Deep Cleaning House Checklist & 23 Things You’re Forgetting to Clean
I recently wrote a post about 13 things you’re forgetting to clean in your house, and after I spent some time brainstorming for the post, more and more things kept popping into my mind and I soon realized there are many more than just 13 things that people often forget to clean. Here is the second part of the post, a deep cleaning house checklist & 23 more things you’re forgetting to clean.
Things that I was sure there were at least some people forgetting to clean, and things that I had never even thought of cleaning before.
So, I have decided to make a follow-up post with 23 more things that you’re most likely forgetting to clean in your house.
Some things, like the cover and fan in your bathroom, you may not know how to clean, but don’t worry – I’ll give you step-by-step directions when we get there.
If you’re a cleaning guru you may already be cleaning everything on this list and that’s awesome. But do you dare take a look to see if there’s anything you’re forgetting to clean in your house?
If you haven’t checked out the article with the first 13 things you’re forgetting to clean in your house (along with a house cleaning checklist to keep you on track), you can do so here.(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
Deep Cleaning House Checklist & 23 (MORE) THINGS YOU’RE FORGETTING TO CLEAN IN YOUR HOUSE
1. SOFA CUSHIONS
I have to admit, not long ago cleaning my couch cushions never even crossed my mind. When you think of it, though, it makes total sense.
The couches are where many people sit, lay, and sometimes eat – so it makes sense that they would need to be cleaned every once in a while.
Crumbs, dirt, and hair can all collect on your sofa cushions and blend in so you don’t see how truly dirty they are.
And have you looked between the sofa cushions lately? If not, it’s time you do (be sure you have a pair of gloves, vacuum, and rag handy when you go diving between your couch cushions).
How to clean a cloth sofa
To give your sofa cushions the best cleaning, if they are removable, start by taking them off of your sofa.
Then take your vacuum cleaner and, using this attachment on the end, vacuum the cushions and your entire sofa. After you have vacuumed, you can use a small steam cleaner to give the cushions a good, thorough, deep clean removing any dirt that has been worked into the cushions deeper than the surface.
Let your couch and cushions dry overnight, then put it all back together.
How to clean a leather sofa
If you have leather couches, the cleaning process will look a bit different.
For cleaning a leather couch, first, you will want to use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum to vacuum out any dirt and crumbs that have collected in all the crevices of the sofa.
Then you can either grab your special sofa cleaner or use a homemade solution of water and white vinegar.
Use this kind of cleaning cloth to ensure you don’t damage the leather, dip it in your cleaning solution and wring the cloth out so it is damp. Then you can simply wipe your entire sofa, the back, sides, and cushions (remove them from the sofa so you can wipe the tops and bottoms of the cushions.
After you have wiped the leather sofa you can then take a dry microfiber cloth and quickly wipe all the surfaces again to dry them.
Mix the homemade conditioner solution well and, using a clean cloth, apply it to your leather sofa. Let sit overnight, then wipe off in the morning with a clean cloth.
When is the last time your trusty mattress got a well-deserved cleaning?
Okay – be honest here, has your mattress ever gotten a well-deserved cleaning?
The extent of cleaning that our mattress ever saw was getting its sheets changed every week. I thought that was good enough. I didn’t realize I should actually be tending to the mattress itself, not just the bedding.
I never cleaned our mattress until a few months ago when my husband and I got given a mattress that had been sitting out in the middle of a room for who knows how long.
The mattress was filled with dirt and dust, so naturally, I took our vacuum cleaner to it. As I was vacuuming this mattress, you could see the difference from where had been vacuumed and where hadn’t by a very defined line.
That got me thinking – this mattress wasn’t being used, it was just sitting out in a room and therefore collected a lot of dirt and dust, but what about the mattresses that we use every single night – don’t they deserve some good cleaning, too?
If this mattress could get so filled with dirt and dust, how much dirtier could our mattresses be getting from being used every night? A lot.
Why should you clean your mattress?
Even though you sleep with sheets on your mattress, mattresses still manage to collect everything from dead skin to dirt to sweat on a regular basis.
It is recommended that you not only take the time to clean your mattress a couple times a year but that you also rotate the mattress. If you have the kind of mattress that can’t be flipped over, you should be able to at least rotate it so the head is at the feet and the feet at the head to promote even wear and tear.
How to clean a mattress
Cleaning your mattress might seem like a difficult task, but, while it will require a bit of time, it really isn’t that difficult to do.
Start off by stripping the bedding from your mattress. This is a great opportunity to wash your bedding so your newly-cleaned mattress will have fresh bedding to go on it.
Next, you will want to grab your vacuum cleaner and use the upholstery attachment. Go ahead and vacuum your entire mattress.
The key here is to take your time – don’t quickly whip over the entire mattress as fast as you can. Take your time, working your way across your mattress in short strokes.
If your mattress has deep crevices in it you may want to use the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner to ensure you get everything that’s hiding in there.
The next step will be to check for stains. Once you’ve vacuumed your whole mattress (doesn’t it look so much better?), you will then look over your mattress to find any stained areas.
You can use a mattress stain remover like this one to remove stains, or if you prefer the more natural route you can use a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Apply the lemon juice and salt paste to the stains on your mattress and let sit for an hour then blot the paste off with a rag.
Only use this natural stain remover if you have a light or white colored mattress as the lemon juice has a bleaching effect and will likely alter the color of your colored mattress.
Now that your mattress is vacuumed and is stain-free, you will want to grab your trusty baking soda and sprinkle it over the entire mattress.
The baking soda will deodorize your mattress and remove any moisture (if moisture is left in the mattress that could lead to mold – something you most certainly want to avoid).
Let the baking soda sit on your mattress for at least 5 hours, and up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the better job it does.
Once the baking soda is has sat on your mattress for a sufficient amount of time, you will then want to grab your vacuum again and, with the upholstery attachment, vacuum the entire mattress again to remove the baking soda.
By now your bedding should all be cleaned and dried. Go ahead and make your bed again and rest assured that you’re sleeping on a clean mattress and that you don’t have to clean it again for at least 6 months.
3. AREA RUG
After those big thorough cleanings of your mattress and couch, cleaning your area rug will be a welcome chore as it won’t take you much time.
I’m sure you vacuum your area rug on a regular basis, but when is the last time you really cleaned it?
By really cleaned it, I mean, took it outside and gave it a good beat down. Quickly run a vacuum over your rug to get a majority of the dirt off it so you don’t leave a trail through your entire house, then grab your rug and bring it outside.
You will need somewhere to hang your rug, a clothesline works best as long as your rug isn’t too big.
Hang the rug up, take a baseball bat, broom, or any other object that is sturdy and can be used to hit it and start hitting the rug.
I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the amount of dust that comes flying off your rug, regardless of the fact that you vacuum it every week.
Once you’ve given the rug a good beat down, you can either bring it back inside to clean it with a steam cleaner, or you can grab your hose and apply some soap to the rug. After you have worked the soap in, take the hose and spray the entire rug off (this is good to do while it is still hanging on the clothesline).
You can then let your rug hang outside for the rest of the day. Ensure it is completely dry before bringing it back into your house.
4. TOP OF FRIDGE
We talked about how you can clean your fridge coils here, but what about the top of your fridge?
The top of the fridge is such a great surface to use for storing items that you just don’t need, that we often pack it full of things and then forget to ever clean it.
While the top of the fridge is a great place for storing things because it is flat and it’s high enough up that you can easily hide things up there and forget about them – it’s also a great place for collecting dust.
Cleaning the top of your fridge at least once a month will help you eliminate the amount of dust in your house, and will also stop clutter from collecting up there and being forgotten about.
And, thankfully, cleaning the top of your fridge is easy as pie. Just grab your handy-dandy step stool, your favorite cleaning rags, a cleaning bucket, and a cleaning solution and clear everything off the top of your fridge.
Then, give the top of the fridge a quick wipe down (see, it really is easy), and you’re done.
Now, before you go and pile everything that was on top of the fridge right back up there, sort through what you need and what you don’t need. Throw out any trash and donate anything you no longer use.
With the stuff that you are keeping, consider finding a better place for it than on top of your fridge.
5. TOP OF THE CUPBOARDS
Just like the top of your fridge, the tops of your kitchen cupboards is another place that dust and critters like to collect.
If you can get a vacuum cleaner up that high, you may want to first take a vacuum to the tops of your cupboards – because chances are, unless you clean them on a regular basis, it’s going to be pretty dirty.
After you vacuumed the tops, take the rag that you were using to clean the top of your fridge and give the tops of your cupboards a quick wipe.
You may also find a few collectible items up here that you completely forgot about.
6. THE BOOKSHELF
If you have a bookshelf in your house, is it something you regularly clean?
It’s easy to think that the only surfaces that need to be dusted on a regular basis are flat surfaces with nothing on them. But, that’s not always true.
Even surfaces that have lots of stuff on them should be dusted regularly, especially your bookshelf.
It’s not just the shelf that needs to be dusted, either, if you have books on that shelf that don’t get moved around very often, there’s a good chance they have collected a layer of dust on them and will need to be wiped off.
Start by taking all the books and objects off of your bookshelf and, using your cleaning solution, wipe the top, bottom, and sides of every shelf down.
Then, using a cloth that is almost completely dry as to not wreck the books, but a little bit damp so it collects the dust, dust each book as you put it back into place on the shelf.
7. CEILING FAN
If you have a ceiling fan in any room of your house, even if you’ve never used it before and never plan on using it, you should be cleaning it regularly. And, even if you use it all the time and think, because it’s being used, that it has no dirt or dust on it, you still need to be cleaning it.
Cleaning ceiling fans can be a bit more difficult, just because they’re placed so high up, but if you have a step stool or ladder handy, the process is pretty simple.
Bring your step stool, pillowcase, and a damp rag over to where your ceiling fan is, then climb up the ladder until you can comfortably reach the blades of the fan.
Take the pillowcase and place it over one fan blade at a time (as if you were putting the case on a pillow), until you reach the base of the fan. Then, slowly begin to take the pillowcase off the blade, scraping all the dust off into the pillowcase as you go.
After you have completed that, you can then take your rag and give the top and bottom of the blade a quick wipe.
Once you’ve done this with all the blades, you will then want to clean the light if your ceiling fan has a light attached to it.
Turn off the light and allow enough time for the bulb to completely cool down. Then, taking your damp rag, gently rub the light to get all the dirt and grime that has baked itself on there, off.
And just like that, you have a ceiling fan that is just like new – and you don’t have to worry about dust flying all over your room the next time you turn it on.
8. LIGHT SWITCHES AND DOORKNOBS
Back when I worked as a housekeeper, one of the things we were taught was to always, always, always wipe the light switches and door knobs in every room.
I got into a routine that the first thing I would clean when I entered a room was the doorknob (on both sides of the door) and then the light switches in the room. But, I didn’t keep this kind of mentality at home.
In fact, I rarely ever thought of wiping down the light switches and door knobs in our house.
With light switches and doorknobs being the first and last things we touch when we enter and leave a house or room, they are bound to be a breeding ground for all kinds of germs, so it only makes sense to make sure they’re getting cleaned regularly – but for so many people, it’s just something that doesn’t cross their mind.
Cleaning your light switches and doorknobs should be something you do on a weekly basis, and it doesn’t take much time at all.
As you’re doing your weekly house clean, add light switches and doorknobs to that list and clean them as you enter each room of your house. This won’t add too much work to your cleaning schedule but will help you cut back significantly on the number of germs that get passed through your house.
9. THE OVEN
If you do a lot of baking and cooking with your oven, I’m sure you wipe up spills as they happen, but when is the last time you did a thorough clean of your oven?
I’m talking scrubbing it until it shines like it’s new.
Thankfully with the updated technology, there’s a good chance your oven has the “self-cleaning” option.
Be sure to read the manual before you start your oven’s self-clean to make sure you take the correct steps and don’t get hurt.
Most self-cleaning ovens will lock the oven door and heat up to an extremely high temperature for a certain amount of time.
Then, they will slowly cool down, taking up to a couple hours. Once the oven has reached a safe temperature it will unlock its door and you can then go in there with a cloth and wipe up all the messes in there.
If you had spills that were stuck on and couldn’t get scrubbed off, they will likely be able to just be wiped off after the oven does its self-cleaning cycle as the high temperature of the oven loosens the contents inside.
Once you have wiped the oven out you can then scrub the racks and put them back into the oven.
10. WATER PIPES UNDER SINKS
If you look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, you will likely see a few pipes under there. If you look at those pipes, you will likely see a large amount of dirt and dust that has collected there and called those pipes its home.
In your efforts to remove dust from your home, wiping these pipes every once in a while should be something you get used to doing.
It makes sense to not think about wiping these pipes down. They aren’t something obvious like your area rug that you see every day, so there’s a good chance you don’t even realize these pipes are there, let alone that they are collecting dirt and dust.
Even though you don’t see these pipes unless you open the cupboard doors and look under your sink, you still want to keep them clean to help stop the build-up of dirt and dust in your house.
Cleaning these pipes is as simple as taking your cleaning solution, and your cleaning rags, and giving the pipes a quick wipe.
Depending on how many of these pipes you have throughout your house, it shouldn’t take you longer than 5 to 10 minutes to get them all wiped down.
While you don’t need to spend hours on end cleaning these pipes, you don’t want to skimp out on it, either. Be sure you get in every nook and crevice of the pipes to remove the dirt.
11. OVEN DRAWER
You know that drawer under your oven that you either pile pans and baking dishes in, or leave empty to collect crumbs and dirt? Well, that drawer deserves a good cleaning, too.
Go ahead and pull everything out from the drawer, grab your vacuum, and vacuum up the debris.
Then take a cloth dipped in a solution of water and soap and wipe the whole interior and the exterior of the drawer.
Just like that, it’s cleaned out and ready to keep your baking dishes stored for another few months before it’s time to be cleaned again.
12. COFFEE MAKER
Whether your coffee maker gets used on a daily basis or once in a blue moon, it’s a good idea to run a safe cleaning solution through it to loosen off and get rid of any build up inside the machine and keep the lines all clear.
My husband’s and my coffee maker gets used every.single.day, so I often forget to take time to clean it because I figure since it’s getting used so much, there’s no time for any grime to build up inside it.
But, it’s still a good idea to clean it, even if it does get used every day as you will want to be sure no coffee rinds are getting caught in the lines or any sitting water is getting rancid.
Cleaning your coffee maker is one of the easiest things to do.
How to clean a coffee maker
All I do to clean our coffee maker is make a water-vinegar cleaning solution that contains two parts water, one part white vinegar.
I put the vinegar solution into the coffee maker and press start.
The coffee maker then runs its course as if it were making coffee, but instead what comes out will be water and vinegar, and possibly some grime that has built up over time.
Once you’ve run the water/vinegar solution through the coffee maker you will then want to fill the coffee pot up with plain water and dump it into the coffee maker and start it.
Repeat running plain water through the coffee maker 2 to 3 times, or until the vinegary smell is gone.
And just like that, you’ve given your coffee maker a well-needed cleaning from the inside out.
13. KEYBOARD, MOUSE, AND REMOTE
If you aren’t regularly cleaning your keyboard, computer mouse, and remote control, it is time to put those on the list of things that should be cleaned every week.
Think about it. Your keyboard, computer mouse, and TV remote are all things that you touch on a regular basis, so any germs or dirt that you have on your hands gets transferred over to the surface you are touching.
Unless you and every member of your family washes their hands every single time before they touch the keyboard, mouse, or remote, they are most likely full of germs.
A simple solution to stop the spread of germs around your house is to put these three objects onto your weekly cleaning schedule.
It shouldn’t take you too long at all to give these three things a quick wipe down – and a quick disinfecting wipe down is all they really need.
14. BATHROOM FAN AND COVER
The cover to your bathroom fan likely has a lot of dust collected in it, possibly clogging it up a bit so it can’t work to its full potential.
Chances are, if the cover is full of dust, the fan behind the cover also has some grime on it.
You may be able to take your vacuum and vacuum the dust off of it, but since the bathroom is often somewhere that a lot of moisture sits, there’s a good chance that the dust on the cover and fan is caked on there and will need more than just a quick vacuum to come clean.
The good news is, cleaning your bathroom fan and cover isn’t something you need to do on a weekly basis, but it is something that should be done twice a year.
Adding this to your spring and fall cleaning checklists will help prolong the life of your bathroom exhaust fan and give you peace of mind that it is doing its job right, and helping reduce mold in your home.
How to clean bathroom exhaust fan and cover
First, you will want to ensure the fan is turned off, as you will be taking the cover off and exposing the fan and motor.
Once you have turned the fan off, remove the cover. Each fan cover is designed differently, so you may just have to press some clips together to loosen the cover, or you may have to grab a screwdriver to take some screws out before the cover will come off.
Now that you have the cover off, take your vacuum cleaner and, using the brush attachment, go over the cover with the vacuum. Once you have gotten most of the loose dust and debris off of the cover, fill your bathroom sink up with warm, soapy water.
Place the fan cover in the soapy water and let sit while you clean the rest of the fan.
Take your vacuum and clean the fan and motor while the fan cover is soaking. Use the brush or dusting attachment to ensure you don’t damage the fan or motor in any way.
After you have vacuumed out the fan area, you can then grab a rag and take the fan cover out of the soapy water and wipe it down, being sure to get in every crevice.
Rinse the cover, pat dry with a clean towel, and reinstall the cover the same way you took it off.
15. FRIDGE HANDLE
Cleaning your fridge handle is a piece of cake and should be done once a day to once a week, depending on how dirty yours gets.
Fridge door handles often get dirty whether it’s your toddler’s sticky hands grabbing it to look for a snack, or you’re making supper and didn’t think to wash your hands before grabbing the handle, it’s a good idea to give it a wipe every evening, or just once a week.
Cleaning your fridge handle will take you less than a minute, simply grab your dishcloth, apply some soap and water to it, and wipe the handle from top to bottom, getting both the front and the back.
16. UNDER THE SOFA
I know many people vacuum under their sofa on a weekly basis, but there are also some people that don’t think to move their sofa to clean underneath it.
Vacuuming and mopping under our sofa is something I make sure I do every week because just from one week of not being cleaned when I look under there, it can get pretty nasty.
Have you taken a look under your sofa recently?
If not, go do it now, and come back to this list after you’ve put your vacuum back away.
17. WASHING MACHINE
I’m not talking about wiping the exterior of your washing machine, though that isn’t a bad idea, either. I’m talking about cleaning the inside of your washing machine.
The part that comes in contact with your clothes day after day.
It’s easy to assume that because the washing machine starts with dirty clothes and ends with a load of clean clothes, that the inside of the washing machine is getting a cleaning at the same time.
But, dirt, gunk, and mold can build up inside your washing machine (especially inside the rubber ring) over time if you don’t clean it every once in a while.
How to clean a washing machine
When it comes to cleaning your washing machine, there are a few steps you need to take. While it can be time-consuming as you have to wait for the wash cycle to be done, it really doesn’t require much work from you.
The first step will be to set your washing machine to the “hot” cycle and add one to two cups of white vinegar to the washing barrel. This cycle will be running empty with no linens in it. This wash cycle with vinegar will help loosen and remove any growth that has started in the washing machine, and the vinegar will help get rid of any odors.
Once this cycle is finished, take a cleaning rag and an old toothbrush, mix four parts warm water to one part white vinegar in a cleaning bucket, and start wiping down the inside of the washing machine.
Wipe down the barrel, inside of the door, any crevices, and be sure to scrub the rubber seal really good. Lift the rubber up and get underneath it, as well, as that is where mold likes to grow. (Note that if you have a top loading washing machine you will not have this rubber seal.)
Once you have finished scrubbing the interior of your washing machine, you should run one more empty cycle with no vinegar or detergent to wash away everything that you just loosened and ensure the next load of laundry you do comes out clean.
Your washing machine should get washed at least twice a year to ensure no bacterial growth or mold builds up.
We talked about wiping down the door handles on a regular basis, but what about the doors themselves?
If your doors have any sort of grooves in them, chances are if you look close enough there is a collection of dirt and dust in these grooves.
In an effort to get rid of dirt and dust from being dragged around your house, wipe your doors down one to two times a year (more for the door that you use as the main entrance into your house).
To clean your doors, simply take a cleaning bucket filled with water and white vinegar and a cleaning rag and wipe the entire door from top to bottom, being sure to get inside all the grooves of the door.
While you’re wiping down the doors, you can also take a quick moment to wipe the hinges on the door.
Do you pay any attention to the baseboards in your house?
While they dress a house up, they can also dress a house down if they are full of scuff marks and dirt.
Cleaning your baseboards may be something you have intentionally forgotten to do for the sheer fact that you don’t want to wreck your back, and the idea of spending hours crawling around every room in your house on your hands and knees really isn’t that appealing.
I get it – it’s something I really don’t enjoy doing, either, but it is something that should be done on a semi-regular basis to keep your house looking pristine.
After many hours crawling around our house wiping baseboards and one extremely sore back later, I realized that there has got to be something to make cleaning baseboards less excruciating and much more bearable.
As it turns out, there is.
While I am an advocate of using different items around your house for cleaning many different things, I do recommend getting this baseboard cleaner as it will save your back and make cleaning baseboards just a bit less of a chore.
The walls of your home are something that can get lots of dirt and hand prints on but can also be a master at hiding the marks on it in the right lighting.
While it would take you hours upon hours to completely wash every wall in your house, it is a good idea to spot wash your walls every once in a while.
Every couple of months, turn on different lights in your house and look at your walls from a bunch of different angles.
You’re likely going to see a bunch of marks that are hidden in the dim lighting.
To spot wash your walls, you will either need a step stool, and a cleaning cloth, or a wall washer.
Either grab your step stool, cleaning cloth, and cleaning bucket, or your cleaning bucket and wall washer and start in one room of your house, try to get as much natural lighting into the room as possible, and turn on any other lights to expose the walls as much as you can.
Then, take time carefully looking over each wall from top to bottom. As you see marks and dirt on the walls, grab your rag or wall washer and give the area a wipe down.
You don’t need to wash the entire wall, the point of spot washing is to cut down the amount of time you spend cleaning but still have a clean end result.
Once you have completed all the walls in one room, move to the next room doing the same thing, until you have gone through all the rooms in your house.
Even though you are just spot-washing your walls, it will still take a significant amount of time. You may want to split your house up into sections and only complete a couple rooms (or a certain section) of your house in a day, and save the rest for another day.
21. CELL AND HOME PHONES
Your phones, especially your cell phone, gets used and touched by many hands, many times a day.
Give all the phones in your house a disinfecting cleaning by taking your cleaning solution and applying it to a cloth until it is damp. Then thoroughly wipe each and every phone front and back, paying special attention to where the phone touches your ear and the keypad.
It is said that your cell phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. (Source)
That. is. nasty.
It’s definitely time to give the phones in your house (especially your cell phone) a good cleaning. And now that you know the truth about how dirty it truly is, it’s time to start cleaning your phones on a regular basis.
22. THROW BLANKETS AND PILLOWS
Those decorative blankets and pillows that you use to dress up your living room likely don’t get used that often, but regardless of how much they get used, they should be getting regular cleanings just like the other linens in your house.
The sofa is usually where people like to lay and rest when they are sick (another good reason why it’s important to clean your couch cushions). Kids also like to play with these pillows and blankets, and it’s the perfect spot for dust to collect over time.
Washing these blankets is pretty straightforward and you should be safe to throw them in with your other bedding and towels, but check the washing instructions just in case.
The throw pillows should have washing instructions on them, also, but if they are just a simple pillow, you should be fine to throw them in the wash with your other pillows.
23. TOP OF WINDOW FRAMES
While you’re going around spot washing your walls, you can knock another thing off your cleaning list while you’re at it.
Many people wipe and dust their windowsills on a regular basis, but not many people remember to wipe the top of the window frame.
Though it is just a skinny ledge, likely the same width as your baseboard, it still collects dust and cobwebs over time, so running a cleaning cloth over it won’t do any harm.
If you have time to dust the tops of your window frames once a week, that would be ideal, but if you don’t have much time try to dust them at least once every few months to get rid of the dust that collects there.
While dusting the tops of the window frames, be sure your cloth is damp, not dry, so you pick up the dust rather than pushing down onto the floor or other surfaces below the window.
It’s time to grab your deep cleaning house checklist complete with all 36 things you’re forgetting to clean in your house.
How to Clean Every Room in Your House
House Cleaning Checklist – 13 Things You’re Forgetting to Clean
4 Steps How to Clean a Messy House When You’re Overwhelmed
9 Ways to Clean Your House Fast (in less than 30 minutes)