Before having guests, DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN the dirty spots we always forget about. Here’s 30 important things to clean before guests arrive.
What Do You Clean When Guests Are Coming
Whether you’re having guests stay at your house or just throwing a big family party, you can use this list to make sure you get your house ready for guests and looking great.
This list is kind of long. I generally start cleaning a week before guests arrive. Just pick 3 to 5 things you can do every day to spread it out. Some of these items can be done in less than 10 minutes.
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Be sure to get the FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST at the end of the list. Now, let’s get to cleaning before guests arrive!
30 Things To Deep Clean Before Guests Arrive
1. The Silverware Drawer
I don’t know how crumbs get into my silverware drawer, but they definitely do. So, I unload that drawer and wipe everything clean before guests arrive. They don’t want to eat off of grubby forks, right.
To do this, I generally just use warm water and dish soap while I’m washing dishes. Or, sometimes a multi-surface or kitchen spray.
2. Fan Blades
Most of the fans in my home are on year-round. Using fans can help to reduce your energy bill, even in the winter. But, after a few months of use, the fan blades are covered in dust.
Make sure you dust your fan blades before guests arrive so that they don’t turn off a fan and see that they’ve been sleeping under a dusty fan. The Swiffer Duster makes quick work of cleaning fans.
3. Stovetops Need A Quick Clean Before Guests Arrive
I generally give my stovetop a wipe when I’m washing dishes. But, even with that, tougher stains can build up on the burner and stovetop. So, I scrub it clean with a non-scratch scrubbing pad & a kitchen cleaner.
4. Inside Your Oven
It’s easy to forget to clean inside your oven. I know I’ve done it, for years at a time. Out of sight, out of mind, right? For years, I only ever thought about cleaning my oven once it was too hot to clean.
But, if you’ll be cooking your guest any meals, you should give it a good deep clean before guests arrive. Check out How To Use Easy Off Oven Cleaner Fume Free to see how I cleaned my gross oven.
5. Inside Your Microwave
Again, a grungy appliance will make your guest think twice about eating in your home. So, be sure to give the inside and outside of your microwave a good clean.
Don’t forget to check the inside ceiling of that microwave too. Baked on bits of food love to hide there.
6. Clean Your Refrigerator And Restock
I pull everything out of my fridge to wash and wipe down the inside of my refrigerator before having guests over. Once the inside is clean, I check every item for an expiration date before putting it back in.
Then, I’m sure to load up the fridge with any drinks, condiments, and food my guests might want before they arrive. Don’t forget easy to grab and make options, like yogurts, bread, and lunch meat.
7. Clean Pantry And Restock
Just like with the fridge, I pull everything out of my pantry, wipe out the shelves, then check everything for expiration dates before loading it back in.
Then I restock the pantry with lots of snacks, granola bars, cereals, oatmeal, soups, tuna, mac and cheese, quick noodles, and rice dishes. Or whatever you know they like to eat,
8. Clean Guest Bathroom And Restock Toiletries
Of course, the bathroom is one of the most important places to deep clean before guests arrive. You already know to clean the toilet, shower, sinks, and floor.
But don’t forget to wipe inside of garbage cans, cabinets and drawers too. I also restock the guest bathroom with toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, tissues, and hand soap.
I like to keep a blow dryer, cotton balls, Q-tips, and extra garbage bags in there too. I try to think about anything they might need if they’re staying at my house more than a couple nights.
9. Tile Floor And Maybe Grout
I always give my tile floor a good steam mop before having guests over. The steam mop removes any spills, sanitizes the floor, and gets rid of the smudges in the sheen that build up with use.
If your grout looks dingy or dirty you can spot clean those areas with warm dish water. Or, for really stained grout, follow my tips in Does Grout Renew Work or How To Whiten Grout & Make It Look New.
10. Wash Pillows
Most of our houseguests kindly strip their bedding before leaving. That means they get to see what the pillows look like with the pillow case off.
So, I try to replace or wash pillows before they arrive. Keeping pillows fresh and clean before guests arrive is a must-do for me. Check that mattress cover too. It probably needs a wash.
11. Clean Baseboards And Walls
I like to dust off all of our baseboards before guests stay with us too. Then I go over the walls in the bathroom, kitchen, and high traffic areas (like hallways) with a multi-surface spray.
With 2 little boys in the house, those walls tend to get smudgy fingerprints all over them every few months. A quick wipe down always freshens them up.
12. Vacuum Furniture And Pet Hair
While I’m vacuuming my floors, I also take all of the cushions off my chairs and couches so that I can give them a good vacuum too.
If your pets have favorite sleeping spots on your furniture, be sure to vacuum off all of their pet hair. Or, use a pet hair roller to remove their hair to get your house ready for houseguests.
13. Upholstery Stains
Little stains always seem to build up on my furniture, over time. A little coffee here, a little drip of popsicle there. The occasional pencil mark or random smudge too.
So, I grab my Bissell SpotClean Pro to give my fabric couches and chairs a quick and easy cleaning. If you don’t have a SpotClean Pro, you can use a clean rag and a spray cleaner like Resolve’s Fabric Cleaner.
You can see my tips for figuring out if you can use an upholstery cleaner on your furniture in my post, How To Clean A Couch At Home.
14. Area Rugs Might Need A Clean Before Guests Arrive
Every couple of years, I give my dirty area rugs a good clean with my Bissell SpotClean Pro too. It takes a little more prep than cleaning a couch. But, it can save tons of money when you do it yourself.
You can see my steps for how to clean area rugs at home in a previous post.
15. Clean Inside Your Dishwasher
Slimy pink mold likes to pop up in the corners and along the edges of your dishwasher. Be sure to clean out all of the mold with warm dish water. Then clean the dishwasher filter too.
I also check the sides of the door and the sides of the cabinets next to my dishwasher. I tend to find coffee drops and spots in those areas.
Get the front of the dishwasher with a good multi-surface cleaner too. You want a clean dishwasher when you’re guests are loading their cups and dishes into it.
16. Rewash Bedding
I only have houseguests about once a year. So, even though I wash the bedding after the last guests leave, that bedding has spent a year getting dusty and probably a little covered in cat hair.
Before any guests arrive, I strip the bedding again to give it a wash. Your guests will appreciate fresh smelling sheets anyway.
17. Rewash Bath Mats & Towels
The same is true for my guest bathroom towels and bath mats. I give them all a rewash right before guests arrive so they have fresh smelling, fluffy towels and mats too.
18. Dust And Clean Out Closets And Drawers
In the months between guests, the drawers in our guest room dresser can get a little dusty and dirty too. So, I wipe those drawers out with a multi-surface cleaner.
I also wipe down the shelves in the closet they’ll use too. If your guest room closet is filled with some of your stuff, you might want to make a little hanging space for your houseguests too, just in case.
19. Dust And Clean Out Bookshelves
We have a huge set of bookshelves in our Family Room, where guests like to hang out. So, I give that bookcase a good deep clean and reorganize everything on it before having houseguests.
That gets rid of built up dust. But, it also gives me a good excuse to donate books my kids have outgrown and get those shelves looking nice again.
20. Windows Inside and Outside
I like to clean the outside of my windows once a year anyway. So, might as well give them a good clean before guests arrive. Dingy windows make the inside of your house feel darker and they ruin any views of your yard too.
I like to use Windex or a little dish soap in warm water to scrub windows inside and out. Then I quickly buff them dry with a clean, dry towel to get a spotless finish on windows.
21. Inside And Outside Kitchen Cabinets
You can pick a good multi-surface cleaner that is safe on cabinets, warm dish water, or vinegar mixed with water to clean and degrease your kitchen cabinets.
I like to buff dry cabinets with clean towels to avoid having tiny water spots showing up on my cabinets. Get my full steps and tips for 3 ways to clean kitchen cabinets in a previous post.
22. Door Handles And Light Switches
Germs and bacteria like to hide on light switches and door handles. So, be sure to wipe all of them down with a good multi-surface cleaner. It’ll help to prevent an illness ruining your time with your houseguests.
23. Front Door And Porches
I grab a broom and dust all of the little bits that have built up on my brick and porch ceiling. Then I sweep up everything from the porch floor. I also shake out the doormat.
If it’s been a while, you might need to give the porch, pathways, and driveway a quick pressure wash too. This is something you can do 2 or 3 weeks before guests arrive, it’ll last a while.
24. Flower Beds
After cleaning my front porch, I weed my flower beds and trim all of the bushes and overgrowth too. My family doesn’t get to visit often. But when they do, I want the house to have nice curb appeal.
25. TVs Are A Quick Clean Before Guests Arrive
TV’s get dusty and grungy too. So, don’t forget to give your TV a quick clean before guests arrive. I generally use a multi-surface cleaner and a soft, clean rag on mine.
26. Get The Entry Ready
Don’t forget to clean up your entryway too. On top of normal cleaning, I make sure my guests will have room for their shoes and coats in the entry.
And, even though we never use the front door, I added a bench, mirror, and coat hooks so that our guests, who do use the front door, have everything they need when they come and go.
If you’ve piled up things like the laundry, unfinished projects, books, paperwork, or toys anywhere that your guests will be hanging out, it’s time to clean those up.
Either go through them and put things away where they belong. Or, just pop those piles somewhere out of sight. I like to use guests coming as an excuse to decide what needs to be donated or thrown out.
28. Clean Out Litter Boxes And Pet Areas
Don’t forget to clean out all of your litter boxes, doggie beds, kennels, etc. These areas can be pretty stinky to outsiders. We can get used to our pets smells, but our guests will definitely notice them.
29. Cobwebs Are A Quick Clean Before Guests Arrive
Another part of your house that’s easy to forget is the ceiling. But, after a while, spider webs will pop up where the ceiling meets the wall and around ceiling light fixtures.
Grab a Swiffer Duster or your favorite duster to quickly remove all of the cobwebs in those spots.
30. Vacuum Everywhere
Finally, one of the last things I clean before guests arrive is the floor. I save it for last because floors just quickly gather crumbs and bits when you have two boys and two cats around.
So, I set my Roomba loose on the floor a couple hours before having houseguests visit. The best part about my Roomba is that I can be doing other things while it works. I LOVE that!
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15 Things To Always Clean Before Guests Arrive – Video
Want to see how I get my house ready for guests. Watch this video to see me cleaning before guests arrive.
That’s it for What Do You Clean When Guests Are Coming. Here’s a few more posts you might like.
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That’s it for what do you deep clean before guests arrive. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.