How Often Do You Need to Clean Things? (with chart)

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Knowing how often you need to clean things in your home, and building those tasks into your schedule, helps you stay on top of housework without it becoming a full-time job.

Clean homes take ongoing effort and diligence. That’s not to say you’ve got to spend hours doing chores every day — you just need to be strategic about using your time.

How Often to Clean Things in Your Home

Daily Cleaning Tasks

When it comes to knowing how often to clean things, the more you use something – whether that’s a surface, an appliance, or an entire room – the more often it needs to be cleaned.

Some things require daily care because any neglect can lead to household pests or health issues. That’s why the kitchen and bathrooms need cleaning regularly. (As for your bed, here is why making your bed every day is important.)

But, don’t make these tasks harder on yourself than needed! Wiping surfaces each day does not mean clearing everything off, then spraying and scrubbing. It simply means using warm, soapy water or a disinfecting wipe to go over the free space.

Things to Clean Daily

  • Make Bed
  • Wipe kitchen table
  • Wash dirty dishes
  • Wipe kitchen counters
  • Wash your coffee pot
  • Disinfect kitchen sink
  • Wipe fresh oven spills
  • Sanitize the kitchen sponge in the microwave
  • Open windows to air house (5 minutes is sufficient)
  • Change dishcloths and towels
  • Empty kitchen trashcan
  • Change bathroom hand towels
  • Disinfect bathroom faucets
  • Disinfect toilet handle & seat
  • Squeegee shower walls
  • Wipe cellphone screen
  • Clean pet bowls
  • Scoop litterboxes

Bi-Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Some tasks don’t need to be done daily, but your home will benefit if you do them more often than once a week.

In a small household, you may only need to clean the kitchen floor once a week, for example. Busier homes will find that cleaning high-traffic areas mid-week helps keep dust under control. (Here are more ways to reduce household dust.)

Clean Two or Three Times a Week

  • Change bath towels (they’re a breeding ground for bacteria)
  • Dust mop hard floors
  • Sweep or vacuum entry mats
  • Mop high-traffic areas in the kitchen
  • Vacuum high-traffic areas if you have pets or kids
  • Wipe dining chairs

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Wiping counters and faucets every day keeps your home tidy and deters pests, but isn’t a substitute for more intensive weekly cleaning.

Kitchen and bathroom surfaces need to be cleaned regularly to control bacteria. Bed linens need to be changed to reduce dust mites, and makeup brushes washed weekly to get rid of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils.

Your weekly cleaning schedule is the time to move things off surfaces before spraying and scrubbing (or dusting and polishing). If you’re confident in your cleaning skills, follow the list below. For step-by-step directions, try one of my cleaning checklists:

Things to Clean Weekly

  • Clean kitchen counters
  • Wipe kitchen cupboard fronts
  • Purge expired food in the fridge
  • Wipe kitchen appliances
  • Clean inside of the microwave
  • Clean dishwasher food filter
  • Clean garbage disposal
  • Sanitize bathroom surfaces
  • Clean jets in whirlpool tubs
  • Clean bathroom trashcan
  • Clean mirrors
  • Dust furniture
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture
  • Launder sheets & pillowcases
  • Vacuum or sweep & mop floors
  • Wipe light switches & doorknobs
  • Wipe stair rails & banisters
  • Sweep front porch, patio, deck
  • Clean makeup brushes
  • Clean toothbrushes in a cup of white vinegar and hot water

Monthly Cleaning Tasks

Make time to do the tasks below at least once a month, although there’s no reason you can’t do them more often.

Washing duvet covers, for example, is something that people with pets or allergies (or both) may wish to do every week. No pets or allergies? You can get by with once a month.

Things to Clean Monthly

  • Dust baseboards
  • Launder throw rugs and bath mats
  • Dust blinds and window screens
  • Wipe windowsills and doors
  • Vacuum and wipe air vents
  • Clean washing machine & dryer (follow these steps)
  • Clean refrigerator & freezer
  • Descale coffee maker (here’s how)
  • Clean backsplash grout
  • Clean inside the dishwasher
  • Vacuum mattress
  • Launder duvet covers
  • Sweep garage floor
  • Deodorize drains (here’s how to clean stinky drains)
  • Clean spots on the inside of windows
  • Wash shower curtain liner
  • Scrub shower grout
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • Clean computer keyboards and monitors
  • Change furnace filters (if you have allergies)
  • Replace toothbrush heads
  • Wash and sanitize litterboxes
  • Wash pet bedding
  • Clean vacuum cleaner (here’s how)
  • Launder mattress covers
  • Wash kitchen trash can

Seasonal Cleaning Tasks

Do the things below at least every few months. Taking care of them when the seasons change makes it easy to stay on schedule, or you can spread them through the season by doing a couple each weekend.

Clean Every 3 to 4 Months

  • Clean oven
  • Clean dishwasher
  • Clean dryer vent
  • Wash duvet insert or comforter
  • Launder bed pillows
  • Wash range hood filters (Here’s how.)
  • Dust ceilings and walls
  • Clean lampshades
  • Vacuum under heavy furniture
  • Launder curtains and throw pillows
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Steam clean or shampoo carpets (Follow these steps.)
  • Deep clean pantry.
  • Vacuum bathroom exhaust fans
  • Change furnace filters (if you don’t have allergies)
  • Clean refrigerator coils and drip pans
  • Dump and clean freezer ice trays
  • Clean behind appliances
  • Swap seasonal clothing
  • Clean garage
  • Wash garbage cans
  • Clean BBQ grills
  • Rotate mattresses
  • Clean shower heads (Here’s how and why you should.)

Bi-Annual Cleaning Tasks

Home maintenance isn’t just about knowing how often to clean things — it’s also about making time to inspect less-visible areas of your home so you can catch problems before they become big issues.

Cleaning the gutters, for instance, lets you see loose flashings or shingles on the roof. Washing walls reveals signs of potential foundation problems or humidity issues, like small cracks or peeling paint.

Things to Clean Twice a Year

  • Clean gutters (spring and fall)
  • Have HVAC serviced (summer and winter)
  • Deep clean closets
  • Launder furniture slipcovers
  • Dust books and deep-clean bookcases
  • Wash walls

Yearly Cleaning Tasks

The list of annual tasks is short and simple, but shouldn’t be skipped – especially the chimney inspection if you have a fireplace!

You can certainly clean your upholstered furniture more often, but remember that doing so may make it wear out faster, too.

Things to Clean Annually

  • Clean fireplace (Spring)
  • Have the chimney inspected (Fall)
  • Drain sediment from water heater
  • Steam clean or shampoo upholstered furniture

Homemade Cleaner Recipes to Use

Try the recipes below to clean your home. They’re easy to make, affordable, and leave your home sparkling clean without adding indoor pollutants.

How Often to Clean Things in Your Home (Chart)

Click to open .pdf for printing or right-click to save

How often to clean things in your home - Ultimate List Chart

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Comments are moderated. It may take up to 72 hours for moderated comments to appear. I welcome and encourage questions and discussion. However, I will not approve comments that are off-topic, repetitive, or contain hateful or threatening language, advertising or spam. Comments asking for information already covered in the article will not be approved.

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8 Comments

  1. Amy Allen says:

    Awesome info and of course perfect timing!!! Thank you very much for what you do, most appreciated! ☺️

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Amy — I’m so happy to help. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  2. Hi there!

    Thank you so much for putting this together – it’s a great help ❤️

    There seems to be a technical problem with the .pdf though, it downloaded all blurry …

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The tech guys tell me it’s fixed now. Sorry about that!

  3. Megan Thorpe says:

    Love love love all of the cleaning checklists and motivation. I’ve saved almost all of them! Thank you, thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re so welcome, Megan!

  4. Fantastic list. It is very helpful. Enjoy all you tips and schedules. I use your cleaning solutions too. I am happy I found your site a number of years ago and refer to it frequently.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Charmane,

      I’m so glad you find it helpful!

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