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The Definitive Guide on How Often You Should Clean Everything

Here’s the scoop, from experts, on what to clean and how often to clean it.

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Clean dish and soapNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Every day

Wanting to keep a clean home doesn’t mean you have time to polish your silver every week. (If you are pressed for time, here are some chores you can do in a flash) We spoke with cleaning experts who have both feet solidly planted in the real world and asked them how often specific cleaning tasks really need to be done. Here’s what they suggested you do every day:

  • Put things away when you finish using them.
  • Wash dishes, wipe kitchen counters, clean up stove spills and empty trash as needed.
  • Squeegee showers after use to prevent mineral deposits and mildew.
  • Wipe sinks.
  • Make beds and straighten rooms. Here are 13 secrets of people who always have a clean house.
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Hand wiping with a ragNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Twice a week

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Blue vacuum against a yellow backgroundNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Once a month

  • Wipe or vacuum baseboards and blinds.
  • Sweep the garage, patio and walkways.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture with the brush attachment.
  • Clean ceiling fixtures in one room per month (rotate).
  • Wash throw rugs.
  • Dust ceiling fans.

Plus, here’s how to get your kids to clean up their toys.

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Scrubbing with water and soapNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Every three months

  • Polish wood furniture.
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling corners, stairwells, and such.
  • Change or clean furnace and air-conditioner filters (less frequently in low-use seasons).
  • Clean the oven (monthly if grunge builds up quickly).

Take a look at our ultimate room-by-room cleaning checklist.

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Print of a spray bottleNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Every six months

  • Wash windows inside and out. Do this quarterly for windows near workspaces (the kitchen sink or a desk, for instance).
  • Declutter storage areas in the basement, attic and garage.
  • Vacuum, flip and rotate mattresses.
  • Polish silver.
  • Air out pillows.

We learned these 11 brilliant cleaning tips from our grandma.

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Bucket of soapy waterNEVADA31/SHUTTERSTOCK

Once a year

  • Move heavy furniture to clean behind and underneath.
  • Vacuum rug pads and the backs of area rugs.
  • Clean drapes and carpets.
  • Turn area rugs 180 degrees.
  • Wash walls.
  • Clean chandeliers.

Plus, here are 10 tasks you probably forgot to put on your spring cleaning list.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest