When you figure out the fastest and most effective way to clean a living room, you have more time to enjoy it.
A nice clean living room also takes the stress out of impromptu conversations and makes cozy nights on the couch with family that much more relaxing.
We’ve compiled the cleaning tips needed to get the job done efficiently, along with the steps to follow and the advice of the experts.
How do you clean a living room
“Cleaning your home not only leaves you smelling nice and organized, it also gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment,” says psychologist Emma Kenny. “Cleansing is a form of informal mindful practice that has the power to create a state of mental flow that is excellent for well-being.”
A spotless environment also makes living room ideas shine, and here’s how to clean a living room like a pro in seven easy steps.
1. Gather supplies
Gathering everything you need before you start not only saves you time, but it also helps get you in the game for a serious scrubbing session. The main things needed when asking how to clean a living room are:
- Two or three clean microfiber towels
- furniture polish or wax
- Window cleaner or vinegar and water solution and newspaper
- Feather dusters and radiator dusters, if equipped
- Vacuum cleaner plus upholstery and nozzle attachments
- Upholstery stain remover and carpet shampoo if available
- Hard floor mop and bucket if required
A small stepladder or sturdy chair can also be helpful for reaching the top of bookshelves, crown molding, and picture rails. “Once you’re ready to get to work, open the windows to freshen up the space and reduce the dusty air while cleaning,” advises Sarah Dempsey, cleaning expert at MyJobQuote.
2. Before cleaning a living room, tidy up
It may sound obvious, but your living room will be a lot easier to clean when sofas and countertops are decluttered. Return any stray items that shouldn’t be there to their rightful places and set up bookshelves and coffee tables.
Gather throws and either fold them up neatly or place them in the laundry room for later washing. Machine washing rugs and throws may be possible, but check the care label first. Check pillowcases to see if they can also be machine washed.
3. Get dust
Dry dusting with a soft cloth or feather duster is perfect for hard-to-reach areas like cornices, picture rails, curtain rods and high shelves when cleaning a living room. You can also buy special dusters to get around behind and around radiators – we like the Konex dryer vent and fridge coil brush, which is sold on Amazon and works on radiators too.
Always dust your living room from top to bottom to avoid soiling surfaces you’ve already done. Next, switch to a damp microfiber cloth, which removes more dust and works better on hard surfaces like baseboards, picture frames, door frames, and coffee tables.
Be especially careful when cleaning a TV screen. Using a fresh microfiber cloth, gently wipe the screen in an up and down motion, not a circular motion. If there are some stubborn stains, dampen the cloth very lightly and go over it again. Never spray water or detergent directly onto the screen.
Some wooden furniture, especially antique ones, will benefit from furniture polish or wax, which are meant to nourish the wood and protect it from moisture. Read the directions on the tin carefully and seek advice from a furniture maker or restorer if you are unsure. Always do a spot test in an inconspicuous place when using a new product for the first time.
4. Clean windows and mirrors
Polishing your windows and mirrors to a high shine is an important part of cleaning a living room. You can use a general glass cleaning spray, but we prefer cleaning with vinegar as it’s both natural and inexpensive.
To clean windows without streaks or clean a mirror, simply mix equal parts vinegar and hot water and add a squirt of liquid soap to remove any streaks. Using a fine mist, pour your mixture into an empty spray bottle and spritz lightly all over the jar, being careful not to overdo it. Then, take a sheet or two of old newspaper, crumple it up, and rub the jar in circular motions until it’s clean and streak-free.
Don’t forget to include your wood stove’s glass, if any (oven cleaner is particularly effective at removing burnt-on dirt), glass picture frames, glass lampshades, and any glass vases or coasters.
5. Treat window treatments
“You open and close your curtains and blinds every day, so you might be surprised at how much dust has accumulated. Handheld vacuums are a great way to clean curtains, rods and moldings without having to take them off,” says Rachel Fernie, window care expert at Hillarys. Larger stains or marks may require a visit to the dry cleaner.
Clean blinds depending on the type. For some, a vacuum can be used first, then a microfiber cloth. If they are shutters or horizontal blinds, close them in one direction first and clean from left to right; Then twist or pull the cord to fasten in the opposite direction and repeat the process. You may have to wash the cloth clean several times as you walk.
6. Vacuum sofas, armchairs and other seating
Next, clean sofas and chairs by removing any seat cushions and removing any large items such as pencils and loose change. Attach the nozzle to your vacuum and get right into nooks and crannies before switching to the upholstery attachment to clean the main seat area, backrests and armrests of your couch.
If the covers are removable and appear dingy, it may be time to clean them. Follow the washing symbols on the label inside. Place the seat cushions back on the couch and vacuum them too. Light stains and dirt can often be wiped away with a damp cloth, but be careful not to scrub too hard, especially if your upholstery is linen or velvet, which can stain one area if rubbed excessively. Also clean a leather sofa with care.
Upholstered stools, where the fabric is very taut, can often be cleaned with a carpet shampoo vacuum on low. You can also get compact, handheld versions for upholstery, which are also great for grabbing rugs.
7. Clean floors
You’re almost on the home stretch. The floor should always be the last task on your list, especially if you plan to shampoo carpets and/or rugs. “When you have a plush rug, you stay in certain lines as if you were mowing the lawn, which helps reduce unsightly streaks in the pile,” says Kate Henderson, duty manager at the Daffodil Hotel. Move all the furniture you can or use the attachments to get under and behind as far as you can. If you have cats or dogs and your existing vacuum isn’t up to par, it’s worth switching to one of the best pet hair vacuums.
Clean the carpets by taking them outside if possible and beating the dust out. Then, while the rugs are out of the room, thoroughly clean the floor underneath. If the carpet needs cleaning, use your carpet shampoo machine. You can also rent them from local hardware stores or call in a specialist.
Clean hardwood, stone, or laminate floors by vacuuming before wiping with a well-wrung mop. Always allow your living room floor to dry thoroughly before replacing rugs or allowing children and pets back into the room.
Why is it important to clean your living room?
Three-quarters (76%) of respondents said that a clean home is important to their mental health and well-being, and that a home that is not clean and tidy creates feelings of stress and dissatisfaction, impacts relationships with family and partners, and affects productivity at work, according to a recent survey by homewares brand Brabantia.
A clean living room can also have physical health benefits. “Keeping your living room clean will not only make it a nicer place to be, but it will also help remove dust and pollen that can cause allergies and minimize other pests like clothes moths and carpet beetles,” says Sarah Dempsey, Cleaning Expert at MyJobQuote.
How can I keep my living room neat and clean?
The key to keeping any room in your home neat and tidy is to take a “little and often” approach, and the living room is no exception. Try teaching each member of your household to look behind them when they leave the room and see if there are any plates, cups, shoes, or books to take with them.
Wiping up spills immediately helps immensely, especially when it comes to removing coffee stains and red wine stains. Soaking as much as possible with a kitchen towel or similar before applying stain remover and then rinsing with a damp cloth is your best chance of getting rid of stains completely.
You should aim to give your living room a deep cleaning at least once a week – dusting and vacuuming, and a more thorough cleaning as outlined in our steps above, maybe every six to eight weeks depending on usage.