Top 20 tips for keeping your house brand new

Keeping your home clean and tidy might seem like an impossible task—but it doesn’t have to be. We put together some of the best tips so you and your family can learn the top 20 tips for keeping your house brand new always.

You don’t have to do everything at once and even when time seems short, if you can manage one task a day, things should start to work themselves out. Adjust this list as your family’s needs require (those with more or fewer children might require doing certain activities more or less). If it’s easier, take a blank calendar and fill it in accordingly so easier tasks are on days where your day is going, go and reserve the more difficult ones for days when things are slightly lighter. Here are the top 20 tips for keeping your house brand new.


1. Wash your bedding and mattress.

paige smith is cleaning a mattress with an upholstery cleaner

Assuming you already wash your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets regularly now’s the time to go a bit further and wash your duvet, bed skirt, and even your mattress. (Here’s the full scoop on how to clean and store your bedding).

To wash your mattress, use the nozzle from your vacuum to suck up dust, dirt, and hair particles. Then use an upholstery cleaner to remove stains and odors.

You can also use baking soda sprinkled with a few drops of essential oil. Let it keep for an hour then vacuum it off.

2. Use a lint roller to get the dust off lampshades.

paige smith is cleaning a lampshade with a lint roller

Easy and efficient. Go a step further and clean the base of your lamp with a damp microfiber cloth.


3. Clean your sink drain with baking soda and lemon.

a yellow strainer in a clean kitchen sink

The kitchen sink is one of the dirtiest areas in the entire home. To properly clean it, pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar down your drain.

Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes. Then wash it down with boiling water.

4. Clean the inside and outside of your fridge.

clean fridge shelves on a drying rack

Scrub stains and dirt spots on the exterior of the fridge using a damp cloth sprinkled with baking soda.

To clean the inside of your fridge, take out all your food and remove the shelves. Then wash the interior with water and dishwashing soap.

Do the same with the shelves and bins before you dry and return them. Just make sure to unplug or turn off your fridge before cleaning the inside.

5. Clean out your oven with baking soda, vinegar, and dishwashing liquid.

the interior of a deeply cleaned oven

Even a self-cleaning oven can use some extra love.

To remove stains and scorch marks from years of Thanksgiving dinners, turkeys, and nacho batches, scrub your oven with the following mixture:

  • 4 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 5 teaspoons of vinegar
  • A few drops of dish soap

Let the sudsy mixture sit for a few hours before wiping it off with a clean, wet cloth.


6. Wipe down your bookshelves with a magnetic cloth.

paige smith wiping a wooden bookshelf with a yellow magnetic cloth

Just because your bookcase is organized doesn’t mean it’s not seriously dirty. Bookshelves, as well as the tops of books, can hold a lot of dust and dirt.

For a thorough clean, wipe the tops and spines of your books with a magnetic cloth. Then remove everything from your shelves and wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth.

7. Clean your desk with the appropriate cleaning products.

clean home office desk with a notebook, glasses, coffee mug, and imac on top

To get rid of the dust and grime that accumulates at your desk over long periods of working (read: procrastinating), first remove everything from it.

Next, give it a good scrub with a clean cloth to remove coffee stains, crumbs, and fingerprints.

Be sure to consider your desk’s material when choosing a cleaning product. Wood, glass, and metal all need to be cleaned differently.

Living Room

8. Use Dawn dish soap to get rid of stains on fabric sofas.

how to remove stains from a fabric sofa: squirt dish soap on it, let it sit for several minutes, and wipe it off with a clean wet cloth

Squirt a bit of Dawn dish soap onto your stain and let it sit for several minutes. Then wipe it off with a clean, wet cloth. Works like a charm.

9. Iron out your carpet stains.

paige smith removing carpet stains with an iron and a wet pink rag

Spray your stain with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Place a wet rag over the stain, set your iron to “steam,” and iron on top of the rag for about 30 seconds to thoroughly remove it.


10. Wash your shower curtain and liner.

deep clean your shower curtain and liner by washing it in a washing machine with warm water, laundry detergent, and baking soda

To get rid of stains, soap scum, and mildew, toss your shower curtain and liner (yep, even if it’s plastic) in the washing machine alongside a few bath towels to prevent wrinkling.

Pour in your regular detergent and one cup of baking soda, then wash on warm. Hang ‘em up to dry.

11. Wipe down your shower walls with vinegar and dish soap.

paige smith cleaning shower with vinegar and dish soap

Mix one part dish soap with one part vinegar to scrub your shower walls and get that grimy grout sparkling white. Clean it right before you shower so you can rinse everything off easily.

12. Brush your faucet with a toothbrush, baking soda, and water.

cleaning a faucet with a toothbrush and baking soda

If your sink and shower faucets are stained with hard mineral deposits and grime, sprinkle a little baking soda on an old toothbrush, add water, and scrub away until they look brand new.


13. Thoroughly vacuum the floor.

red and black hoover vacuum cleaner on a carpet

Now’s a good time to thoroughly vacuum your closet floor. Especially if it’s accumulated a lot of dust, dirt, and strands of hair from your clothes, not to mention all the bacteria your shoes bring in.

Take things further by mopping your closet floor with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. When you’re done, rub the floor in a circular motion with a soft cloth.

Laundry Room

14. Clean your washing machine with the ultimate cleaning power duo.

clean white front-loading washing machine and dryer

To get rid of mold and mildew (and prevent your clothes from smelling funky), you need to regularly clean your washing machine.

Using the ultimate cleaning power duo: vinegar and baking soda.


15. Wipe down your baseboards.

The little things can make a big difference. Use a rag or sponge dipped in warm, soapy water to scrub scuff marks and dirt off your baseboards (Clean Mama says baby wipes work, too).

Finish off your clean baseboards by rubbing them with a dryer sheet to repel dust.


16. Dust and wash everything.

a clean and empty garage from living well spending less

Then work your way down: Scrub your walls with soap or a degreasing agent. And sweep and mop your floor to get rid of dirt, chemicals, and oil-build-up.


17. Clean your light bulbs.

an energy saving light bulb on a blue cloth with white pattern

Unscrew your light bulbs and wipe the dust off them with a clean microfiber cloth. Your newly bright lamps and pendants will thank you.

18. Wash your window tracks.

Window tracks are pretty disgusting — they can fill up with dust, dirt, and even dead flies. If you’re tired of cringing every time you open or close your windows, take a cue from The Intentional Mom:

Sprinkle some baking soda on the dirt in your window tracks, pour a little vinegar on top, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then scrub with a rag or old toothbrush and wipe clean.


19. Suck up cobwebs with a vacuum hose.

dyson dc22 vacuum hose

Layers of thick dust and dirt can ruin your stuff over time. To keep your vintage furniture and vinyl records in good quality, use your vacuum to clear out cobwebs and clean your attic floor.

20. Donate anything you don’t need.

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc

Do you know those cardboard boxes filled with old craft supplies, CDs, and DVDs? The ones that haven’t seen the light of day in years? Get rid of ‘em.

Or donate them. Even better, MakeSpace offers free Goodwill pickups in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Simply schedule a MakeSpace pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

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