- Oven: Remove oven racks and place them in the sink filled with soapy water. If you're using an oven cleaner, spray it first and let it sit while you clean the rest of the kitchen (except the floor, which should be last in every room). When you're ready to proceed, scrub the oven down well. It's safe to clean the racks with steel wool. You can also use a paste of baking soda and vinegar to get your oven clean without using chemicals.
- Sink: It's safe to use steel wool on stubborn stains in a stainless steel sink, or use a paste of baking soda and vinegar. After you've removed stains, a solution of water and lemon juice will really make the sink shine.
- Cabinets: Dust and wipe down cabinets with a soft cloth all surfaces, inside and out. Don't forget the tops of cabinet doors.
- Countertops: Use a solution of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar to get counter tops (except marble) squeaky clean.
- Refrigerator: Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum or dust behind it. Clean the refrigerator inside and out: top, back and sides. This will probably be the best cleaning your refrigerator gets, so take advantage of an empty, warm fridge to do the best job possible. Place removable racks and drawers in warm soapy water and scrub well.
A number of chemicals are available to clean your bathroom, but a paste of baking soda and vinegar also works well; it even dissolves soap scum. Use this on the tub and sink. Clean glass shower doors with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Use undiluted vinegar in the toilet and scrub with a scrub brush. Some people like to replace the toilet seat in a new home.
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It pays to rent or purchase a steam cleaner, or hire someone to steam clean for you. Steam cleaning removes tough stains and provides a deep clean, even getting rid of pet odors.
You can also steam clean sealed hardwood floors if you have the right equipment. Do not steam clean hardwood floors that have not been sealed, as water could seep in and ruin the floor. Murphy's Oil Soap also does a great job cleaning hard wood.
One thing you'll probably never do again, unless you have young kids, is wash down the walls in your new home. But it pays to do it once, unless you plan on painting immediately.
Wash walls with a solution of water and vinegar, which is safe on most surfaces. Pay close attention to corners, where dirt and cobwebs collect, and areas up to about waist-level if the previous owner had kids.
Remove tough stains or crayon marks with a Magic Eraser-type product.
There's nothing that will make your new house feel like home faster than giving it a good scrub-down. The above house cleaning tips will help get the job done.