art and science of basement cleaning
art and science of basement cleaning

Do you remember when you first moved into your house and the basement was clean and empty? Then over the years, you started to pay less attention to it all while haphazardly storing a collection of random items that included a lot of junk! Well, if this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone!

For many, the rest of the house is so attractive that they don’t see the potential of the basement. In all of the excitement of moving into a new place, the basement is seen as nothing more than a dark, drabby place that no one wants to spend time in. This is especially true when it comes to unfinished basements. 

If now, more than ever before, it seems virtually impossible to salvage your messy, moldy, dirty basement, think again! Basement cleaning services are all about helping homeowners transform their basements into beautiful, immaculate, functional spaces.

Whether you want to optimize storage, or have plans to convert your unfinished basement into an ‘iceberg apartment’, you can hire a basement cleaning service to deep clean the entire room, and bring it back to life!

The Biggest Basement Cleaning Challenges

Since the average basement experiences a combination of dampness and humidity, mold is able to develop and thrive in this environment. Black mold, in particular, is commonly found on basement walls that haven’t been cleaned in months or years, while layers of dirt and dust cover almost every surface in the room. When you add clutter and junk to the equation, you end up with a very difficult basement cleaning project. 

While avid do-it-yourselfers may choose to take on this mighty task themselves, it is not uncommon for any individual to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work and time that it requires. Basement cleaning entails clearing out a whole lot of clutter (that means making several trips in and out of the basement, climbing stairs), and dealing with accumulated debris and possibly fungus.

Who can forget the sad state your concrete basement floor is left in after years of neglect. What’s worse, if your basement’s concrete floors are unfinished, grime and stains can easily penetrate the porous material, leaving you with a herculean task of deep cleaning the entire floor. Keep in mind that cleaning a concrete floor with the intention to revitalize its appearance will require a lot of elbow grease and, more often than not, professional cleaning equipment.

This further reiterates the convenience and need to hire cleaning services that offer basement cleaning.

What to Expect From Professional Basement Cleaning Services

There are a few Toronto-based cleaning services who can meet your basement cleaning needs, as well as help to organize the room to your satisfaction. Most cleaning companies provide a free estimate so that clients can make an informed decision based on their budget. 

Upon your instructions and goals for the place, the team of cleaning professionals will carry out a sequence of tasks that meet your unique basement cleaning requirements. Bear in mind that the homeowner must check in from time to time, and play an active role in supervising the cleaning process to ensure that everything is going according to plan. This is especially crucial when decluttering the basement as it is up to the homeowners to decide what stays and what goes.

Now, let’s discuss in detail what a professional basement cleaning service can do for you, and how they tackle some of the challenging tasks that come with the job.

Clearing Out the Basement

You can’t expect your basement to be cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom unless things are moved out of the room. If clearing out the entire room isn’t possible, big items like boxes and old furniture will need to be carried out in order to make space to clean more efficiently. Attention to detail is important, therefore, professionals prefer to clear out the room so that no spot is missed while cleaning the concrete basement floor and other surfaces.

Decluttering the Basement

As the room begins to empty out, you will have a slightly clearer vision for what you want to do with your basement. Furthermore, you can begin to assess the contents of the basement, and separate the belongings you want to keep from the ones you want to discard or give away. Over the years, (or even months), a lot of junk can find its way to the basement, leaving you with a cluttered mess of useless items!

From broken or unusable appliances, to your kids’ old toys and rusted tools, looking through the items in your basement will reveal just how much junk or unwanted things you have in there. On the other hand, you will likely discover some long-forgotten treasures that hold both sentimental and real value! Having said this, it’s important to be logical when determining what is and isn’t worth keeping, especially if you want extra space. Decluttering the basement is an absolute must, and with the help of a highly trained basement cleaner, it won’t seem like an overwhelming task.

Cleaning the Basement in a Stepwise Manner

With clearing and decluttering out of the way, the cleaners will prepare for the basement cleaning process, organizing the tools, special equipment, and cleaning products required for each phase. They will wear protective gear including a mask, eyewear, and full-length clothing as basements generally have large amounts of dust, debris, and possibly mold and other fungi. 

Here is a look at the step-by-step approach taken by professional basement cleaning services when transforming a dirty basement to a clean and fungus-free one.

1. Dusting & Cobweb Removal

Dust and cobwebs are the first two things that develop in a basement before mold and mildew set in. To remove dirt and get rid of dust, professional cleaners use high quality products and dusting tools including vacuum cleaners with appropriate attachments. This ensures an efficient clean in a much shorter time frame as opposed to dusting basement surfaces with a cloth.

Hard to reach areas are not forgotten when removing cobwebs and dust. This includes the ceiling of a finished or unfinished basement which is also prone to mold and debris. 

2. Wall Cleaning & Mold Removal

While basement walls need dusting, particular attention must be paid to mold growth. It’s possible that the walls may have developed some stubborn dirt as well which can be removed with a regular cleaning solution consisting of warm water and dish soap. Remember, when cleaning walls, especially painted walls, it is important to use as little water or liquid as possible. Gentle scrubbing is also advised to prevent damaging the wall’s finish. Every cleaning professional understands this so you can rest assured that your basement walls are in capable hands!

The entire room will be inspected for mold/mildew and addressed accordingly. To remove large amounts of mold or fungus, professional cleaners typically use bleach-based cleaning solutions to kill the spores and prevent future development. They will begin by looking at ways to create optimal ventilation in the basement as working in a confined or closed area with bleach fumes can be dangerous. Adorned in their protective gear, the cleaning solution will be prepared, and cleaning supplies kept at hand. Thereafter, using a tried and tested method, the cleaner will carefully remove all traces of mold and mildew from your basement walls and other areas.

3. Spot Cleaning

This refers to anything that requires special attention such as stubborn grime on beams or rust spots on steel poles or surfaces. It typically entails using special cleaning agents and products to effectively pre-treat and remove tough grime.

For rust, muriatic acid is the product of choice while all purpose cleaners can be used to remove stubborn dirt from hard surfaces. Addressing these often overlooked stains contributes to the end goal of making the basement spotless!

4. Floor Cleaning

Finished and unfinished concrete floors can be cleaned using a similar method. The only difference is that some sealed concrete floors require cleaners that are specially-formulated for a specific type of finish. 

Ideally, a professional cleaner will clean a concrete basement floor using the following steps:

  • Remove Debris. While vacuuming is faster and more efficient for picking up dirt and debris, if there are large pieces of debris that can damage a vacuum cleaner, they must be swept up into a dustpan, or manually picked up and discarded. Sweeping the concrete first also helps achieve a more thorough final result.
  • Vacuum. There are various attachments for vacuuming different types of surfaces and areas; professionals have a deeper understanding of this, and will use the appropriate tool for vacuuming finished or unfinished concrete. They will also switch between crevice tools and edge tools to ensure that every nook and cranny is vacuumed.
  • Wash the Floor. Depending on the level of grime, many basement cleaning services use a floor cleaning machine to renew the appearance of the concrete. For a less intense clean, the floor will be mopped using a premium concrete cleaner and high quality mop. Some commercial floor cleaning solutions are intended to kill bacteria as well as get rid of dirt and grime buildup on concrete. Rest assured that the professional will use a reliable concrete cleaner for the job. Once washed, the floor will be wiped or machine-dried to remove as much moisture as possible. Some damp spots may remain which will be left to air-dry.
  • Spot Treat Stains. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your concrete basement floor, stubborn stains are almost a given. Unfinished concrete is more prone to staining due to the porous nature of the material while properly sealed concrete does not allow spills or moisture to penetrate the surface. If there are any missed spots after washing the floor, these will be addressed as soon as the floor dries up and the marks are clearly visible. 

To treat stains on unfinished concrete, professionals may use a commercial product or a non-toxic method by mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to form a paste. This is then applied to the affected areas, and allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes. After a good scrubbing using a cleaning brush with medium-hard bristles, the area is wiped clean with a damp cloth. For finished concrete basement floors, a simple solution of dish soap and warm water works well. 

5. Organizing

Now that the basement has been cleaned from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, it’s time to bring back everything you want to store in your basement, and organize the contents efficiently. Of course, each item will be cleaned or dusted to ensure that dirt is not tracked into your freshly cleaned basement. 

By now, you should have an idea of what stays in the basement, and what stays out. However, if you need more time to sort through the items and boxes, the cleaning team will be happy to follow your orders regarding carrying the items back in, or leaving them where they are. For homeowners who have easy access to their basement, it might be worth taking a day to be more meticulous with the final selection of what ends up in the basement.

6. Final Walk Through

At the end of the basement cleaning service, the hired professionals will do a walk through with you to ensure that you are satisfied with the service. If there are missed spots or problems areas that need to be fixed, the cleaner will take care of it right away.

Overall, cleaning services aim to meet each and every basement cleaning requirement that is agreed upon prior to beginning the service. What’s more, many cleaning companies offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for their services, giving homeowners the reassurance of getting their money’s worth, and unearthing the true potential of their basement!

Tips on How to Keep Your Basement Clean & Organized

The before and after pictures of your basement are guaranteed to leave you thoroughly satisfied, however, just like any other room in your house, it needs regular cleaning and attention to keep it organized. 

If you are planning to convert your transformed basement into an entertainment hub or a living area, you might have to find additional storage in your house to maximize space in the basement. On the other hand, if you wish to use the basement solely for storing things, this is where your organizational skills will be tested! Of course, if you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve got you covered!

Regardless of how you choose to utilize your basement after deep cleaning it, these tips to maintain cleanliness and order will surely be of help.

#1 Re-evaluate Storage Options

Perhaps storage in your basement was not optimized from the get-go, and that led to the cluttered chaos you have been dealing with for a long time. This time around, though, things can be different. In fact, by using smart storage solutions, you will be in a better position to keep things in order while cleaning will also become an easier task. 

Here are a few good ideas for optimizing storage:

  • Make use of vertical space with tall racks 
  • Room corners can accommodate corner shelf units
  • Wall hooks and pegs are great for organizing winter coats, tools, etc

#2 Store Everything in Containers

If you don’t already have them, consider investing in various sizes of transparent plastic containers. Cardboard boxes are not the best long-term solution for storage considering that they deteriorate overtime due to being exposed to moisture, dampness, and humidity. 

Plastic storage containers are not just durable, they make it easy and convenient to access items while neatly stacking one on top of the other. Everything from clothes, dishware, photo albums, and miscellaneous items should be organized in these storage bins to keep clutter away.

#3 Categorize Your Belongings

The mark of a good organizer lies in their ability to categorize items for storage. While it may be tempting to store random things of similar sizes in one container, in the long run, it only encourages more disorder! This is because there are bound to be more items that require storage in your basement in the future, and that’s when you end up putting random things into just about any plastic bin you find.

When you have categories such as decorations, books, winter wear, old toys, etc, you are more motivated to stay organized as opposed to storing items by size. It’s only a matter of choosing appropriate-sized containers for each category so that you aren’t wasting storage within the container, as well as in your basement. For example, if you have some of your children’s old toys, try to fit them into one big container instead of using two boxes which fills one, and leaves the other half empty.

#4 Keep the Room Ventilated

Even a clean and organized basement can get musty really quick due to moisture and humidity. To keep these levels in check, try to increase ventilation by opening windows, installing exhaust fans, or using a dehumidifier. 

Another great tip for maintaining freshness in the basement of your house is to have an air purifier. Pet dander, dust, bacteria, and musty odors are just some of the indoor pollutants an air purifier can eliminate in a basement. 

#5 Clean Routinely

A dirty basement means you are heading back to square one if you choose to leave it that way. On the other hand, if you are planning to spend more time in your basement by creating a quiet place for yourself, or an entertainment zone for family and friends, you will obviously need to clean the space regularly – perhaps twice a week.

Of course, for basements that are not used for leisure, dust, dirt, and other buildup are inevitable. While it’s easy to forget to clean the basement because you hardly ever go down there, don’t make the same mistake of neglecting it for months on end! If you really want to keep your basement clean and avoid having to resort to calling in a professional to do the needful yet again, make basement cleaning a monthly affair. All it really needs is dusting (including the ceiling and walls to remove cobwebs), vacuuming or sweeping, and lastly, mopping to keep your concrete floor in tiptop condition!


Just like those amazing basement transformations you’ve seen pictures of, your dirty and disorganized basement can also be turned into a renewed, spotless, and fully-functional space! With the help of basement cleaning services, every little or big challenge that presents itself will be taken care of by trained and experienced cleaning professionals.

From removing mold and mildew, to deep cleaning the floors and reorganizing the space, your basement will receive the TLC it needs without you having to lift a finger. So, if you’ve finally decided to make the most of this neglected part of your home, contact a basement cleaning service today, ask for a free estimate, and get ready for the basement of your dreams!