Cleaning houses is all about keeping things neat, tidy, and polished to perfection. How do you ensure your work process is just as pristine as you sweep from room to room, scrubbing floors, ceilings and everything in between? Use this handy professional house cleaning checklist to keep your cleaning routine in tip-top shape, just like your client’s homes.

Step 1: Get the lay of the land

Before you break out the broom and dustpan, ask your client for a quick tour. Have a conversation about any special requests, product allergies or sensitivities, problem areas, and “Do Not Disturb” rooms. From there, you can plan your cleaning process accordingly, making time for the tasks they requested. A cleaning schedule will help you tackle each chore more effectively so you can get to everything without stress! Use this room-by-room breakdown to guarantee you don’t miss a single dust bunny or stray hair, with an extra step for deep cleaning at the end.

Step 2: Tidy up – all areas

Before you give your full attention to any one room, you should do a full pass of the house:

Dusting – Always work left to right, top to bottom. If you dust first, you’ll be able to vacuum or wipe up any stray dust bunnies that manage to escape your duster. Most houses have a lot of fragile surface area, so be careful when checking these boxes:

  • Bookshelves and mantles
  • Tops of cabinets and appliances
  • Baseboards, chair rails, and crown molding
  • Blinds and window sills
  • Furniture
  • Countertops
  • Picture frames, trinkets, and vases
  • Lamps and lampshades
  • Ceiling fans (within reach!)
  • Basically, any other surface you find

Vacuuming furniture – Take a vacuum to any upholstered furniture, like fabric-covered chairs and couches. Now it’s time to get down and dirty with every room in the house.

Step 3: Kitchen

By starting in the dirtiest room and working your way down, you’ll get the hard work out of the way first. Kitchens are notoriously grimy because cooking leaves a trail of crumbs, sauces, oils, drips and spills in its wake. Give extra love to:

  1. Appliances – Wipe down the outsides of all major appliances, including stovetops, fridges, and microwaves. Clean inside the microwave, too.
  2. Surfaces – Scrub, disinfect, and wipe all countertops, the fronts of cabinets and drawers, the windowsills, and backsplash.
  3. Sink – Clean and sanitize the sink basin and faucets.
  4. Furniture – Wipe down chair seats and tables.

Great job! You finished the hardest part of the job. It’s time to move on.

Step 4: Bathrooms

Typically, bathrooms are second in messiness only to the kitchen. We won’t go into details, but there’s a lot to be done in the bathroom, so follow this procedure closely:

  1. Shower & bathtub – Remove bottles and products before wetting the shower walls and tub with warm water. Apply grout and tile cleaner. Scrub the inside of the shower and tub, including the floor, walls, door, and tile (with a grout brush, if necessary). Clean the shelves, soap dishes, and shower track. Rinse off thoroughly and let air dry.
  2. Toilet – Scrub and disinfect both inside and out. Use a toilet brush for the interior and a rag or sponge for the exterior.
  3. Counters – Remove everything from the bathroom countertops. Use an all-purpose spray. Scrub the sink basin, faucet, and cabinet fronts, as well. Use a grout brush for any hard-to-clean areas of the tap, drain, or countertop tiles.
  4. Mirror – Spray the mirror glass, then wipe down with a soft, microfiber cloth. Clean mirrors are a must!
  5. Towels – Throw any used bathroom towels in the washing machine (or toss in the laundry basket, if there’s no in-house laundry), turn on the “towel” setting, and restock with clean ones.

Once you can see your reflection in the tile, return everything to its original position and move on to the bedrooms.

Step 5: Bedrooms

You might feel overwhelmed by bedrooms that are covered with personal items and clothes. These two tasks can make it more manageable:

  1. Make the bed – Strip the linens, then make the bed with clean ones.
  2. Tidy the room – Generally straighten up the room, including putting dirty laundry in the hamper and any toys or books back on their shelf or in their bin.

To show your clients you care, consider adding something sweet as a final touch, like leaving a mint on the pillow.

Step 6: The essentials – all areas

Once you’ve gone room to room scrubbing and cleaning, go back one final time through the entire house to take care of these essentials:

  1. Take out the trash
  2. Clean the rugs
  3. Vacuum all floors
  4. Mop any hardwood floors

By doing this at the end, you won’t have to worry about getting dirt on the floor after dusting or having to take out the trash a second time after disposing of household clutter. If everything goes according to plan, you’ll leave the house immaculate, or at least in much better condition than you found it!

Bonus round: Deep clean

Always kick off with a deep clean when you start a working relationship with a new client. Include these above-and-beyond tasks in addition to your regular schedule:

  • Hand wash baseboards and window sills
  • Wipe down ceiling fans
  • Clear out and scrub inside storage areas, like cabinets and drawers
  • Clean appliances, inside and out: stovetop, oven, dishwasher, faucets, microwaves, freezers, and refrigerators
  • Sanitize and disinfect the trash can, recycling, and compost bin
  • Wipe electronics: remote controls, computers, keyboards
  • Scrub walls, floors, and windows

After you show your attention to detail with a thorough deep cleaning, you can follow up with weekly or monthly cleanings.

Clean up any cleaning mishaps

Unfortunately, there’s not enough Lysol in the world to deal with some on-the-job accidents. But general liability insurance can help clean up your mistakes if you get into hot water while in a client’s home. Protecting yourself from non-employee third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage, as well as personal and advertising injury, should be part of your to-do list. With Thimble’s 60-second application process for Cleaning Insurance, obtaining on-demand insurance coverage will be the quickest and easiest part of your list. Download the Thimble app or click “Get a Quote.” Purchase the coverage to get your policy and proof of insurance when you need it. Additionally, our monthly coverages come packaged with a Business Equipment Protection coverage option, meaning you can also protect your cleaning tools!

Successful house cleaning: check

Once you’re armed with the perfect scrub brush, sprays and sponges, you’re ready to start crossing off to-dos. And with a detailed house cleaning checklist and insurance coverage to protect you from a different kind of mess, you can work with confidence. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, and make the most of your successful house cleaning business.