How to clean bookshelves and bookcases

why and how to completely clean bookshelves. green wall, wood floor, exposed bookshelves.
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Can you imagine how much dust books collect on a shelf? Quite a bit. As professional house and office cleaners we typically clean bookshelves without removing books. But every now and again, we should offer to deep clean the shelves.  Here’s why and how to clean bookshelves for your customers to ensure a higher quality of cleaning and make more money.


It’s common practice for professional cleaners to dust and wipe the exposed spaces on bookcases and behind and around the knick-knacks.  It doesn’t have to stop there.  You can incorporate deep cleaning to maintain bookshelves for your customers.


There’s no need to feel overburdened at the notion, you wouldn’t have to clean the shelves at every routine visit.  It can be an additional service that you provide.  Like an add-on.  And one cleaning a year may be just fine for most homes or offices.


Vacuuming and washing down bookcases will certainly improve your customer’s home or office building in several ways.

Enter the FREE DEEP CLEANING CHALLENGE.  You’ll learn how to upsell this detail cleaning task to make more money and encourage good customer service starting TODAY!

3 Reasons why cleaning bookshelves is important

  1. Removes dust which can cause a wealth of health concerns.
  2. Keeps books in better condition by removing particles and pollutants near and on them.
  3. Improves the air quality throughout the home or office. 


Materials needed to clean bookshelves

  1. Duster
  2. Vacuum with brush attachment 
  3. Bucket with warm water and mild soap like Thieves
  4. Towels
  5. Good music
  6. A little patience, ‘cause you’ll be a minute or two

How to clean bookcases for your professional cleaning customers

  1. Take a picture of each bookcase before you remove books or anything off the shelf.  (You’ll want to remember where to return each item.)
  2. Remove books and all items, one or two shelves at a time.
  3. Use your duster or vacuum with brush attachment to remove dust completely from each bookshelf.  Don’t forget the very top and sides of shelves.
  4. Wipe down each shelf with a damp cloth and wait for it to dry before replacing books.
  5. Before replacing books, use your duster or vacuum to remove dust on the exposed top of books.  Start from the bind (spine) moving along the edge of page.
  6. Repeat the process with each shelf moving room to room until done.


This process may take some time so it’s very wise to plan out your schedule to perform these tasks.  It may take a few cleanings to complete – just depends on how many bookcases and your availability and your cleaning schedule.


You’re doing your customers a huge favor by providing this deep cleaning to bookshelves…. and increasing your income as well.

I grew my office cleaning side hustle into a ½ million-dollar corporation with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff. In 2020, I retired my service-based business to shift my focus and passion from serving cleaning clientele to serving cleaning business owners.


Utilizing my 27+ years’ experience, I offer free and paid products exclusively for cleaning business owners and cleaning side hustlers at A Janitor’s Story® Website and my VIP Group Coaching Membership App.


I’ve served other cleaning pros by helping them to turn one time cleaning jobs into high paying recurring customers, create excellent client retention practices, develop hiring systems that really work, build marketing techniques that convert and so much more.


If this is a place you’d like to explore, I’d love to serve you too. Simply sign up to my free weekly email newsletter for tips and inspiration. I can’t wait to meet you inside.

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