House Cleaning Tips – The Ultimate List

updated: 05/10/2023

There Must Be A Better Way To Do The House Cleaning!

You are standing in the middle of your kitchen, having a mixed look of disdain and resignation, and you have realised for the hundredth time that you are not particularly good at domestic cleaning. There is certainly a better, quicker, more efficient way to do these damnable chores! You are on the right path, trooper – there is! And we are here to share our knowledge with you, giving you access to the ultimate list of house cleaning tips!


The Basic Materials For Domestic Cleaning

Before we start with the proper tips, do not forget that home cleaning requires a wide range of sanitary products.

  • Your favourite all-purpose cleaning spray

  • Degreaser

  • Bleach

  • Toilet cleaner

  • Scouring powder

  • A hard bristle scrubber – a short handle

  • Paper towels

  • Two sponges-one with a soft, or white backing, and one with a hard, or green backing

  • Window cleaning fluid-this can also be used on mirrors (or a bottle of white vinegar)

  • Brass/wood polishes if needed

  • Newspaper (for mirrors and windows)

  • Broom and dustpan

  • Mop

  • Vacuum (store the “real” vacuum where there is the most carpet; and carpet sweeper where there is the least)

  • Rubbish bags-both sizes small and large.

Before you head to the nearest supermarket, though, there are a few things you should always keep in mind:

  • In spite of all the promises made by a lot of commercial cleaning products, water is all you need for the majority of jobs, such as wiping down tables and dusting. Water dissolves an awful lot of smears and will float dirt off. If you have a lot of dusting to do (around window sills, on bookshelves, etc), you will need several rags, as one will get dirty very quickly. Warm water is not necessary but it can make things a bit more pleasant.

  • While doing so will make your manicurist gasp in horror, fingernails are superb cleaning tools. You can’t beat them for cleaning wax off wood or tablecloths (in the case of a tablecloth, you may need to get the last bit of residue off by padding the area of the spill with a lot of loo paper or tissues, then holding a hot iron over the spot to melt the wax so it can be absorbed by the paper). And they also help get stubborn fly-spots and the like off windows.

  • Newspapers are great for window cleaning. Scrunch them up and use them to buff the glass up after spraying on whatever window cleaner fancy. The ammonia-based products can be tough on the eyes and nose, but dilute vinegar (the best natural alternative, closely followed by dilute vodka) works just as well. Change sheets of newspaper as soon as they look damp or they will disintegrate and leave papier-mâché all over the window, TV screen (a CRT glass screen) or shower door.

  • Keep old toothbrushes. They are perfect for getting into lots of little nooks and crannies that get covered with gunk. Have one for cleaning around the hinge of the loo seat and another for other scrubbing jobs (e.g. around filigree or fretwork in wood).

The House Cleaning Tips You Always Wanted To Know

  1. Before you start cleaning your home, declutter the rooms. Remove all unnecessary belongings and make space for those which you will need and use. Find a space for each item, and always try to put everything in its place. Your home will look messy and you will not be able to clean everywhere properly if you don’t keep the rooms tidy.

  2. Instead of spending a whole day of cleaning, you can separate the tasks into smaller pieces of work, which you can complete for up to an hour each. Doing one of them every day will not make you tired, but will have a visible difference, and your home will always be in a reasonably clean condition.

  3. Using the right cleaning materials and equipment will help you a lot in the cleaning process. Make sure you have a variety of sponges, microfibre cloths, a mop, a bucket, a vacuum cleaner, and bottles of cleaning solutions for the different surfaces. Some people decide to make their cleaning products, which saves them money. As they are made from natural ingredients, they are 100% safe.

  4. You must do the cleaning when you are in a good mood. Play your favourite music and think about the reward you will get once you are done with the cleaning. It will help you do the work right and the results will be excellent.

  5. Choosing the right time to do the cleaning is also essential for your success. You will finish quicker and you will not be distracted if you do the cleaning while your family members are out of your way. Alternatively, you can get them to give you a hand – prepare a task for each of them and let them do the task on their own.

  6. Start upstairs with the room to your left – let’s say it’s a bedroom. Strip the bed and throw the laundry into the hallway, then go through with your large garbage bag and start tossing. When you’re done, clean, dust, vacuum, and make the bed. Move onto the next room, and so on. Garbage and linen should get tossed first, then clean from the top of the room down, saving the vacuuming and bed making for last.

  7. For perfect results in the dishwasher, you can add a bit of vinegar apart from the dishwashing tablets. The vinegar dissolves grease and makes the dishes and glasses look sparkling.

  8. To remove the limescale from the sink, pour a glass of lemon juice and leave it to develop for an hour. Then scrub it with a sponge, rinse with clean water and polish with a soft cloth.

  9. You have probably noticed there is a lot of limescale building up inside the kettle. To clean it, pour a half bottle of vinegar and let it boil. Leave it for 10 minutes before you rinse it and make it ready for use.

  10. To disinfect the worktops, you can consider cleaning with vinegar. Mix in a spray bottle warm water and vinegar, scrub the surfaces and wipe down with a clean cloth. This method removes stains and also disinfects.

  11. To wipe down the dust, prepare a mix of warm water and vinegar. You may also add a drop of essential oil to refresh the room. Start from the top of the wardrobes, clean the shelves inside and the drawers, the skirting boards, and the window sills.

  12. To clean the windows from inside, mix some vinegar with water and spray it onto the glass. Use a paper towel to clean it properly.

  13. Vacuum the floor by lifting all belongings from the floor, clean under the bed and behind the chest of drawers as the dust is everywhere, no matter whether you see it or not.

  14. To wash the shower curtain, take it down and wash it in the washing machine with  matching colours garments. Leave it to dry on fresh air before you put it back. You can repeat this at least every couple of weeks to avoid bad smells from the shower curtain.

  15. To remove mildew from the bath or shower, use a concentrate of bleach. Spray it and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Bear in mind this may not help to remove mildew from silicone.

  16. To make your room smell fresh, when using the vacuum cleaner, you can add a few drops of a nice smelling essential oil close to the vent of the hot water of your vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can add vacuum freshener tablets into the bag of the vacuum cleaner.

  17. To clean the top of the wardrobes or the kitchen cupboards, you can use the brush attachments of your vacuum cleaner. They will help you reach every single corner and remove all the dust.

  18. To wipe away fingerprints from stainless steel appliances, you can use baby oil on a napkin, and all the fingerprints will be completely gone.

  19. To avoid scrubbing the microwave, place a glass of water and lemon juice and let it boil for five minutes. The steam will dissolve the grease, and you will be able to wipe it down easily.

  20. You can use soap leftovers to make your liquid soap. Place the bits in an empty bottle, add some glycerine and water, and your liquid soap is ready.

  21. To remove unpleasant odours from your room, you can light a match and let it burn. You will notice a significant difference in the indoor air.

  22. If your toilet bowl looks dirty and you are not able to remove the nasty stains with any detergent, you can try pouring Coke and leaving it to develop for a few hours. It is so strong that it can dissolve limescale and dirt.

  23. Shower curtains become smelly and grubby and you will have to wash them every two to three weeks. You can wash upholstery in the washing machine the usual way with some towels and other pieces of laundry.

  24.  Heavy furniture can often leave deep indentations on carpets. So can lighter pieces standing on castors or other narrow things that are in contact with the floor. To get these indentations out, get a steam iron and set it on high. Do NOT iron the carpet directly – instead, use the “steam shot” function (most steam irons have it), and shoot the indentation with the steam. It should spring up again immediately. Alternatively, get your carpets professionally cleaned with a steam cleaning machine – this is one reason why your carpets feel so nice after a heavy-duty steam clean: the fibres have all plumped out and sprung up again.

  25. If your bath is filthy (e.g. because you’ve just moved into a place where the previous occupant left hurriedly and didn’t do a proper tidying job before moving out), you can take a lot of the hard work out by filling the bath with warm (not hot) water and dissolving eco-friendly washing powder. Let it stand overnight, then drain in the morning (use rubber gloves to remove the plug). Rinse out any residue. Most of the grub should have gone. If it hasn’t, rub it away with a little baking soda.

  26. You can use a paste of salt and water to clean the inside of porcelain cups that have had one cup of tea too many, leaving a stain on the inside.

  27. White chalk removes grease stains from wallpaper – just “scribble” over the mark and the chalk will absorb the oils. The method is good for kitchens where grease is likely to spatter everywhere.

  28. Cold black tea – the ordinary sort – can be mixed with glycerine in the proportion of 1 T glycerine to 1 pint of tea to make a natural window cleaner.

  29. If you have to scrub a floor on your hands and knees, get hold of one of those kneeling mats sold in garden shops. Don’t use a cushion – it will get soaked and grubby.

  30. A feather duster made of real feathers is great for cleaning computers, as they use static electricity to pick up dust and other junk from keyboards and off plasma/LCD screens. Hen feathers are pretty good, but ostrich feathers are better still if you can get them. Give a feather duster a good shake outside on a windy day to get rid of the dust.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.