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10 Easy Living Room Cleaning Hacks

Including a genius way to get rid of pet hair.
By Amanda Demeku
10 Easy Living Room Cleaning Hacks

(Illustration: Andrea Manica)

From tackling wine stains to getting rid of pet hair, your living room could probably use a deep clean. Sarah McAllister, the viral Instagram sensation behind Calgary-based cleaning business Go Clean Co., and Shaneka Shaw Taylor, Patience Omokhodion and Alecia Burgess, founders of a now-closed professional housekeeping and concierge company in Toronto, share their best hacks to tackle the messiest spots in your living room.

An illustration of a living room for a round-up of living room cleaning tips. (Illustration: Andrea Manica)

1. Curtains

Take them down, and wash and dry according to the labels. Or vacuum both sides with a bristle attachment to pull any dust and pet hair off the fabric. “Make sure to get into the folds as that's where pet hair and dust accumulates,” notes McAllister.

2. Pet hair

Vacuuming goes a long way with pet hair but doesn’t always get the job done. For microfibre upholstery and carpets, McAllister uses a dry scrub brush or squeegee to get into the fibres and pull off pet hair.

3. Couch

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As soon as you get a new couch, treat it with a fabric protector, like Scotchgard, and reapply every six months. The product acts like a shield, preventing stains and dirt from penetrating the fibres and making cleanup easier.

4. High ceilings

When you can’t quite reach those ceiling cobwebs on your own, Shaw Taylor, Omokhodion and Burgess suggest wrapping a damp cloth around an extendable dusting brush or mop handle.

5. Bookshelves

“First, take everything off the shelves—there’s no way around it,” says McAllister. Vacuum from top to bottom with a horsehair brush attachment. Then clean with a damp cloth or glass cleaner, depending on the surface.

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6. Remotes

Clean every two weeks with disinfecting wipes. Avoid liquid solutions and sprays that can seep under the buttons.

7. TV screen

A duster and a damp microfibre cloth work well,” says McAllister. She recommends dusting the surface first to avoid wetting down the grime, which can leave streaks.

8. Picture frames

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“Dust frames with a dry cloth, then use a glass cleaner and paper towels,” says McAllister.

9. Smoke marks

Clean walls with a few drops of dish soap mixed with hot water, scrubbing with a clean sponge and rinsing as you go. McAllister also likes to use her solution of hot water, bleach and powdered Tide to clean smoke-stained walls, as well as the insides of fireplaces.

10. Wine stains

Blot the area, cover the stain with coarse salt as quickly as you can and let it soak up the mess. Once dry, vacuum. Avoid rubbing at all costs.

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Pro tip: Get the tool that does it all

The Go Clean Co. team recommends investing in a horsehair brush attachment—which you can get at any big-box store—as it works well on both hard and soft surfaces.

This article was originally published in 2021; updated in 2023.

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