When I was a renter, I belonged to the “once-over” school of housecleaning. Get rid of the visible grime, suck up the dust bunnies with the vacuum, and go out for a nice bike ride. Now that I’m a so-called “responsible” homeowner, I’ve graduated from the quick once-over school. I’ve earned my PhD (professional house deep-cleaning) degree and have learned to clean places I never even knew existed.
- Light Cleaning: Basic cleaning is stuff you do on a regular basis including dusting, vacuuming, washing floors, cleaning windows and mirrors, and wiping down sinks, tubs, toilets, and kitchen appliances.
- Beyond the Basics: Deep cleaning occurs on a monthly or semi-annual basis and involves much more attention to detail. Deep cleaning involves hand washing baseboards, window sills, and the blades on the ceiling fan. And cleaning drip pans under the refrigerator and stove.
- Out of Sight: I used to think, “If I can’t see it, it isn’t dirty.” But deep cleaning requires seeking out the grime under furniture, bureaus, and beds. And yes, the couch needs to be moved for floor cleaning at least once a year.
- Nooks and Crannies: Crevices behind large appliances, book shelves, closet floors, and heating vents are some of the most overlooked dust catchers in the house. Most vacuums come with a crevice tool attachment, which makes short work of hard-to-reach places.
- Air It Out: When the weather is warm, let nature freshen your blankets, throw rugs, and curtains. Air out your textiles by pinning them to a clothes line or simply throwing them over some lawn furniture. Sunshine kills mold, mildew, and eliminates musty odors.
- Sanitize the Bathroom: Speaking of mold and mildew, the caulk and grout around your bathroom sink, tub, and tile can turn black or green with fungus and mold. This not only breeds germs but can trigger allergies. Apply cream cleanser to a stiff bristle toothbrush or a tile brush and scrub the area between tiles and caulking around the edges of the tub, sink, and toilet bowl. Rinse with fresh warm water.