Guest Cleaning the House + Checklist


Have you ever said, “I need to guest clean my house”? Or are you not really sure what that means?

Well it’s definitely a thing in our home. Sure, I clean our house: dusting, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming. The norm. But then, someone tells me they are coming to visit.

Enter guest cleaning.

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.comDownload the printable checklist now!

Thank goodness, right? If it weren’t for these wonderful people coming to our home, I think those extra cleaning efforts would be even farther in between. I think I’m paranoid, but I imagine these guests (you know, the people who I trust and love enough to stay in my house) seeing all the extra dirt in the corners, windowsills, and refrigerator. I think it’s all in my head. I’ve never noticed dust bunnies in someone’s else’s house when I stay. But maybe they have a case of the guest cleaning paranoid too.

What brings this on is that my dad and his wife visited last week! Hurray! For someone whose family is almost all out of town (and by out of town I mean Dad is in Georgia, Mom is in New Jersey, and sister is in California) we entertain quite a few bouts of visitors (I LOVE entertaining in our home!).

Needless to say, the weekend before they arrived I experienced quite the bout of guest cleaning.

I know everyone has their own routine, products, and style of cleaning, but I also love reading about them because there are so many short cuts or different products that people swear by.

So I thought I would break down my cleaning regime (both regular and guest) and them maybe you can share your tips with me too! Let the cleaning frenzy begin!

My Regular Cleaning

Dust – I don’t think it matters the brand, but don’t just use Swiffer Dusters (except for quick touch-ups) but use a spray/wet solution (like Pledge  or my olive oil/lemon juice mixture). I used to be a Swiffer Dusters  addict (no liquid solution, just wiping). Then one day I used a product and have never looked back. Using the polish not only removes the dust but repels it. This is probably a no-brainer for the rest of the world, but for me, it is revolutionary. But I definitely stand beside Swiffer wipes as quick touchups.

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

Vacuum and Swiffer the Floors – I like to vacuum first (both carpet and hardwood) to get up all the dirt and debris. Make sure when vacuuming to use that hose to get the dust hiding in corners. Then I like to grab everything else on the hard wood with a Swiffer. It makes your floors smooth and so clean.

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

Mop Swiffer mops to the rescue. I do NOT have time for soapy water in a bucket. I sloshed that around in summer camp to know that I HATE mop water. It’s dirty and too much water. Thank goodness for the Swiffer mop. Bonus points for the attached spray thingy for the tough spots. I just do these in the bathrooms and spot clean the rest of the floors.

Bathroom cleaning – I use my homemade cleaning supplies to hit up the shower, sink, and toilet. We know what happens in the bathroom. I don’t think I need to go on more…

modern-bathroom-shower-curtain-| www,rappsodyinrooms.com

My Guest Cleaning:

All my regular cleaning plus…

Cabinet polishing– This is what I call my crème-de-la-crème cleaning. It really takes the kitchen over the edge. It goes from cabinets to oh-my-hey-look-at-me glossy cabinets. I feel so darn good when I get these babies polished up. I use the best combo of cleaners to make these decades old cabinets look mighty mighty fine. I first use Thomasville Kitchen Cabinet Cream to get all the dirt, grime, and grease off the cabinets. Then I polish the cabinets into a golden glow using Old English Scratch Cover. These decades old cabinets look brand new!

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

I’m a blur of a cleaning machine.

Refrigerator and microwave cleaning – I don’t mind living with these a little crumby for just Eric and me (yeah I’m gross but let’s just chalk it up to different priorities) but I don’t want others to know that I’d rather live with a sort of dirty frig/microwave than have to clean that mess. Yuck. I use my vinegar and water spray to wipe everything down.

To make the microwave magically easy to clean all you have to do it microwave a bowl of vinegar, water, and lemon juice for 5 minutes, let stand 5 minutes, and then wipe clean!

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

Use a vinegar/water solution to wipe down the inside and outside of your ‘frig.

Natural Stove Cleaning: Can I say yuck? This is a place where spills cake on with abandon. They definitely mean business. But just a couple of natural ingredients says bye bye grime!

First, spray everything down with a vinegar/water combo. Let sit for 5 minutes and then wipe off. Most of your grime will come off with this step. For tougher, baked on food, make a paste of baking soda and water (about toothpaste consistency). I just spread it over the extra bad spots with my fingers. Let sit for 5 minutes. Come back with the vinegar/water spray and spray generously over the baking soda paste areas. Allow the vinegar and baking soda to have their reaction and then wipe clean. Your stove should be shiny and clean without the chemicals!

Guest Cleaning the House Checklist | www,rappsodyinrooms.com

Windows and window sills – Only because it is embarrassing when people open windows and see filth. I don’t really mind it personally because I would rather look at it then clean it (I’m gross I guess) but I don’t think guests should have that vision. I clean the window sills by spraying them down with my vinegar cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes, and then spray with the outside hose (do I need to tell you to make sure the windows are closed?). Then wipe with a clean cloth to ensure you get all the grime out.

To clean the actual window panes, you can’t beat Fish Foam  in efficiency and streak free windows.

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Basement – Haha. I workout here. Eric plays video games here. We use this space down here. It’s not pretty down here. But I guess it should be vacuumed and dusted, right? Just this once? Yes, we will clean it for our guests….just not ourselves. Another gross Rapp family moment. You’re welcome.

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Extra touches – Not cleaning, but you guests deserve this. Flowers. Personalized message.  A present on a pillow. A balloon. A 20 piece band welcoming them as they drive into the driveway. You know, just a little something special to thank them for making the effort to come visit US!

Phew, now I’m going to collapse on the how and oogle my clean house through drooping eyelids. But at the end of the day (even a long one of cleaning) nothing makes me feel better than having sparkling clean house for guests.

Now dish, what are your cleaning tips? Do you “guest clean” or is that foreign to you in your perpetually clean house (and if that’s your home please share how you keep it immaculate)!

Also, here’s the link to the printable guest cleaning checklist to help you get your home sparkling clean!

View the VIDEO for guest cleaning your home!

Amazon affiliates are included in this post.


  • Nothing beats the power and ease of using vinegar for cleaning, right?!!ReplyCancel

    • I completely agree Anjana! Where has vinegar cleaning been hiding all my life? I need to get some oils or something like that to mask the smell though. The hubby gives me “that” face when I use it. Hah!ReplyCancel

      • nimret

        Essential oils to cover up the smell of vinegar.
        Lavender, lemon ..work wonders.ReplyCancel

  • You go, girl! I know you are really enjoying your clean house and I’ll bet that your dad and his wife appreciated your effort.

    I used to keep a very clean house until we got our dog. I’ve had to let go of perfection and accept that just ok is all that I can accomplish.ReplyCancel

    • Paula – I LOVE guest cleaning because it can definitely go the wayside otherwise in my house. So I completely agree and accept your train of thought with your dog! Letting go of perfection is such a good step in everything in life!ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for the mention of FISH Foam!ReplyCancel

  • Great cleaning tips! In the guest room I also put a card with our address (so they don’t have to scramble around to find it), work phone numbers if they’re staying for a week, and our WIFI login info. It’s cute and framed like a small picture, but we’re always told how helpful it is.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen

    I thought I was the only one who did guest cleaning vs regular cleaning! And wondered how everyone else kept their house so immaculate. .. my best tip for guest cleaning is ” declutter”. It makes the difference between “family clean” and “magazine photo spread ” cleanReplyCancel

    • I will let myself live in my filth but I won’t subject my guests to it! 😉 I definitely think there is a difference. Plus, having guests gives us that excuse to deep clean, right?!

      The decluttering tip is great! Anytime when cleaning. It does make a huge difference. I am trying to continually declutter my home!ReplyCancel

      • Janet

        Omg I always totally thought I was the only one! I always assumed that I was the only person that is a total piggy and had to clean for guests. Whenever I go to any body’s house they’re are always spotless! I can’t even imagine they cleaned because I was coming..lol.ReplyCancel

        • You are not alone! Haha! 🙂 I also don’t know these spotless friends houses you visit. I usually feel better when I visit other peoples houses. It makes me wonder why I clean for visitors sometimes. Then I remember, I do it for me too!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Giebelhouse

    Awesome thank you so much for the new tricks on cleaning homes without the chemicals. I would love any fresh new exciting ideas. TIAReplyCancel

    • You’re welcome! I’m always trying to eliminate chemicals in my home!ReplyCancel

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