How to Clean Like Martha Stewart

What type of cleaner are you?  Do you get under the beds and furniture every time you clean?  Or are you (like the majority of people) the more typical “surface” cleaner?

Martha Stewart has incredible attention to detail – and that’s the level of cleaning you will have to bring to your standards of cleaning when you become a bed and breakfast owner.

TripAdvisor, the largest on-line review site for accommodation, makes a point of asking reviewers about cleanliness as one of the five ranking characteristics of any property.  A recent TripAdvisor news release states 22% of respondents put higher standards of room cleanliness at the top of their wish list.

Here is my top tip for getting cleaning done the bed and breakfast way:

Hire the job out.

Seriously.  It will be done quicker by people who do this for a living; they will be organized and have all the right equipment at hand.  The expense can be written off, and it takes a huge burden off a b and b owners’ shoulders.

If you are going to do the cleaning yourself here are a few important tips to help you get the job done right:

  • Make sure you have all the tools you need – cleaning supplies, cloths, stepstools to reach high places easily and safely, vacuum cleaner, mop…
  • Move everything away from the walls into the centre of the room* (weekly or monthly, depending on guest turnover)
  • Working from the top of the room down and clockwise around the room, start with dusting the ceilings, walls and woodwork, and removing the black marks that luggage has left on the walls and doors.
  • Dust and clean pictures and mirrors
  • Clean the floors including under furniture
  • Dust and/or vacuum the furniture thoroughly and move it back into place.
  • Finish one room completely before you move on – because bed and breakfast owners will tell you, there is nothing to bring an unexpected guest to the door than having the house look like a disaster area!

Keep in mind, be realistic about how much you can accomplish and how long the job will take you.  Otherwise, if you expect too much, you will get overwhelmed and discouraged about your progress.

And finally, who said spring cleaning had to be drudgery?  Make it as fun as possible – put on some great music, listen to an audio book , if you have a headset for your phone you can call and catch up with some friends; make sure to take breaks for meals, and plan a special treat to look forward too, when the job is all done!

So, do you clean like Martha?  If you do, I’d love to know what your favourite cleaning tip is – please leave it in the comments below!


  1. Liese Bolte

    Add 1 cup of vinegar to final rinse in washing machine to remove soapy residue from laundry

    1. Susan Poole Post author

      Hi Liese!

      Thanks for that tip – getting the soap out of towels is the key to making them soft and fluffy!

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