Whether you're expecting guests, it's time for the annual Diwali cleaning, or just want your house to finally get some much needed TLC and get it to its former clean, hygienic and organized glory, a thorough or deep clean is the need of the hour. I have to do this process every time I get a new guest in the house I Airbnb and more often than not, I don't have a lot of time between the last guest checking out and the new guest coming in, so speed is the key. So let me share my process and show you how you can thoroughly deep clean your house in less than 2 hours, by yourself. Do note, the time also depends on the size and nature of the house. Obviously bigger and more expansive houses can take longer, but the idea is to use these steps as the guiding light to get the job done. Here goes:
Step 1: Turn on the geyser/ water heater
Before you do anything, turn the geyser on because trust me, hot water makes everything clean faster and better. You will need a running supply of hot water for mopping, washing and wiping so switch on the geyser ahead of time.
Step 2: Arrange all cleaning supplies
Here's the cleaning supplies you need: (Indian context)
- A tall mop for getting the cobwebs
- Couple of cloths for dry dusting
- Couple of microfiber cloths for wet cleaning
- A spin mop
- A dry broom
- A dusting brush
- Floor cleaner liquid
- An all purpose cleaning liquid like a 50:50 water-vinegar solution
- Fresh pair of bed linen like bedsheets, pillow covers and duvets.
- Toilet brush
- Toilet cleaner
- Optional (but highly recommended) - Room freshener, fragrance diffuser,
Step 3: Let the toilet soak
To start with, flush the toilet well and pour a toilet cleaner like Harpic on the inside of the toilet. Make sure to get the edges. Since it's important to have the Harpic sit in the toilet for a good 30 minutes, do this the first thing and then move on to the other steps. We'll come back to the toilets later.
Step 4: Get the cobwebs on the walls and fans
When it comes to cleaning, always start from top to bottom so that when dust falls from a higher surface, the lower surface can be cleaned later. (duh!)
Using the tall brush, slough off the cobwebs from the upper walls, corners and lofts. Don't miss the fans.
Note: Do not take off the old bed covers before this step
Step 5: Take off the covers
Remove the bedsheets, pillow covers, mats, and cushion covers and put them in the washing machine and run a washing cycle. (Ideally with hot water.)
If you have the time, you can even wash the curtains.
Step 6: Dust and wipe the surfaces
Grab a brush and dust surfaces like sofas, sofa arms, behind the TV, furniture, mattresses and painting frames. After this, spray the hard surfaces with a cleaner like Colin or a home-made solution of vinegar and water. Let it sit on the surfaces for 5-10 minutes. Focus on doing another task while the surfaces marinate in this solution. After 10 minutes, wipe all the vinegar-soaked surfaces with clean damp clothes. You can even use toilet paper or a face tissue for this so as to not have to clean the cloth later. Or as one of my eco-friendly ways, use an about-to-be disposed lingerie or clothes.
Step 5: Come back to the toilet.
30 minutes have passed now. Grab the toilet brush and slough off the not so pretty deposits on your toilet bowl, ensuring you don't miss the invisible parts. Wash the brush with boiling hot water after the toilet is clean. Now, make a semi liquid solution of hot water and detergent and leave on the toilet seat, the toilet jet and other surfaces like taps and come back after 15 minutes. Here's a detailed step by step action plan to deep clean the bathroom.
Step 6: Dry sweep the house
Now that all the top areas, walls, and the surfaces have been dusted off, the floors are dirty and need a good sweep. Grab the broom and get sweeping. Don't miss under the bed, furniture and corners. Collect the dust, segregate the plastic from dust hair etc and dispose accordingly.
Step 7: Scrub the wet surfaces
Now that the toilet outer seat, taps and kitchen counters have soaked enough in the detergent solution, grab the wet brush (not the toilet brush) and slough off the build up of hard water and mineral deposits. Give them a wash with the shower hose.
Step 8: Make the beds
At this point, start making the bed by putting the new bedsheets, pillow covers and arranging a fresh blanket or duvet on the bed. Arrange it in an aesthetic way. Fold the blanket in half and let it cover 1/4th of the bed. Fold the sides in to avoid it touching the ground.
Step 9: Arrange
Arrange the decor in a way that makes sense to you, fluff up the sofa cushions, straighten the curtains, put the mats back, get rid of any unwanted items like packaging boxes, random odds and ends, and dispose responsibly.
Step 10: Wet Wipe/Mop the floor
Tada! Your house is as good as new. It's clean, hygienic, fragrant and you're all set to enjoy the best time in your lovely abode which wasn't so lovely until a few hours earlier. You're welcome. hot water to wash the mop out so that the dirt from the previous cleaning round is clear and you're off to a clean start. Now fill up the spin mop bucket with boiling hot water, add a cup of washing liquid like Lizol and start mopping the floor. Start from the areas that are furthest from the bathroom and end up with the area closest to the bathroom. Make sure to not walk on still-wet floor to avoid leaving footwear stains.
Step 11: Light an oil diffuser with a few drops of your favourite fragrance
Tada! Your house is as goo as new. It's clean, hygienic, fragrant and you're all set to enjoy the best time in your lovely abode which wasn't so lovely until a few hours earlier. You're welcome.
About the author: I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession.