‘Deep cleaning’ of apartments/houses

I've read in several research papers and on several websites that a 'deep cleaning' of an apartment/house can help clear out roaches, and allergens. Since I've read it in several places I'm wondering if there are some common components of this cleaning such as vacuuming all rugs and carpeting with special vacuums, cleaning all flooring, possibly clearing/cleaning the air in some manner etc. Does anybody know about these deep cleaning protocols or have had them done to their homes? Thanks!


Comments 25

  • K8sMom2002

    What a good question! And just in time for "spring cleaning!"

    Could you:

    • check with a cleaning service and ask what services they would offer in a deep clean? (I'm sure building management has to deep clean rental apartments before they're leased to another family, for instance.)
    • check out sites like Real Simple — love that magazine — to see what they recommend? Here's a that they have.
    • check out AAFA's air quality improvement tips
    • K8sMom2002

      Lemon Harris, I think @Paularose was asking if we'd used services that deep clean homes and if so, what kind of procedures did they use? And did they help?

      Have you tried any deep cleaning on your home? Did it help? 

      I know when I was younger, my mom had a severe reaction to malathion pesticide in our home, and she actually had our dad remove our kitchen cabinets and steam clean them. She was that desperate. I'm not sure if it was time or the steam cleaning that helped, but after several weeks without a kitchen, when we got things back in place, she was much better.

    • Paularose

      Thanks for your responses. Yes I was wondering if a deep cleaning would help and what specific procedures are involved.

    • K8sMom2002

      Did you find a service that would work for you and address your particular issues? Fingers crossed that you are doing some better!

    • Shea

      I have heard a lot of good things about steam cleaners– anything from companies that do it to steam cleaners you can buy or rent, and using them on carpets, on blinds, (in you case maybe near vents? Although Id check the manuals and what-not). I dont have them.

      I use a Hyla Air Cleaner/vacuum–I love it but… it was super expensive–they have a long-term payment plan (Im still paying it off) but it works really well. I had a representative actually come to my home and show me how it works and what it removes from my carpets and cushions that my old hepa vacuum was missing (my old vacuum was a cheaper HEPA vacuum and I think it just didnt have very good suction). Then you can run it as an air purifier fir 30 minutes a day (it uses water–no filters so its low maintenece.) And it has has a lot of power, its parts are all super-sturdy and it is well-built, and I can tell when I use it that the air feels cleaner and my breathing us better. I actually have to vacuum and run it today here because I havent done it in a few days–Im slacking because Ive just been busy busy. 

    • K8sMom2002

      Good luck on the allergist! I hope you can get some answers and that plan forward! You have really been struggling with this.

    • Paularose

      Shea, I was thinking about steaming. I know this very rude to ask but could you possibly tell me what it costs? If you would rather keep it private I can send you my email. BTW how did you hear about it. Many thanks.😊

    • Shea

      It was around $2000. Someone referred me to them and they were giving a free car purifier to you if you let them do a demonstration, so I was like, sure. If they would have told me the price up front I would have laughed and shut the door. But I was having so much trouble– so many vacuums break or blow out dust and my skin would break out after vacuuming and my asthma woukd flare. I fell in love with this thing. So, for me, it is worth it. You can find a dealer online I think (I lost my guys contact info, but he was local, but he was very knowledgeabke and professional–couldn't have asked for a better rep,)… And request a free demonstration. The one I have is listed used on Amazon too (used ones run less):


    • K8sMom2002

      Paula, how is your cleaning project going?

      Shea, that was a big chunk of $$, but I'm so glad it is helping you! What questions would you suggest other people ask before they make a similar investment?

    • Paularose

      My deep cleaning isn't going. The b*stard lawyer sent me a proposal that was LITERALLY nothing more than the housekeeping I do every week – dusting, cleaning my faucets etc. The proposal even included changing my towels! I am beginning to wonder if the co-op actually wants to go to court over all of this.

    • LK

      Paula, I am so sorry this continues to drag out for you!  Sounds like it is still quite a challenge convincing them it is a big problem.  Will keep you in our prayers!!

    • Shea

      I am sorry too Paula– it is frustrating trying to explain allergies to others and often times they feel like it is a "you" problem and not a "we" problem. I can only think of trying to find a "reasonable accomodation(s)" that they can do that your doctor supports. 

      Or if it is an "on your own" thing then I hope you find something that helps. 

      There are a lot of purifiers tgat are less expensive that the Hyla– I invested in it because they did have the payment plan and I could see it work better and that I was missing things with my old stuff. It never requires new filters, so that cost is less. It only needs to be run 30 minutes a day so you can use it in multiple rooms, and it works for large areas. And then it is like a vacuum, air purifier, and diffuser in one, so that is a good feature. I just– this is my breathing and life and I am a mom to my son, we need eachother, so I am trying everything to breathe better– it is the number one priority in my life. So those were my thoughts upon the purchase of the Hyla. 

      So, to answer your question K8SMOM, I recommend getting a Hyla representative and purchasing a new one, and using the payment plan, because then you get the demonstration and that was really valuable to me, plus there is a warranty and then you have someone to call if you have a question (like I called mine to troubleshoot after what ended up being a sock clogged the hose– it was easy to blow out).


    • Paularose

      Shea. Thank you so much for your response. The entire issue is a horror. There are three prongs to the issue. Each allergist I see gives me a different diagnosis from allergies to chemical sensitivity to sinus infection. The second prong is that the coop is doing everything in its power not to fix the issue. It is so horrendous that I have caught the attorney literally lying on every piece of correspondence he sends to me and to my attorney. And he uses every delaying tactic available so as not to remedy the situation. The final prong is I still have no idea what is causing a now 4 and a half month allergic and asthmatic reaction. I am not lying when I say that I literally have no respite from the symptoms unless I am asleep. I have even tried finding a personal injury attorney but when I give them the background they all say so long we don't want you as a client. I spent half of my days just sitting in my bedroom crying or sleeping. I would not doubt that eventually if this doesn't clear up I will wind up in a mental institution, that is how distraught I am.

    • Paularose

      Melissa, thank you for your kind response. I know that so many of you are in far worse shape than I, so I often feel guilty about posting about my problems, but I have gotten to the point where I spend most of my days now either sleeping (the only time I don't suffer) or watching TV trying to breathe.

      Thanks so much for yours and everyone's support. You will never know how much your support means to me.

    • Shea

      I am sorry you have to deal with this all too. From what i understand, the symptoms started when they sprayed for roaches right? And then, didnt you get a test confirming you are highly allergic to roaches? And then you might also have chemical sensitivity to the  sprays? (which a lot of time people with allergic asthma also have chemical sensitivities and triggers)… So what I dont quite understand is what you are asking the co-op to do… I know personal injury lawyers are tough because if they cannot definitively prove A causes B then they cannot help you… That is why I think looking at it from a disability perspective ( allergic asthma and multiple chemical sensitivity can be consideted disabilities) and if you make a "reasobable accomodation" request in writing to your co-op, then they usually will try to do it unless it causes undue hardship. If they dont then you would have a legal case at least.

      Legal things can get expensive and annoying though too… so if you take it in your own hands… I want to say PLJohns mentioned a hepa air purifier with charcoal filter that was a few hundred dollars and it can remove chemicals… I dont know I am just throwing out ideas because I know what it feels like to suffer from allergies and asthna in a home and not have people respond to you while you are suffering and getting sicker and sicker and the medical doctors dont seem to be helping– I had to move out of a situation like that. There was never any justice– I mean besides that I didnt die and eventually found a new home… But I had to act kinda quickly and it was not a graceful move… More like me asking my parents to let me and my newborn stay with them, then living with a single mom friend and her family, then getting a small duplex rental, then my parents getting us a permanent home of our own. So just dont give up!!! I am praying for you!

    • Paularose

      Shea, the extermination was not a spray but a gel called Advion. I am in a co-op and the president has nothing in his life but making life miserable for all of us. The attorney for the co-op has lied so much that I filed a complaint about him with the NYC Court system. I even emailed his supervisor and she basically wrote back to not bother her again. I filed a complaint with the NYC Division of Human Rights, but they are swamped so I don't know when they will get to my case.

    • Tiffany F.

      We have Service Master do a Spring clean of our house and it was approx $400 for carpets, upholstery cleaning for 4 couches, a thorough cleaning service all throughout, windows, and a scrub of cabinet faces.

    • K8sMom2002

      PaulaRose, I'm hoping that a cleaning service like Tiffany's suggestion has helped you. So frustrating that you've been going through this for so long! 

      And never feel guilty or hesitate to post. When you can't breathe,  you can't breathe, and it's a scary feeling! Add to that this was your home, and it was fine one day, and then suddenly not so fine the next … that has to be hard. 

    • Shea

      That sounds frustrating Paula Rose to have sent out all those emails and not be getting adequate responses or getting lies or no response. I want to say an ADA complaint, but perhaps you can write an email stating 

      1- the nature of your disability (allergic asthma and chemical sensitivity) that occured after the Advion roach gel was used in your apartment.

      2- your reasonable accomodation requests (if you have doctor's notes suppirting these requests attach them to this section as well)

      A- that the Advion gel not be used in your unit, and that a less-chemically-abrasive substitue such as Borax be used instead.

      B- that a one-time deep-cleaning company be hired to remove residue from the chemicals and/or dead roach particulates in your unit. 

      And anything else. I do not believe either of those cause them undue hardship, and perhaps they would like this issue to be behind them too. If they deny them, then maybe you can save the email and layer down the road file a complaint with the ADA. That is my only idea. Sending out thoughts and prayers!!!

    • LK

      Shea, I really like the way you methodically think through all the steps!  You put a lot of thought into it!