While cleaning your house may seem like a huge task, there are many ways to keep it from getting overwhelming. There are many different ways to stay motivated while cleaning, from making checklists to listening to your favorite music playlist. Although it may seem daunting, there are a few ways to break up cleaning your home, so you can focus on smaller goals instead of the big picture.
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Checklist for House Cleaning
The easiest way to start cleaning your home is to make a checklist. It gives you direction on what to clean when to clean it, and what to clean next. Here is a break down of the different rooms in your home, and what you should clean in them.
- Dust and disinfect all surfaces, including countertops, kitchen table, and chairs, as well as door handles and switch plates.
- Dust blinds, top of the refrigerator, and top of the microwave.
- Clean and disinfect the stovetop and sink.
- Clean and disinfect inside of the refrigerator.
- Sweep and mop kitchen floors, as well as vacuum any rugs in area.
- Clean inside of the oven and inside of the microwave.
- Empty garbage, and disinfect garbage can.
- Dust surfaces, such as dressers and nightstands.
- Dust blinds, television, and clocks.
- Vacuum carpets, or sweep and damp mop floors.
- Change sheets and make beds.
- Disinfect door handles and switch plates.
- Clean mirrors.
- Empty trash cans, and disinfect cans.
- Dust and disinfect surfaces, such as toilet tank and sink.
- Dust blinds.
- Sweep and mop floors, as well as vacuum any rugs.
- Disinfect door handles and switch plates.
- Clean and disinfect shower and tub.
- Clean and disinfect toilet bowl.
- Shine bathroom fixtures.
- Clean mirrors.
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Empty trash and disinfect trash cans.
4. Other Areas
- Dust surfaces, ceiling fans. and furniture.
- Vacuum carpets and furniture.
- Sweep and mop hardwoods and tiles.
- Dust blinds, photo frames, lamps, and lampshades.
- Clean mirrors.
House Cleaning Tips
Now that you have your house cleaning checklists, you should be ready to start cleaning your home. But what if you’re not sure where to begin? Below, we have listed some house cleaning tips to solve this problem;
1. The room that you use the most
Start by cleaning the room that you use the most; This can be either your master bedroom, your kitchen, or your man cave. By starting with the room you use the most, you most likely will be tackling the room with the most clutter.
2. Cleaning with chemicals
For cleaning with chemicals, make sure you never mix bleach and ammonia, two commonly-found chemicals in bathroom cleaners. These produce a toxic gas called chloramine, which can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
Many glass cleaners contain ammonia, so make sure if using a glass cleaner, use a bathroom cleaner with ammonia as the active ingredient. If cleaning with bleach, make sure your home is well-ventilated, as bleach can cause shortness of breath and dizziness.
Never mix bleach and drain cleaner as well, because they may create toxic chemical gasses. A handy rule to remember is that “Water and Bleach are both in reach.” You should never mix bleach with any other chemical, and only use bleach when diluting with water.
3. Use an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner
If you’re looking for an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner, try mixing four tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water. After you spray with your new cleaner, wipe the mess away with a sponge for a squeaky gleam.
One cup of distilled water, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup of castile soap, mixed with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, make for a great toilet bowl cleaner.
Shake the bottle vigorously until the ingredients are combined, and spray on the bowl of your toilet. Wait 10-15 minutes, and then scrub with a toilet bowl cleaning brush.
After scrubbing, spray hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the bowl, let sit, and scrub. Instead of using chemicals to clean your garbage disposal, run a few lemon rinds through it, and follow up with cold water to disperse any foul-smelling odors.
4. Cleaning the Bathroom
Bathrooms are sometimes seen as the dirtiest room in the home, strictly because we do our “business” in them. Many people overlook the shower curtain in their cleaning routines; If you notice some mold spots on your plastic or vinyl curtain, simply throw it in the washing machine with a little detergent.
Add a few bath towels for extra scrubbing, and hang it to dry or put it in the dryer on fluff only. To avoid future moldy spots, stretch the curtain open wide after each shower, to get rid of excess water buildup.
To refresh your shower head, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a plastic bag, and tie it around the fixture. Let it soak for up to an hour, then remove and wipe away any excess. Clean hairbrushes by taking a hair pick to the brush and then soak in a water/dish soap solution.
5. To de-clutter your home
To de-clutter your home, live by the one month rule: If you do not use it in a month, give it away or throw it out.
Another great idea is to take the 12-12-12- Challenge. Find 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to return to their proper home. Also, try finding spaces for 5 “homeless” objects; Make sure to always put them back in their new home. When going through drawers, make sure to put things in by need order, or the order in which you use them and how often.
House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Our furry friends become part of the family and make messes like the rest of us do. In this section, we will guide you on how to clean the house when you are a pet owner.
1. Take away pet hairs
Pets are much more sensitive to chemicals than their human counterparts. They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but a handheld vacuum is a pet owner’s best friend.
By using a combination of a handheld vacuum and a lint roller, you can take away pet hair in a flash off of furniture, like your companion’s favorite recliner.
2. Stop dirt from entering the house
In order to stop dirt from entering the house on your pet’s paws, you need to start at the root of the problem: The doorway.
Try keeping a bowl of water and a towel by the door that your pet comes through. You can simply wipe off your dog’s feet with a wet towel, and stop the mud and dirt from getting on your freshly mopped floors.
3. Take away pet smells
Using white vinegar on carpeted floors (as long as you spot test first) can take away even the toughest pet smells, even the dreaded wet dog smell.
Simply fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the area evenly, being sure not to soak it. Pet smells can also linger on their beds, so by removing the washable cover and washing it with a cup of baking soda on a hot cycle, you can neutralize the odors.
4. Disinfecting your pet’s toys
Disinfecting your pet’s toys, collars, and leashes may seem trivial, but it is very important. Collars tend to smell very fast, considering they’re almost always on your pet.
Try putting dog shampoo in a bowl with hot water, and let your dog’s toys and collars soak for at least thirty minutes. After the time is up, rinse with cold water and let everything air dry. However, some collars can not be soaked, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions prior to washing.
5. Stop a pet from shedding
The easiest way to stop a pet from shedding its fur is to brush them, even if you have a dog that doesn’t seem to shed a lot. By sticking to a strict grooming schedule, your pet’s fur will not be all over, well, everything.
It is especially important to brush your furry felines, as this can help with digestion and constipation, as well as hairball production.
6. Cleaning the litter boxes
Litter boxes can be the bane of anybody’s existence; We all know the smell of a recently-used litter box from a mile away. You should scoop your cat’s litter box at least twice a day, and deep cleaning the box weekly.
To deep clean your box, you empty all of the litter, soak the pan with sudsy water, and let it air dry. Then, fill your box with fresh, clean litter. You should also replace your litter box at least once a year, or when the litter box is deeply soiled.
App for House Cleaning
1. Home cleaning apps for iOS
There are many home cleaning apps for iOS, or Apple, devices. These apps are both free and paid apps, and each has their own unique features. Here are three apps for every budget.
Tody bases a cleaning schedule around your current style of cleaning, whether it is relaxed, standard, or proactive. With the ability to be customized, Tody can be scaled to fit any of your cleaning needs, from basic housework to the most forgotten cleaning tasks. Tody actually visualizes dirtiness on a color-coded scale, and visualizes the effect of cleaning, thus increasing satisfaction. With the ability to sync across multiple devices, Tody can turn cleaning into a game for all other housemates; You can “check in” to claim credit for work you do.
Home Routines: $$
With a built-in timer to encourage motivation, you can create checklists for up to seven “focus zones” in your home. You can schedule exactly when to accomplish each task, whether it is daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or seasonally. The app also has a built in timer to motivate you to get the job done! With an added “Accomplishments” list, you can review all of the tasks you completed that day.
Our Home: $
Our Home allows you to assign multiple users multiple tasks, as well as award points for tasks completed. You can send messages and reminders through the app, and you can sync multiple devices to one account. With the option to contribute to a shared grocery list, this app is simply all-in-one for daily routines, cleaning, and grocery shopping.
2. Home cleaning apps for Android
Android phones have a multitude of cleaning apps, ranging from paid to free. Here are three top-rated Android cleaning apps, ranging in price.
House Cleaning List: $$$
With House Cleaning List, you can sync your tasks to the cloud and with multiple devices. You can make unlimited lists for any specific occasions, or just your typical cleaning routine. You can easily share tasks with family members or roommates, and additional templates are available with in-app purchases.
Clean My House: $$
This app allows you to send a daily cleaning reminder to yourself and assists with kickstarting your cleaning routine. With over 200 cleaning tasks, the app allows you to group your chores by category. You can also schedule them on a daily or weekly basis! There are other premium features, like the master task list, available with a one-time purchase.
Cleaning Checklist: $
This easy-to-use app helps you take control of your home and it’s clutter! You can add as many or as few rooms as you would like, and share your task lists with other users. This app is extremely flexible with your cleaning routine.
Cleaning your house may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of apps on your phone, iPad, or tablet, cleaning can be a breeze! Making a checklist on paper is yet another way to get your home in tip-top shape, so get up and get cleaning!
Things Most of Us Forget to Clean in House
There are a few areas, though, where dirt lingers, and germs thrive. Take a look at this list to see if you are on top of your house cleaning game with these eleven things most of us forget to clean.
Your kitchen sponge is one of the germiest items in your kitchen. We frequently use them to wash dishes as well as wipe off countertops. Replacing them weekly or whenever you notice an odor from them is a good idea, but here are some kitchen cleaning tips to get extra life out of your favorite sponge.
How to clean: Soak overnight in a mixture of vinegar, hot water, and salt. Rinse out the next morning and use it as normal. You can also thoroughly soak your sponge and microwave it for two minutes.
A drip here, a drop there; have you really looked at the shelves in your refrigerator lately? Chances are, they could use a good wipe-down. Don’t forget the wall bins and the pullout drawers as well.
How to clean: You may be able to run your refrigerator accessories through a cold/light soil cycle of your dishwasher, but avoid heat drying them. You can also use a rag with vinegar or a bleach mixture to cut through that grime.
3. Shower curtain
Germs, mold, mildew, and bacteria love damp, dark places. Your shower curtain may currently be home to many unwanted critters.
How to clean: You can spray them down with vinegar or a bleach solution, but they can also be washed in a gentle setting of your washing machine.
4. Underneath rugs
Pick up the corner of your area rug. Go ahead; we’ll wait. What did you see underneath it? Dust, crumbs, hair, and several unidentifiable items as well. We vacuum our rugs but seldom do we clean under them.
How to clean: Occasionally, pull back area rugs, and damp mop floor surfaces.
5. Toothbrush and toothbrush holder
You’re not going to like this one. Your toothbrush and toothbrush holder sit on your spotless bathroom counter, an oasis of fresh breath and cleanliness.
Unfortunately, every time you flush the toilet, you are exposing your toothbrush to…well, unpleasantness that should stay in the toilet. Of the eleven things, most of us forget to clean, this is probably one of the yuckiest.
How to clean: You can store your toothbrush in a small cup full of hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash daily between uses, making sure to change out the liquid daily. Your toothbrush holder deserves to be cleaned frequently as well.
Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every couple of months, but beware: brand new toothbrushes right out of the package also need to be cleaned before using them.
We warned you that you wouldn’t like this one.
Pillowcases are a pillow’s protection against all things yucky, right? Well, not exactly. The cloth pillowcase allows more exposure to some pretty revolting stuff than you even want to think about. Dust mites, saliva, skin oils…it’s a nightly war waged around your sleeping head.
Pillows should be washed several times a year, but they certainly make the list of eleven things most of us forget to clean regularly. Don’t forget to wash your throw pillows while you’re at it.
How to clean: Check the labels of your pillows for washing instructions. Most can be safely machine washed on cold. If you can’t wash your pillows, grab a heavy-duty anti-bacterial spray and spritz them down. Let them dry in the sun for an extra power punch of clean.
Now that you’ve addressed your pillows, let’s look at your mattress. The same principles apply; those cloth fitted sheets aren’t doing a lot of protection from body oils and dust mites.
Fun fact: at night, a person can sweat nearly one half of a pint of fluid as they sleep. While you can’t throw your mattress in the washing machine, you can refresh it.
How to clean: Mattresses have an aversion to a lot of water, so drenching it with cleaning solution frequently isn’t a good idea. So, to solve this problem you can use simple household cleaning hacks. You can spot-treat some areas, being careful to keep a fan on the mattress until it is completely dry. Use an antibacterial spray and allow it to dry before putting the sheets back on completely.
Vacuuming will remove dust from the embroidered designs of your mattress, and you can do this safely as often as you like. For odor-fighting power, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress before vacuuming it. Don’t forget to flip your mattress a few times a year to make sure it is getting evenly worn.
8. Doorknobs and light switches
Think of all the germs that jump from your hands to your doorknobs and light switches. This is a common source of germs, but luckily it is easily remedied.
How to clean: Use a moistened antibacterial wipe or a cleaning solution to wipe down knobs, switches, or even remote controls.
9. Fan blades
That furry presence on your fan blades aren’t a new pet; it is the buildup of accumulated dust. Your fan blades will build up dust, even if they are constantly running.
How to clean: Swiffer makes a product that will make quick work of fuzzy fan blades. You can also take an old pillowcase and place it over the blades, closing it as you wipe backward to catch all the dust as you wipe. A wet cloth is another great way to keep the dust from flying as you wipe the blades off. Don’t forget to wipe off the light fixtures while you’re up there.
Microwaves are fast, convenient, and frequently a mess of caked-on spills and stains. The best way to avoid microwave messes is to place a wet paper towel or a cover over your dishes and plates, or a paper towel under them. This one is pretty obvious although it is frequently overlooked, earning it a spot on our list of the eleven things we forget to clean.
How to clean: Luckily, the turnstile glass of your microwave is dishwasher safe. For the rest of the microwave, they make commercial cleaners that evaporate inside the microwave, making it a snap to wipe them out after use. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, take a bowl of water, vinegar, and lemon juice and microwave it for at least three minutes, or until it boils.
Carefully take the bowl out, then wipe down with a clean, dry towel. Your microwave is now ready for the next onslaught of spaghetti sauce.
11. Dishwasher and washing machine
What about the machines that do your cleaning for you? If you have a newer model large appliance, they are usually equipped with a self-cleaning feature. Make sure to use it at least once a month. If not, read on for some large appliance cleaning hacks.
How to clean: For washing machines and dishwashers, you can add vinegar and baking soda directly to the detergent compartment or the bottom of the appliance. Turn the machine to the hottest and largest load settings, let it run, then let it run one more time with hot water only. Don’t forget to wipe down the rubber gaskets and the inner lip of the washer, too.
House Cleaning Memes
For all the procrastinators or cleaning fiends who need a break from washing, dusting, organizing, and other household duties; we have put together a list of hilarious cleaning memes that would make Mr. Clean proud.
You can read more house cleaning memes here!