The ultimate guide to deep cleaning your house, with room-by-room checklist

Deep cleaning is all about the details. When you take the time to clean the things in your home that are a little harder to get to, you’ll notice how it makes your place feel more tidy and welcoming. To get started, create your cleaning schedule, pick a room, and make a quick run to the store. Then, get ready to tackle all of the details that are covered in our deep cleaning tips.

Supplies you will need to deep clean your apartment
Supplies you will need to deep clean your apartment

Table of contents

How often should you deep clean?What you’ll needTwo simple homemade cleaning productsRoom-by-room guide to deep cleaningBathroomKitchenBedroomLiving room or common areasClosetsLaundry roomThroughout your house

How often should you deep clean?

There are a few different ways you can begin to integrate deep cleaning into your home upkeep routine. If you’ve done any spring cleaning in the past, that’s great! Spring is the perfect time to declutter, clean, and organize, but you should also deep clean more frequently than one season a year. One schedule you can choose to follow is seasonal, or about one weekend deep clean every 3 months. Another option is to break down your deep cleaning checklist into smaller monthly or weekly tasks, tackling one room per month, or 1-2 tasks per week, so that you chip away on an ongoing basis.

The more people who share a living space, the more often it should be deep cleaned. If you live with roommates, divide up the cleaning tasks—both deep cleaning and more ongoing upkeep—equally among everyone. Consider assigning an area of the home (except for the bedrooms, of course) to a different person.

What you’ll need

You don’t need fancy specialty cleaners to deep clean your house. Common products like white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, a scrub brush, and microfiber cleaning cloths are effective and easy to find. Here’s a starter list to help you stock your cleaning cabinet or caddy:

  • Rubber gloves

  • All purpose cleaner (or homemade)

  • Glass cleaner

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Dish soap

  • Sponge

  • Scrub brush

  • Detail brush or old toothbrush

  • Squeegee

  • Plastic bucket

  • Spray bottle

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Cleaning cloths (like dish towels or rags), or paper towels

  • Vacuum with attachments

  • Mop or steamer

  • Broom or vacuum with a hard flooring setting

Thumbs up after cleaning your kitchen

Two simple homemade cleaning products

Baking soda paste and one to one vinegar spray are both used throughout our deep cleaning tips. To make the one to one baking soda paste, start with a cup of baking soda and add splashes of water until it forms a paste similar to the consistency of wet sand. 

  • “One to one” means equal parts. When you’re making the vinegar spray, start with one cup vinegar and one cup water then increase in equal parts as needed for the size of the cleaning task. Always label your spray bottle with the solution that it contains.

Tip: If you are sensitive to the scent of vinegar, you can add a few drops of any essential oil (like citrus or lavender) to temper the aroma. A squeeze of lemon is a simple fix if you can’t find essential oils.

Tip: Look for the gallon jug of white vinegar and the large bag of baking soda. Buying multiples of the regular sized boxes is perfectly fine but it is more cost effective if you can find the large bag at your local store.

Note: While it’s great for cleaning, vinegar doesn’t disinfect. Learn the difference between disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning in our complete guide.

Room-by-room guide to deep cleaning

a clean bathroom sink


Bathtub, fixtures, and grout

  • If soap and water haven’t been doing the trick for getting your bathtub and fixtures sparkling clean and free of soap scum, make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub with a brush. Use a detail brush, or an old toothbrush, to clean in and around your fixtures—finishing with the microfiber cloth will help them shine. 

  • Clean your shower head by soaking it overnight in vinegar and water. You can do this by either removing it, or filling a bag with cleaning solution and fastening it around the shower head.

  • The same technique can also be used to clean grout. If baking soda alone isn’t getting your grout clean, spray with a one to one white vinegar and water mixture. The baking soda will begin to bubble as it reacts with the vinegar and that reaction will help lift the stains. Scrub again and rinse with warm water once clean.

Shower curtains

  • If your shower curtain is fabric, wash and dry according to the directions. 

  • If your shower curtain liner is past the point of cleaning, toss and replace as needed.

Tip: Most plastic shower curtains and shower curtain liners can go into the delicate cycle in your washing machine, which is a much easier way to clean such a bulky item. Remove the metal hangers before washing and let air dry.

A clean kitchen countertop


Cabinets, fridge, and furniture

  • Clear out all food items before starting and unplug your fridge. Use warm soapy water and a sponge to clean inside and outside. The dish soap is essentially a degreaser and will help break down any cooking oil residue that has landed throughout your kitchen. Clean under the fridge if you are able to easily move it.

  • Clean all cabinet fronts. Use a vacuum with the crevice attachment to clean out cabinets and drawers.

  • Wipe down kitchen table legs, chairs, and chair legs along with any other kitchen furniture.

  • Wash trash and recycling bins with warm soapy water and a sponge. 

Tip: This is a convenient time to replace or install drawer and cabinet liners and to toss any expired food items.

Oven and stove top

  • There are 3 ways to clean your oven. The first and easiest is the oven's self-cleaning setting. If your oven has this feature, make sure the kitchen is well ventilated, remove anything that was stored in the oven, and run the self-cleaning cycle. If your oven does not have that cycle, clean with baking soda paste and a scrub brush, or specialty cleaning products. 

  • To clean a gas stovetop, soak the metal grates in soapy water and clean with a scrub brush before returning to the stove top.

  • If you have a gas stovetop or a stovetop with electric coils, clean the entire thing with the baking soda paste.

Dishwasher and microwave

  • Clean the inside of your microwave with a sponge and all purpose cleaner. Remove the tray and clean as well. Wipe the exterior down with a sponge and finish with a microfiber cloth.

  • Clean your dishwasher, inside and out. To do the interior, empty it out, clean the filter, and then add 1 cup vinegar and run on the hottest setting. When that cycle is complete, add 1 cup baking soda and run again on the hottest cycle. Wipe down the exterior of your dishwasher with vinegar spray, wipe clean, and finish with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. 

Tip: You should clean your dishwasher monthly. 

Countertops and Kitchen Sink

  • Scrub the countertops, back splash, and sink with warm soapy water and a scrub brush paying special attention to the areas around the faucet. 

  • Sanitize countertops and disinfect sinks (brush up on the differences between sanitizing and disinfecting in our complete guide). Be sure to follow the product instructions for proper dilution and contact times. 

  • Follow the bathroom fixtures steps to remove soap scum and debris from your sink faucet.

  • If you have dingy grout, follow the steps in the bathroom grout section above.

Tip: Any time that you juice a lemon, toss the remainder into the garbage disposal and run with hot water to naturally freshen the disposal.

A bedroom with clean sheets


  • Wash linens that do not get washing as frequently as sheets including duvet, dust ruffle, shams according to the instructions.

  • If you are able to move or get behind your bed, clean behind your headboard and underneath your bed. 

  • Wipe down all furniture with a damp microfiber cloth. 

Tip: Flip and/or rotate your mattress every 6 months.

Tip: If your mattress needs freshening, sprinkle with baking soda, let sit for one hour and vacuum. You can also spot clean your mattress as you would a carpet stain in the Floors section below.

Tip: Wash pillows and comforters once a year. If your washing machine is not large enough, take to a laundromat or professional cleaner

a mop for cleaning your floors

Living room or common areas

  • Vacuum upholstery. Lift up all cushions and vacuum underneath. Spot clean as needed following the lifting method in the Floors section below.

  • Wipe down all furniture with a damp microfiber cloth. 


  • To deep clean a closet it’s essential to take everything out, reorganize, and declutter.

  • While everything is out, vacuum and wipe down any shelves, baseboards and walls. When you put clothing back in, there should be enough room for clothes to move freely and not be tightly packed in.

A basket of dirty laundry

Laundry room

  • Wipe down all surfaces and exterior of the washer and dryer.

  • How to clean your washing machine differs slightly based on the type of machine you have—top or side loading—but the concept is the same. Spray the inside of your washing machine with vinegar spray. Wipe clean paying special attention to the rubber gasket on the machine door. Add 2 cups of vinegar directly into the drum and run on the hottest setting. Then add half a cup of baking soda directly to the drum and run again on the highest setting. Wipe dry once done and leave the door ajar to fully dry out.

Throughout your house

Walls and baseboards

  • Wiping down walls and baseboards is a crucial step in every room. Use a damp cloth to wipe and the non-abrasive side of a sponge to clean stubborn areas.

Light fixtures and ceiling fans

  • Light fixtures can quickly accumulate dust but they are easy to clean once you reach them and like clean windows, it can really improve the quality of the light in the room. First turn off the light, then use a vacuum with attachment to clean or wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.

  • To clean ceiling fans, lay newspaper or a sheet under the fan before cleaning in order to catch any dust. Wipe down each blade with a damp cloth and all purpose cleaner. 


  • Sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping the floors in your home should be part of regular cleaning. For deep cleaning, focus on removing stains, addressing especially high traffic areas with stubborn dirt, and cleaning grout if your floors are tiled. 

  • Start by doing a basic clean of your hardwood floors or laminate floors.

  • To remove stains on carpeted floors, soak the area with a one to one mixture of white vinegar and water with a few drops of dish soap. Blot with a towel so that you are lifting the stain rather than rubbing it back in. If you decide to use a carpet cleaning product, always test an area of the carpet that is not visible to make sure it does not discolor or cause any damage to the carpet.

  • For a complete deep clean of your carpet, consider renting a steam cleaner.

  • Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar to address areas with stubborn dirt and grime and also to clean and brighten your grout. Apply the paste and let stand for 15 minutes, then scrub with a stiff-bristled scrub brush.

Tip: For a DIY carpet steamer, lay a towel over the area and iron with the iron set to the highest steaming setting

Tip: To refresh carpet or rugs, sprinkle baking soda all over, let sit for 4 hours or overnight, then vacuum the carpet or rug to remove the baking soda.

Window treatments

  • It’s better to refresh often-delicate window treatments in the dryer rather than to launder them. Spray with vinegar spray and dry on the delicate cycle, or air dry, to freshen.

  • If your windows have blinds, dampen a retired sock with water and all purpose cleaner, place over your hand like a mitten, and run your hand along each blind to clean.


  • Clean windows let in more natural light! First, be sure to remove any dirt and debris from your window panes before finishing with a glass cleaner. Place a rolled towel in the window sill and use warm soapy water and a sponge to clean away dirt. Squeegee the windows dry and the towel will catch the dirty water. Then use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to shine. 

  • If your window sills are wood, it’s important not to saturate them with cleaning products or water. To clean, simply wipe with a damp microfiber cloth sprayed with a gentle all purpose cleaner or wood cleaner. 

  • To clean metal window or sliding door tracks, start by vacuuming the tracks with the crevice attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Then spray soapy water or all purpose cleaner into the tracks. Let soak for a few minutes and wipe up with cleaning cloths or paper towels.

Tip: You can use the window-cleaning process for cleaning your bathroom mirrors for longer lasting results than using glass cleaner alone.

Tip: You can also use a glass cleaner to clean picture frames. Use ammonia-free glass cleaner and always spray onto the microfiber cloth rather than directly onto the glass to prevent any cleaner from seeping into the frame. 

After you deep clean, it’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your home on an ongoing basis. Looking for a home where monthly cleaning is always on the books? Bungalow offers private rooms in shared homes that are more affordable than solo housing options in the same neighborhoods. Wifi, utilities, and monthly cleaning are set up before you move in so that communal living is seamless. Find a Bungalow near you.

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