How Clean Is Your House?: 5 Cleaning Tips

How clean is your house? Like, really, how clean is your house? Like, if a professional cleaner walked into your house, what would they think?

Of course, I’m not perfect, and my house isn’t perfect. But as a person with over 15 years of professional cleaning experience, I know what to look for quickly in a space to assess just how clean it is. 

If you’re wondering why I’m telling you this, it’s because I want to give you a professional cleaner’s perspective so you can learn how to clean like a professional! That way, when you are assessing your own space, you’ll know exactly what areas to hit to get your home cleaned quickly and cleaned well. 

Today we’re talking home scents, clean floors, wall cleaning, and more! So let’s see how clean your house really is.

1. Home Scents

For me, stepping into someone’s home is a full sensory experience. It’s about sight, sound, smell, and touch. Plus, hopefully, they put out snacks, and then it’s about taste too!

One of the first things I notice when I walk into someone’s home is the smell. Of course, everyone’s home has a scent, but we tend not to notice what our own homes smell like because we’re used to it. Febreze actually coined the term noseblind, meaning that we are “blind” to the smell in our own spaces.

Pets, food, and lack of cleaning can all add to a less than pleasant odor that a professional cleaner will be able to detect immediately. So, put your smelling nose on and deal with any unpleasant odors in your home by cleaning the source thoroughly. And for an extra oomph, check out my DIY Holiday Home Scents article, where I tell you how to make your own scents for the holidays and more. 

2. Clean Floors

Our floors are the largest surfaces in our home. And they’re the lowest surfaces (duh, Melissa). But what this means is you’ve got a whole lot of floor to clean, and gravity is not on your side. Any spills, dirt, dust, debris, etc., falls down to the floor, meaning floors get dirty quickly. 

When I walk into a home, my eyes look forward and down. And I can tell really quickly by looking at a floor how clean or dirty it is. The floors in my home are light-colored, and I chose this because they don’t show dirt and dust as much as darker floors. 

For example, if you walk around barefoot, dark floors are much more likely to show footprints than light floors. The finish of the floor also affects how the floor shows dirt. A shiny, glossy finish quickly shows even small prints or a bit of dust. So if you have dark floors or a glossy finish, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But either way, keeping your floor clean is another step in the right direction to keeping your whole space clean. 

For info on cleaning floors, read my articles DIY Floor Cleaners and Clean Your Hardwood Floors. 

Melissa Maker mopping the floor

3. Dusty Surfaces

You’ve probably seen a character in a movie or TV show, or maybe just your mother-in-law, wipe their finger on a surface and look disgustedly at their dusty finger. It’s a pretty rude move, but we should be doing this more often in our own spaces. 

And honestly, you can tell with a quick glance—no need for the finger swipe. Knowing where dust likes to hide is helpful here. When dusting, a professional cleaner knows exactly what areas to pay extra attention to. 

What you should look for is the forgotten places. Sounds spooky, but I just mean the mantle, baseboards, vents, window sills, and light fixtures. A quick glance should be able to tell you if these places need attention from you and your duster, especially if you have white baseboards. 

Keeping on top of these areas is a great way to put that extra polish onto your home, and these areas are exactly where a professional cleaner would beeline to. Need more dusting help? I’ve got an article for that: 10 Handy Dusting Tips. 

 4. Wall Cleaning

Many people forget about cleaning walls and points of contact in their home. And listen, you can clean as much or as little as you want. But if you want to see your home through the eyes of a professional cleaner, you’ll need to pay attention to cleaning the walls. 

I always scan walls, and high-traffic touchpoints like light switches and door handles when it’s time to clean. I look for fingerprints and other marks in these areas. And if there are kids in your home, you’ll want to check for fingerprints lower down. I like to get on my hands and knees so I can spot those sticky handprints my daughter often leaves behind. 

Before Chad and I moved into our home, it was home to a household with five children. And let me tell you, the walls looked as if there was one long Adidas stripe around the whole house. It was all the kids’ handprints!

Walls aren’t one of those things you need to clean every week (thank you, cleaning gods!). But when it is time to clean them, read my article, How to Clean Walls and Baseboards. And don’t forget, the super versatile Maker’s Mop can get floors, baseboards, and even walls and ceilings looking their best!

Melissa Maker using the Maker's Mop on her ceiling

5. Cleaning Surfaces 

I know it sounds a little obvious to say you should clean surfaces. Like, we all know we have to clean surfaces. But specifically, I mean surfaces that get grimy buildup like soap scum on the sink, grease on the backsplash, toothpaste spray on the mirror, you get the idea. 

I define grime as any kind of film or buildup that’s on a surface. If there is a minimal amount of grime, you can probably spray with a cleaner, let sit for a few minutes, and wipe. Easy peasy. But if there’s a lot of grime built up, you might need specialty products and tools. 

That’s why it’s good to tackle these surfaces more frequently, so you don’t have to go out and buy those extra products and use that extra elbow grease. How I assess surfaces is I look for shiny, reflective surfaces because they show dirt and grime the most. 

I also check surfaces by doing what I call the eye level test. Get down to the eye level of the surface, and look straight, directly at the surface. When you do this, it’s like you’re seeing things in five dimensions. I love this test; it never lies. It’s a whole new perspective that we professional cleaners use to get up in that grime and eliminate it effectively. 

If you’re looking at a vertical surface like a stainless steel refrigerator, you can stand in front of it and shift from side to side, using the light reflecting off it to spot grime, fingerprints, etc. These are both great ways to detect grime and start tackling those surfaces. For even more information, check out my article, 5 of the Dirtiest Surfaces in Your Home!

Wiping the sink with a microfiber cloth

How to Clean Like A Professional 

Whether it’s just for you to feel cozy and clean, or because your entire extended family is coming and you know Aunt Carol is going to run her fingers along any dust she sees, I hope my tips help you get your home spic and span.

What areas get the dirtiest in your home? And what do you clean if guests are coming over? Let me know in the comments!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I can’t really do much cleaning myself since I broke my arm. It’s helpful to know how you should get down on eye level to examine surfaces for build-up or grease that you might have missed. I think it’s worth it to just invest in house cleaning professionals as I know they would know things like this and be able to help me given my situation.


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