Our Favorite Way to Deep-Clean Probably Isn’t Yours

published Mar 30, 2023
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A young, interracial, married couple doing dishes in a bright, airy, trendy kitchen.
Credit: Bernine / Getty Images

With spring comes new beginnings, floral blooms, and the unavoidable desire to deep clean our homes. When I was growing up, spring cleaning wasn’t necessarily a ritual to anticipate annually, as my mom conditioned my sister and me to deep clean about once a month. Throughout my adulthood and domestic life, I have applied my mom’s cleaning tips to keep a tidy home, but there is one cleaning method I’ve learned from her that has been most effective, albeit quite unpopular. 

I have countless memories of my mom waking us up on a Saturday morning while blasting salsa and cumbia oldies, meaning it was time to clean for the day. My mom would focus on most of the house while my sister and I cleaned our rooms and shared bathroom. This act has been ingrained in me so much that I’ve influenced my husband, Dave, into this method. While others spread out their spring cleaning over the course of a few weeks (or perhaps months), Dave and I dedicate several hours of a Saturday or Sunday every six weeks or so to a thorough deep cleaning of our apartment. 

Before starting, I make a list divided into tasks suited for each of us. In addition to cleaning his desk area and vacuuming our rugs and couch, I delegate all dusting and wiping of high areas to Dave because of his height. This includes the tops of frames, the top shelves of the kitchen cabinets, the top of the fridge, and light fixtures, and removing curtains to be washed. I, on the other hand, am much more meticulous when it comes to disinfecting so I give myself the tasks of doing the laundry, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. During those extra-intensive deep cleanings (usually in the spring or before the holidays), we take turns cleaning the inside of the fridge, reorganizing our closet, and cleaning our rooftop. 

As exhausting as this method is, it has also been the best way to curb our procrastination. For me, spreading out necessary chores is the surest way to avoid doing them. I lagged for about a year-and-a-half when it came to cleaning the inside of my oven because I followed a suggestion of doing one burdensome chore per day for two weeks. Spending five to six hours one day every one to two months helps me and my husband reap the rewards of a job well done and fully enjoy our apartment once we’ve finished. 

While this is not a method I recommend doing on a regular basis, I firmly believe that everyone should try this full-speed ahead deep clean just once — especially if you have the time or a partner (or roommate) to help you divide and conquer. At the end of every deep cleaning, Dave and I not only feel accomplished, but we’ve also gotten a good day of cardio and sleep like rocks! We can also look forward to enjoying springtime the way it’s meant to be enjoyed — outside.