Now that summer has arrived and many of us are opening our homes to friends and family for the first time in over a year, deep cleaning our homes is top-of-mind. If you’ve spent a lot of time on cleaning blogs, you may have read that a top-to-bottom cleaning approach is the most efficient way to make sure every surface in your home is cleaned — after all, who wants to see a carefully cleaned floor collect dust as you sweep cobwebs out of the corners of the ceiling?
But is the top-to-bottom cleaning process really the most effective way to clean your home? The answer is yes — and it all comes down to physics!
Top-To-Bottom Is A Great Guideline For Living Rooms And Bedrooms
Generally, gravity dictates that a deep cleaning should follow a general “top-to-bottom” philosophy. What comes up must come down — and that includes dust, debris, and other particles you loosen when you get to cleaning. Because you don’t want to have to go over the same sections of a space over and over again, it helps to start working from the highest points of the room (e.g., ceiling corners, fans, and high walls), then move down to the next highest surfaces (such as mirrors, shelves, dressers and so on), and finally turn your attention to the floors, where you can deal with everything that might have escaped your initial passes.
Starting at the top:
For living areas and bedrooms, I recommend completing all dusting first, using the top-to-bottom method — since fine dust particles don’t just fall on the floor, they migrate to windows and other glass surfaces. Start with the corners of the room, using your favorite extendable duster to increase your reach and maneuver into crevices and corners (a soft cloth on the end of a broom will also do the job just fine).
High and hard-to-reach places:
Next, dust any fan blades, high light fixtures, and the tops of any tall cabinets. If you have one, a microfiber duster can be used for this purpose, if not, use a stepladder to safely reach these surfaces. Use a dry microfiber cloth for dusting where possible, to avoid smearing dust and creating more work for yourself, but keep a damp microfiber cloth on hand to help you tackle any greasy, sticky, or dirty spots. Make sure to dust your windows, lampshades, and other surfaces as you move from top to bottom. Take advantage of your vacuum’s attachments as you work your way through dusting — they can be invaluable tools in making this task easier.
If you’re a fan of displaying knick-knacks or other items, taking a picture before you clear a shelf or cabinet for dusting can help ensure you get everything back in its proper place when you’ve completed your task.
Windows, tables, and shelves:
Once you’ve completed dusting, it’s time to tackle your windows! Few things will brighten your entire room and make a cleaning feel complete like sparkling windows. Using your favorite natural window cleaner, work from top to bottom, using a squeegee or newspaper to ensure a streak-free result.
While you have your favorite glass cleaner at the ready, make sure you clean any other glass surfaces like coffee tables, mirrors, or glass screens in your room. Having a plan for your cleaning is key — making sure you handle similar surfaces all at the same time saves time and prevents having to switch back and forth as you go, which can make cleaning feel more tedious.
Finish on the floors:
Finally, it’s time to move to your last hurdle, the floor. If your floor has carpeting or a rug, sprinkle some baking soda on the carpeted areas before vacuuming. For hardwood floors, start with a vacuum or dust mop to remove all the dust you’ve shaken loose from other areas of the house. Choose your favorite hardwood cleaner and mop in a figure-eight pattern, ensuring you’re covering the entire space. Finish by drying the floors with a clean, dry towel, as standing water can damage hardwoods.
Should I Clean My Bathrooms From Top To Bottom?
Bathrooms are one space where there are some exceptions to the general top-to-bottom rule. As in your living and bedroom spaces, I recommend dusting first, as it’s always easier to handle dusting before applying any wet cleaning products. “Dry before wet” is a good rule of thumb in the bathroom.
However, after dusting, think about any surfaces that might benefit from a longer soak in cleanser — bathtubs, shower surrounds, and toilets — and apply your eco-friendly bathroom cleaner of choice while you tackle other surfaces.
For any areas prone to mold, vinegar in a spray bottle can be applied and left to break down mold without harsh chemical solvents. Working, again, from top-to-bottom, start with your favorite eco-friendly glass cleaner and clean the mirror and any other glass surfaces, including shower doors, fixtures, or glass-front cabinets. Then move to the sink, cleaning the sink, vanity, and faucet with your favorite eco-friendly surface cleaner.
Using your surface cleaner and a sponge or soft cloth, gently scrub the exterior surfaces of the toilet and shower surround. For the toilet bowl, I recommend a sustainable brush made from natural materials over a plastic brush or harsh chemical gels that remain in the bowl. In the tub or shower, use a cloth or sponge to scrub with the cleaner you applied earlier, then use the showerhead to rinse any residue away.
Finally, move to the floor, sweeping and then using the eco-friendly floor cleaner of your choice to mop.
Top-To-Bottom Cleaning In The Kitchen
The top-to-bottom method is also effective in the kitchen, although, as in the bathroom, some adjustments should be made to make deep-cleaning more pleasant and efficient. Start by filling the sink with hot water and dish soap, and then clear out the fridge so that you can soak its shelves and drawers while you tackle other surfaces. Once that’s done, the same top-to-bottom techniques you’ve used in the other rooms of your home will serve you well. Your telescoping duster will be a particular hero in the kitchen, allowing you to dust the tops of your cupboards and refrigerator with ease.
For most kitchen surfaces, vinegar, baking soda, or a mixture of the two are an eco-friendly way to cut through grease and grime and make cleaning your kitchen a snap. Vinegar, in particular, is great on glass surfaces, inside your microwave, and on stainless steel appliances. In garbage disposals, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can ensure your disposal is clean, sanitized, and working well.
Feeling Overwhelmed By Your Deep Cleaning Project?
Looking for help deep cleaning your Chicago home? In need of routine housekeeping, a deep clean, or service before or after a special event? Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service is here to help!
Let Sweeping Dimensions clean your Chicago-area home from top to bottom!
With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
We’re so confident that you’ll love our service that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.
Ready to make this the best summer ever? Get in touch today for your FREE service estimate! Want to swap tips with other Chicagoland cleaning lovers? Connect with our community on social media to keep the conversation going!