This Monthly Cleaning Checklist Makes Tidying Up So Easy

white and green kitchen with vintage range
Photo: David Tsay

The key to a clean home is sticking to a regular home maintenance schedule. A monthly cleaning checklist can help you stay on top of chores and spare you from hours-long cleaning marathons. Block out time once a month for these cleaning tasks to keep your home looking its best.

Better Homes & Gardens monthly cleaning checklist

BHG / Mira Norian

01 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen gray cabinets close up
Michael Partenio Productions

Food splatters, grease, and dust build up on kitchen cabinetry over time. Each month, give your vent hood and cabinets the white-glove test to check for hard-to-see grime. Then clean the cabinets as needed with a non-scratch scrub sponge and a grease-cutting dish soap like Dawn.

02 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Vacuum Upholstered Furniture

interior living room with sofa chairs and artwork

Break out the specialty vacuum attachments once a month to freshen up your upholstered furniture. Give sofas and chairs a once-over using the upholstery brush. Switch to the crevice tool to get the between-the-cushions crumbs.

03 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Wash Windows

Sitting area with couch and large picture window
John Gruen

Use lint-free cloths, strong paper towels, or chamois cloth to clean small windows or windows with small panels. If your windows are only slightly dirty, use only clear water. For especially dirty windows, use a commercial glass spray. If you prefer to use a homemade cleaning solution, mix 2 cups water with 2 cups rubbing alcohol and 1/2 cup of ammonia. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and clean the windows starting at the top and working first across and then down. Rub away streaks with crumpled newspapers.

04 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Mirrors

black and white master bathroom his and her sink
Lisa Romerein Photography

Once a month, take time to polish the mirrors in your home. Use a commercial glass cleaner and soft, lint-free rags. For soiled or streaked areas, wipe with a solution of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of ammonia, and 1 quart of water. Remember to spray the cleaner onto a rag first and not the mirror to prevent the cleaner from dripping onto the frame. Use a classic ostrich-feather duster to remove dust from delicate mirror surfaces and frames.

05 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Kitchen Trash Area

trash and recycle bins

Wash out the kitchen trash container and surrounding area with a multipurpose disinfecting cleaner. To save time, stash three or four trash bags at the bottom of the container before putting in a fresh bag. This makes it convenient to replace the bag the next time you take the trash out.

06 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Miniblinds and Curtains

neutral colors master bedroom
Lisa Romerein Photography

Vacuum curtains with a handheld vacuum and a soft brush attachment set on low suction. To quickly clean blinds, put on a pair of rubber gloves and top those with cotton gloves. Mix 1 teaspoon of ammonia to 1 quart of water. Then, dip your hands into the solution. Run your fingers along the top and your thumb underneath each slot to clear off dust.

07 of 10

Must-Know Dusting Tricks

Dust more effectively and you'll have to do it less often. Keep dust under control between cleaning days with these three must-know cleaning tricks. Here's how to get more out of your monthly dusting routine.

08 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Stove

white and green kitchen with vintage range
David Tsay

To clean your cooktop, first wait until your stove is cool. Remove drip pans and soak them in warm, soapy water. Spray the surface with an all-purpose cleaner or vinegar-and-water solution and wipe with a sponge or clean cloth. Then, wipe the excess with a paper towel. Spot-treat oven spills with a gentle abrasic cleanser like Bon Ami. For tough spots, use a baking soda paste and wipe with a damp sponge. Dry the surface with a towel and replace drip pans.

09 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Inside the Refrigerator

inside fridge view food organization shelving
Cameron Sadeghpour

To perform your monthly refrigerator cleaning, start by wiping the interior of your refrigerator. Sanitize your refrigerator drip pan, and wipe compartments with a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water. Wash the shelves in your sink with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Rinse and dry shelves before replacing them inside the fridge. Then, wash the door seals with water and a mild detergent.

10 of 10

Monthly Cleaning: Refresh Filters

Basement Makeover

It's a good idea to change or clean the filters on heating and cooling systems once a month. Forced-air systems rely on a filter to clean the air that moves through the furnace, into the ducts, and back through the furnace. Determine which filter works with your furnace and air-conditioner system and inspect it for contaminants about every 30 days. Change or clean the filter every 30 to 60 days to optimize its heating and cooling efficiency.

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