All the advice out there instructs you to deep-clean a house for sale. Keeping it sparkling clean, and thus permanently show-ready, is always one of the top tips for selling your home. Real estate agents consistently see that very clean homes sell faster and get 3-5% higher offers, or even more.
It can be a challenge to reach and maintain this level of cleanliness, but there are easy hacks that can handle many of the spots your potential buyers will scrutinize. The ones listed here all revolve around one of the best “hack partners” under the sun: white vinegar.
White vinegar right off the grocery store shelf is inexpensive, nontoxic, and versatile. In combination with other common products, it will clean a staggering number of things. Both “green” and effective, it is a popular cleaning supply and a personal favorite.
Vinegar to the Rescue
This overview covers only some of the dirt that will succumb to the power of vinegar!
One challenge for sellers can be cleaning the carpets. You may not be hiding beautiful hardwood floors, and it may not be feasible to replace older carpet throughout the house. Getting it professionally steam-cleaned is advisable, but what if stains appear later? Mix one part water with two parts vinegar, and spray the spot. Lay a damp rag over it, and iron on the steam setting for thirty seconds. You might need to repeat, but it should do the job.
Another area that requires close inspection is, of course, the kitchen. To clean and sanitize the sink, often the dirtiest part of the room, spread a baking-soda paste and then rinse completely. Line the rinsed sink with paper towels soaked in vinegar and leave them there for twenty minutes before rinsing with warm water and dish soap.
You can even pour ½ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the disposal. It will fizzle like a bowl of Rice Krispies but never fear. Boil a pot of water and pour it down to rinse. Drop in some lemon pieces and run the disposal to cut the vinegar smell.
Scrub the inside of the oven– yes, buyers will look there– with a mixture of baking soda (4 tsp), vinegar (5 tsp), and some drops of dish soap. Let the mixture sit before dipping a wet rag in it that you’ll use to wipe down the oven.
A third great use of vinegar is to clean the bathroom. Equal parts dish soap and vinegar are great for scrubbing shower walls. Do it right before you shower for an easy rinse. It will break up the hard-water and other build-up on the shower head and faucets. Bathrooms are another place where buyers really take a look, so make sure to dazzle them.
You’ll want to deep-clean everything, even your walls. Equal parts dish soap and vinegar is a good cleanser for them. Mix equal parts vinegar and water to clean your blinds. Mix it first, because then you’re putting an old sock on your hand. Dip it, and wipe along the slats, rinsing the sock after every few. A dry sock on your other hand can do the drying.
Say Goodbye to Odor
Partnering with vinegar is one good hack for a thoroughly clean house that is ready to sell. But if you are a bit wary of its pungency and worry it will linger on, you can easily add a lovely scent to your home without running out for candles or sprays. Boil a pot of water, and then simmer some lemon slices, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, and one or two teaspoons of vanilla extract. It will do the trick and make you smile.
Once you find a realtor to help you sell, ask for a walk-through to spot check your work. Your realtor has the experience to give feedback on the house’s condition and look, so you can feel confident in your cleaning and a SOLD sign in your future.