Tricks for Cleaning Your House Like a Pro

Be the professional house cleaner you want to see in the world.

Why is it that whenever you clean your own house, it’s never as clean as when the pros do it? It feels like you’re hitting all the right spots, you’ve got an abundance of cleaning materials and you’re exhausted and sweaty by the time you’re done. What are you forgetting?

There are so many little details that go into professional cleaning that make it special. Like that little fancy triangle fold in the toilet paper. The double-lined trash bags. The complete lack of streaks on your shower door. How do they do it?

We’ve got a whole slew of tips and techniques to help you clean your house like a pro. It’s going to take some determination, plenty of elbow grease, and lots and lots of checklists, but we’ve got faith in you.

How to clean a house like a pro

  • Don’t attempt to declutter + clean at the same time.
    • Know the difference between decluttering and cleaning. Take time to declutter first, or this whole thing will be very time consuming and also overwhelming.
    • Declutter easily avoidable areas like under the sink, the linen closet, the front hall closet, the bedroom closet, under the bed, the entire guestroom, your desk, the coffee table, end tables, kitchen table, and countertops. Then consider cleaning the following day. (Or the day after. You earned a break.)
  • Set and maintain a cleaning schedule and routine
    • Tidy up and clean in incremental bits throughout the weeks, so that when it’s time for a deep clean, it’s not a monumental task.
    • Make checklists. Use them.
    • We like to keep daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal checklists.
      • It’s really easy to forget to clean certain things that aren’t being utilized every day. Or even when you are using things daily (such as the fridge and pantry), it may not occur to you to clean those things. But if that chore is on a list, you’ll remember and be held accountable!
  • Invest in a proper vacuum cleaner + other cleaning tools (+ a good extension cord)
    • If you’re spending more time unclogging your vacuum than vacuuming, time for an upgrade. Also, the cordless rechargeable vacuums are so light, it’s no longer a hassle to vacuum upholstery and get into the dusty, crumb-filled corners.
    • Stay tuned for our list of favorite cleaning supplies at the end of this article.
  • Keep your cleaning supplies organized and together for easy access
    • All pro cleaners use caddies. That way, you can cart your supplies with you from room to room — and you’ve got no excuse for skipping any one task because your tools were elsewhere.
  • Prioritize your cleaning needs for efficiency
    • Hit high-use and high-touch areas first and often, like doorknobs and lightswitches.
    • You likely clean your kitchen daily and do laundry regularly, so when you’re settling in for a deep clean, maybe skip that stuff. Focus on bigger tasks, like the entire bathroom. Or all of the walls.
  • Multitask!
    • You can always run the washing machine and the dishwasher while you’re cleaning the baseboards or dusting the bookshelves. If products need time to sit or soak, apply those first so you can be doing other stuff in the meantime.
  • Don’t skip walls + ceilings
    • Walls and ceilings soak up smoke and smells. They also attract dust and dander, just like anything else.
  • Baseboards, baseboards, baseboards
    • Nothing will make your home look cleaner than sparkling baseboards. Dust and wipe down the baseboards before you mop the floor. Then, if the baseboards seem to have gotten dirty while mopping, hit them again with a damp microfiber rag to finish.
  • Clean your appliances, too
    • Especially if they’re stainless steel. The small things make a big difference.
    • Clean both the inside and outside of your appliances, including the toaster oven, actual oven, coffee maker, etc.

Pro tips & tricks

  • Always start in the bathroom
    • Why? Most bathroom cleaners need time to sit and work their magic, so while they’re doing that, you can move onto other rooms in the meantime.
  • Think about the order in which you’re cleaning, so you don’t make more work for yourself
    • Clean the walls from the top to bottom. Dust light fixtures before vacuuming the floor, etc.
  • Skip the mop in the bathroom
    • Unless you live in a mansion, your bathroom floor probably isn’t that many square feet. Invest in some knee pads, get down there and use a rag to get that tile clean. It will save time and do a much better job getting into all those awkward crevices between the toilet and the wall, etc.
  • Only use microfiber on stainless steel
    • If you want that really nice, polished finish, skip the paper towel. Microfiber is your friend. In fact, use two microfiber rags: a wet one to clean the stainless steel, followed by a dry one to buff out any residue and marks.
  • Always follow the grain
    • It’s tempting to swim upstream sometimes, but when you’re mopping a hardwood floor, you’ll achieve the best results by going in the direction of the grain.
  • Squeegee glass doors and large windows
    • No professional house cleaner will show up to the job without a squeegee on hand. Use them on slider doors, shower doors, bay windows, etc.
  • Double- or triple-line trash cans
    • You’ve likely noticed this is a pro move. When you pull out one trash bag — voila! Behold, another one magically appears in its place. We love that move.

Our favorite supplies

We recommend keeping all of your cleaning supplies organized in a caddy for easy access and portability. If you invest in the proper cleaning tools, you can clean smarter and get the jobs done effectively and efficiently.

  • Sponges
    • Preferably one with a scrubby side.
  • Cotton rags
    • We like to recycle old towels or t-shirts, and white rags are better so that when you’re cleaning upholstery or carpet, the color doesn’t risk rubbing off.
  • Microfiber cloths
    • We use these for nearly everything, so it’s good to buy them in bulk. They’re definitely washable and reusable, but you can never have too many.
  • Paper towels
    • For cleaning especially icky or gunky stuff. Also good for germy bathrooms, because you can just toss them when you’re done.
  • Swiffer Duster
    • Swiffer Dusters are cool because they’ve got extendable arms for hard to reach fan blades, light fixtures, and top shelves. Plus, they actually trap dust and don’t just send it flying about.
  • Microban 24
    • We like this sanitizing spray that can be used regularly on most nonporous surfaces and protects and prevents the growth of bacteria and germs. It’s perfect for high-touch areas.
  • Bathroom cleaner
    • Something that’s both gentle and effective for multiple surfaces, like tile, tubs, sinks, and counters.
  • Glass cleaner
    • For mirrors, windows, shower doors, etc.
  • Rubber gloves
    • If you’re using abrasive cleaners, best to protect your hands from drying out.
  • Floor cleaner and/or polish
    • Depending on the material of your floors, you might want to invest in several types of floor cleaners.
  • Swiffer Wet Jet
    • These easy to use, disposable mop heads are perfect for a quick, painless mop without even having to bust out a bucket.
  • Dawn Dish Soap
    • Dawn Dish Soap is gentle enough that a couple drops mixed with warm water is good for cleaning almost anything — plus the dishes!

If you’re still struggling to get that pro-level cleaning status on your own, try following some actual professional cleaners and organizers for more advice and suggestions or perusing our (very) extensive list of how to clean (almost) everything in your home.

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