How to deep clean a small entryway according to experts

Deep clean a small entryway to keep out nasty dirt and germs

White entryway with bench
(Image credit: Getty Images)

First impressions count, which is why you might be wondering how to deep clean a small entryway. A dirty or messy hallway is the last thing you want your guests to see when they first enter your home. 

While you most likely don’t spend all that much time in your home’s entryway, the fact is that this is a space that’s going to accumulate dirt and mess rather quickly. Simply because it’s the first place that you (and your guests) step into when you enter your home, dirt, debris, and mess often come in with you. 

We chatted with a selection of cleaning and organizing experts about all of the best ways to approach deep cleaning a small entryway, as well as the best small entryway ideas for ensuring that your space looks nice and is easy to keep clean. Here’s what they told us.  

How cleaning experts tackle cleaning a small entryway

When it comes to keeping your small entryway clean and tidy, there are lots of hacks that you can utilize. A great starting point is knowing how to organize a small entryway and the steps that you need to take to ensure that the space looks clean and smells fresh. Wondering how to approach the task? Here’s what the experts have to say.  

1. Declutter the space

Woman throwing clothes in boxes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A great place to start, when it comes to cleaning a small entryway, is by decluttering. Because, without removing any excess mess or clutter from the space, it will be far harder to properly clean it. 

Angela Rubin, a Cleaning Expert from Hellamaid, says: "Begin by decluttering the entryway. Remove shoes, coats, and any unnecessary items. Consider using storage baskets (like these woven storage baskets from Amazon) or wall-mounted organizers (like these easy-to-fit organizers from Amazon) to keep essentials neatly stored."

To prevent feeling overwhelmed, make sure to focus on one area of the entryway at a time. Start by working on any mess on the floor, and then move on to clutter that's on hallway furniture or on sideboards or shelves. 

Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at HellaMaid
Angela Rubin

Angela Rubin works at Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Canada. Hellamaid are industry experts specializing in residential and commercial cleaning services. 

2. Dust and wipe down surfaces

Wiping table with pink cloth

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Once you've decluttered your small entryway, the next step is to dust and clean every surface. 

Hashi Mohamed, President of Ivy Cleans, says: "Begin by dusting from top to bottom, including any light fixtures, wall hangings, and the tops of door frames." 

While Rubin explains: "Dust all surfaces, including shelves, tables, and decorative items. Use a microfiber cloth (like these microfiber cloths from Amazon that have over 13,000 five-star reviews) or a dampened cloth with a gentle cleaning solution (like this Method all-purpose cleaning spray from Amazon that smells absolutely glorious) to wipe down surfaces, removing dirt and fingerprints."

A really great tool for getting into all those more compact spaces to remove dust and dirt is this microfiber gap duster from Amazon that I have at home and use day in, and day out. 

Hashi Mohamed
Hashi Mohamed

Hashi Mohamed is the president of Ivy Cleans, a premier cleaning and lifestyle solutions company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Specializing in cleaning, organizing, and promoting a holistic lifestyle, it is passionate about transforming spaces into clean, organized, and vibrant environments.  

3. Clean mirrors and glass

Cleaning glass with sponge

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Rubin says: "Polish mirrors, glass panels, or windows in the entryway using a glass cleaner (this Method glass cleaner from Target is a great option) for a streak-free shine. Pay attention to corners and edges for a thoroughly clean appearance."

Shlomo Cherniak, Owner of Cherniak Handyman Services says: "Use a glass cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar (we always like to recommend this Heinz white vinegar from Amazon) to clean any mirrors or glass surfaces in the entryway. Wipe them down with a lint-free cloth to remove smudges and fingerprints."

Shlomo Cherniak
Shlomo Cherniak

Shlomo Cherniak is the owner of Cherniak Home Services, and is a professional, reliable, and affordable handyman, offering a wide range of services including an expert-led cleaning service. 

4. Give your furniture a once over

Cleaning white table with plants

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have any furniture in your hallway, the next step should be to give it a good clean. 

Rubin says: "Clean and polish furniture pieces such as benches, shoe racks, or coat racks. Wipe down with an appropriate cleaner and consider using furniture polish (like this polish from Amazon) for a refreshed look."

If you have soft furnishings in your hallway, such as an upholstered chair, taking the time to find out how to clean upholstery is worthwhile. For cleaning my soft furnishings, I've found this Bissell portable cleaner from Amazon to work exceptionally well. 

5. Refresh entryway mats and rugs

Brown doormat with light tan sandals

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have mats or rugs in your entryway, it's important to give them a good clean. Knowing how to clean a rug or mat can seem tricky, but it's actually far easier than you might think. 

Rubin says: "Launder or shake out entryway mats and rugs to remove dirt and debris. Consider using a carpet cleaner (like this Bissell carpet cleaner from Amazon) or steam cleaner (like this Shark steam cleaner from Target) for a deeper cleanse if necessary."

For an easy-to-clean rug for your entryway, Ruggable has some really cute hallway rugs, like this washable Ruggable hallway runner

6. Add fresh scents

Reed differ on tray with greenery

(Image credit: Canva)

If your entryway is going to feel fresh, as well as looking clean, then it needs to smell nice. 

Rubin says: "Introduce a welcoming aroma by placing potpourri (like this pumpkin-spice potpourri from Amazon), using essential oil diffusers (this NEOM essential oil diffuser from Amazon is a great option), or utilizing scented sachets (like these lavender scented sachets from Amazon) in the entryway for a pleasant fragrance."

Another great way to ensure that your entryway always smells nice is to opt to use nice-smelling cleaning products (like these Fabulous all-purpose floor cleaning solutions from Amazon that smell incredible) and make sure to use air fresheners, as well as taking into account the things that people with nice-smelling homes always do

7. Clean the inside of the door and handle

Woman cleaning door handle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Don't forget to give all of those high-traffic areas the attention that they need, such as your door and door handle. When it comes to deep cleaning a small entryway, it's easy to forget that, just like the rest of the space, the door and door handle also need cleaning. 

For quicker and easier cleaning, I always recommend opting to use antibacterial cleaning wipes (like these Amazon Basics disinfecting wipes) followed by a no-wipe disinfectant spray (like this Lysol aerosol cleaning spray from Amazon). 

8 Wipe down the walls

Wiping wall with blue cloth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It might seem like a strange concept: needing to wipe down the walls, but if you are going to properly deep clean your hallway the walls need to be cleaned like the rest of the space. 

A really great hack for cleaning your walls is to use a clean mop dipped in a bucket of warm water and cleaning solution. For this, using a wet mop (like this mop from Amazon) tends to work well. 

9. Don't forget to clean the light fixtures

White entryway with gold light fixture

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The fact is that the light fixtures in your hallway are one area of the space that gets the most use, meaning that they're also one of the areas that is in most need of a clean. 

Cherniak says: "If there are light fixtures in the entryway, clean them by removing any dust or dirt and replacing any non-working bulbs. This will help improve the lighting and overall appearance of the space."

Don't forget to clean the light switches as well as the rest of the lighting fixtures. For easier cleaning, I usually recommend using a no-wipe cleaning spray, like this Lysol lemon disinfectant spray from Amazon.  

10. Vacuum and wash the floors

Vacuuming white carpet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Once everything else has been cleaned, the final step is to clean the floors. It's best to leave this step until the end of the cleaning process so that if any dust, dirt, or debris ends up on the floor, you don't have to worry about cleaning the floor a second time. 

Rubin says: "Vacuum or sweep the floors to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Use a mop or appropriate cleaner to wash and sanitize hard floors, ensuring a sparkling, clean surface."

Mohamed adds: "Vacuum the floor thoroughly, paying special attention to the corners and edges where dirt accumulates. If you have a hard floor, follow up with mopping to remove any lingering dirt or stains. For carpeted areas, consider using a
carpet cleaner for a deeper clean."

Whether you're cleaning stone floors, cleaning hardwood floors, or giving the carpet a clean, there are lots of ways you can make the process a little easier.


How can you ensure that your hallway is properly cleaned?

While you could opt to fake a clean and tidy space, it's much better to properly deep clean your hallway. Instead, taking the time to clean every area of the room. 

Rubin says: "Pay special attention to high-traffic areas prone to dirt accumulation, such as baseboards, door frames, and light switches. Use a mild cleaning solution to remove grime and fingerprints."

Why is it important to deep clean a small entryway?

To keep your hallway looking clean and smelling fresh, taking time to deep clean the space is important. 

Hashi Mohamed, President of Ivy Cleans, says: "Regular deep cleaning and organization of the entryway create a pleasant first impression for guests and make it a more efficient and welcoming space for those who use it daily."

Understanding how to deep clean a small hallway can be a more challenging task than you might think. 

Mohamed says: "Deep cleaning a small entryway requires a focused approach, as this area often accumulates dirt and clutter from daily foot traffic."

It's easy to assume that all it takes is a quick wipe down and a spritz of air freshener, but actually, there's more to deep cleaning your small entryway than that. To keep your hallway clean and tidy, you need to take the time to declutter the space, before cleaning it from top to bottom. 

Once it's clean and ordered, you can then think about decorating your small entryway and working out how to make more of the space. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.