Are you cleaning your home in the wrong direction? Experts reveal how to get it right

And it makes a lot of sense!

view towards bay window in living room with pink sofa, blue and white walls and window shutters
(Image credit: James French)

Cleaning our homes is something we do (almost) every day, and at least every week; be it a deep clean, a quick, daily spruce up, or a twice-weekly go-over – according to your cleaning calendar, of course.

But have you ever considered that you might not be cleaning your space in the most efficient way possible? Granted, it may not be something you’ve given much thought to, but according to cleaning experts, there is one right way to clean – and it has to do with the direction in which you do it.

Intrigued? Allow us to explain...

Are you cleaning your home the wrong way?

Experts explain that – whether you're cleaning a bathroom, or cleaning your living room – if you tend to work from the bottom-up (e.g, you clean your floors first, before moving onto any dusty corners) you’re probably creating unnecessary extra work for yourself.

The cleaning pros over at method in fact suggest that you should always (literally) clean top-to-bottom, to make the process as efficient as possible.

They explain, 'Start by cleaning high, then going low. Overhead fixtures that we sometimes forget about, like lighting, are prone to dust build-up and usually don’t get cleaned as often – and when they do, the dirt and grime will sprinkle down to the floor and surfaces below them.

'So avoid creating more work for yourself by starting from the top and cleaning down in each room.'

Turquoise curtains with dark living room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Sam Stawarz, a cleaning expert and Operations Director at Time For You, agreed that this way of cleaning is his advised method, and certainly the most logical approach too.

'I can't stress enough the importance of a top-to-bottom approach when cleaning your home. The top-to-bottom method is all about working logically. Starting with the floors and working upwards would only lead to backtracking on yourself, and creating a frustrating cycle of having to reclean everything.'

So which areas should you make sure to hit as you clean from top to bottom?

Sam advises cleaning things like corners and light fittings first of all, as 'these are the most overlooked areas, but a lot of dust and cobwebs accumulate there.'

Storage filled with cleaning supplies and brushes

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

'By tackling these bits first, you also allow gravity to do its job, sending any loose debris downwards.'

Then it’s time to address the middle part of your room - e.g. all the things that are typically at eye level with you. This will likely be the biggest part of your cleaning routine, where you’ll tackle most of the items in your home. 

Finish up with floors and skirting boards. 'By cleaning these last, you're able to pick up any dust and dirt that has settled during the earlier stages of the cleaning process,' Sam said.

But don't panic – this isn't something you need to do every day. In fact, it's really only necessary for deep cleans, according to cleaning expert Laura Mountford

'I tend to do a top-to-bottom clean once a month to sweep through the house. It’s something I would love to be able to do once a week, but it’s just not possible. I’d say that a top to bottom clean once a month is enough, and a surface clean on a weekly basis would suffice.'


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine