How to "Detail Clean" Your House

Sometimes speed cleaning your house is good enough, but there are other times when you should pay extra attention to the details, like when you're expecting a visit from your mother-in-law, showing your house to potential buyers, or any time you want to impress.
Clean every nook and cranny when "detail cleaning."Clean every nook and cranny when "detail cleaning."
Some areas are easily skipped during speed cleaning, but when they get some attention, they make the difference between clean and sparkling.

Step 01

Clean your floors all the way to the walls. Get the vacuum cleaner attachments and pick up every crumb that regular vacuuming misses. Vacuum all the way under heaters, woodwork, behind doors, under cabinets, in closets, and under furniture. Consider shampooing carpet. For uncarpeted floors, wipe edges and corners by hand.

Step 11

Wipe down all baseboards and molding.

Step 21

Scrub trash cans and the walls behind them. In the kitchen, food tossed in the trash may leave splatter marks on the walls or cabinets around them.

Step 31

Wipe cabinet doors, paying particular attention to the area near the handles. Check lower cabinets for splatter marks from mopping.

Step 41

Dust thoroughly, including ceiling fan blades, the backs of electronics (which tend to attract lots of dust), accessories, artwork, under furniture and on all furniture surfaces.

Step 51

Wipe down all appliances, inside and out.

Step 61

Scrub down your exterior doors, which can accumulate dirt and debris.

Step 71

Check the walls near all of your doors and door frames. Sometimes people unknowingly touch a wall when they walk through a door, leaving dirty buildup.

Step 81

Clean your windows, including the windowsills and sash. If you have a cat that sits at a window, look at the wall below the window. It's common to find smudgy paw prints near the windowsill.

Step 91

Polish all wood furniture.

Step 101

Wipe kitchen and bathroom fixtures from top to bottom.

Step 111

Scrub away any mildew near the base of the toilet and sink.

Step 121

Replace or wash your shower curtain and liner.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket and mop
  • Rags
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Furniture polish


  • If you have pets, check the floor and walls near their food dishes for stray splatters.