean your carpet without hiring someone, including which machine is best and how to properly clean your carpet.

And don’t forget to mop the floors! We tested the best mops you can buy and recommend picking up a Swiffer WetJet. As a Swiffer WetJet enthusiast, I highly recommend using it for both kitchen floors, bathroom tile, and hardwood floors.

Wipe down everything in the kitchen

Wiping cabinets
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Wipe down everything you can see in your kitchen.

Your kitchen may be one of the most frequently used rooms in your house, which means you’ll want to wipe down just about every surface you can see. Start by wiping down every surface with an all-purpose cleaner and a paper towel. Be sure to get the kitchen sink—and don’t forget to wipe down all faucets and knobs. Spray down counters, handles, and even stubborn grout.

Once you’ve tackled every surface you can see, it’s time to start deep cleaning your appliances, from your toaster to your stovetop. Make sure you thoroughly clean your refrigerator, wipe down your dishwasher, scrub out your oven, and give attention to smaller appliances, like your standing mixer, toaster, and microwave.

Scrub every surface in the bathroom

Scrubbing grout
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Scrub that grout like you've never scrubbed before!

It’s no secret that your bathroom is covered in germs, so take the time to really scrub every inch of this room. Focus on cleaning the major fixtures—like cleaning the inside and outside of your toilet, spraying and wiping down the sink, and deep-cleaning the tub and shower with bleach.

Thoroughly scrub all the fixtures in your bathroom, from the kitchen sink to the showerhead. If possible, remove fixtures and allow them to soak in white vinegar to help remove any buildup.

Finally, give some attention to your shower curtain. You’re getting it wet on a near-daily basis, meaning it’s probably growing some mold and mildew as we speak. The good news is that you can clean your shower curtain pretty easily in just an hour. Don’t forget to wash your towels and your bath mats, too!

Thoroughly clean your laundry room

Washing machine
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Clean your washing machine and dryer.

You’ve got a machine whose sole purpose is to clean—there’s no need to wipe that down, right? Wrong—your washing machine and dryer need to be cleaned regularly, too. If you notice your washer starting to smell, it’s likely accumulating mildew, meaning you’ll have to clean out the gasket to keep it smelling fresh. You can spray the exterior and door of your machine with an all-purpose spray, then wipe it down to clean it.

To wash your dryer, clean out the lint trap, wipe the drum down with warm soapy water and a damp microfiber cloth (and be sure to dry it well), and don’t forget to clean out your dryer vent.

Wash everything that has touched your bed

Sheets in washing machine
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Did you know you can use tennis balls to wash your comforter?

You’ll want to wash every bedsheet, blanket, comforter, pillow case, and even pillow in your bedroom—and they each require special instructions to properly clean. We recommend washing your comforter in your washing machine on a delicate cycle with two tennis balls (they help weight evenly distribute while washing). You should be machine-washing your sheets at least once a week.

Your pillows can go in the washing machine, too (just make sure you check the tag first). We recommend washing two at a time to maintain your washing machine’s balance. If you’ve got curtains in your bedroom—or anywhere in your home—those should be hand- or machine-washed during your sweep.

Wash your windows, doors, knobs, and mailbox

Washing window
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Spray down those windows, doors, and mailboxes.

As part of your deep clean, make sure you’re paying attention to the exterior of your home. You’re staying inside, but your mail carrier isn’t—and neither are any of the incredible people who are delivering packages right now. Make sure you’re washing and disinfecting any door knobs, knockers, doorbells, and mailboxes that may be seeing lots of traffic right now.

Hopefully no one is touching your windows, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be washing those down, as well. Grab a high-quality glass cleaner and a paper towel (or microfiber cloth), then spray and wipe down both sides of all windows and glass doors in your home.

If you’re truly feeling ambitious, you could get a headstart on pressure washing your siding and decks. Go slow and make sure you have the right tools, otherwise you’ll risk harming your home.

Walk around and marvel at your handiwork

Happy cleaning
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How I look every time I'm done cleaning.

After you’ve tackled everything from your grout to your light fixtures, take a well-deserved rest—and admire the glistening environment you just created. Now all you have to do is keep it this clean. Easy, right?

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