Tips for Cleaning a New Home: Remove Grime and Improve Air Quality


Photo by Derick Moreno |

Whether you purchased a house or rented a different apartment, there’s no better way to get off on the right foot in your new home than with a thorough clean. Even if your home is brand new, the property likely has its fair share of indoor air pollution due to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly found in building materials. So, whether you’re moving into a tiny apartment that has seen its fair share of tenants or you’re starting over in a brand new house, a thorough cleaning should be on the docket as soon as possible.

If cleaning yourself isn’t an option, hire a professional cleaning service to do the job. Many housekeeping services offer special move-in deals that specifically target areas that previous residents may have overlooked. Look online for professional cleaners in the area and make a few calls to compare services and prices.

Removing Grime from Neglected Areas

Think about your last home: How often did you wipe down the walls in the kitchen? What about addressing your baseboards and molding? And did you take the time to make sure your refrigerator ran efficiently by cleaning both under and behind it? For most of us, these are the types of areas we typically neglect when cleaning. They see less traffic and tend to get dirty way less often. Chances are, the previous residents also neglected these parts of the home. Addressing them now before you start moving in your belongings is a great way to remove built-up grime from the past and create a breath of fresh air in your new home.

● Wipe down walls — especially areas that may be splattered with grease in the kitchen — with a clean sponge dipped in undiluted white vinegar. After removing the initial layer of grime, wipe again with a separate sponge soaked in water before drying.

● Break out your vacuum and remove dust from baseboards and moulding with the brush attachment. Once dusted, make a cleaning solution out of warm water, liquid dish soap, and vinegar. Soak a melamine sponge in the solution and wring out the excess before wiping down surfaces to remove grime. To prevent any potential build-up, rub a dryer sheet along the boards to repel dirt and dust.

● To clean both behind and under the refrigerator easier, gently pull the machine away from the wall and unplug it. Also, shut off the water supply if there is an icemaker. Use a refrigerator coil brush to dislodge dust around the condenser coils before removing completely with your vacuum’s brush attachment. Wipe the surface behind the fridge with a damp cotton cloth and a little dish soap. Clean the floor by removing dust with the vacuum before mopping with the appropriate solution for your type of floor.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

A lot of things can cause pollution indoors — pet dander, smoke, radon, mildew, and certain chemicals just scratch the surface. To improve indoor air quality in your home, make sure your home is adequately ventilated so dirty air can move out and clean air can move in. Cleaning regularly to reduce dust, mold, and mildew also improves indoor air quality. New homes should be tested for radon, and smoke/carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed throughout the house. Finally, change old air filters so your heating and cooling system work more efficiently without re-introducing dirt and dust back into the air you breathe.

While you may think a new home doesn’t need a good cleaning, you should think again. The old residents likely forgot to remove grime from neglected areas such as the kitchen walls, baseboards and molding, and behind the refrigerator. Furthermore, dust, mold, and harmful chemicals can lead to indoor air pollution. Make sure the air quality in your home is up to par by improving ventilation and changing air filters as needed.

By: Cindy Aldridge |
Photo from 1286 Orange Ct, Marco Island - Home For Sale