Growing up, Sundays were dedicated to cleaning, which really meant I half-heartedly “cleaned” (emphasis on the air quotes) while my mom followed behind me doing the real work. This less-than-enthused outlook followed me all the way from adolescence through countless apartments and straight into my current abode: my very first one bedroom with my boyfriend… and two kittens.
And that’s when my cleaning problem finally caught up with me. The issue? I was so overwhelmed with where to start, I’d end up scrolling on TikTok (or really, doing anything else) just to avoid it. But somehow, I had friends (even my boyfriend and mom!) who seemed to find a sense of calm in cleaning. Could I become one of these people? Was it possible?
To find out, I tapped Irene Mantakounis, associate director of global deep cleaning at BISSELL Homecare Inc., for all the cleaning tips and tricks. “To make spring cleaning doable within your own schedule, I recommend breaking up your projects into smaller tasks,” Mantakounis says. “You’ll be surprised with how gratifying it is to deep clean your home, especially when you can take a step back to appreciate your efforts.”
Making tasks smaller subtasks? Great. But, Mantakounis’s main tip is to stock up on tools that make the process feel less intimidating. “For example, the BISSELL® ProHeat 2X® Revolution® Pet Pro carpet cleaner is a convenient machine that powerfully deep cleans carpet, area rugs, and upholstery around your house,” she says. (*Adds to holiday wishlist nine months in advance*.)
And believe me: Beyond the basics, deep cleaning all the plush surfaces in your home is actually a must, especially if you live with two small fur machines. See how all of Mantakounis’s advice transformed me into someone who—wait for it—deep cleans my apartment regularly and, ahem, enjoys it.
Keep scrolling for more expert-backed cleaning tips and tricks that turned me into a semi-regular deep cleaner.
1. Shift your mindset
To start, I had to take a long, hard look at my reluctance to clean my space—and realized it was similar to my typical attitude before workouts. Do I feel like it at the moment? Not really. But does it make me feel amazing afterward and benefit my well-being at the same time? Yup.
Going into cleaning days knowing how good you’ll feel afterward not only makes it fly by, but also encourages you to clean (not “clean”), so you can reflect and appreciate your hard work once you’re done (think endorphins, people!). Dusting, disinfecting, deep carpet-cleaning—it doesn’t matter where you start, just that you do.
On that note, one of Mantakounis’s first actionable cleaning tips and tricks is setting aside real time in your day dedicated to cleaning. Once your calendar is blocked, she recommends moving furniture and clutter out of the way, so you have an open space to tackle your tidying to-dos. From one anxious former anti-cleaner to another, this method works.
2. Clean smarter, not harder
If you, like me, thought “deep cleaning” just meant scrubbing harder, you probably weren’t aware of the super helpful powers of stain and odor formulas—which make your efforts go ten times further for a ridiculously rewarding pay-off.
First things first, before breaking out the carpet cleaner, you should check off a few quick steps. Start by vacuuming, which will loosen the dirt and debris out of your carpet. Next, pre-treat noticeable spots, stains and high-traffic areas. The PET PRO OXY Stain Destroyer for Carpet and Upholstery is a crowd fave for removing super tough stains (ahem, including red wine).
Now you’re ready to deep clean. For the Revolution® Pet Pro carpet cleaner, you can opt for the Pet Stain & Odor + Antibacterial formula—which Mantakounis says eliminates 90 percent of odor-causing bacteria—or the PET PRO OXY Urine Eliminator, which is powerful enough to even remove skunk odor. If you have cats, I just found your new BFF.
For the technique: “I recommend starting in the opposite corner from the door to leave yourself an escape route and avoid having to walk across wet carpet,” Mantakounis says. After a once-over in your space (with the trigger pressed down), Mantakounis suggests taking another pass without releasing any carpet cleaner solution to allow the machine to pull up the remaining dirt and formula. One last note: Take your time as you go through your space—Mantakounis recommends counting to two for each step you take.
3. Applaud + appreciate
Once the cleaning is done (can you believe how not intimidating the process actually is?), sit back and let your space and yourself breathe—and if you just deep-cleaned your carpets, let them dry. Oh, and by the way, there is something so oddly satisfying about emptying the dirty water from the tank afterward that it could easily become your new ASMR.
Now’s the important part: celebrating the total self-care win you’ve just gifted yourself. For me, that looks like kicking back with a snack on the couch with my kitties and basking in the pure relaxation of having just completed the task of all tasks. Do I dare call myself a cleaning lover? Maybe. You read it here first, mom.