Raise your hand if you find keeping your home clean totally daunting. Or if you stumble upon dust, rust, or dirt in spots you totally forget about too often for comfort. We get it.
Which is why we created this super handy checklist with the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab to help you stay on top of how often you should bust out your cleaners and get to work – but there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.
First of all, the obvious: If something looks dirty, don’t wait – add it to your immediate to-do list. Secondly, when it comes to sanitation, our guidelines represent the bare minimum so you can ramp up those tasks as needed. Read on for more!
Tips for Cleaning Every Day
Clean coffee maker: Wash removable parts with warm, soapy water or stick dishwasher-safe pieces in the machine. Wipe down the outside and warming plate to remove spills.
Clean dirty dishes: Skip pre-rinsing. Today’s machines and detergents make it unnecessary – and a waste of water and time! Enzymes in your dishwasher detergent work better when they can attach themselves to food particles.
Sanitize sinks: Use an eraser-type sponge to remove marks, then sanitize by plugging the drain, filling the basin with warm water, and swishing a tablespoon of bleach around. Let it sit for five minutes, then rinse.
Tips for Cleaning Every Week
Clean inside of microwave: Heat a microwave-safe bowl filled with 1 cup of water and several tablespoons of vinegar on high power for several minutes until the mixture boils and the window is steamy.
Let cool for 5 minutes before opening the door, then remove the bowl, and wipe the inside clean with a sponge.
Sanitize sponges: Mix 3/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water and soak the sponge for five minutes, then rinse – that’s it.
Tips for Cleaning Every Month
Clean a washing machine: Use the special washer cleaner cycle on the newer models, or add a specialty cleaner like Affresh and run a normal cycle with hot water.
Clean dishwasher: Descale your machine by filling a large glass measuring cup with 2 cups of vinegar and placing it on the top rack. Then run the machine without detergent or heat dry.
Clean vacuum: Change your bag when it’s three-quarters full to keep suction strong and replace the filter if it’s very dirty or torn. Snip threads snarled in the brush with scissors or a seam ripper.
Tips for Cleaning Every 3-6 Months
Wash pillows: Put down and fiberfill pillows in the washer and launder two at a time in warm water on a gentle cycle. Add an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle. Then tumble dry on low heat with a few rubber dryer balls.
Clean inside of oven: Wipe down loose bits of food with a damp sponge. Then use the self-cleaning function on your oven to remove burnt-on grime. Wash your racks in the sink with warm, sudsy water and a heavy-duty scrub sponge.
Wash shower curtain liner: Launder plastic or vinyl curtains in the machine on the highest water level with a couple of bath towels for extra agitation.