Just finished renovating? Here are 5 tips on how to clean it all up

The last tile has been laid down, the paint has dried, and you’ve finally got your keys back. Time to celebrate now the dust has settled, yes? Funny you should say that (or just imagine you did if you didn’t). Chances are, your brand spanking new home is dustier than the tomb of Tutankhamun . The worst part? Construction dust has a habit of sticking around for days, weeks, and, sometimes, even months after your renovation. 

So how does one get rid of the scourge of newly renovated homes? Here are 5 tips for getting it all clean.


Before you begin: Ventilation

Before and after cleaning, you should consider every fan and/or air circulator in the house. If there’s one thing that keeps dust from settling down, it’s a good wind. Where possible, you’ll want to have all the dust blown out an open window or door for as long as possible. 

What about air-purifiers? They’re excellent for improving air quality and they will do a great job at removing construction dust. The problem is that they often have very, VERY expensive filters and there is A LOT of dust to clear out. Your filters will get clogged faster than you can sneeze. Not the best way to spend your money.

For the very same reason, you’ll want to avoid turning the air-conditioners on so soon after a renovation. Dust will just get trapped in them and then it’ll be a call to the technicians to come and service your brand new air-con.

Needless to say, before you start cleaning, turn the fans off; it’ll only make it harder to clean up. 


Dust ceilings, fans, and light fixtures

With any clean up, you’ll want to start from the top and finish at the bottom. Keeps dust from settling down onto clean surfaces. And that even includes the ceiling. Yes, you read it right – the ceiling. Construction dust is like the Spiderman of dusts, it just sticks onto any surface. It’ll need dusting and, where possible, a wipe. 

And if you only clean the ceiling, you’ve only done half the job. Don’t forget that fans and light fixtures also live there too. That way, you won’t blow dust down onto yourselves and the rooms will be a lot brighter.

Clean the walls

If dust can stick to the ceiling, it sure can stick to the walls too. You’ll want to work on this AFTER giving all the stuff above you a good clean. Because of gravity. Gravity will pull that dust downwards and walls are its next stop. Dry mops followed by wet ones are a quick and excellent way to make short work of this part of the house.

Clean every surface that's not the floor

Next stop: anything that’s not on the floor. A good place to start is the highest furniture. Cupboard tops, high open shelves, and floor lamps tend to harbour dust. After that, give your appliances and devices a good wipe. Which appliances? All of them. TV, router, washing machine, air-conditioners, toaster, etc. Only then do you work on tabletops and low shelving.

Remember, clean everything from top to bottom, not the other way around.


Vacuum, sweep, mop

When you’ve done all that, you can finally focus on the floor. There’s a process for this too. Yes, proper cleaning is a science. Dry to wet. If you start mopping before either vacuuming or sweeping,, well, think about this: Which would be easier to clean up: dirt or mud?

So the proper way to do this is vacuum first. This removes fine dust and deposits it all in a nice neat bag. For the bagless variety, make sure you empty that bag OUTSIDE the house. Otherwise you’ll just reintroduce some of it back into the home.

Second, you sweep. This is to remove larger debris that the vacuum couldn’t lift off the ground. 

Finally, mop. Soap and water lifts dust off nook and crannies. Just be sure that you mop in the same direction for each room or you’ll just be shifting dirt back and forth.

Now you're done... kinda.

Despite all that, you'll most likely have to repeat the process one more time. Construction dust is kind of disrespectful that way. But doing it right means having to do it less often.

Happy cleaning.

Posted on 2 December 2022

Kenny Tan,

SIXiDES Editorial Team


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