Anita's is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

When is Clean Really Clean? Deep Clean vs. Regular Clean

Young woman vacuuming in the living room.

On average, you’ll spend anywhere between 2 to 4 hours a week cleaning. Keeping a tidy house is important for not just the aesthetics, but also your family’s health.

Without regular cleaning, there can be buildup of dirt, dust, and germs. But if you use a cleaning service, you may have noticed there’s a regular house cleaning service, as well as a deep house cleaning one.

Which one do you need?

Keep reading to find out the difference between a regular and deep house cleaning, and how to know which one you need.

What Is a Regular House Cleaning?

Regular house cleaning is a service most people schedule on a regular basis. Depending on how much foot traffic and mess is made daily, you may need a regular house cleaning every week if your home is particularly busy. Otherwise, you’d schedule these cleanings every 2 weeks or even every month.

Since these cleanings are so frequent, expect a light service whenever you book a cleaner. The main goal is to remove the dust and grime that’s built up since the last appointment. That way, your home never experiences too much dirtiness.

Due to how basic a regular house cleaning service is, you can expect them to be in and out within a few hours. Of course, the exact time will depend on how big your home is.

What You Can Ask For in a Regular House Cleaning Service

Every housekeeper will be different, but the services should be pretty similar across the board. Here’s an example of the kinds of services you can request a housekeeper to provide for a regular clean:

  • Vacuuming and mopping of all your floors (including stairs)
  • Dusting surfaces
  • Straightening out your belongings
  • Making your bed
  • Cleaning the bathroom (disinfecting surfaces, wiping mirrors, cleaning the shower and tub)
  • Cleaning the kitchen (disinfecting surfaces, wiping appliance exteriors)
  • Taking out the trash in every room

When Do I Need It?

You’ll need regular house cleaning service on a routine basis. Again, the frequency will depend on how much activity is in your house, and how many people (and pets) you have.

It’s best to start out with a weekly schedule. If you notice that your home is still pretty clean the day before the cleaners come, you can switch to a biweekly schedule.

Should you find your house is still pretty dust-free after 2 weeks, then consider switching to a monthly schedule. Your housekeeper will understand and accommodate any changes to your routine.

What Is Deep House Cleaning?

Deep house cleaning is when your housekeeper puts more effort and time into cleaning your house. Typically, they’ll use stronger products and get into places they normally wouldn’t with regular cleaning.

Because this is more intensive, you should expect your cleaner to take longer than they would with regular house cleaning. Instead of a few hours, the job may take over 5, especially if you have a decent amount of dirt and grime in your home.

Basically, a good rule of thumb to have is if you think anything needs to be cleaned on the inside as well as the outside, then you need a deep house cleaning.

What You Can Ask for in a Deep House Cleaning Service

Again, the services included with deep house cleaning can vary depending on the needs and requirements of a home. However, you can expect some similarities. Here’s an example of the kinds of services you can request a housekeeper to provide for a deep clean:

  • Cleaning behind kitchen appliances
  • Cleaning the kitchen appliances themselves (including inside)
  • Cleaning the inside and outside of your windows
  • Complete dusting of all surfaces, including high up on your walls
  • Limescale removal from your bathroom surfaces
  • Wiping and dusting of your baseboards

You can request that your housekeeper perform everything from regular house cleaning services too.

When Do I Need It?

If you’ve never used house cleaning services before, or it’s been a long time since your last appointment, most companies will suggest you get a deep house cleaning first. This lets them get rid of tough buildup and makes it easier for subsequent regular house cleanings.

Ideally, you should schedule one or two deep house cleanings a year. This ensures that any heavy buildup in nooks and crannies will be cleaned out, so your house is 100% clean.

However, you may need it more than a few times a year. For instance, if you’re moving out of a home, you’ll need to perform a deep clean to prepare it for the next homeowner.

Have Realistic Expectations for Cleaners

As you can see, deep house cleaning involves significantly more work on the cleaners’ part. Because of that, you should have realistic expectations when you’re booking a cleaning.

If this is the first time you’re hiring a cleaner, then you should definitely book more hours, just to be on the safe side. Considering your house hasn’t had a deep clean before (or it’s been a while since your last one), the housekeeper will need plenty of time to do a thorough job.

By booking more time than you think you need, you can speak to the cleaner about your needs and priorities once they’re onsite. What you think may be a 3-hour job may actually be a 5-hour one, or more.

If it turns out the cleaner needs more time than you’ve booked, they may not be able to stay and finish the job, since they most likely have another cleaning job booked after yours. This is why it’s always a good idea to overbook hours, especially if it’s the first deep cleaning you’ve ever scheduled.

Get Your House Deep Cleaned

Deep house cleaning is something you should get done at least once or twice a year. Not only is it good for getting rid of the more stubborn dirt and grime, but it’s also great for your health.

So make sure you don’t skip out on deep cleanings. While it’s more expensive than regular cleaning services, it’ll be worth every penny spent. Make sure you request more hours than you’d normally expect, as deep cleaning generally takes longer.

Do you in Santa Cruz County, San Diego County, or San Jose? Contact one of our local offices to requet booking, or 

request a booking online today. We’ll match you with a cleaner that best fits your schedule. 


Anita's Housekeeping Editors