Moving into a brand-new home is an exciting milestone. But before you can fully settle in, it’s essential to clean your new house thoroughly.
Cleaning a new home not only removes construction dust and debris but also creates a fresh and inviting space for you and your family.
Unfortunately, it also seems like a monstrous task, and many people don’t know where to start. If this sounds like you, don’t worry—we are here to make it easy.
This guide explores how to clean a new home, covering everything from essential cleaning supplies to a systematic approach for achieving an immaculate and organised living space.
How Do You Clean a New House?
Cleaning a brand-new house requires a combination of general household cleaning tasks and specific post-construction cleaning steps.
Follow these essential steps to ensure your new home is sparkling clean and ready for you to move in:
Step 1: Gather your cleaning supplies & equipment
Before diving into the cleaning process, you must gather the necessary cleaning supplies and equipment.
Cleaning a new home is a big task, so the list of things you need is relatively long. However, most of you will already have many of the required supplies and cleaning tools.
Some of the must-have cleaning products, cleaning tools, and equipment include:
- All-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Washing up liquid
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Carpet cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- White vinegar
- Wood cleaner
- Chlorine-free bleach
- Microfibre cloths
- Paper towels
- Soft-bristle broom
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Bin bags
- Rubber gloves
- Step ladder or kickstool
- Cleaning caddy or bucket
- Abrasive sponges
- Non-abrasive sponges
- Spray bottle
- Old toothbrush
Step 2: Dust and wipe down surfaces
Brand-new homes are notoriously dusty—an unavoidable aftermath of the construction process. Therefore, the first step in cleaning a new home is to remove construction dust and other debris from all surfaces before moving into the property.
Begin by dusting the ceilings, corners, and light fixtures with a soft-bristle broom or extendable duster.
You can then start dusting lower surfaces, working your way down. Wipe down walls, baseboards, windowsills, radiators, and any other flat surfaces using a slightly damp microfibre cloth.
Pay close attention to areas around windows and doors where construction dust accumulates.
You should also dust down all the old furniture you plan on bringing into your new house, such as wardrobes, chests of drawers, coffee tables, and sideboards.
Pay attention to the top of these items where dust and dirt have likely accumulated over the years.
Step 3: Clean windows & glass
Spotless windows can instantly brighten up your new home, so they’re next on our list of things to clean.
You can use a glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to clean the windows. Start at the top of the window and apply one or two sprays of cleaner (excess can cause streaks).
Wipe your cloth from side to side, working your way down the window.
After cleaning, check for any stickers or adhesive residue left behind during construction and gently scrape it off using a plastic scraper.
You can then move onto the window ledges, which can be cleaned using a general-purpose cleaning spray.
While you have your glass cleaner out, it’s also a good idea to clean any mirrors in your new home. Use the same method you used for cleaning windows: Spray a small amount of product on the top of the mirror and wipe in zig-zag motions until you reach the bottom.
For more information on cleaning windows, see our guide to cleaning windows.
Step 4: Clean the bathrooms
The bathrooms require extra attention due to the potential for grime buildup. If you’re moving into a brand-new home, the task won’t be too challenging—you shouldn’t be dealing with mould or limescale stains. However, you still need to give it a quick once-over before moving in.
Begin by cleaning the extractor fan, as this will likely contain a lot of dust. You can then clean the sink, bath, shower tray, and wall tiles using an appropriate all-purpose cleaner.
For grout, use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to scrub the areas gently with a toothbrush.
You can next use a glass cleaner for shower screen doors and white vinegar for shower heads and bath taps.
The toilet should be the last thing you clean in the bathroom for hygiene reasons. When cleaning a toilet, start by disinfecting the bowl and leaving the cleaner to sit.
Meanwhile, you can wipe the toilet exterior from top to bottom and clean the seat. Scrub the bowl, flush, and you’re done.
For more information on cleaning a bathroom, read: How to Clean a Bathroom Step by Step.
Step 5: Clean the kitchen
Once the bathrooms are in order, you can move downstairs to the kitchen. Typically an all-purpose cleaner and paper towels can be used to clean kitchen cabinets, both inside and outside.
If your kitchen cupboards are made from wood, use specifically formulated wood cleaner instead.
You can then move down to the kitchen counters and sink, once again using a cleaner appropriate for the materials used.
For example, granite worktops and granite sinks can be cleaned with washing-up liquid, whereas stainless steel sinks can be cleaned with bicarbonate of soda and lemon or a commercial stainless steel cleaner.
The kitchen appliances are next. For the oven, you can use more heavy-duty cleaners and abrasive sponges.
Ensure you also clean the hob and any other appliances in your new home, such as fridges, microwaves, and freezers.
If bringing your own appliances, make sure to clean them before plugging them into your new kitchen.
Step 6: Tackle the floors & carpets
Finally, you want to thoroughly clean all floors and carpets in your new home. Vacuum carpets and rugs to remove any dirt and debris.
You might also consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to give your carpets a deep and thorough clean—the best time to do this is when your house is empty.
If you have hardwood or tile floors, these can also be vacuumed to remove loose dirt and dust (see our guide to the best vacuum cleaners for hard floors).
You can then mop them using a mild floor cleaner. Always work from the far corner of the room and finish at the door. This prevents you from getting footprints on your newly cleaned floor.
In What Order Should You Clean a House?
To clean your new home efficiently, it’s essential to follow a systematic order that ensures no area is overlooked. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the best order to clean a house:
1. Start with the ceiling
Begin cleaning your new home by dusting the ceilings, ceiling fans, and light fixtures. Use a step ladder or extendable duster to help you clean these out-of-reach spots.
This way, any dust or debris that falls will be picked up during the general cleaning of lower areas.
2. Work from top to bottom
Next, wipe down the walls and clean the windows. When cleaning walls, windows, and pretty much any item in your home, always work from top to bottom.
This prevents dust and dirt from resettling on areas you’ve already cleaned. The general rule is to clean high surfaces first, then move downward, finishing with the floors.
3. Tackle the bathroom
Once all the surfaces in your home are dusted, it’s time to move on to the bathrooms. Clean the sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers using appropriate cleaning agents.
Don’t forget to wipe down mirrors and cabinets as well. Cleaning the bathrooms early ensures you have a fresh and hygienic space to use while cleaning the rest of the house.
4. Move to the kitchen
The kitchen has many appliances and different surfaces and thus is one of the biggest cleaning tasks. Focus on cleaning countertops, cabinets, and the sink.
Pay extra attention to areas around the stove and microwave, as these can accumulate grease and grime. Also, clean any appliances (oven, fridge, freezer, etc.) included in your new home.
5. Clean living areas & bedrooms
Now it’s time to tackle the living areas and bedrooms. In a brand-new home, these should be the easiest rooms as they’re likely empty.
If there are any pieces of furniture, built-in shelves, or baseboards, dust and wipe down these surfaces. Remember to start with the highest and work your way down to the lower levels.
6. Finish with the floors
Lastly, clean the floors throughout the entire house. Vacuum all carpets, rugs, and hardwood floors to remove dust and dirt.
You can then mop hardwood or tile floors using the appropriate cleaning solution. We also recommend using a carpet cleaner on any carpeted areas—without any furniture in your home, now is the best time to do a deep carpet clean.
Things to Remember When Cleaning a New Home
Here are some important things to note when cleaning your new home.
1. Clean your new home before you move your things in
When you first receive the keys to your new home, it can be incredibly tempting to drive straight there with all your belongings but no matter how you look at it, it’s more difficult to do a deep clean with furniture inside.
Take this opportunity to head over with nothing but your cleaning products and show your new flat/house some love. You’ll be thankful you did this when all your things are placed perfectly in your new, refreshed home.
2. Clean hidden areas
Although you’d like to believe that the previous tenants had done a spectacular job at cleaning the place before moving out, the reality is that a lot of places can go un-noticed and therefore unclean without a second thought.
Be sure to clean the areas that you may forget about later down the line: the top of cabinets, door knobs, behind the fridge etc.
3. Don’t forget the walls!
A culprit hiding in plain sight. Ensure the walls have been thoroughly cleaned before moving in your furniture and getting settled in.
Take into consideration what your walls are plastered with: wallpaper? Paint job? Then you’ll need to dust the entire area (not forgetting about the corners of course).
4. Dust fans and vents
Another area that can be left untouched are the ventilation systems in your new home. Whether you have them installed in your bathroom and garage or there’s one above your kitchen counter, it’s best to thoroughly dust these before you start to cook or wash yourself around them.
5. Most important rooms/areas: kitchen and bathrooms
These areas of your new home are the most important when it comes to hygiene so you should focus most your efforts here. Disinfect everything.
Congratulations on getting your new home! Follow these tips and I assure you, your move will be not only less stressful but enjoyable. You’ll have the place looking as if it was made for you in no time.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.