How to deep clean your house this weekend

Want to make sure you’ve deep cleaned everywhere you should during the coronavirus outbreak? Use our guide and you won’t miss a thing

Couple deep cleaning
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Got a cleaning routine you adhere to every time? Or maybe you have more of an as-and-when approach? Either way, with hygiene a vital priority right now, it’s worth becoming a deep cleaner who can tick off everything.    

There are areas of our homes that should be cleaned regularly and effectively because all the members of a household touch them all the time. Yet often these are the places we don’t think about. So, here are all the places that you might not have remembered up to now, together with a reminder about the standard candidates in one essential deep clean guide.

Note that if someone in your household is suspected to have the coronavirus, the government advises that you should:

  • Wear gloves (disposable or washing-up) and an apron for cleaning.
  • Double bag your gloves and apron afterwards then keep this rubbish for 72 hours before putting them into your normal waste for disposal. 
  • Use a disposable cloth and follow the rules above for disposal.
  • Clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water, then disinfect with your normal cleaning products. 
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds when you’ve removed gloves and aprons, too.

Here’s what you need to know about deep cleaning if you don’t have a suspected case in your household, and find more in 14 places that never get cleaned.

How to deep clean a bathroom and cloakroom

Baths, basins and showers including all taps and shower valves should be cleaned regularly using your usual products, as should all other bathroom surfaces.

Toilets should be cleaned with a toilet cleaner and brush every few days. Use disinfectant on the seat and rim, and make sure you pay careful attention to the handle or other flush.

How to deep clean a kitchen

Clean food preparation surfaces both before and after using them. Hard surfaces can be cleaned with warm soapy water, then disinfected.

Spend time on cleaning surfaces that are often neglected, but frequently touched. That’s the handles on your fridge door, handles and knobs on the oven, and hob, and microwave controls. The washing machine and dryer also get plenty of hand traffic, so don’t miss them out. Use our guide to find out how to clean a washing machine thoroughly – important if you're washing for an infected family member.

Think small appliances as well. The handle of the kettle, and the knobs of the toaster get touched a lot. And don’t forget unit door handles or pulls either.

How to deep clean a living room – and your sofa

Someone in your house got a cold or, we hate to say it, a virus? Start with your furniture, wiping down all the hard surfaces, like you would in the kitchen or bathroom (although avoid using harsh chemicals on wood), then turn your attention to soft furnishings.

You CAN disinfect your sofa and armchairs of germs – this spray is our favourite buy and you can use it elsewhere, too. Dettol All-in-One Disinfectant Spray Orchard Blossom. Use this disinfectant spray on everything from surfaces to upholstery. We're talking curtains, sofas, cushions, mattresses, and, it's great to use on handles, light switches, remotes and other places you rarely think to disinfect – but really should. It can kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria and it smells nice!

Any covers that can be removed and put on a hot wash should be. Vacuum the room thoroughly. Don't forget to double bag any rubbish used by someone with the virus or cold.

How to deep clean a mattress and bedding

Germs spread from person to person, but they can be spread by surfaces, too. That’s why you need to be vigilant at home, including when it comes to keeping your mattress clean. Of course, that’s particularly the case if someone in your household is unwell, but we should all be keeping up with the cleaning of mattresses in our homes. After all, each family member spends around seven to nine hours a night sleeping on their mattress.

We’ve got all you need to know about how to clean a mattress in our guide, including what to do if it gets stained when there’s someone ill in your household.

For regular cleaning of your mattress whether there’s a virus spreading or not, a steam cleaner is an effective way to banish germs from soft furnishings, the NHS says. 

Our top steam cleaner for sanitising mattresses and taking on plenty of other cleaning jobs around your home is the Russell Hobbs Multi Function RHMSM3101 Steam Cleaner.

This steam mop promises to get rid of 99.9% of bacteria. It’s a floor cleaner, but has a detachable handheld unit, so it can clean all your mattresses (as well as take on a whole lot of other jobs round your home) – just use the recommended attachment to tackle the job. The steam trigger is easy to use, so you can avoid over-wetting your mattress when you clean, too, and the water tank is no hassle to fill. 

Don’t forget either that you need to keep bedlinen clean by using a 60ºC cycle and a bleach-based detergent, according to NHS advice. And don’t neglect your mattress protector, which also needs regular cleaning.

How to deep clean the most-touched places in your home

To ensure the whole of your home is clean, tackle all the frequently touched surfaces you might otherwise overlook. This is especially important if someone in your home is unwell. Make sure you include:

  • TV remotes. Make sure you take out the batteries before cleaning.
  • Light switches in every room.
  • Door and cupboard handles all round your home.
  • Keyboards – especially those that are shared. 
  • Phones, including any land line.
  • Cleaning equipment – because otherwise you’re just going to be spreading germs. Use disposable cloths or paper towels if available, or disinfect and wash re-usable cloths at 60˚C after each use. Washing-up brushes can be cleaned in the dishwasher, says the NHS, or cleaned with detergent and warm water after each use.

Always remember that you shouldn’t mix cleaning products and rooms should be well ventilated when you’re cleaning.

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.