How To Clean Your Living Room

Or is it a family room ...? Whatever it is, it’s gonna be real clean.

Your living room is, like, the room in your house. Despite the fact that—no matter how well you curate the party—everyone always ends up migrating to hang out in the kitchen. They say the “magic happens” in the bedroom, and you’ve undoubtedly had some of your most prolific moments in the bathroom. But it’s in the living room that you display all of your most prized art, meticulously rearrange the bric-a-brac on your coffee table, watch all the movies and big games and host all of your favorite people. It’s where you’ve probably spent the majority of your home life outside of your bed.

So it’s understandable that your living room (or is it a family room?) seems to constantly regenerate dust and clutter. From that beloved, unruly stack of mail and your collection of half-burnt candles to the pile of remotes and nest of cords looming in the corner, the living room might not be where the magic happens—but it’s certainly where the living happens.

Video poster

There are two ways to go about cleaning your living room: the quickie or the deep clean. It’s up to you when to utilize either one. How much time have you got before your company arrives? What sort of company is arriving? When was the last time you bothered to clean? How ashamed of your mess are you? We’ll leave you to answer those hard-hitting questions on your own, and read on to choose which living room cleaning method is appropriate for you. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

The Quickie: A frantic 15-minute living room clean sweep

Speed clean your living room section by section, as if your parents or best frenemy has sprung a surprise visit on you.

  • Throw away trash and recycling.
  • Those fizzy water cans on the end table and remnants of yesterday’s (or was it the day before?) sushi delivery aren't a cute aesthetic. And why do you need six water glasses? Bring them into the kitchen and start fresh.
  • Declutter. Actually put items away where they belong. Straighten up your coffee-table books and various tchotchkes. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in 2–3 days, put it back.
  • Freshen up the couch. Fluff up the pillows, shake out the throw blankets outside and return them to the couch nicely folded. You can even toss blankets into the dryer with a dryer sheet for a quick freshen up. It’s almost like you washed them … almost.
  • Use Febreze Fabric for a quick refresher, especially if you’ve got pets who tend to do a lot of living in your living room, too. Maybe open the windows, while you’re at it.
  • If you find yourself with extra time:
    • Run a Swiffer across hard floors to trap loose dirt, hair and rogue dust bunnies.
    • Gently use a Swiffer Duster on your TV screen, ceiling fan blades, lamps, light fixtures and window sills. A light dusting goes a long way.
    • Vacuum the floors and rugs. But hurry!
  • Light a candle so it smells nice and delicious in your living room. Or try out any of these other solutions to make your home smell great.

The Deep Clean: An all-day affair, but your living room will be spotless

So you’ve got some time. Use it wisely with this straightforward living room cleaning guide. Yes, it will just get messy again, but better to start with a baseline level of cleanliness rather than letting it totally get away from you.

Our favorite deep cleaning products:

Step 1: Declutter

  • Throw away trash and recycling.
  • Put items away where they belong—even those stacks of magazines you’ve been meaning to read but juuust haven’t gotten around to yet.

Step 2: Dust

  • If you’re committed to a very deep clean, take all the items off your bookshelves so that you can dust the actual shelves, not just the book jackets. But let’s be real: That’s next level cleaning. You still get credit if you skip that move.
  • Dust from top to bottom, beginning with the highest surfaces in the room and moving down to the floor. Bust out your Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Super Extender to reach every corner. The duster traps and locks dust rather than just shuffling it around the room (and into your sinuses).
  • Don’t forget to dust:
    • Corners of the ceilings
    • Ceiling fans
    • Bookshelves
    • Blinds
    • Artwork
    • Electronics
    • Walls
    • Console, coffee and side tables
    • Baseboards
    • If you’ve got instruments in your living room, don’t forget to dust them, too. Those piano keys are total dust traps.

Step 3: Clean your windows

  • You’ve already dusted your blinds, good for you! (If you haven’t dusted your blinds, now is your opportunity to do so.)
  • Now it’s time to wash your curtains (if they’re washable—and they might not be). If not, use the upholstery attachment to vacuum them, and then hit them up with a spritz of Febreze Fabric.
  • Now for the actual window itself. Clean your windows with a ready-made glass cleaner (or your own DIY version) and a microfiber cloth to avoid streaks.
  • Don’t forget the window tracks. They catch oh-so-much dust and dirt. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned them, consider it time. First, use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up the loose debris, then hit the window tracks with some Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist and a microfiber towel to get them super clean.

Step 4: Clean your sofa (and any other love seats, chaise lounges or recliners!)

  • Wash any throw blankets.
  • Check to see if your cushion covers are washable. If they are (and you can’t remember the last time they were washed), wash them. Just be sure to follow the cleaning instructions on their tags.
  • If you’re not up for washing cushion covers this time around, that’s okay. We see you; it’s a lot of work. But definitely vacuum all upholstery with the upholstery attachment and maybe even work in some of our pet hair cleaning tips for extra credit, if necessary.
  • Fluff your pillows! Why not? Fluffed pillows just feel cleaner.

Step 5: Clean your walls

  • If you skipped dusting the walls, do that now. But for real, do it.
  • Using a sponge or a microfiber cloth, gently scrub the walls with warm water. You might even take down your art or posters to do this. But if you wash around them, you still get a B+ for washing the walls.
  • For tough spots or scuffs, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Magic Erasers are awesome for buffing out mysterious spots and stains without hurting the paint job.

Step 6: Clean your floors

  • Vacuum all rugs and carpet.
  • Swiffer Sweeper hardwoods or tile, then follow up with a Swiffer WetJet for an easy-peasy, bucket-free mopping experience.

Step 7: Add the finishing touches

  • Who doesn’t love a vase full of fresh flowers on the coffee table?
  • Rearrange and then re-rearrange items on your coffee table until they’re in the perfect configuration, or at least until you’re ready to rearrange them again.
  • Use Febreze to banish any strange, lingering odors.

OMG, you made it to the end of the great living room deep clean! We know it wasn’t fun, but now take a well-deserved sit on that freshly cleaned couch and queue up whatever the kids are binge-watching these days, thus beginning the slow and steady process of re-dirtying up the living room. It’s the circle of—um, the living room. That’s probably why it’s called that to begin with. You clean it, you live in it, you dirty it, you clean it again.

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