Deep Clean vs. Maintenance Clean vs. Pre-Showing Clean

While your property is on the market, it will need to be kept clean and ready for short-notice showings. We all have our weekly cleaning routines. However, now that you are going to list your home, there are a couple of extra steps to get your house showing ready.

Now that you’ve already done Step 1: Decluttering Your Home, you are ready to clean! Sounds exciting? Daunting? Both?

The Deep Clean

No worries, let’s break it down. The first thing to do is a “deep clean.” This is the seasonal cleaning you normally do at the change of the seasons. Only look at this task through a Buyer’s eyes. Start high and work your way down through a room.

  • Clean under furniture, wash baseboards, cabinets, polish furniture, remove sconce shades and wash, clean blinds.
  • Dust everything – shelves, above windows, doors, electronics, even wall décor (and when was the last time you looked at your bath exhaust fan or ceiling fan blades?).
  • Wash the windows, inside and out – you’ll be amazed how much more light comes into each room!bathtub
  • Clean floor grout and tile, hire a carpet cleaner.
  • Pay particular attention to areas that a Buyer will be looking at with a critical eye: the kitchen and bathrooms. Clean and reseal the grout, make sure your bathtub/shower shines (would you want to bathe in someone else’s dirty tub?) – anything that looks like it needs attention. Turn the oven self-cleaner on and scour the range surface. Pay particular attention to the range hood – is the underside covered in smelly grease?
  • And throughout the house, if any caulk is covered in mildew and won’t come clean, remove and recaulk – along tubs, counters, windows, baseboards, etc.

Now, look around and give yourself a pat on the back!

The Maintenance Clean

You already have this one covered, right? And since you’ve decluttered and done a deep clean, this should be even easier.

Don’t skip this step, you need to clean at least once per week, the bathrooms may need it a bit more often depending on usage. And the kitchen is cleaned daily with use.

The Pre-Showing Clean

Just received a call for a showing in an hour? No worries! Since you’ve been keeping on task with the maintenance cleaning, there is just a few items to address on your way out the door.

  • Kitchen: no dirty dishes in the sink, clear and wipe down the counters (Buyers want to see your countertops, not your placemats)
  • Bathrooms: open the shower curtain to show off your clean tub and shower, shampoos and personal grooming items go under the vanity in a basket, pick up the rugs so the clean flooring shows
  • Bedrooms: make the beds, all laundry in the hampers, not on the floor
  • Overall: open blinds, turn on lights, toys in the toybox; if you have time, a quick vacuum through the house is best

Looking for more cleaning tips?

I highly recommend this website, You can pull up articles in the category, or for $5, order her e-book with detailed cleaning suggestions, cleaning products…everything about getting your home ready to sell that you can handle!

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