Tackle these trouble spots by deep cleaning the heck out of them.
Tackle these trouble spots by deep cleaning the heck out of them.Illustration: Ellie Schiltz/Getty Images
AD It Yourself

6 Deep Cleaning Hacks You Can Do in Under an Hour

And the best cleaning products to get the job done

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Even if you have just one hour, rolling up your sleeves for a deep-cleaning session can yield surprisingly satisfying results. After all, it’s a no-brainer that a light dusting or a quick spritz with a bathroom cleaner is an excellent way to minimize the appearance of a messy home, but tackling grime will make you feel accomplished. What’s more, “taking the time to deep clean will save you time in the long run,” says Kadi Dulude, owner of Wizard of Homes, a cleaning company in New York City. Deep cleaning is especially important when it comes to hard-to-reach and often neglected places like shower heads, cabinet fronts, and forgotten carpet stains. 

Here we compiled six spots that probably need a little love and hacks on how to clean them. Plus, hand-picked cleaning products to get the job done.

1. Limescale and hard water spots

Why it’s dirty: Mineral deposits are caked on

The bathroom shower is probably the biggest mineral buildup offender. You can start by deep cleaning the showerhead: Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and then submerge the head in it (if you unscrew the showerhead) or tie it above the nozzle. “Leave overnight or at least a couple of hours,” says Will Cotter, owner of HappyCleans, a cleaning company in Oklahoma City. “Run hot water to flush out debris. Brush with a stiff bristle brush for nozzles that seem stuck.”

While the showerhead soaks, tackle stubborn stains around the faucets—and even inside the toilet bowl—with the Pink Stuff, the limescale-fighting darling on TikTok.

Stardrops Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner

2. Spots on area rugs and carpets

Why it’s dirty: Dust and debris are pushed into carpet fibers

Although regular vacuuming can keep crumbs and dust out of rugs and carpeting, true stains need to be spot-cleaned with a stain remover, Cotter says. For the most efficient rug or carpet deep cleaning, employ steam to loosen up the debris, then suck up the gunk with a hand-held vacuum, like Bissell LittleGreen portable carpet and upholstery cleaner, which allows you to focus on the trouble spot. A vinegar and soap solution can help manage funky odors, but true stains—especially those caused by pets—need something more serious. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator tackles it all. 

Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator

3. Dull window treatments

Why it’s dirty: Blinds and curtains are dust magnets

Tackling the dust on windows and window treatments is often an after thought, but it shouldn’t be. Greying fabric or blinds can make the entire bedroom look dumpy.  If you have fabric window blinds, vacuum them using the smaller brush attachment and then deep clean them with a fabric or upholstery cleaner. Better yet: Arm yourself with a dusting arsenal and tackle not only the blinds, but also the area surrounding the window frame with specialty brushes. For wood or bamboo blinds, vacuum side to side and cover every nook and cranny with the brush attachment. Tip: “Never use any liquid cleansers,” Cotter says. “If these get wet, they’re prone to water stains.”

Los Angeles interior designer Breegan Jane deep cleans faux velvet curtains (and other upholstery) with a bristle brush, Dial soap and a bit of water. “This works really well when you've got ketchup stains or sticky finger marks,” she says. “The pilling on those types of fabrics react really well to that gentle cleaning combo, and the brush allows for any spills or stains to come out easily.” She does however, warns that this cleaning method shouldn't be used on canvas-like materials as the bristles can actually ruin and pill the fabric. 

10 Pcs Venetian Window Blind Cleaner

4. Burnt-on cooking surfaces 

Why it’s dirty: The heat on the cooktop and inside the oven scorches spills, so they’re seriously stuck 

A good sponge and dish soap (like Dawn Platinum EZ-Squeeze) are your friends for a post-dinner cleanup routine that deals with greasy residue. “Put a thin line of salt on top of a spill right away,” Dulude says. “That makes a stain much easier to wipe off.” But for a truly stubborn brown spot, moisten the area and apply scrubbing powder (like Aspen Clean), let sit for about five minutes, and scrub away with a sponge. A paste of baking soda and water can do the trick, though you may have to leave the solution to dry overnight for best results. 

AspenClean Green Powder Cleaner SuperScrub

5. Stains on kitchen cabinets and countertops

Why it’s dirty: Forgotten spills end up as sticky stains 

When warm soapy water and a sponge won’t cut it, you might need to reach for something more effective, but be careful with bleach, which can damage natural stone. For instance, hydrogen peroxide works wonders on granite counter stains and Weiman Quartz & Stone can help dislodge stubborn spots. For annoying streaking, like those soy sauce trails on cabinet fronts that seem to appear out of nowhere, use baking soda and a microfiber cloth to make them look like new. Don’t forget to clean the tops of the cabinets with a wet rag, Dulude adds.

LUUM All Purpose Cleaning Spray Starter Kit

6. Stinky disposal and garbage

Why it’s dirty: Bacteria and other organic matter begin to decompose

Garbage stinks, and no amount of scented candles can cover it up. That’s why deep cleaning your trash can and garbage disposal is imperative to a clean home. Pour baking soda into your kitchen sink disposal and leave it in for a couple of hours. Next pour in white vinegar and ice cubes. Run the tap and grind. “Add orange and lemon peels for a refreshingly citrus scent,” Dulude adds.

For the trash can, take it outside and hose it down (or wash it in a bath tub filled with soapy water or mild detergent). You will be surprised how many pieces of food are stuck to the sides of the bin, both inside and out. A spin brush can make the entire process go much faster. 

ACTIVE Garbage Disposal Cleaner