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11 Things in Your Home Satisfying To Deep Clean

Discover why deep cleaning leads to deep satisfaction. Once you triumph over these cleaning tasks, your house will sparkle and you'll feel the bliss.

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What Is a Deep Clean?

You might pride yourself on maintaining a clean, organized home. And your house might look sparking clean, but that doesn’t mean you’re not overdue for a deep clean. So, what exactly is a deep clean?

A deep clean typically involves cleaning those often overlooked areas of your home that the vacuum and duster don’t touch. For example:

  • Dusting ceiling fans, lamps and light fixtures
  • Vacuuming under furniture
  • Cleaning trash cans
  • Scrubbing baseboards, door handles and frames, windowsills, etc.

Most professional cleaners offer this service, but it’s a lot less expensive to do it yourself.

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Front view of senior woman indoors at home, cleaning kitchen.Halfpoint Images/Getty Images

Why Is Deep Cleaning So Satisfying?

Think about the parts of your house that need to be deep cleaned. Sure, these may be the tasks you put off over and over. But boy, once you work up the will to tackle them, what a sense of accomplishment!

Mental health and wellness experts say deep cleaning gives us a sense of satisfaction because we’ve completed a big job we’ve probably been postponing.

“When we complete goals we feel accomplished, and the same goes with cleaning,” says Meera Watts, founder of SiddhiYoga. “Plus, cleaning is totally uncomplicated work with no deadline.” It’s the satisfaction of completing the task without the pressure of having to get it done.

Psychologist Darren Stanton says deep cleaning can be a good antidote to stress. “Cleaning gives people a sense of mastery and control over their environment,” he says. “So if you’re feeling the urge to clean and declutter, you may be feeling stressed or slightly overwhelmed. Your mind and body are probably looking for a way to bring order into your life.”

For some, Stanton says, deep cleaning can even bring a sense of euphoria. “It is a release, a weight off our shoulders,” he says. “There is a psychological benefit, like with successful athletes, for getting in the zone and driving towards a goal — in this case, a clean environment.”

While we won’t promise euphoria, we can bet checking these deep-cleaning tasks off your list will deliver a huge sense of satisfaction.

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Dusting a fanspates/Getty Images

Filthy Ceiling Fan Paddles

Sometimes the tops of ceiling fan paddles aren’t cleaned because you’re running the fan all the time. Once you stop and look at those paddles, the dust, which is often greasy, may shock you!

Leslie Reichert of The Cleaning Coach suggests cleaning the paddles with an old pillowcase. “Open the end and place it over the fan paddle,” she says. “Then press hard and pull the pillowcase off. The dust will be inside and not fall on the floor.” This is an important periodic task to keep household dust and allergens at bay.

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dirty tile cleaning and mold removing from groutronstik/Getty Images

Grubby Grout

Deep cleaning tile grout in your kitchen or bathroom offers visible results and instant gratification while refreshing the look of the tile. “I’m a big fan of using a steam cleaner for cleaning grout,” says Reichert. “You can see the dirt fly out of the grout.”

Bissel’s handheld SteamShot Hard Surface Cleaner is a lightweight, easy-to-use tool for cleaning and sanitizing tile and grout anywhere in your home.

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Employee hand in rubber protective glove with micro fiber cloth wiping a baseboard on the floor from dust at the wall. Spring general or regular clean up. Commercial cleaning company concept.FotoDuets/Getty Images

Forgotten Baseboards

Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority housecleaning services, says clean baseboards give the home “a beautiful finishing touch.”

For painted or stained baseboards, Stapf recommends first removing dust with a bristled brush hose attachment on a vacuum. Then clean with a sponge or microfiber cloth, using a mixture of three-quarters warm water and one-quarter dish soap. “Make sure to wring the sponge out well so you don’t get too much water on the wood,” she says.

For really filthy baseboards, Reichert says you should let the water sit on the baseboard, then wipe again. “Be careful not to wipe the wall next to the baseboard as it will smear dirt onto the paint,” she says.

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Cropped shot of a young woman cleaning the kitchen counter with cleaning spray and cloth at home during the dayd3sign/Getty Images

That Space Between the Stove and Countertop

There are potentially two nasty, narrow spaces between the stove and the countertop, where grease, crumbs and splatters accumulate. If your stove abuts your countertop so there’s no room for crud to fall on the floor, you probably have a simple clean-up job.

Reichert recommends wrapping a knife with a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe inside the space. For wider spaces where debris drops to the floor, you’ll need to pull out the stove and clean underneath. Be sure to unplug an electric range or switch off the gas supply.

Sweep the floor underneath, then clean it with a scrubby sponge and, if necessary, a heavy-duty cleaner made for your flooring type. Once the floor is dry, reattach the stove and push it back into place. Now, enjoy the feeling of knowing there’s nothing scary lurking under there any more.

To keep grunge from accumulating again, try a silicone counter-gap cover.

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Woman Replaces Kitchen Trash BagGrace Cary/Getty Images

Grimy Garbage Cans

“If your kitchen has a foul smell, taking the trash out may not solve your problem,” Stapf says. “Trash cans can harbor odors, liquids and residue from your trash.” Gross!

To clean a metal or plastic garbage can, work in the bathtub or outdoors with a hose. Stapf recommends mixing two cups of vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap and water in a spray bottle, then coating the interior and exterior of the can. Scrub down any areas with crusted dirt. Then rinse the can and wipe it down. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom approximately once a week to deodorize.

Once you get the garbage can really clean and get into the habit of keeping it that way, it’ll no longer feel like a task to avoid.

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Cropped Hand Of Woman Cleaning RefrigeratorW Rcit R Dwng Canthr/Getty Images

Funky Fridges and Freezers

If you cringe every time you open the refrigerator or freezer, it’s probably time for a deep cleaning. “[But] completely cleaning the fridge is an overwhelming task,” says Reichert, who recommends doing it a little at a time.

“Think of just moving things off one shelf, removing the shelf and running it under hot, hot water,” she says. “Wipe it down with a dry microfiber cloth and put it back into the fridge. Just clean a shelf or drawer when you have a minute.”

If you’re ready to tackle the whole job, Stapf says to clear out all the food, then remove the shelves and bins. “Clean the inside of the fridge with a solution of two tablespoons baking soda and one quart hot water,” she says. “Rinse with a damp cloth, then dry with a towel. Soak the removable sections in the same solution.”

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Open kitchen drawer with silverwareNirad/Getty Images

Crumby Kitchen Drawers

Whether it’s the junk, utensil or spice drawer, those nooks and crannies gather a lot of crumbs and dirt. Reichert says your vacuum cleaner crevice tool is your secret weapon here.

Remove the contents of the drawers and vacuum out the detritus. Stapf says a vacuum is best, but you can also use a lint roller to pick up debris, especially in a tight space. “Then, mix warm water and soap, dip a dry cloth into the solution and wipe down the interior,” she says. “Once complete, use another dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.”

Make sure the drawer is completely dry before you restock it. Then admire your clean, organized space!

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Cruddy Microwaves

“We often avoid cleaning microwaves because they’re hard to reach and awkward to clean out,” says Stapf. To make the job easier, she recommends loosening the grime before you begin.

“Take a lemon and squeeze the juice out into a microwave safe bowl,” she says. “Then fill that same bowl with a cup of water. Run the solution in the container on high in the microwave for five minutes, or until it starts to steam in the microwave.”

Once that’s done, wipe down the sides, ceiling and turntable with a disinfectant spray. Then wipe down with a dish or microfiber cloth.

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Loose hair in the sink drain in the bathroom after shampooing or showering. The concept of head health problems, deficient conditions in the body due to stress and depression, a consequence of chemotherapy and radiation for cancer.Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images

Drains Clogged with Rat-Like Hair Monsters

If you want high-level cleaning satisfaction and don’t have a quick gag reflex, tackle your slow draining tub/shower drain. The combination of hair and soap scum creates something you have to see to believe. Use an $8 plastic drain unclogger, or follow these steps for cleaning the drain without chemicals.

“Mix 1/3 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1/3 cup of baking soda,” says Stapf. “Pour boiling water down the drain to loosen up particles. Then follow with the baking soda-vinegar mixture and wait 15 minutes. To finish, rinse once more with boiling water.”

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Close-up of hand with rubber glove cleaning oven with ragIsabel Pavia/Getty Images

Onerous Ovens

There’s no fast way to deep clean your oven, but there are plenty of ways to do it without toxic, noxious chemical sprays.

After removing loose debris with a small brush and dustpan or vacuum cleaner, layer a paste of baking soda, water and dish soap over the solid surfaces of the oven. Then let it sit overnight.

To clean your oven without harsh chemicals, place oven racks in an overnight bath of hot water, dish soap and dryer sheets (yes, dryer sheets!). The next day, sponge down the oven interior until the sponge comes up clean. Then rinse and dry the racks.

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Cleaning SofaBill Oxford/Getty Images

Sullied Sofas

If your couch isn’t the inviting place you’d like it to be because of pet hair, food stains or other unsightlies, it’s probably time for a deep-cleaning.

Start by removing pillows and cushions and vacuuming in all the corners and crevices. If the cushion covers are machine washable, go ahead and launder them. Be sure to check the label first, especially the drying instructions. Baking soda and vinegar are again your go-to cleaners for couches and other upholstered furnishings.

Elizabeth Heath
Elizabeth Heath is a travel, culinary and lifestyle writer based in rural Umbria, Italy. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, HuffPost, Frommers.com, TripSavvy and many other publications. Her guidebook, An Architecture Lover's Guide to Rome, was released in 2019. Liz's husband is a stonemason and together they are passionate about the great outdoors, endless home improvement projects, dogs, their unruly garden and their slightly less unruly 8-year-old.