How to Clean Your Basement

Clean your basement like a champ. The hardest part of cleaning a basement is working around all that stuff you’ve stuck down there. This game plan will help.

You will need

  • Sponges
  • both natural and nylon
  • White vinegar
  • Lint-free cloths and rags
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A bucket
  • Ammonia
  • Drop cloths
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning implements
  • like a vacuum
  • broom
  • dustpan
  • and mop
  • Baking soda
  • Batteries
  • Clay cat litter and pan
  • Some cleaning music

Step 1 Gather products Gather all your cleaning products together in one container before you start cleaning.

Step 2 Remove and shake Remove any dustcovers you have on stored items, shake the covers outside, then toss them in the washing machine. Wipe down the items that were covered.

Step 3 Clean furnace Wipe down the exterior of the furnace and hot-water heater with a sponge or cloth dipped in warm, sudsy water or a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water.

Step 4 Dust bulbs Dust the light bulbs before replacing the fixtures.

Step 5 Make cleaning solution Mix one gallon of warm water, one cup of ammonia, and one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid in a large bucket.

Step 6 Protect floors Place drop cloths on the floor.

Step 7 Wet a natural sponge Dip a natural sponge into the bucket and begin washing the walls, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Complete one wall at a time, working your way around the room.

Step 8 Scrub mold If you find mold, scrub it with hot, soapy water. Rinse with a clean, wet rag and dry thoroughly.

Step 9 Clean windows If your basement has windows, combine one pint rubbing alcohol, two tablespoons clear ammonia, and two tablespoons dishwashing liquid. Dip a nylon-covered sponge into the solution and wash the windows. Rinse and buff dry.

Step 10 Vacuum Sprinkle the floor with baking soda to neutralize odor, then vacuum or sweep it up. Vacuum or sweep the stairs.

Step 11 Clean detectors Gently vacuum any smoke detectors; this will keep them clear of dust, which affects their sensitivity. Also, replace their batteries.

Step 12 Wash floors Mop your floors. If you really want them to sparkle, go the extra mile and hand wash them. Use a damp—not wet—cloth. Begin at the edges and move across the floor using a small circular motion.

Step 13 Eliminate odors Put out a pan of clean clay cat litter to absorb moisture and odors.

Step 14 Thank God Thank the Lord you won’t have to clean the basement again for a while.