What Is Deep Cleaning And When Should You Do It?

Everyone has areas in their home that they miss each time they clean. Years ago, people used to deep clean their houses every spring, hence the name spring cleaning, so what is deep cleaning, when should we be doing it, and what should we clean? 

What is deep cleaning? 

Traditionally a deep clean is where the whole house is cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom. Deep cleaning would be done at least once, sometimes even twice a year.  The deep clean was often done during the warmer weather so rugs could be beaten, washed, dried outside, and furniture such as bedsteads, bedding, cots, and chairs could be placed outside to air while floors were swept clean. 

  Years ago, each house had a coal fire, which made everything in the house dusty, covered in ash, and dirty, so deep cleaning was certainly needed to clean fixtures and fittings that often got missed during regular cleaning. 

 Keeping the home clean was essential to prevent the spread of diseases and maintain good health for the household. Great care was taken to strip everything out of the house, room by room, and each room was cleaned top to bottom.  

In Scotland, deep cleaning was traditionally done just before New Year to get rid of the old and welcome in the new.  A tradition that is still practiced today! 

Traditional deep cleaning

  1. Mirrors and pictures

    Mirrors and pictures would be polished using water, vinegar, and scrunched up newspapers. 

  2. Floors

    Floors were swept then scrubbed by hand; sometimes, they were scrubbed with dry Fuller’s Earth or sand as it was often thought that wetting a floor would cause dampness.

  3. Rugs and carpet

    Rugs and carpets were taken up, beaten, then re-laid, sometimes dried tea leaves were sprinkled onto a carpet or rug then brushed out to grab any dust within the carpets.  

  4. Curtains

    Curtains were beaten, washed, and hung to dry.

  5. Furniture

    Wooden furniture was given special treatment with oils and waxes.

  6. Walls and ceilings

    Walls and ceilings were washed down then whitewashed or papered.

  7. Woodwork and walls

    If you were lucky, woodwork would be repainted after the deep clean. 

  8. Dusting

    Dusting would be done with a painter’s brush or detailing brush and a feather duster.
    To remove dust from any crevices, bread dough was pushed into the corners to grab any hard-to-reach dust.
    Bits of rolled-up bread were also used to pick up any glass shards after a breakage had been swept up.

  9. Clothes

    In the bedroom, furs and woolen clothes were put away, ready for the summer.

How long does a deep cleaning take? 

Traditionally deep cleaning may take a full weekend depending on how many were living in the home.  

Is deep cleaning necessary these days? 

Well, in theory, yes, we should be cleaning our house thoroughly regularly. However, we have far more gadgets to help us clean, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, steam mops, making it far easier to keep our homes clean these days.  

However, after doing some research in my lovely Facebook cleaning group (Join here) these are the things that my group members said they were not cleaning regularly in their home.  

The most commonly overlooked jobs when cleaning the home. 

  • Plug holes 
  • Door handles 
  • Top of the closet 
  • Inside, outside, and above kitchen cabinets 
  • Cleaning out toaster 
  • Behind the fridge and stove 
  • Cleaning the washing machine and edges  
  • Defrosting the freezer 
  • Window ledges sills  
  • Light fittings, bulbs, lamps shades 
  • Under bathroom sink 
  • Top of doors 
  • Cleaning a washing basket 
  • Baseboards 
  • Dishwasher lip 
  • On top of the microwave  
  • Backsplash 
  • Tops of fans 
  • Ceilings 
  • Light switches  
  • Underneath furniture 
  • Corners and cobwebs
  • Anything you can’t see or reach 
  • Dust behind pictures and wall decor 
  • Top of fridge 
  • Wood trim and edges 
  • Keeping the ring out of the toilet 
  • Front and back Doors 
  • Underneath beds. 
  • Base and behind the toilets where they meet the floor 
  • Blinds 
  • The fridge 
  • Under the couch and chairs 
  • Under the range hood 
  • Behind doors 
  • Walls 
  • Dishwasher trim 
  • Door panels  
  • Under the sink area where you usually store cleaning products. 
  • Window panes  
  • Curtain rods  
  • Screens  
  • Window tracks 
  • Window slides 
  • Vents 
  • Curtains 
  • Showerhead 
  • Bathroom light fixtures and fans 
  • All filters 
  • Furnace  
  • Stove 
  • Vertical blinds 
  • Windows 
  • Kitchen kickboards  
  • The top metal of glass shower screens, 
  • Top of air conditioner 
  • Around taps and base of the toilet 
  • Faucet shower, sink heads 
  • Hood 
  • Sink stoppers or plugs  
  • Banisters and stairs  
  • Ceiling vents 
  • Cobwebs in ceiling corners 
  • Wooden Venetian blinds  
  • Trash cans and wastebaskets inside and out 
  • Vacuuming the mattress 
  • Oven 
  • Stair rails 
  • Under the edge of the kitchen counter
  • Dishwasher filter. 
  • Taking the toilet seat off and cleaning it properly 
  • Vacuuming the edges of the carpet 
  • The toilet paper roll holder 
  • Under the kitchen table 
  • Bathroom vanity lightbulbs 
  • Light attachments and the cable and behind anything hanging on the wall 
  • Cleaning the back of your fridge freezer 
  • Cleaning the grooves in doors. 
  • Borders along the walls 
  • Cleaning behind radiator 
  • Floor tiles & grouting  
  • Cleaning the light fixtures at the top of the stairs  
  • Curtain tops 
  • Backs of TV’s 
  • The thermostat 
  • Remote controls and door entry system, buttons, receiver cord etc. 
  • Curtain poles/ shower curtain poles, shower curtain 
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave  
  • Closets 
  • Plug holes 
  • Inside of drawers and pantry 
  • The inside of the detergent drawer in the washing machine  
  • Moldy caulk lines in shower stalls. 
  • Tiles and grout 

I’ve put all of the most commonly missed areas on a printable list for you to download below !

deep cleaning list

How often should we deep clean these areas? 

If it’s dirty clean it, why wait? Get into a habit of cleaning these things every time you clean a room. 

When I cleaned houses, I would rotate the deep cleaning of each room: one week I would clean the whole house but detail clean the kitchen, then the next time I would detail clean another room until after about 2 months it was time to do the kitchen again. It worked well, and it meant that my client’s homes were always deep cleaned without them having to pay extra or without me having to devote extra hours to a complete deep clean. The system worked perfectly, and it’s one I still use in my own home. 

Get into the habit of using the ABBI method,  clean:

  • Above
  • Below
  • Behind
  • Inside  


Do house cleaners do a deep clean each time? 

It depends on how long you pay them for and what you agree on beforehand. 
 Some clients I cleaned for preferred to keep their house clean themselves and to paid me to do the jobs they didn’t have time for. Other people only paid me to clean the essentials, so I didn’t have time for the deep cleaning tasks.
For most clients, I rotated the jobs as I explained above, which worked out well. This is the method I tend to use in my own home, as I dread the thought of having to do a deep clean twice a year! 

Read this post to find out what your cleaner should be cleaning each time she visits your home.

deep cleaning

 What do you sometimes miss when you clean your home every week, let us know in the comments! 

One thought on “What Is Deep Cleaning And When Should You Do It?

  1. Gerald Landis says:

    I call the young Mexican lady who
    cleans our house usually monthly a deep cleaner. She seems to follow many of your hacks. However to keep up with her work daily deep cleaning would be nice.

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