10 Cleaning Tasks You're Probably Forgetting to Do Between Deep Cleans

how to clean a ceiling fan

Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

Whether you tackle deep cleaning on the weekends or hire someone to come in once a month, nothing feels better than a home that feels sparkly clean. You revel in that fresh smell (okay, maybe that satisfying bleach smell) as well as the sight of a refrigerator without fingerprints, a shower door without a stitch of soap scum, and nightstands that have never met a dust bunny. 

But what about the in-between days? How can you maintain that invigorating sense of a freshly cleaned home with minimal day-to-day effort? 

Ideally, if you have a deep clean schedule in place, you don’t need to worry about the tedious tasks, like cleaning baseboards, light fixtures, drapery, and ceiling fans, or putting real elbow grease into scrubbing the bathroom, the kitchen, or the floors. You do, however, need to pay attention to the maintenance which will make those deep cleans go so much more easily.

Here are ten regular cleaning tasks to have on your radar on a daily and weekly basis. Go ahead and write them in your planner like an old-school chore chart. We promise it works (bonus points for stickers).

01 of 10

Wipe Down Your Sink, Counters, and Stovetop Daily

Bright white kitchen with open shelving.

Design: Rebecca Rollins Interiors; Photo: Shannan Leigh

If you’re someone who cooks most days, make it a routine to pause right after dinner and run a sponge or a damp towel over your sink, your countertops, and your stovetop. It takes just a minute but makes your kitchen feel like it’s closed down for the evening and ready to open again, clean, in the morning.

Now, if you spend a little less time in the kitchen, this can probably be bumped back to once a week, but you’ll still want to pay attention to the sink.

02 of 10

Clean Out Your Fridge and Microwave Weekly

bright white simple kitchen

D Burns Interiors

Once a week, take a sponge to the inside of your microwave and wipe away any food that’s made its way onto the inside—better yet, wipe it away as soon as you see it happen! When food is left to build up in the microwave, it makes for a far more intimidating cleaning task, so tackling it regularly is key.

Then, take a quick peek in the fridge and toss anything that’s expired or going bad. If you see anything that has spilled or gotten sticky, wipe it up.

03 of 10

Sweep Daily

how to clean a ceiling fan

Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

Whether you use an actual broom or a Swiffer, take it out once daily and do a quick spin around the kitchen and any other high-traffic areas. Dust, dirt, and crumbs can make their way into hardwood floors and build up on tile, so you want to stop these grainy invaders in their tracks.

04 of 10

Vacuum Twice a Week

Candlesticks on coffee table.

Ashley Montgomery Design

For those who have pets or children, this may be a daily occurrence, but for those who have less shedding and crumbs in their lives, vacuuming twice a week should do the trick to keep rugs and carpets looking fresh.

05 of 10

Dust Furniture Weekly

Dresser top with vase and books

Cathie Hong Interiors

Dust can build up quickly and shouldn’t wait for deep cleans to disappear. Each week, take a microfiber cloth (yes, you can skip the old-school lemon-scented polish) and wipe down all major furniture surfaces. You can save moving books and tchotchkes for the deep clean.

06 of 10

Wash Your Sheets Weekly

Clean bedroom with rattan lamp.

Breathing Room Organization

It's actually a matter of preference whether you’d rather wash your sheets weekly or biweekly, but regardless, sheets do need to be washed on a regular basis, particularly pillowcases. Sleeping on sheets that haven’t been changed in several weeks is akin to using a dirty towel on your face—and who does that?

07 of 10

Clean the Toilet Weekly

An all-white bathroom with a plant on the wall

Becca Interiors

No one likes cleaning the toilet; however, it needs to be done weekly. Thankfully, it’s one of those chores that takes less than five minutes. A brief brush around the bowl, a wipe down of the exterior, and you’re good to go.

08 of 10

Squeegee Your Shower Daily

Bathroom with glass shower door.

Sarah Fultz Interiors

If you have glass shower doors, you can get ahead of the deep clean by squeegeeing your shower door immediately after showering. Turn off the water, grab the squeegee (which should reside right within the shower), and give it a few rewarding streaks up and down. It’ll bring back childhood memories of running to grab the windshield squeegee while your parents pumped gas—and that’s not so bad, right?

09 of 10

Give the Bathroom a Wipe-Down Weekly

A powder room with textured pink walls and a light brown printed rug

Design: Mindy Gayer Design, Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Just once a week, you should clean the mirror, wipe the sink, and, if you’re feeling ambitious, spray tile cleaner in the shower. The entire process shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes, and it will save significant time when you’re cutting through less soap scum on your next deep clean.

If you wash your face in the sink daily and typically throw the washcloth immediately into the hamper, think about using it to do a quick sink wipe down first.

10 of 10

Do Laundry and Dishes as Needed

gray and white kitchen

Tara Kantor Interiors

These last two tasks can vary so much depending on what your household looks like. If you have multiple people in your home, laundry and dishes can be a daily chore. However, if it’s just you and one partner or roommate, perhaps the dishwasher can be run every other day and laundry can be done once a week.

Whatever the right cadence is, go with the golden rule: Don’t let dishes pile up in the sink and never let the hamper overflow.

Related Stories