An Expert’s Guide to What to Clean When

BY THE SCOUT GUIDE March 30, 2018

Having a beautiful home is about more than just décor—all the interior decorating expertise in the world is no substitute for proper cleaning and care. But as we all know, the dusting, polishing, and disinfecting that go into creating a spotless abode can seem overwhelming. Therefore, we turned Jeri Fritz, owner of Dallas, Texas-based Highland Park Housekeeping, for advice on what constitutes a successful cleaning schedule. Here, she provides a comprehensive guide to what to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to have your home looking dinner party-ready any day of the week (and if we may humbly offer a piece of our own advice: hire an expert to help!).

What to clean every day: According to Fritz, daily tasks include making beds; doing the dishes; emptying wastebaskets; cleaning kitchen counters; wiping out the insider of the kitchen sink; wiping down the stovetop; checking bathroom counters, mirrors, and toilets, and cleaning as needed; and sweeping/Swiffering floors that get a lot of foot (or paw) traffic.

What to clean weekly: “Weekly tasks usually center around getting those hard-to-reach spots—areas that are traps for dust and pet hair,” says Fritz. Adding the following activities to your everyday routine on a weekly basis will help keep dirt from building up:

In the bedrooms: Wash bedsheets.

In the kitchen: Scrub stove burners and grates; clean the inside and outside of the microwave; spot clean the fronts of kitchen cabinets and drawers.

In the bathrooms: Clean bathroom mirrors and countertops, and spot clean the fronts of cabinets and drawers; wipe down the shower and clean the bathtub (“Dr. Bronner’s soap diluted with hot water works like a charm,” Fritz says); clean the toilet.

Throughout the house: Vacuum all floors and rugs, and if you have pets, consider vacuuming upholstered furniture; mop all floors; dust furniture surfaces; dust the tops of ceiling fans; spot clean windows and glass doors.

What to clean monthly: While these chores tend to be the most dreaded (and most time-consuming), Fritz notes that staying on top of the following monthly items will make your daily and weekly cleaning much easier:

In the bedrooms: Change and wash mattress pads, duvet covers, shams, bed skirts, and any other bedding that you don’t wash weekly.

In the bathrooms: Clean all light fixtures, cabinets, and drawers; if necessary, do a heavy-duty scrubbing of the shower and tub using baking soda or Scrubbing Bubbles; clean the inside and outside of the toilet bowl and all around the toilet area.

In the kitchen: Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer and toss out anything that has expired; clean the exterior and interior of the fridge, including all shelves and drawers with a food-safe cleaning product (Fritz recommends using Seventh Generation’s dish washing soap); clean all cabinets and drawers; wipe down the exterior of the hood above the stove, as well as any removable pieces you can clean, dry, and replace.

Throughout the house: Vacuum any areas you don’t normally think of, being sure to address vents and baseboards with a small nozzle attachment; mop all floors, preferably with a mop with a replaceable cover (Fritz recommends Sh-Mops); clean all doorknobs; clean the inside and outside of trash cans; clean the inside and outside of glass doors.

TSG Tip 254 from Jeri Fritz of Highland Park Housekeeping in Dallas, Texas. Highland Park Housekeeping is featured in The Scout Guide Dallas.