You’re excited about moving into your new home, but the prospect of cleaning up all the dirty little details has you worried. How are you going to have time to tidy up any messes that may have been left in a newly built home, or in a home that has already been occupied? You know it’s a whole lot easier to clean before moving day, and you don’t want any surprises when you cross the threshold. Boxes, furniture, big-screen televisions, heavy appliances, and any other items shuffled in ahead of time can make cleaning a real, if not impossible, chore.
Easier and Smoother
Wherever you move, cleaning ahead of time is the way to make your move a whole lot easier and smoother. The prospect of walking into a clean home knowing that everything is spick-and-span gives you a fresh outlook and some relief from the stress of a major move. So, just how do you clean a new home before your belongings arrive on your doorstep? Here are some guidelines that can be of help.
STEPS IN THE CLEANING PROCESS
There are steps in the cleaning process that are helpful with your “before I move in my new home cleaning day.” Organizing and gathering of supplies is a good start. Here are some of the main items that you should have on hand:
General cleaning products and tools –
- dish detergent,
- baking soda,
- window cleaner,
- floor cleaners,
- general spray cleaner,
- powdered sink cleaner,
- shower/bathtub spray cleaner,
- toilet bowl cleaner,
- stainless steel cleaner,
- dishwasher soap,
- steel wool soap pads
- specialized cleaners
- Plastic dishpan
- Dust mop
- wet floor mop/microfiber mop
- Hand duster/long extension pole
- Toilet brush
- Step stool
- Rubber gloves
- disposable gloves
- Cotton rags or microfiber cloths
- fabric sheets/fabric softener
- Paper towels
- brush scrubbers
- long handle scrubber
- Glass squeegee
WHERE TO START? (the bathrooms)
Since you will probably need the use of a bathroom during your cleaning marathon, it’s probably the best place to begin your cleaning journey. Start with any upstairs bathroom first.
Go with the top down method, which means dusting the upper corners, ceiling, fixtures, vents and fans. If the fan and vent are really dirty, get your step stool or ladder out and take down the vent and fan covers and soak them in a bucket or dish pan with some of that “blue detergent.” In the meantime, dust the interior areas of any vents or fans. If any light fixture glass globes are dirty, do the same thing with the dish soap washing and drying process.
If your new bathroom has windows, dust and clean any window ledges and window coverings or blinds. Spray the glass with window cleaner and run your squeegee down it to get a clean, smooth and even finish, or go the old-fashioned method of spray and wipe.
Bathroom cabinets, closets and storage spaces
Start with the medicine cabinet. Give it a thorough inside and outside washing and drying. If there is a mirror with the cabinet, once again use the window spray and squeegee to make fast work of it. Also, wash and dry out any linen and other closets and storage spaces that are in the bathroom area.
Shower and Tub
Use your long-handled scrubber for both the shower and tub area. If there is a glass enclosure, once again, use your window spray and squeegee to get rid of any dust, water spots or streaking.
Dispense or pour toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet. Allow it to stand for a bit while you clean the outside of the toilet, the back, and top of it as well as the toilet base, toilet seat, and flush handle. Go back and scrub the toilet bowl and under the rim with the toilet brush.
Wash the bathroom sink, countertops and the fixtures, and dry them with soft cloths or paper towels. Spray the mirrors with the window cleaner and either dry with paper towels, cotton cloths or the squeegee.
ON TO THE KITCHEN
Cleaning a kitchen can be a laborious and time consuming area to clean because of grease, cooking odors, and other yucky messes so, again, you’ll want to start from the top and get your step ladder out if necessary.
Again, dust the ceiling, corners, fixtures, vents and fans. Remove any of the fixture glass, vents and fan covers if they are greasy or stained. Soak them in a bucket or dishpan with a grease formula detergent.
Wash down the walls and make it easy on yourself by using a clean sponge mop or microfiber mop head to make the job easier and faster. Watch for black marks from fingerprints and other sticky drips and stains. Moistened fabric sheets or fabric softeners are great for removing many sticky spots.
Clean the interior of the cabinets with a mild cleaner, particularly if they have been painted or have liners. Think about using liners in cabinets as they can help you conserve cleaning time as well as serve as a safe and clean space for your dishes.
Also, clean the cabinet tops to get rid of dust and debris and move on to the cabinet fronts. Use a wood cleaner or mild detergent to clean them. If there are any grease stains, apply baking soda and water in a paste form and allow it to set. Go on to clean any drawer pulls, handles and the interior of the drawers.
If your countertops and backsplashes are of a particular material, like granite, quartz, marble, wood or ceramic tile, be sure to have the right cleaner on hand for any of them. Clean between any cracks or grout to remove marks or food debris buildup. Carefully use a putty knife to clean those areas. Backsplashes can be cleaned with baking soda and water, or a general spray cleaner.
Appliances and Fixtures
Depending on the type of sink, non-chlorine bleach can do a good job of both cleaning and sanitizing it. Spray the sink with the bleach, allow it to sit and soak. Rinse it well and go through the same process with any drain plugs. Powdered cleanser will work as well. If there are any lingering odors from the sink, mix baking soda and water and pour it down the sink. If the sink is stainless steel, use a stainless steel cleaner to give the sink a final finished and polished look.
Dishwasher and Microwave
One simple way to clean a dishwasher is to use a cup of white vinegar in a safe container and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Set the dishwasher cycle for hot water. Any grease, grime and odors should be removed. Baking soda also works well. Just sprinkle a cup around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through the cycle. Dishwasher soap or a soap pod can also be run through a cycle, minus any dishes, to get the interior clean. Clean the front of the dishwasher with a non-abrasive cleaner and, again, if it has a stainless steel front, you can use a stainless steel cleaner or window spray to give it a clean and polished look.
Cleaning a microwave is a fast process. Simply combine water and baking soda (about a cup of water and two tablespoons of baking soda). Place a microwavable cup in the microwave and set it on high for two minutes. Wipe out any moisture on the interior of the revolving glass plate and ring holder with a sponge or cotton cloth. Eliminate any cooking odors with a teaspoon of lemon juice combined with a cup of water and set the microwave again. The “blue” dish detergent can also do the job of cleaning a microwave. Finish by cleaning the front of the microwave with glass cleaner and paper towels or use a mild spray cleaner to remove any fingerprints, grease and food residue.
Sweep or dust mop floors or even vacuum them if you have to get into cracks and crevices to rid those areas of dust, dirt, and crumbs. Once the floors are free of any debris, wet mop them with the appropriate floor cleaner and allow it to dry.
Before doing anything, remove the oven racks, drip pans and stovetop burners. For the interior of the oven, use a regular oven cleaner if the oven is crusted over or greasy. Baking soda, water, and vinegar work as well and will need time to set before scrubbing with a sponge or cloth.
Drip pans, oven racks, elements and dials
Soak the drip pans and oven racks in dish soap and hot water. While you are waiting, wipe away any grease or food build up on the burners as well as the oven temperature dials. Clean the top and front of the stove area and under the range hood. Use a grease remover for the hood area if a regular cleaner won’t cut the accumulation of any grease or food debris. Also, soak any underhood removable filters to free them from trapped grease. Once the drip pans and racks have soaked, carefully scrub them with a soft brush or steel wool type pad to remove any carbon or food accumulation.
Check the interior of the oven to see how the oven cleaner is working (at least 20 minutes are necessary to see any results). If the oven happens to be self-cleaning, turn on the appropriate oven cycle. Once the oven is clean, go ahead and wipe away the excess cleaner and wipe again with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Thoroughly dry the area before returning the oven racks.
Remaining Stove Areas
If possible, move the stove away from the wall and sweep and clean under it. Wipe the sides of the oven and any other areas hidden from view. If the oven is stainless steel, wipe the front and any lower oven drawer with stainless steel cleaner to give it a new and polished look. Return the oven to its space. Once it’s in place, return the oven racks, burners and drip pans to their spots.
The first thing to do is unplug the refrigerator. If it is not a self-defrosting model, allow the refrigerator to warm up and defrost the freezer section. Remove any racks, shelves, bins, hydrators, and drawers from the lower refrigerator and freezer sections. Clean the interior and any compartments with a mild cleaner and a soft cloth. If defrosting is necessary, a hairdryer can speed up the melting process. Once any ice buildup is gone and removed, wipe out the area with a mild cleaner and dry it with a cotton cloth.
Remaining Refrigerator Areas
Move the refrigerator away from the wall and sweep and clean under it. Clean the backside of it with a soft brush to remove any lint or other debris. Clean the top and sides of the refrigerator along with the inner seals and outer handles. If the refrigerator is a stainless steel model, apply stainless steel cleaner to bring a renewed look to it. Once clean and dry, replace the racks, shelves, bins, and drawers inside the refrigerator.
Whether the home you’re moving into has carpet, tile, wood, laminate or other types of flooring, there are ways to clean all of them.
If the carpet in your new home is dirty or dingy, think about bringing in a professional service to clean it before you occupy the house. Consider special cleaning if pets have occupied the space. If the carpet is new, clean and in good condition, thoroughly vacuum it once or twice before placing any furniture or other items on it.
With wood and faux wood floors, first sweep the main floor areas as well as under and around any heating vents and appliances. Move on to cleaning the floors with a floor mop and a wood floor cleaner, or a faux wood cleaner designed to lift ground in dirt.
For any other types of flooring, such as linoleum, tile, natural stone, and concrete, start with sweeping or vacuuming to remove dust and debris. Proceed with wet mopping with a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for the type of floor. Some flooring may require a protective finish, so look into what is appropriate for the particular type of flooring.
Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out effort if you have the right cleaning products, and the tools to do the job. Whether you’re moving to a new home or older home, read through the guidelines here to get an idea of how to make any cleaning job easier on yourself. A clean home can make all the difference when it comes to getting settled in a new environment. If you have further questions about cleaning and maintaining your new home, complete the online contact form, and a home expert will get back to you with the information you need to create a clean home environment for you and your family.