Deep Cleaning for a Major Impact

Deep cleaning your home leaves it looking its best, shows ownership pride, and gives potential buyers confidence your home has been well taken care of.

When showing your home to potential buyers, cleaning is critical. Sweeping, vacuuming and wiping down flat surfaces are all a great start, but to have a major impact, you’ve got to take it to the next level – the deep clean. It’s time to tackle those little nooks and crannies that have accumulated years of living, and show buyers how your squeaky clean house can be just the fresh, new start they’re looking for!



  • Cabinets:

    Wipe down all cabinetry, including the inside edges of doors and drawers that may be gunky from dirty fingers. Check inside cabinets and drawers for any shelves that should be dusted or de-crumbed. Wash the toe kick (the recessed part of your bottom cabinetry where it meets the floor) all around the kitchen and the seam where the toe kick meets the kitchen floor.

  • Refrigerator:

    Clean out the inside of your refrigerator, and remove any odor-offending foods from inside. Wipe down the outside front, including door handles, and any exposed sides of fridge. Scrub any water stains or deposits that may have accumulated on your refrigerator door ice/water dispenser.

  • Microwave:

    Clean out the inside, outside and handle. Nothing is worse than touching or opening something at an open house and discovering dried-up gunk lurking beneath your fingertips.

  • Oven/Stove:

    Clean the inside, outside and handles.

  • Dishwasher:

    Wipe down inside of dishwasher if there is any visible food debris or build-up. Clean front of dishwasher, handle, and inside and around dishwasher door when it is open.

  • Sink:

    Scrub sink, drain, faucet, and seams where the sink meets the countertop.



  • Toilet:

    Clean inside and all around toilet bowl. Temporarily remove toilet lid (gently screw it on/off from the bottom) if necessary to get any gunk that might have built up in that space.

  • Bathtub/Shower:

    Scrub all surfaces, and remove any hard water deposits that may be on shower head. Hang a fresh shower curtain liner.

  • Other:

    Purchase fluffy new towels to hang in your bathrooms during showings.



  • Dust, vacuum, and make beds. See checklist below for “Entire House” for additional bedroom cleaning tips.

Entire House

  • Windows:

    Wash inside and out, plus window track and any surrounding trim.

  • Baseboards:

    Wash/dust baseboards. Use angle attachment on vacuum cleaner to vacuum dust and dirt that collects at the edges where carpet meets baseboard.

  • Walls:

    Wipe down any dirt, fingerprints, dust and/or cobwebs.

  • Floor, wall, and register vents

    : Clean out/dust.

  • Light switches:

    Wipe off fingerprints or dirt.

  • Lamps:

    Dust lamp shades, tops of lightbulbs and any spots that are visible when walking by.

  • Blinds:

    Clean/dust slats.

  • Ceiling and wall light fixtures:

    Wash/dust and remove any dead bugs that are sitting in the bowl or shade. Replace any burned out light bulbs.

  • Curtains:

    Wash or use lint brush to remove dust that may have settled in folds.

  • Doors:

    Wash down both sides of all doors, including handles (tighten screws for any loose knobs).

  • Stairs:

    Wash railings, banisters, and dust between any spindles.


Outdoor Space

  • Consider power washing the exterior of your house – or at least the entryway and any parts of your house buyers may see up close (e.g. around your outdoor deck or patio). Remove any cobwebs from entryway. Sweep stoop and make sure front door and door handle is clean.

Deep cleaning your home before a showing not only leaves your home looking its best, it also shows pride of ownership and gives buyers confidence that your home has been well taken care of.

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Dusty Rogers is the blogger, mother, maker, decorator and drinker of the wine at All Things G&D - a lifestyle blog where home décor, DIY and organization, healthy meals and kid-friendly snacks, party planning and entertaining all happily play together in the sandbox. Dusty lives in Madison, WI with her husband Greg and their daughter Kate, and she spends her days balancing high maintenance tendencies with a desire to keep things simple.

One Reply to Deep Cleaning for a Major Impact

  1. I should clean my kitchen cabinets because they are not only dusty but also so cluttered. Thanks for this article!

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