Cleaning guide: the essentials for a 5* clean

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Cleaning guide: the essentials for a 5* clean

It takes real skill & knowledge to complete a 5* clean. Since Housekeep launched in 2014, we've delivered millions of cleans, and spoken to thousands of brilliant cleaners. So we're real experts when it comes to a sparkling home.

We've gathered the top tips of our excellent cleaners to find out just what it takes to complete a 5* clean. Here's our guide to the essentials.


Top tips for a 5* clean

Tackling a home clean takes more skill and knowledge than it might seem at first. But cleaning a home with the right techniques - and in the right order – will make it easier to ensure that you're cleaning effectively and efficiently.

Follow these simple top tips to complete an excellent clean every time. 

1. Check your customer’s instructions carefully before you begin

If you're cleaning for customers professionally, you should always check their instructions carefully. They may have specific tasks they'd like you to complete (like cleaning the insides of windows, cleaning the oven or ironing some clothes). Or they might have a preference as to how certain rooms or areas are cleaned. If you don't understand any of your customer's instructions, just ask them if they can explain them in a bit more detail – it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Plan your clean

Some of your customers might have a preference for the order that you clean their home in. If they let you know where they'd like you to start, it's best to follow their instructions. But generally, you should clean a home in the following order:

  1. The kitchen: This is normally the room that will take the longest. Our customers also consider this the most important room to be cleaned. So starting here means you'll have plenty of time to clean thoroughly, without rushing. Check out our step-by-step guide to cleaning the kitchen for more info: Kitchen cleaning guide
  2. Bathrooms: Next, we recommend the bathroom(s). There may be multiple bathrooms in the property, including en suites. It makes sense to clean these all at once. Check out our step-by-step guide to cleaning bathrooms for more info: Bathroom cleaning guide
  3. Communal areas: The communal areas will vary from property to property. Generally these include the corridors/landings, staircases & the living room(s). Check out our step-by-step guide to cleaning the living room for more info: Living room cleaning guide
  4. Bedrooms: Finally, finish the clean in the bedrooms. If there are multiple bedrooms, it’s a good idea to start with the master bedroom before moving on to any smaller bedrooms. Check out our step-by-step guide to cleaning the bedrooms for more info: Bedroom cleaning guide
3. Start high and finish low

Whichever room you're cleaning, you should always start by cleaning the higher surfaces. This might mean dusting picture frames in the living room, or wiping down the front of wall-mounted cupboards in the kitchen. Work your way down toward the ground, tackling waist-height surfaces next - such as chests of drawers, kitchen worktops, sinks etc. Next up will be the front of any lower cupboards, the tops of radiators & any other lower surfaces. Finally, the floors should be cleaned - first swept or vacuumed and then mopped (if they're hard floors).

Cleaning from top to bottom is super important as it means that you won't be cleaning onto any surfaces that you've already cleaned. And working methodically like this also helps to make sure that no surfaces get missed.

4. Pick up items to clean beneath them 

The difference between a thorough clean and a superficial clean is always in the detail. When you're cleaning flat surfaces, make sure that you're picking objects up and dusting & wiping beneath them. Take care to put everything back as you found it once you're done, and be super careful when moving anything that's fragile. 

5. Prioritise the dirtiest & most important areas first

As well as prioritising the order you clean the rooms in, it's important that you prioritise the tasks within each room. Focus your efforts on the most important areas & the areas that need the most work.

Some cleaning tasks won't need to be completed in every room of every home – this includes things like limescale removal, wiping mirrors, or wiping down the fronts of cupboards. If you notice that these areas need work – then you should always make sure they're done. But there's no need to re-clean a sparkling mirror or cupboard door for the sake of it.

6. Sometimes it's fine to spot clean 

There are some tasks like wiping the fronts of cupboards where you can 'spot clean' – for example, cleaning fingerprints around a cupboard handle, without wiping down the whole cupboard door. But make sure that all horizontal, 'high traffic' surfaces (worktops, tables etc.) and floors are sprayed & wiped during every clean - even if they look like they're already clean at a glance.

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