Recently, I had the chance to work alongside my friend (who professionally cleans houses like a total boss). I (politely) prodded her to expose a few of her secrets. To my surprise, she revealed all! Here are the 12 best professional house cleaning tips straight from the horse’s mouth. Not that I’m calling my friend a horse… because she’s not.
12 Best Professional House Cleaning Tips All Great House Cleaners Use
I’ll bet you didn’t know that I used to be a professional house cleaner. It’s true. Unfortunately, it was years ago and I have forgotten many of the cleaning hacks I once used. After shadowing my friend and receiving some updated on-the-job training, the way I clean my home will never be the same!
1. Set up a cleaning caddy
Professional house cleaners have tried multiple cleaning tools and products and know what works (and what doesn’t).
They carry those tools and products with them as they work through their clients’ homes.
I can guarantee you that in the time it takes you to hunt down the glass cleaner and paper towels, a professional house cleaner will have already cleaned all of the mirrors and moved on to the windows.
Here are some items you’ll need in order to set up your own portable cleaning caddy:
- A caddy (this can be as simple as a bucket with a handle or a stylish acrylic caddy like this one)
- Microfiber cleaning cloths (professional organizers swear by them and so do I)
- All-purpose cleaner (Here’s my fave)
- Disinfecting cleaner (you can even use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide mixed with water)
- Abrasive cleaner (I use this one)
- Furniture spray
- Cleaning wipes (I prefer these over Lysol)
- Magic eraser (Mr. Clean or melamine, it doesn’t matter)
- Scrub brushes (large and small)
- Duster (or you can use a microfiber cloth instead)
You’ll also want to keep a mop, bucket, toilet brush, and vacuum near where you store your cleaning caddy.
You can create a specialized cleaning caddy for each of the main areas of your home.
For example, a kitchen cleaning caddy could contain a multi-purpose cleaner, scouring powder, dish soap, stainless steel polish, a small scraper (for those tough messes), oven cleaner, and latex gloves.
*Tip: For added motivation, make your cleaning caddy as pretty as possible. Include your favorite colors/scents, and decant cleaning products into glass bottles with pretty labels.
2. Have a plan
A professional house cleaner NEVER enters a home without a cleaning plan and neither should you!
If you’ve been cleaning for any length of time, you know that it’s easy to overlook and/or just plain forget to clean certain spots in your home. I’m looking at you, dryer lint trap!
3. Get motivated
I get it, sometimes you just don’t feel like cleaning. It’s not fun, and there’s a 100% chance that your house will get dirty again (go ahead and increase that to 200% if you have kids/pets).
I like to say there are three certainties in life:
- and dirty houses
But, think for a moment about that inevitable rush of happiness that comes over you when you gaze upon freshly cleaned countertops, sparkling sinks, and crumb-free floors. (Even if it only lasts for about 5 minutes until your kid/husband comes home or your pet wakes up.)
Remember how the smell of a newly washed blanket lifts your spirits when you cuddle up with it.
Hold these positive images in your head, crank up your favorite jams, pull out that pretty cleaning caddy, and get to cleanin’ girl!
4. Stay focused
Confession time-I struggle when it comes to staying focused on the task at hand. Can you relate?
Which is why when I clean, I turn off the ringer on my phone, stash the tv remote, and shut down my computer.
I also try not to do any cleaning when my kids are home for obvious reasons. Or when my pets haven’t gone outside in a while, or if I’m expecting a visitor, or if I have a work deadline, or…
5. Before you open the windows…dust first
When cleaning your home, it can be tempting to immediately yank open the curtains, hoist up the windows, thrust your arms in the air while singing ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music’…but WAIT!
Make sure you dust BEFORE you open the windows or you’ll end up with an even bigger mess.
Oh, and go ahead and turn off the ceiling fans and air conditioning/heating unit while you’re at it.
6. Deep clean first then maintain
I know, I know. Deep cleaning is HARD. But, trust me. If you start with a thorough cleaning, maintaining a clean home is so much easier than having to start from scratch every single time you clean.
Use my free deep cleaning printable checklist for guidance.
7. Do the hard jobs first
By now you are probably thinking I am a glutton for punishment! I promise you, I am not! However, if you REALLY want to clean your home as a professional house cleaner would, you need to tackle the toughest areas first.
In my home, this means I clean the kitchen and bathroom first then I move on to the easier areas such as the living room and bedrooms.
But…whyyy? Your whiny 2-year-old self may ask.
Because we all have a limited amount of energy and even less motivation when it comes to cleaning our homes. THAT’S WHY. If we don’t spend the bulk of that energy on the hardest chores (like scrubbing the inside of the toilet), we may just end up skipping them altogether.
As a result, our homes will end up becoming disgusting, germy, grimy, dust-covered pits of despair. And we don’t want that now, do we?
8. Start at the top
This is one of the professional cleaning tips I’ve carried with me from back in the day when I used to clean houses.
When cleaning, always start at the top of a room and work your way down. Because…gravity.
The dust and grime from the ceiling fan will gracefully glide down to the shelves below. The dirt on the shelves will drift down to the table and countertops beneath them. And, finally, the crumbs on the table and counters will cascade to the floors underneath them. Where you will heroically rush in (with your microfiber cleaning cloth, broom, or vacuum) and whisk away all of the dirt, dust, and crumbs in one fell swoop.
If for some reason you fail to follow my expert advice and instead decide to polish the coffee table BEFORE you clean the ceiling fan, you WILL wind up polishing the coffee table a second time. Mark my words.
9. Work from left to right
In addition to starting at the top of a room, professional house cleaners usually clean a room beginning in the corner furthest to the left (or just to the left of the doorway) and work in 2-3 foot sections around the room, keeping the entrance to the room behind them as they go.
They do this for a few reasons. The first is to keep from tracking dirt back into the areas they’ve already cleaned. The second is so they can remember which areas they’ve already cleaned (which is especially helpful when you are dusting a wall full of cabinets and suddenly have to pee). The third is, well, professional house cleaners are just a little bit OCD, which is why they are so good at what they do.
Clear as mud? Good, let’s move on.
Because this next professional cleaning hack will BLOW YOUR MIND!
10. Use cleaning products correctly
If your go-to method of cleaning is to fill a bucket with water, add some cleaning product, scrub, rinse, empty and refill the bucket, and repeat…STOP RIGHT NOW! Because I have a better way.
What if you didn’t have to make your hands all pruney with ‘cleaning’ water that gets dirty after the first few uses? What if you didn’t have to burn through bottles of product every time you clean your home?
Guess what…you don’t have to!
Goodness, I sound like an infomercial right now!
Y’all, I am over forty years old (don’t tell anyone) and I only recently discovered a revolutionary way to clean my home. (Thanks to my fairy godmother…er friend who is a professional house cleaner).
Ok, here goes.
My friend wears latex gloves when cleaning and has a severe aversion to getting water trapped between her gloves and her hands. Who doesn’t? So, she ditched the water!
Yep, she simply sprays the pre-diluted cleaning product directly on her microfiber cloth and wipes off dirt and grime. (In the bathroom, she sprays the cleaning agent directly on the surfaces and lets it sit a spell).
She saves so much time and money (which her clients appreciate) by not dumping her cleaning products down the drain.
When she first taught me this method I was skeptical, to say the least. Then I tried it and now I am hooked!
I know what you’re thinking, “But, Cheryl. My bathtub is so gross I NEED a bottle of cleaner and five gallons of water just to scratch the surface of the grime!” My answer to you is go back and read tip #6.
The reason the ‘spray and wipe’ cleaning method works so well is because my friend always starts her clients out with a thorough deep-cleaning. After that, it’s exponentially easier to maintain their sparkly home without water.
11. Keep it simple
Have you read “Simply Clean” by Becky Rapinchuk? If not, I highly recommend it. It is a total game-changer when it comes to cleaning your home.
Even better, Becky’s method can be accomplished in as little as 10 minutes a day. Seriously!
When it comes to cleaning your home (and keeping it clean), I say, the simpler the better.
If you struggle with implementing a cleaning routine, start small and work your way up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and those dust bunnies certainly don’t mind hanging out under your sofa, so take your time. Don’t burn yourself out.
I gotta tell you, the one thing professional house cleaners know how to do REALLY well is delegate responsibilities. Or maybe it’s just my friend. Within 5 minutes of walking through the door, she had me scrubbing the toilets!
Unless you live alone, there is absolutely NO reason you should be 100% responsible for cleaning your entire home by yourself! Enlist the help of everyone who lives with you. Even the dog can be trained to pick up his toys!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 12 professional house cleaning tips brought to you with a bit of sass!