How to do room-by-room home cleaning?

American families have less free time than ever to tend to house cleaning chores, but it becomes an overwhelming task if you don’t keep up with it. Here are some professional house cleaning tips for each room and how often to clean the most frequently used living areas of a home.

Cleaning kitchen and dining areas:

If you do nothing else daily, make sure you wash the dishes and clean the sink and countertops. Wipe up messes on the stove and inside the microwave. Floors are a constant cleaning job depending on what’s been dropped, but if you’ve managed to keep it reasonably clean, mop weekly. Every few weeks, run a cleaning solution through the dishwasher to prevent buildup and ensure sparkling dishes. 

It’s also a good idea to clear out the refrigerator before your weekly shopping trip. This way, you’re removing what’s spoiled and making room for fresh groceries. Every six months or so, remove all the items from your kitchen cabinets or pantry cabinet and wipe down the shelving. This also is a good time to go through your canned and other packaged goods and throw away items that have expired.

If you use a tablecloth, shake it out and wash it regularly. On a weekly basis, dust all surfaces and mop or vacuum the floor.

Living room/family room cleaning:

The main problem here is clutter. Make it the responsibility of every member of the family to put away items they left out.

Dusting should be done weekly, or at least every other week. If you can write your name in the dust, you've waited too long. Wipe down often-used surfaces like table tops, mop floors and vacuum carpets. Some people like to move their furniture around a couple of times a year so they can reach areas they don’t routinely clean, such as under the sofa or chairs or behind book cases.

Bathroom cleaning:

The bathroom can be the dirtiest or cleanest in any house, so weekly cleanings are important. Start with the bathtub. Wipe all surfaces to prevent mildew and soap scum. Then, clean the sink to remove any build-up from toothpaste or other toiletries.

When cleaning the toilet, spray or add cleaning solution to the bowl then go clean other areas of the bathroom. This allows the toilet cleaning agent to activate for several minutes before scrubbing the bowl clean. Mop the floor last, so you leave a clean floor drying in a clean room.

If you have a cabinet or linen closet, remove all contents every six months and wipe down the shelves. This gives you time to sort make-up and other toiletries and throw away items that are expired or empty.

Cleaning bedrooms:

Even if you don’t feel like making the bed first thing in the morning, doing it every day will help you achieve the feeling of a clean room in just a few minutes. Wash the linens weekly to help reduce allergens and dust mites.

Make sure you put dirty clothes in a hamper and take the time to fold and put away clothing. Regular dusting of furniture and vacuuming carpet or dusting floors and baseboards can also help to reduce allergies.

What spots often get overlooked when cleaning?

If you're not a professional house cleaner, there are probably some things you're overlooking, even if you clean regularly.

Ceiling cobwebs and baseboard dust:

Look up. Cobwebs collect along the top edge of the wall where it meets the ceiling, and especially in corners. Use a long-handled dusting tool on these at least monthly. Wipe down your baseboards and trim, which tend to collect dust.This can be done with a furniture polish or with a rag dampened with water.

Doorknobs and telephones:

Why was doorknobs? Because lots of hands touch them every day and leave germs behind. Telephones and other frequently touched surfaces should get the same treatment. Use an antibacterial wipe or a rag dampened with any household cleaner to wipe these surfaces clean. Remember, some of the most contaminated surfaces in the home involve places touched by multiple hands. Be sure to include them in your weekly cleaning routine.

Novice cleaners should read the labels of cleaning products before tackling a home cleaning. Knowing what you can and can’t use on each surface in the house will save time, money and a potential disaster in the long run. Using the wrong product can do severe and sometimes irreparable damage. Also, some products can be harmful to children or pets if used too aggressively.

How to cleaning hard-to-reach areas?

Whether you’re hiring nearby help or tackling the cleaning on your own, think about the last time you cleaned these hard to reach areas:

Clean behind and under major appliances:

We often take for granted that nothing is going on under and behind the oven or stove, refrigerator, washer or dryer. But the kitchen appliances attract grease, which provides a perfect surface for dust to stick. Other appliances collect dust and lint from laundry and daily living.

You may need help moving your major appliances a couple of times a year to ensure the area where you cook is as sanitary as it can be. In addition to cleaning the area around and under your washer and dryer, you will want to clean out the dryer vent to prevent a fire hazard.

Clean behind the toilet:

The toilet itself is pretty obvious, but the walls and floors behind and around the toilet, as well as the pedestal of the toilet should be cleaned thoroughly. A wet rag or mop will help pick up and remove dust and lint rather than sweeping it to another area in the bathroom.

Cleaning ceiling fans:

As the blades spin, they likely are throwing dust across the room. You may be able to reach the blades with your vacuum cleaner attachment or a special long-handled ceiling fan brush. However, the best thing may be to get on a ladder and wipe down the blades with a little soapy water. Vacuuming might be required if you were unable to catch all the dust yourself.

Ceiling corners:

Depending on the height of your ceilings, you may be able to reach the corners with one of your vacuum cleaner attachments. Rooms with high ceilings may require you to climb a ladder to get at the cobwebs.

Tops of cabinets:

Whether you have space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling or an armoire in a living room or bedroom, it’s probably time to get out a ladder.

Remember, whichever room you clean, it’s best to start high and work your way down because dust and dirt will become dislodged as you clean and make their way downward.

Don’t forget to clean you cleaning supplies. Though we’ll drop dishcloths and dish towels into the washing machine, we often leave the dust in the broom, and forget to wipe out the bucket and clean the mop.

What cleaning supplies and tools are helpful?

Before you begin tackling the challenge of house cleaning, you will want to make sure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies on hand. From tools of the trade, such as vacuums and rags, to cleaning products like Windex and baking soda, this list can serve as a comprehensive guide to assist you with house cleaning.

Vacuum cleaner:

The best way to begin cleaning a room is to eliminate the dust, dirt and visible debris. Go over all carpeted and bare floors with an upright or handheld vacuum cleaner.

Regular vacuuming will also significantly improve the appearance and life of your carpets.


Once the floors in your home are vacuumed, a mop is vital for getting rid of stains and eliminating bacteria from the floor.

Choose a mop with a longer handle so that you are comfortable using it, and pair it with a bucket full of warm water and a cleaning solution.


The cleaning product is designed to remove smudges and stains on your glass items, such as tables, windows or mirrors.

Spray it directly on the glass surface, and wipe it off with a clean rag, or wipe it down with a squeegee.

All-purpose cleaner:

If you can only have one cleaning product in your home, it should be a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner.

It can be sprayed on most household surfaces and wiped off to easily remove bacteria, germs, smudges and stains.

Baking soda:

This inexpensive item is a staple for cleaning the home. Not only does it have cleaning properties, but it is also a great way to remove unpleasant odors.

Use it as a paste with water on spills to clean the carpet and eliminate smells.


A supply of rags is vital when cleaning a home. Use them for cleaning bathrooms, windows, kitchen countertops and more.

Have enough so that you can use different rags with different cleaning products. Plus, cloth rags can be washed and reused.


If you are using lots of chemical cleaners, washing dishes or scrubbing toilets, you will need a pair of gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals.

Choose a rubber pair that extends up to your elbows for the best protection.


While your all-purpose cleaner will work to clean many surfaces in the home, invest in a few specialty polishes for surfaces like stainless steel or wooden tables.

What about green cleaning?

If you’re concerned about climate change, resource depletion and recycling, consider these environmentally-friendly tips for cleaning your home.

Reuse and recycle instead of throwing away

Whenever you consider throwing something away, make it a practice to try and find another use for it. Instead of using paper towels, try rags that can easily be laundered and used again. Instead of throw-away floor cleaning pads, consider using equipment that makes use of steam and pads.

Since steaming tools use water to help with the cleaning process, they tend to be healthier for the environment than many toxic-laced commercial products. Also, weigh whether the use of recycled products may be more environmentally friendly than taking up the resources you would use for laundering.

How to make your own cleaning products?

Rather than purchasing products with hazardous ingredients, try making natural cleaning products using these tips.

  • Green Tip 1: Use a lemon juice and water mix to clean glass and mirrors. An old T-shirt torn to make rags can work well to clean those messy glass table tops without leaving streaks.

  • Green Tip 2: Mix lemon juice and olive oil to make a great smelling furniture polish.

  • Green Tip 3: Make a paste of salt, vinegar and flour to polish metal surfaces.

  • Green Tip 4: Throwing a handful of salt into a wood-burning fireplace can help loosen up the soot buildup.

  • Green Tip 5: Use vinegar and water on bare floors to leave them fresh.

  • Green Tip 6: Use vinegar and baking soda to clean out clogged pipes and drains, or to deodorize your kitchen sink.

  • Green Tip 7: Use lemon juice and hot water to remove foul smells from your garbage disposal.

If you prefer not to do all of the cleaning work yourself, there are professional house cleaning and maid services near you that use green cleaning products.

How to hire nearby cleaning services?

You don't have to be wealthy to hire a maid service or residential cleaning services near you. Many busy families arrange for a service to come in once a week, once a month or something in between.

Professional house cleaners can take care of tasks like vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors and so on while family members focus on keeping control of clutter and light cleaning of the bathrooms and kitchens.

When hiring, ask questions: Are you insured? Do you hire all your employees or are independent workers used? How many workers do you use? 

Have the local prospective house cleaner meet you at your home so you can walk from room to room asking what type of cleaning they will do and with what products. Most cleaning companies provide their own products, but if there are special products you prefer that they use this may cost extra.

Most experts recommend keeping consistency in cleaning. It’s preferable to use the same person every time if the experience is satisfactory as different cleaners are likely to clean in different ways.

Finally, trust is extremely important. Unlike most other service providers, house cleaners typically come to your home while you're at work so you need to feel comfortable allowing them access to your home. If you are a member of Angie's List you will be able to search for house cleaners in your geographic area and pick someone who has consistently received high grades from other customers.

What are typical cleaning services prices?

Prices for hiring house cleaning services vary depending on where you live, the size of your home and how much cleaning needs to be done.  Angie's List members who hired housekeepers or a maid service in 2014 reported paying between $100 and $150 for a biweekly cleaning.

Typically, a house cleaning entails vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the toilets and shower, cleaning the kitchen and general tidying, but be sure to ask your residential cleaning service what is included in a basic cleaning.

Homeowners in need of a more intense house cleaning may opt for a deep-cleaning service. Angie's List members reported paying $175 to $275 for a deep cleaning.

Leave a Comment - 41



Subject: I am a house cleaner / organizer

My friends tell me I see dirt no one else see's and I love to make sure they don't . I am great at organization of spaces, drawers and cabinets . I'm very thorough and flexible and patient . I charge 50 hr to 100hr depending the degree of the first clean and Sq foot of home . After the first initial cleaning and there after if I clean 1 -2 times a week the price drops in accordance . Normal cleaning day is 2-4 hrs and I'm always availble for extended hours if requested or for extra extensive cleaning , i Am dependable , honest and have references and not afraid of bathrooms. . Thank you Karen ( Las Vegas )


Subject: house cleaning

i would like to know the going rate to get a two bedrooms kitchen sunroom and two bathrooms cleaned. I was a given a rate of 70 for two people for two hours.


Subject: Cleaning service

It is a long and expensive story. I won't bore you with all the details. What I will tell you is DON'T sign anything unless you read the contract and totally understand everything!! Better yet, sleep on it! Talk it over with someone you trust.Don't let the rep to pressure you. If you sign and later want to change your mind, it will COST you!! The cleaning was fine, it was the OTHER THINGS!!

Carlo Smith

Subject: I must admit - I always

I must admit - I always forget to clean my doorknobs! It's ironic because literally all people who go in and out of the rooms touch them, so they must belong to the ""dirtiest things"" group in our house. Thanks for the reminder!


Subject: housecleaner

If you need help cleaning the house, I can help you I have been cleaning for over 8 years , I m a realible person I live in Baltimore area .


Subject: A handy woman

My house has outgrown it's content. There is clutter every where. I have tried to tackle the job myself, but to no avail. My constant health problems continue to impede my progress. I need to sort, store away, and give away a lot of items. Therefore, I am not sure how long this project will take, working anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a day.


Subject: house cleaning

I have been cleaning for over 15 years and I love doing it, I have had some hard one and some not so hard but I would never change my job because I love the people I work for here in stillwater oklahoma


Subject: Looking for a cleaning lady to clean my house.

I'm seeking for a reliable cleaning person whom I can trust in my home .my husband and I work I have no time on the weekend to do any house stuff I also need for someone to iron my husband clothing.i also have to little dogs who like to bark when a stranger come into the house once they get to known you they will stop barking. I live in Staten Island I would like for someone to come in on Fridays to clean the house,to dust, vacuum , mop, and most of all clean my bathrooms. Please Help me find someone trust with my belongings oh! Before I forget my kitchen is brand new when clean they must be very gently . I take pride of my home and my personnel stuff. Thank you for considering me and my family.

James F Oden

Subject: housecleaners

I need someone to do the housecleaning that I can no longer do my self. Mop floors, clean windows and shutters, bathroom mirrors that I can no longer reach, etc. Please contact me by email.

Wanda Stemen

Subject: Need a Housekeeper


New to the area and in need of a bi-monthly Cleaning Lady(s). 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in Butternut Wi.



Alice Kohls

Subject: House cleaning

I live in Murrieta/Menifee area and would like to find an independent gal to clean my house where I want it cleaned not where they think they should clean. I am 75yrs old and no long can vaccum or clean floors etc so I just need someone to do the thing I cannot do. For instance, the mirrors in my baths are high and you need to get on a stool to get all of it but one company would not let the girls go any higher than their reach so dusting on the top shelves and top of mirrors etc were not done. I need someone that can do those things and is reliable and not too costly. Please help.!

Robin Cohen

Subject: housecleaner/housekeeper

I need a trustworthy house cleaner/housekeeper 2 1/2 days a week. The house is presently clean, but I am 78 and physically limited in movement and need washing, ironing, windows, floors, vacuuming etc. It is a three bedroom,, 2700 sq foot house with one loveable dog.. Salary depending on experience and applicant must be legal and have a SS number, speak fluent English, and experience..


Subject: House cleaning

I'm a house cleaner for 7 years I'm hard worker and onset person I have strong reference I'm living in Maryland


Subject: need help from trustworthy person

I am disabled and just had neck surgery. I live alone and there is a lot of things that need to be done. how can I be sure I can trust someone. I am also very poor eye sight and deaf in one ear and use a cane for my poor balance. I do not have a lot of money.. Can you help me? I live on South Whidbey Island, Washington

Roxann Owen

Subject: housecleaning

My husband and I have 7 dogs and a lot of DUST. I am partially disabled and can't keep up with the cleaning and need some help to keep the dirt under control.

joseph wittmeyer

Subject: help

I am disabled and I cannot bend so things have really fallen into disrepair. This will be an ongoing project. I need someone I trust and they will view my home prior to any contract. Good long tern project!! Need the right person Now!!!

Lorena Guerra

Subject: House cleaning Services

I live in Anaheim and I am looking for house keepers to clean the empty house that we are moving into this weekend. I am looking for Friday availability. thanks

Sheree Novick

Subject: Housecleaning gift

My son and his wife just had a baby. She needs a lot of help now with a new baby and my son at work. Do you recommend any housekeepers in the Downey, California area ? I would like to buy her a gift of 6 weeks of housekeeping until she is back on her feet.

Katie Jacewicz
Katie Jacewicz

Subject: Downey house cleaners

Hi Sheree, Congratultions on the new baby! Looks like there are 349 house cleaning companies on our list, but only 63 have been highly rated by members in your area. You can get more local information by copying and pasting this link into your Internet browser:  If you decide to join our service in order to find a Downey house cleaner, use promo code "ANSWERS" to receive 20% off an annual membership. Thanks again!

victoria beck

Subject: housecleaning-big inatial job-need Very patient person

I am looking for a reliable housekeeper...Initially, job will look overwhelming, I am disabled and stuff has just built up. However, with a very Patient person, we will work together, I cannot bend so things have really fallen into disrepair. This will be an ongoing project. I need someone I trust and they will view my home prior to any contract. Good long tern project!! Need the right person Now!!!

Linda Cervantes

Subject: House Cleaner

I'm a very hard working individual will always respect my employee wishes Will work as long as I'm needed . Just need too work . If anyone its interested please contact me .

khadar Mohamed Farah

Subject: ironing

Hi there, I khadar Mohamed Farah a home based ironing service for many years, so I feel well qualified to point out the positives and the pitfalls, so here goes. I started off by charging by the black bag of ironing - believe me, if you charge by the bag, your customers will find extremely creative ways of cramming as many items in as they can, by folding items up to the size of a postage stamp! However, once you've given the customer a price, you can't go back on it, even if there's a hundred items in the bag (a personal experience of mine). As well as earning very little for that work, the other difficulty is that because you don't know how many items will be in the bag, it's almost impossible to work out a proper time schedule, e.g. you might say that ironing would be delivered back at a certain time, but there might be so many items that it isn't possible in that time scale - this affects how customers see you in terms of reliability. It also means that because items are crammed in, they can be almost impossible to iron, so you have to spend a lot more time on each one - believe me, when you are working to volume, it can be soul destroying! After trying that approach, I then decided to charge by the item, but the way I went about it literally tied me up in knots. I was charging one price for a gent's shirt, ladies shirt,school uniforms, etc, different prices for kids items etc, but what happened if someone put in pyjamas? or bedding? You could go on and on categorising them, but you don't know in advance what's in each bag, so, if for example someoone gave me 70 items, then a lot of time had to be spent dividing up the items into categories to work out the price. It also meant that the customer didn't know how much they would be charged in advance and if they queried it on the doorstep when we delivered it back, we then had to get out a list of how many items at such and such a price etc - again, soul destroying, but a great learning curve. The best way is to charge a flat rate for every item of clothing except bedding. I charged each single bedding item as 2 items, doubles and king size as 3 items, pillowslips as 1 item) Some people might say, but why am I paying the same amount for a kid's item as a gents or ladies? The answer is that they are paying for your TIME and from experience, there are a lot of childrens items, e.g. small fiddly girls dresses which take a lot more time than simply ironing a shirt. I just made it clear that that was how I priced things and some people liked it, some didn't. The advantage to me was that when I received the items, I quickly counted and sorted them, worked out the price for the bill and the customer always knew in advance how much they would have to pay. As they are usually also on a budget, then it's better all round. I provided the first set of hangers free, but put a nice polite note in, asking them to send them back next time 'to help the environment', but also it helped to keep down my costs. It also makes the customer more likely to use your service again - little bit of psychology which does work. I did the same with the poly bags you put over the items, and I ABSOLUTELY, NEVER, EVER, EVER put more than 2 items in one bag - otherwise they get creased. When I returned the ironing, I had an invoice stapled on each bag, with the customer's name and address, number of items, and the cost - not forgetting to put at the bottom 'Thank you for your custom').This makes it look very professional and distinguishes you from the people who put up ads on lamp posts! You can also do it on your home computer, so it doesn't cost much, but is very effective. Also, when you answer the phone, make sure you do it in a professional way, always assume that it will be a customer - my kids were aware from an early age that this was my 'job' even though I was working at home, so they always piped down when the phone rang! It's easy when you start out to undercut your local opposition, but it's more profitable to at least match them, and really add value in what you offer, whether it's spraying a nice spray on their bed linen as you iron it (with their permission obviously), or a loyalty card (you can get them on vistaprint), because not everyone is price-sensitive, they are looking more for quality. Clearly not everyone will have that approach - some people want a bargain basement price, but for that, they must expect a bargain basement service. After a while, I really built up a regular clientele, and if for example, they told me they didn't need me one week because they were on holiday or whatever, I made up an index card for each customer and wrote it down, so next time I saw them, I'd mention it - this greatly improves your relationship with that person, especially as they're entrusting their whole family's clothes to you, many of which might be very expensive items. To sum up, go for quality not just quantity, offer the kind of service you'd like to have yourself, be ultra professional and use all the free advertising opportunities that exist. Feel free to PM me if you want any more info - I might actually write an e-book about this and put it online!! (another business opportunity!)

marisol garcia

Subject: house cleaning

I worked for 10 years cleaning and careing for their house.I'm a very hard worker honest on time.and good of what I do


Subject: Cleaning lady

I have a wonderful,trusting cleaning lady!
She is like a part of our family...we just love her.

Paul Teresi

Subject: Live in house keeper

Proffesional Family looking for person 2 clean....... 4 room and board many amenities large in ground pool game room with pool table...just 2 much work for working wife, 3 people in home husband wife and 17 year old son.married 27 years motorcyclist,52 at age 22 in heart.


Subject: Housekeeper,i have a

Housekeeper,i have a wonderful lady I trust an is very reliable I. Lex ky..she will always show up ,and do an excellent job.

elizabeth jackson

Subject: need hiusekeeper in lex ky

Looking for dependable housekeeper in lex ky for bi weekly cleaning. Bathrooms kitchen and sweep and mop linoleum areas with alternating dusting and wiping baseboards.

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