The Difference Between Deep Cleaning and Regular Cleaning

There is discussion on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning as those who have not hired cleaners before may not be aware of what to expect and what they are getting for their money. This article on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning is not only for those who hire cleaners


There is discussion on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning as those who have not hired cleaners before may not be aware of what to expect and what they are getting for their money. This article on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning is not only for those who hire cleaners, however. If you are wanting to clean your home, there is a difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning that is important to know.

It is important to know the difference because there are certain surfaces, appliances, and objects that need a deep clean every now and then, and others that only require a regular clean. 

Here we are going to help you distinguish the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning, along with a checklist for each type of cleaning, and the materials that you will need to conduct the task.

What is a Deep Clean?

When conducting a deep clean, the goal is to make sure that every single surface, appliance, and object in the property is thoroughly cleaned to the point of where they look practically brand new. This ensures that the whole property is sparkling clean, ready to be sold, ready to be moved into by new residents, or ready for a new year of wear and tear.

The main difference between a deep clean and a regular clean is that a deep clean is conducted less often (hence the term ‘regular clean’). This is because a deep clean is not just about maintaining a tidy home, but about making sure that every corner and crevice is reached. 

There are some areas of the home that are neglected during a regular clean, therefore a deep clean is the perfect opportunity to get the areas that may need a good clean but have been forgotten. 

A deep clean is conducted every year, or every 6 months depending on your personal preference. This is because a deep clean is extensive and takes time to pull out appliances and leave the cleaning products to set for the recommended amount of time. They are also unnecessary to do regularly as your home will not get dirty so quickly that you need to do a deep clean often. 

This sums up the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning, for more including checklists for each type of cleaning then read on!

How to Prepare

  1. Clear away any clutter – before conducting a deep clean, it is necessary to do a smaller clean. By clearing away any clutter from the floors, counter tops, tabletops, and furniture means that you will have easy access to any of the places you need to reach.

It also is in the process of a deep clean as it means that when you are finishes, the whole home will be clean, tidy, and clear of any mess and clutter. 

  1. Come up with a plan – plan out which rooms you are going to target first and when, thinking about how long you think it will take to thoroughly clean each room. For example, the kitchen may take a long time as it involves pulling out appliances, so you may want to tackle this first, or leave it last, depending on how you like to work. 

Remember, a deep clean most likely will be a big job, meaning that it may take longer than a day to complete. You can break up the job over a few days as, let us be honest, a deep clean may not be the most exciting job and you may not want to spend a whole weekend cleaning. 

If you are unsure on how to conduct your deep clean, there is always the option to hire a service of professionals to clean for you. This means that you can guarantee the clean will be to a good standard and that they will reach all the areas that you may not have thought to get to. 

  1. Gather everything you will need – the last thing you will want is to be half-way through your clean then realise that you are missing some sort of spray or brush. By gathering everything that you could possibly need beforehand, you can be sure that when you start you will not need to stop unless you want to.  

Equipment Needed

To tie in with the preparation above, we are going to provide you with a handy list for you to refer back to with all the equipment and materials you may need in order to conduct your deep clean. In terms of the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning, these products can also be applied to a regular clean, some items will not be necessary for a regular clean, but the items are all there. 


  • Broom
  • Sponges
  • Cloths/rags
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Cleaning caddy (optional, but will be helpful)
  • Duster
  • Garden hose (for outside work)
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Bin bags
  • Paper towels


  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Window/glass cleaner
  • Wood cleaner/polish
  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Vinegar

Room Checklist

The following is a list of what is cleaned in each room during a deep clean. This is where the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning is highlighted as you will find that the list is more extensive and thorough than any other cleaning list. We will go through each room for you so that you can refer to the list whenever it is needed. 


Wipe down cabinets – with a damp rag or cloth, gently clean off any dust or dirt on the inside and outside of the cabinet doors, as well as all sides of the cabinets themselves. Do not forget the top too. 

For grease-splatter, dip your cloth in undiluted vinegar to rub off the grease, then rinse the rag in warm water to wipe off the vinegar. You can also use a de-grease spray and follow the instructions on the product to clean any stains.

Some cabinets will swell if they encounter too much moisture, so be sure to always ring out your rag before wiping down the wood and dry the surface quickly with a paper towel after cleaning.

Vacuum out the refrigerator coils and vent – you will have to pull out the refrigerator to do this. This is an aspect of cleaning that will not need to be done regularly, hence why it is included in a deep clean and not a regular clean.

Use the vacuum’s hose or brush extension to remove all the dirt and dust from the fridge coil and vent or rent an air compressor to blow it out.

Clean out the fridge and defrost the freezer – take everything out, so that you can remove food debris from the shelves and inside walls. A top tip is to start from the top and work your way down so that if any bits of food falls then you can catch it when you clean the lower shelves.

When you put food back, be sure to check expiration date, and toss anything that has gone out of date. Do not forget to wipe down the fronts of the fridge and freezer, paying close attention to disinfecting the door handles.

Throw out old sponges – these kitchen tools are germ magnets. Even zapping them in the microwave will not kill all the bacteria that find their way inside. Disinfect sponges every few days by letting them soak in a bleach-water solution (¾ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) for five minutes. After a couple of weeks, however, they should be thrown out completely and replaced, or swapped for reusable silicone scrubbers that can be more easily disinfected. 

Scrub down the stove top and vent – you may need to use the de-grease spray here too as there are crevices that may have been neglected during any weekly cleans. 

Clean the oven – if your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, you can make a DIY cleaner by mixing 5 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 drops of dish soap, and 4 tablespoons of vinegar into a paste and slathering it on the worst spots. 

Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub at it with a sponge cloth. For extra stubborn grease stains, place a few drops of dish soap on half a lemon, and rub it on the problematic areas. Then, scrub or wipe it clean. 

There are also oven cleaner products that you can buy that have instructions on them that are easy to follow and effectively clean the oven.

Clean out the microwave – for a homemade microwave cleaner, mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a cup of water, and microwave it on high for 5 minutes. The vapor from the boiling solution will coat every inch of food debris and make it easier to wipe away.

Disinfect the sink – give the basin a good scrub with a disinfectant or bleach solution to kill any bacteria lurking inside.

Wipe down the countertops – remove any items on the counters, including appliances and knife blocks, and then use a disinfectant spray or cleaning wipes to get corners and spaces in the back that might not get as much attention throughout the year. While you are there, wipe down the walls or backsplashes, too.


Scrub all showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets – before getting started in the bathroom, spray down your tub with multi-purpose cleaner so that it can soak for a while and break up any soap and oil that have accumulated. Do the same with the toilet bowls and sinks. That will make scrubbing that much easier when you circle back to it later.

Wipe down light fixtures, mirrors, and window treatments – take extra time to carefully clean out gunk that has made its way into corners and around edges. Remove any grime or dust that has built up by wiping items down with a little vinegar on a damp rag.

Wash glass shower doors – to clear off that soap scum or water spot, apply some warm distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a half an hour or so, reapplying if needed. Then sprinkle some baking soda on top, and gently scrub the spots away. 

You can also use cleaner made specifically made for glass. The product will have instructions on so if you follow them and clean away the moisture properly, you will be left with a shiny clean shower. 

Toss any cloth curtains or bathmats in the washing machine – just be sure to check care tags to verify what cycle items should be washed on. 

To keep anything from wrinkling in the dryer, set the heat setting on low and take items out when they are still a little damp. Then, hang them back up in the shower to finish drying completely. If you also have a plastic shower curtain liner, wash it in the laundry on cold, and rehang it to dry, or replace it with a new one.

Clean out under the sinks and inside drawers – over time, these spaces tend to get cluttered. Take everything out so that you can wipe the bottom of the cabinets and drawers and clear out any cobwebs that might have formed. 

As you are putting items back, toss what you no longer need, and organize the rest, taking care to put items you will use most frequently near the front for easier access.

Do not forget the grout – you can make a homemade grout cleaner using vinegar, baking soda and water. First, spray down the grout with a half-vinegar/half-water solution until the area is good and saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub, and then rinse. Then, mix some baking soda with water until it forms a paste, apply it to the grout using your brush, and spray it with the water and vinegar. The bubbles that form will start to clean away some of the grit and grime, and your brush will do the rest. When you are done, rinse the grout with warm water.

Again, you can buy store-bought grout cleaner that can be sprayed directly onto the grout to remove any staining that has built up over time between your deep cleans. 

Disinfect handles and doorknobs – these are often neglected and can be one of the germiest places in the house, due to their constant use. If you have not wiped them down in a while, it is a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning with a multi-purpose cleaner or disinfectant wipes.

Living Room:

Take off all cushions from couches and chairs and vacuum the spaces underneath – pay special attention to the nooks and crannies where crumbs or dust might have fallen through. This is an easy bit of cleaning to miss when doing a regular clean so make sure that the small areas are vacuumed up. 

Clean your rugs and carpets – carpet cleaners can be applied to large areas then left to soak and cleaned up, leaving the carpet looking good as new. As this is a big task, it makes sense to leave it until the deep clean. This will make a big difference to the look of the room, leaving it looking fresh and clean.

Polish your wooden furniture – remove any items from bookcases or coffee tables to clean every surface with a dust rag or microfibre cloth, followed by wood cleaner or polish. 

Wipe down baseboards, window treatments, light fixtures, and ceiling fans – use a vacuum cleaner extension attachment to reach high ceilings and corners. Remove and launder the drapes and clean the windows with glass cleaner. Do not forget to disinfect door handles here too!

Dust your décor – gently wipe or brush away dust from all your ornaments, picture frames, and clocks. Depending on how many decorative items you keep in your home, this may be the most time-consuming activity you do during your clean. 

Clean your electronics – electronics can be one of the most germ filled items in the home. Just think of all the (sometimes sticky) hands that touch it. Give your electronics a good wipe down, including the top of your TV and DVD player. Dust the front of any screens with a microfiber rag or a feather duster, making sure to get the corners.


Wash the bedding, including bed skirts, shams and duvet covers – if some of the items are too big to fit in your washing machines, take them to a dry cleaner. Do not forget the pillows!

Flip your mattress – or flip it to prevent grooves from forming due to sleeping in the same spot for too long. Freshen the mattress by spreading on some baking soda, letting it sit for 45 minutes to an hour, and vacuuming it back up.

Dust neglected surfaces, like window treatments, headboards, and ceiling fans – if you have drapes, vacuum or dry clean them, too.

Vacuum or mop under furniture, including behind dressers and under beds – pay extra attention to corners and baseboards.


Turn on your hose – spray down patios, decks, porches, lawn furniture, playground equipment. You may need to disinfect certain furniture items after the winter months or if there have been some adverse weather conditions.

You may also have some items under trees which may unfortunately get covered in bird droppings and may benefit from a deep clean. 

Tidy the yard – pull any weeds sprouting up in your lawn or garden (and apply weed killer if necessary). Lay down mulch or compost (if needed) and plant any flowers or edible greens you would like. 

Regular Cleaning

Now we have gone through what deep cleaning is, we are going to talk about what regular cleaning is to understand the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning. The list for a regular clean is not as extensive as the deep clean as a regular clean is conducted less and is more like a weekly, routine clean. 

What is a Regular Clean?

The simplest way to describe a regular clean is completing cleaning tasks that are conducted on a regular basis. It sounds self-explanatory but some will be unsure on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning. This is because regular cleans require less equipment, less time, and less effort to complete and you do not want to waste your time doing a deep clean when it is unnecessary. 

Regular cleaning is also called weekly cleaning and is what people do on a daily or weekly basis to keep the house looking clean and tidy without spending days trying to get into every area of the home. 

It keeps a good level of cleanliness around the house and means that little messes are cleaned. It also helps the home to be a safer place as regular cleaning means it is safer in terms of dust being breathed in and stopping the development of mould in the home. 

Room Checklist

The following is a list of what is cleaned in each room during a regular clean. You can tell the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning here as the list is much smaller than the deep cleaning one. We will go through each room for you so that you can refer to the list whenever it is needed. 


Wipe down countertops and cabinets – using anti-bacterial wipes or a spray and a cloth or rag to clean the countertops and cabinets so that they are clean from the everyday use that causes a builds up of food stains, grease e.c.t

Clean face of appliances – this includes any handles just to make sure that all surfaces are clean as they will have been handled and touched many times during the week

Wipe down stovetop – stoves always have a build-up of food that has escaped while cooking or has spat out while bubbling over. Wiping it down weekly will ensure that the stains come off easily and do not end up being burnt again and again with every use.

Clean inside and around sink – using a spray to clean the sink and taps will ensure that any germs lurking in there are removed. You can also give your washing up bowl a swill to make sure that your dishes are being cleaned in a clean bowl.

Sweep and mop floor – over the week there may have been spillages or food that fell on the floor. While they may have been cleaned quickly at the time, taking the time to mop the floor each week will make sure that it is not sticky and is clean.Take out the bins – taking out the bins is arguably one of the dullest household tasks, but it needs to be done!


Remove everything from tub/shower – making sure that you remove any products that are in the bath or shower means that you can get to each corner to clean and remove the water circles left behind from the shampoo bottles.

Spray/clean everything with all-purpose cleaner (can use specific cleaners for certain areas for example, toilet cleaner) – spraying the toilet, sink, shower, and bath and leaving it to soak for the recommended amount of time will clean them all effectively. 

Scrub tub/shower walls and door (use grout brush in-between tiles as needed) – working in the solutions by scrubbing them and washing them away with water will clean each area well.

Clean shower rack/soap dishes – there can be a build-up of soaps, shampoos, and conditioners that leave marks in the shower racks and soap dishes. Cleaning these will help the general shower and bath area to be clean.

Clean mirror: spray glass cleaner on soft cloth and buff – there can be a build-up of toothpaste and stains on the mirror so giving it a clean each week will make sure that you can see through it easily. 

Replace rugs, bathmat, and wastebaskets – when you have cleaned everything and washed the bathmats/rugs, you can replace all the items that you have taken out of the bathroom.

Living Room:

Dust any bookcases, TV stands, shelves e.c.t – remove any items from bookcases or coffee tables to clean every surface with a dust rag or microfibre cloth.

Vacuum floors – giving the floor a good vacuum will remove any bits that have built up from people walking through the house during the week. 

Clean your electronics – electronics can be one of the most germ filled items in the home. Just think of all the (sometimes sticky) hands that touch it. Give your electronics a good wipe down, including the top of your TV and DVD player.


Pick up any items that are on the floor – by the end of the week there may be a build-up of clothes and other items on the floor, part of the regular weekly clean is making sure that everything is hung up, folded or put away where they are supposed to be. 

Make bed (wash sheets and pillowcases) – part of a weekly routine is making sure that all the bed sheets, duvets and pillowcases in the house are cleaned and fresh, ready for the next week.

Clean/tidy any vanity areas – going over any vanity areas with a duster will help to keep the area that you get ready clean and sanitary. This is also the chance to put away any items that have moved from their original homes to keep the area tidy.

Clean mirrors – similarly to the bathroom, any mirrors in bedrooms may get dusty and unclean (especially vanity or dressing table mirrors that could have a coating of hairspray on by accident), cleaning any mirrors with glass cleaner will help you to see yourself clearer. Vacuum floors – giving the floor a good vacuum will remove any bits that have built up from people walking through the house during the week.


To summarise, in terms of the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning the main distinction between them is that a deep clean is very extensive and occurs at most two times a year, whereas a regular clean will most likely occur weekly. 

If you decide to hire a service to conduct the clean, you will now know what to expect and what you will be paying for. If you are looking to clean yourself, then you will know have a list of the materials you will need, what should be cleaned in each room and how to prepare for the cleans. 

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