The Definitive Guide on How Often You Should Clean Everything

Here’s the scoop, from experts, on what to clean and how often to clean it.

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Every day

Wanting to keep a clean home doesn’t mean you have time to polish your silver every week. We spoke with cleaning experts who have both feet solidly planted in the real world and asked them how often specific cleaning tasks really need to be done. Here’s what they suggested you do every day:

  • Put things away when you finish using them.
  • Wash dishes, wipe kitchen counters, clean up stove spills, and empty trash as needed.
  • Squeegee showers after use to prevent mineral deposits and mildew.
  • Wipe sinks.
  • Make beds and straighten rooms.

Check out these vinegar cleaning hacks that’ll save you money.

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Twice a week

  • Dust-mop hardwood floors to prevent scratching from dirt.
  • Put away clutter.
  • Vacuum if you live in a dusty region or have children and pets that track in lots of dirt. Otherwise, weekly vacuuming should suffice.

(Psst: Here are natural cleaning products that actually work.)

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Once a month

  • Wipe or vacuum baseboards and blinds.
  • Sweep the garage, patio, and walkways.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture with the brush attachment.
  • Clean ceiling fixtures in one room per month (rotate).
  • Wash throw rugs.
  • Dust ceiling fans.

(Also, here’s how you should be cleaning your Dutch oven whenever you use it.)

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Every three months

  • Polish wood furniture.
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling corners, stairwells, and such.
  • Change or clean furnace and air-conditioner filters (less frequently in low-use seasons).
  • Clean the oven (monthly if grunge builds up quickly).

(See the cleaning products that are good for the environment.)

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Every six months

  • Wash windows inside and out. Do this quarterly for windows near work spaces (the kitchen sink or a desk, for instance).
  • Declutter storage areas in the basement, attic, and garage.
  • Vacuum, flip, and rotate mattresses.
  • Polish silver.
  • Air out pillows.

Check out these cleaning hacks that make spring cleaning easier.

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Once a year

  • Move heavy furniture to clean behind and underneath.
  • Vacuum rug pads and the backs of area rugs.
  • Clean drapes and carpets.
  • Turn area rugs 180 degrees to even out wear.
  • Wash walls.
  • Clean chandeliers.

Next, learn how to Marie Kondo, based on your zodiac sign.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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