How to deep clean your house and stay healthy – 15 tips from an expert microbiologist

A Dyson expert shares their top tips on how to deep clean your house for spring

We ask Dyson's resident Advanced Research Scientist in Microbiology, Gem McLukie, to offer some top tips on house to deep clean your house this spring.

We're more aware than ever of the health implications of maintaining a clean home. But what about house dust mites?

'Household dust can be a concern, as it may contain allergens such as dust mite faeces and pollen,' Gem explains. 'Mattresses, bedding, upholstery and carpets can all accumulate unseen dust'.

House dust mites feed on moulds, as well as animal and human skin flakes. They flourish in textiles all around our homes.

Related: Ultimate 2020 cleaning calendar! One big job to tackle for every month

Gem adds, 'All of our research has shown that the best way to deal with bacteria, pollen and dust mite allergens is to remove them from your home completely.'

How to deep clean your house for spring

cleaning accessories with brushes and dustbin in white cupboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

1. Vacuum mattresses

Do this task on a regular basis. Why? 'To remove dust mite allergen and skin flakes which dust mites feed on,' Gem advises. 'Vacuum both sides of the mattress with a vacuum cleaner with an advanced filtration to prevent the allergen being placed back into the room by exhaust air.'

More: How to clean a mattress – for a sweeter night's sleep

2. Wash bedding on a hot wash

The hotter the better to destroy allergens. 'Washing the bedding on a 60°C or 90°C wash will help to break down allergen (proteins) and reduce the amount to cause allergies,' says Gem.

3. Wash or replace duvets and pillows

This act can help to reduce the amount of dust-mite allergens and skin flakes present in your bed. A grim thought, but true, sadly.

4. Remove dust from kitchen cupboard tops

This is an often overlooked place. Yet dust collects here and can be displaced into the kitchen through air movement. Either remove the dust with a vacuum that has an advanced filtration system, or wipe the cupboard tops down with a clean damp cloth or cleaning wipes.

5. Dust with a damp cloth

wooden drawer with cleaning accessories

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

'When dusting either use a damp cloth or cleaning wipes,' says Gem. 'These trap the dust more easily. Or use a vacuum with an advanced filtration system that will effectively collect and trap the dust. A vacuum cleaner with different attachments and suction is ideal for dust round your home.

6. Vacuum your home after dusting

Following around with a vacuum cleaner ensures you get every last bit. 'Any dust that has been disturbed and placed onto the floor is removed and not redistributed around the home by normal activity,' Gem explains.

7. Move furniture

Don't just clean the bits you can reach with ease. 'Move furniture that can be moved and vacuum the places not often vacuumed, such as under the furniture.'

8. Vacuum sofas and chairs regularly

white living room with vacuum cleaner cleaning sofa set

(Image credit: Dyson)

Not just inviting to us, these comfy accessories can welcome unwanted visitors, too. Gem explains how sofas and armchairs, 'harbour not only large debris but also dust mites, skin flakes and other allergens such as pollen and food allergens.' The advice? 'Wash any coverings and cushions to reduce the level of dust caught within them.'

9. Clean the curtains

'A lot of dust can gather in curtains and blinds. Be sure to vacuum them regularly or launder them if possible and practical.'

10. Remove dust from walls

'By dusting with a damp cloth or cleaning wipes or using a HEPA filtered vacuum.' We forget about the walls, but here's why we shouldn't... 'Dust on certain wall types can contribute toward the growth of mould' gem explains. 'If the room is humid and not well ventilated the dust can act as the nutrient source for the growing mould.' Yuck!

11. Empty kitchen sides and cupboards to deep clean

Gem says, 'Use a vacuum with advanced filtration to remove dust and debris. Then wash with warm water and detergent – make sure you follow up by drying all surfaces.'

12. Dust lights

living room with sofa set and blue couch

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

'A lot of dust can gather in lampshades and light fittings which can burn on hot bulbs producing VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Odour can also be moved round the room by the production of warm air round the bulbs.'

13. Empty the fridge and freezer

'Clean all surfaces with warm water and detergent or cleaning product. Vacuum round the back and under the fridge and freezer, without forgetting the cooler element on the back. This will have the added benefit of improved performance.'

14. Dust behind radiators

Radiators are so often missed during normal everyday cleaning. 'Significant dust collects behind the radiator and this can be distributed round the room by the air flow produced by the warm air from the radiator.'

'The radiator is not hot enough to prevent bacteria from surviving, and bacteria can be kept viable in the dust contained behind the radiator.'

Our how to clean a radiator guide has all the expert advice you need to ensure your radiator area is squeaky clean.

15. Deep clean bedroom storage

This includes all cupboards, wardrobes, and drawers in the bedroom. 'This is a place rarely emptied and cleaned but dust and fibres can accumulate in the very place you keep your clean clothes. Dust mites can live anywhere there is a source of food; so wherever there is dust, there is the possibility of dust mites.'

Related: 43 easy cleaning jobs – for every room of the house

Keep dust at bay to enjoy a healthier home life.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.