Six Steps and Six Hours to Super Clean Your Apartment
If you’ve ever found yourself panicking because your guests are coming to town and you haven’t cleaned your apartment since that time you “organized” all the laundry by color, then keep reading.
Regularly cleaning your apartment is not just about keeping up appearances. Deep cleaning doesn’t just make it look nice; it’s necessary to maintain a healthy home, especially if there’s more than one person living there. And if deep cleaning has never been your thing, we’ve got the tips and tricks to make it fast, easy—even fun!
Don’t let the word “deep” intimidate you. We’re going to break down a step-by-step process for getting an entire apartment clean in just six hours—no matter its size or state of disarray.
Step 1 – Sweep and Mop the Floors
Always begin by sweeping the floor with a broom, collecting any debris and dust. Once this is complete, grab your mop and bucket and fill it with warm water. If you have hardwood floors, use ¼ cup of vinegar to remove dirt and stains. For tile floors, ¼ cup of ammonia mixed with a gallon of water will clean most substances. However, experts do not recommend using ammonia on natural stone surfaces. For these surfaces—such as marble or granite—use 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent mixed with 1 gallon of water. Rinse your mop in the solution once or twice while mopping to ensure that no streaks are left behind.
Step 2 – Clean the Appliances
First, you should consider what appliances you have and clean accordingly. For example, your oven, fridge and washing machine are all very different items that not only require different approaches to cleaning them but also need to be cleaned at different intervals.
It’s always good to start with a quick sweep of the appliance in question. Remove any food or items that don’t belong in there or have expired. If you see any obvious stains or discolouring of the interior, wipe them out as much as possible before following the instructions below on how to clean each appliance type:
Washing Machine: Cleaning an empty washing machine is a great way to ensure your clothes get washed in a bacteria-free environment. Use either a specialised washing machine cleaner (you can buy these from most supermarkets) which you can pop into an empty drum and tub OR bicarbonate of soda (put about 50g into the detergent drawer) which will do a good job without costing anything extra if you already have it lying around your house. Once you’ve popped one of these ingredients into the drum run an empty cycle on the highest setting with hot water – this should get rid of any bad smells and give your washer a clean slate for future loads.
Dishwasher: The dishwasher is designed to disinfect dishes so it doesn’t need cleaning very often – once every six months will suffice! Use dishwasher cleaner tablets (which are also widely available from supermarkets), again running it on an empty cycle with hot water – this should leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and looking shiny for another half year!
Fridge: You want to make sure that all gross bits are taken out before moving onto general cleaning so make sure everything that has gone off is chucked away (including leftovers which seem fine but could be harbouring bacteria). In order to remove tough stains inside the fridge, use white vinegar mixed with hot water to get the job done.
Others: It’s also important to clean out your kitchen sink garbage disposal at least once a month so that food debris doesn’t get stuck underneath or around your sink drains. In addition, take care not to forget other important devices that need regular maintenance like your washer/dryer and garbage disposal unit.
Step 3 – Wash the Windows Inside and Out
Clean windows are the hallmark of an organized home, so get them done early. You can wash the inside by spraying them with glass cleaner and wiping them with paper towels or newspaper. Be sure to work in circular motions and reach all sides of the frame. If you have any stubborn marks along the ledges, use a razor blade to remove them. Rinse your sponge when it gets dirty, then dry off the windows using a squeegee or a microfiber cloth; if you’re using newspapers, make sure to smooth out any streaks that appear before drying off the window entirely.
If you want your windows to be sparkling clean on both sides, take the time today to do them outside as well (or save it for another day). Start by hosing down each window with water from top to bottom, then spray it generously with window cleaner and wipe in circles. You’ll want one rag for cleaning and one for drying. After every few windows, rinse out your rag thoroughly in your bucket as well as under your hose. While it will take more effort than doing just one side at a time, washing both sides of each window is essential especially if they’re dirty.
Step 4 – Dust All the Surfaces
Grab a microfiber cloth and start wiping down flat surfaces i.e. window sills, the tops of door frames, any horizontal surface that has collected dust over the last year or so. Don’t forget behind furniture or on top of appliances. Wipe gently enough to remove the dust but not so hard as to dislodge anything from its proper place.
If you have heavier items like bookshelves, big lamps or cabinets with collectible items on them, move those out and clean under and around them as best you can before returning them to their designated spots.
Don’t forget picture frames, mirrors and anything else that is breakable or fragile. If you need more than a microfiber cloth for these delicate operations, use a small glass cleaner spray bottle and carefully wipe away smudges and dirt without breaking anything in the process.
Step 5 – Vacuum Carpets
Vacuuming is the most important thing you can do to keep your home clean and maintain the lifespan of your carpets. A good, thorough vacuuming will remove pet dander, dust and allergens that accumulate in carpet fibers over time.
Use the right attachment: Most vacuum cleaners come with a variety of attachments that fit onto the end of their hose. Your best bet for vacuuming furniture is to use an upholstery attachment with soft bristles. If your vacuum does not include such an attachment, you can buy one at a home goods store easily.
Vacuum carpets: Vacuum all carpeted surfaces which will undoubtedly be the most time-consuming part of vacuuming. When you go over the entire surface of your carpet, start at one end and push the vacuum in straight lines from wall to wall. It’s okay to overlap as you go. Work quickly but make sure that you don’t miss any areas. Remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it immediately. You don’t want to create a dust cloud if you add a new bag later on!
Vacuum cushions: The first thing you’ll want to do when vacuuming furniture is tackle the cushions if your sofa or chairs have them. Remove any loose items from these areas and then put them back on once you’re done vacuuming.
Vacuum between and under cushions: Next, use your extension hose to suck up debris from between each individual cushion (or seat). If there are any loose pillows on top of these seats, make sure they’re removed before starting; otherwise, it could be difficult to access all those hard-to-reach areas where crumbs tend to collect.
Step 6 – Scrub Bathrooms From Top to Bottom
Bathrooms are often a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. It’s important to clean them properly and thoroughly. Make sure you have all the right tools and products. You’ll need a grout cleaning brush, a scrubbing tool with an extendible handle (for reaching high places), rubber gloves, disinfectant spray or wipes to overcome bacteria and viruses like COVID 19, toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner and non-abrasive bathroom cleaner.
Start by selecting a good glass cleaner and make sure you’re using a soft, lint-free cloth. Spray liberally onto your mirror, making sure to use short strokes. Wipe off with short strokes as well in order for the cleaner not to drip down on your fresh face (or anywhere else). Attention should be paid to cleaning all edges of the mirror as well.
Next up is cleaning the bathroom fixtures. They may include faucets, handles (both interior and exterior), knobs and drain plug covers among others, depending on your bathroom’s style. The main point is that these items need some tender loving care so they can look as shiny and new as possible — especially after being exposed to moisture in a steamy shower or bath environment. Make sure that you’re using an all-purpose cleaner specifically designated for this purpose. Though it might take a bit longer to achieve results than harsher chemicals like bleach or ammonia-based products which you should never use on metal surfaces because they could damage them by stripping away their finish.
Let’s not forget about sinks themselves! When using any kind of cleaners around them it’s important not only what type but also how much water comes into contact with their surface before being wiped off. Lastly, shower/tub where you should scrub tiles with a grout cleaning brush and finish off with a disinfectant spray.