Cleaning Spree! Vocabulary for You to Keep It Clean in Spanish
Are you looking for the key vocabulary you need to keep it clean in Spanish?
You’ve come to the right place.
“Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature.” – Marie Kondo
Whether you’re facing the act of tidying, cleaning, or both—keeping it clean is a subject that transcends language. Having a clean space around us helps us clear mental clutter, as well!
The word “clean” in English has a variety of meanings and pops up in many contexts. Likewise, clean in Spanish can be expressed by various words including limpiar, lavar, limpio, and puro. Limpieza means cleaning. And then there’s the whole laundry list of chores like sweeping, dusting, mopping, tidying, and the like.
Keep reading to learn key Spanish verbs, adjectives, nouns related to house cleaning, plus some helpful phrases that puts them all together.
Clean in Spanish: Verbs
While the two key verbs for “to clean” in Spanish are limpiar and lavar, an array of other verbs describe more specific aspects of cleaning. The word you use depends on the context. If you’re talking about washing, use the verb lavar; and reserve limpiar for other acts of cleaning.
The verb limpiar means “to clean.” It is a regular verb, meaning it’s conjugated the same as all other -ar verbs in Spanish.
Tenemos que limpiar la casa.
We have to clean the house
Limpio mi casa.
I am cleaning my house.
Limpiaste mi casa.
You cleaned my house.
Limpiaremos la casa.
We will clean the house.
The verb lavar in Spanish means “to wash,” although it sometimes translates to “to clean.” It, too, is a regular verb!
Lavaron el espejo.
They washed the mirror.
Lavarás la licuadora.
You will wash the blender.
The reflexive verb lavarse refers to washing or bathing oneself, as opposed to an object like a plate.
Yo me lavo.
I wash myself.
We wash ourselves.
More Verbs Related to Cleaning
Arreglar – arrange, straighten up
Asear – to tidy up
Barrer – to sweep
Trapear – to mop
Desempolvar – to dust
Fregar – to scrub
Encerar – to wax
Lustrar – to polish (floors or furniture)
Pulir – to polish (metal)
Hacer la cama – to make the bed
Sacar la basura – take out the trash
Interesting Side Note
In English, when you say someone “cleaned up,” it can mean that they won something, or made a large profit. However, in Spanish the phrase for this is barrer con todo.
Luisa barrió con todo en el concurso.
Luisa cleaned up in the contest.
Clean in Spanish: Adjectives
Puro and limpia are adjectives that describe clean things, people, places, and ideas.
The basic adjective for “clean” in Spanish is limpio (limpia for feminine nouns). If the adjective describes a plural noun, add an -s.
El piso está limpio. – The floor is clean.
La copa está limpia. – The cup is clean.
Los cuartos están limpios. – The rooms are clean.
Las ollas están limpias. – The pots are clean.
Similar to English, limpio can describe someone who was formerly addicted to drugs or alcohol but is now “clean.”
Tras un mes desintoxicandose, ella estaba limpia. – After a month in rehab, she was clean.
Limpio is also an adverb. “Clean” in Spanish can describe how someone behaves. This is akin to saying “fairly” in English.
Este equipo siempre juega limpio. – This team always plays clean.
The opposite of limpio is sucio (dirty).
Puro, as you might guess, means “pure.” In English, you can use the word “clean” to mean pure, like when describing clean air or water. Limpio can also work here, but puro is more common.
It’s clean water. – Es agua pura.
The water is clean. – El agua está limpia.
Clean in Spanish: Supplies and Equipment
Now that you know how to use “clean” as a verb and an adjective, it’s time to add some nouns to your repertoire. Let’s start with this list of common cleaning supplies and equipment in Spanish.
La aspiradora – vacuum cleaner
La escoba – broom
La pala – dustpan
El bote de basura, el basurero – trash can
El plumero – duster
El trapo – cloth/rag
El paño – dishcloth
La esponja – sponge
El detergente – dish soap
El jabón – soap
El jabón para ropa – laundry detergent
El escurridor de piso – squeegee
Los guantes de goma – rubber gloves
El desatascador – plunger
Clean in Spanish: Phrases
Let’s put all of this new vocab together in useful phrases you can use to describe which actions you take while cleaning! Common ways to say “chores” include tareas de la casa, tareas domésticas, and quehaceres.
This vocabulary will help you discuss quehaceres domésticos (household chores) and all things clean in Spanish.
Barrer el suelo – Sweep the floor
Cargar/vaciar el lavaplatos – Load/unload the dishwasher
Lavar los platos – Wash the dishes
Hacer la cama – Make the bed
Lavar la ropa – Do laundry (wash the clothes)
Limpiar las ventanas – Clean the windows
Planchar la ropa – Iron the clothes
Quitar la mesa – Clear the table
Sacudir los muebles – Dust the furniture
Sacar la basura – Take out the trash
Limpiar el baño – Clean the bathroom
Ordenar el cuarto/la habitación – Organize the bedroom
Arreglar la sala – Tidy up the living room
Pasar la aspiradora en el comedor. – Vacuum the dining room
Organizar la oficina – Organize the office
Limpiar la cocina – Clean the kitchen
La cocina está sucia. – The kitchen is dirty.
Necesito que barra el piso. – I need you to sweep the floor.
La basura está llena. – The trash is full.
La toalla tiene una mancha. – The towel has a stain.
Hay polvo en las escaleras. – There is dust on the stairs.
No queda jabón. – There is no soap left.
Use el cepillo por favor para limpiar el horno. – Please use the brush to clean the oven.
La casa necesitará una buena limpieza después de la fiesta. – The house will need a good cleaning after the party.
¿Qué limpio yo? – What do I clean?
Toda la casa. – The whole house.
¿Dónde compro los guantes? – Where do I buy the gloves?
En el supermercado. – At the supermarket.
¿Por qué está el cepillo en la cocina? – Why is the brush in the kitchen?
Porque estaba limpiando el horno. – Because I was cleaning the oven.
¿Cuántos artículos de limpieza tienes? – How many cleaning supplies do you have?
Tengo muchos. – I have a lot.
¿Cuál trapo uso? – Which rag do I use?
El trapo azul. – The blue rag.
Learn more about how to talk about your home in Spanish.
You Cleaned Up!
Whew! Now you are super prepared to talk about cleaning your house in Spanish. This will come in handy if you need to delegate cleaning tasks to Spanish-speaking family members or hired housekeepers.
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