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DIY Tips

Step One: Clean Your New House!

Mopping the floors.
Congratulations on purchasing your new home! You’re undoubtedly thrilled to have the buying process behind you. However, before you move in, the first step is to clean your new house. Hopefully, the previous owners picked up after themselves before they handed over the key, but there’s no guarantee. That’s why you need to complete the task yourself. Follow this guide to make sure you don’t miss a spot.


Begin here, before you get burned out cleaning other areas of your new house. With well-used appliances, cabinets, and countertops, the kitchen likely needs the most attention.

Stove & Oven

If the cooktop features electric coils, remove them and set them aside. Soak the metal bowls in hot, soapy water. Now apply a strong cleaner to the stove and allow any soiled areas to soak.

Now take a look inside the oven. Remove the racks and add them to the sink to soak. If needed, apply oven cleaner and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then scrub down the oven with steel wool.

Clean the vent hood with a degreaser to get the tough stuff off. Gunk may drip onto the stove, so only clean this area once you’re done with the hood.

Scrub the items soaking in the sink, rinse them, and let them dry completely before reinstalling them where they go.

Refrigerator & Freezer

Even if the fridge is empty, it may still smell like old leftovers. Turn off the fridge and freezer and open the doors to let them warm up. Remove all drawers, shelves, and bins and soak them in hot soapy water. Wipe the inside walls and built-in shelves with a damp cloth. Chip off any ice clinging to the freezer walls. Scrub and rinse all removed items and allow them to dry before reinstalling them.

Move the fridge away from the wall and dust off the coils located on the back (or the bottom) of the fridge with a vacuum brush attachment. This improves the refrigerator’s efficiency so it costs less to operate.

Cabinets & Countertops

Dust and wipe down all cabinet surfaces with a soft cloth sprayed with a dusting agent. Don’t forget the tops of the doors, where dust is most likely to accumulate. For grease stains, grimy drawer interiors, and hardware spread on a paste of water and baking soda. Let the paste sit for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean cloth. Spray the counters and backsplash with a disinfecting cleaner and wipe with a washcloth to leave them squeaky clean.


A water and baking soda paste works well to remove stains from most sinks. To really make the sink shine after removing stains, rub a cut-in-half lemon on the surface and rinse with water.


Remove any lingering soap scum in the sink, shower, or tub with a foaming solution of baking soda and vinegar. Clean hard water off glass shower doors with one part vinegar and one part water. Use counter and toilet cleaning products as normal. You may also want to replace the toilet seat before moving into your new house.


Unless you have kids, this is a task you’ll probably only do once, but it’s worth it to create a clean slate. First, remove all dust and cobwebs. Then wipe down baseboards, moldings, doorframes, and light switch covers with a damp cloth. Now dunk a sponge mop in a bucket of warm soapy water. Squeeze out as much water as you can, and then scrub the walls. Remove tough marks with a Magic Eraser or liquid stick cleaner designed for removing stains from clothes.


For carpeted floors, hire a professional carpet cleaner prior to your move-in date. Steam cleaning is also effective for sealed hardwood floors. For all other flooring materials, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming should suffice.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the task of packing, moving, and preparing a clean house to move into, Rainbow Restoration® can help. We offer spot and stain removal, odor removal, hard surface cleaning, professional carpet care, mold remediation, and more! Contact us today to schedule whatever services you require prior to moving in.

For Further Reading:

How to Clean Your Couch

Here's Your Tornado Shelter Supplies Checklist

More Than the Funnel: Severe Weather Tornado Signs

Tornado Shelters: Where to Take Cover When a Tornado Strikes

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