Housekeeping Vocabulary: Words For Cleaning and Tidying

Is “убираться” the only cleaning-related word you know in Russian? Do terms like “чистяшее средство”, “пылесос”, and “щётка” leave you drawing a blank when speaking with Russian speakers?

In this post, we’ll shine a light on essential Russian cleaning verbs, vocab for cleaning tools and products, and useful tidying-up phrases. With these terms in your back pocket, you’ll be able to understand critical directions from Russian hosts and describe your own cleaning routines.

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive in — this vocabulary makes light work of learning!

Common Household Cleaning Verbs

When communicating about cleaning in Russian, verbs are essential to get all your messages across clearly. Here are some of the most common and useful household cleaning verbs to know:

прибираться [preebeeratsa] – to tidy up

убирать [oobeerat’] – to clean up in a general sense

мыть [mit’] – to generally wash or clean something using water. So this verb can be used for washing dishes, floors, oneself in the shower, etc.

стирать [steerat’] to do laundry, wash clothes. It refers specifically to washing clothes, towels, sheets, etc.

While мыть can sometimes be used in relation to washing clothes if the context is clear, стирать refers specifically and only to washing fabrics/laundry.

чистить [cheesteet’] – to clean something without using water. This verb is used for dusting, wiping, sweeping, scrubbing, or polishing to clean items.

пылесосить [pilyesoseet’] – to vacuum

драить [draeet’] – to scour, usually floors or hard surfaces

тереть [teeryet’] – to scrub an item, usually using a cleaning tool or brush and some elbow grease! Often used for scrubbing very dirty dishes or tough stains.

подметать [padmeetat’] – to sweep

полоскать [palaskat’] – to rinse an item that has already been washed

вытирать [viteerat’] – to wipe down

отжимать [atzhimat’] – to wring out, as for wet laundry

марать [marat’] / пачкать [pachkat’] – to stain or spot

отбеливать [atbyeleevat’] – to bleach

отскабливать [atskableevat’] – to scrape, as burnt food from a pan

Cleaning Verbs in Russian

As you can see, Russian has many verbs to describe all the intricate details of cleaning! From washing to wiping, scrubbing to sweeping, there are terms to convey whatever cleaning task you want to portray. Let me know if you need any clarification or examples for using these verbs!

See Also: Useful Russian Phrases For Describing Your Daily Routine

Vocabulary for Cleaning Tools and Products

Now that you know key cleaning verbs, you’ll need to learn the Russian words for the various tools and products used for cleaning tasks. Here are some of the most common:

тряпка [tryapka] – cloth, rag

губка [goopka] – sponge

щётка [shchyotka] – brush (for scrubbing)

веник [vyeneek] – broom

совок [savok] – dustpan

ведро [vidro] – bucket

швабра [shvabra] – mop

пылесос [pilyesos] – vacuum cleaner

моющее средство [moyushchyeye] – cleaning agent, detergent

отбеливатель [atbyeleevatyel’] – bleach

пятновыводитель [pyatnavivadeetyel’] – stain remover

резиновые перчатки [reezeenaviye peerchatkee] – rubber gloves

Knowing these basic tools and cleaners will allow you to fully discuss cleaning routines. You can build sentences like “Сначала я надеваю резиновые перчатки, беру тряпку и начинаю протирать всю пыль” (First I put on rubber gloves, take a rag, and start wiping down all the dust).

To further enrich your vocabulary, try making a full list of all cleaning supplies you regularly use in your home or need to describe. Growing your lexicon makes conversations shine!

See Also: Rooms, Furniture and Things Around the House in Russian

Useful Phrases for Cleaning Tasks

Put your new vocabulary to work immediately with these helpful Russian phrases for common cleaning situations:

подметать пол – to sweep the floor

мыть пол – to mop the floor

мыть посуду – to wash the dishes

стирать бельё – to do the laundry

Эта рубашка плохо отстиралась. – This shirt didn’t wash out well.

Это пятно не отстирывается. – This stain won’t come out.

Я не смогла очистить раковину от налёта. – I couldn’t clean the sink crust off.

Полы нужно помыть. – The floors need to be washed.

Нужно вытереть пыль. – Dusting needs to be done.

Приберись в своей комнате. – Clean up your room.

Мне надо постирать одежду. – I need to do laundry.

Вынеси мусорное ведро, пожалуйста. – Please take out the garbage pail.

Ты забыл вымыть/помыть ванну. – You forgot to clean the bathtub.

Нужно пропылесосить ковры. – The rugs need vacuuming.

В ванной комнате беспорядок. – The bathroom is messy.

While not the most glamorous part of the language, cleaning terms are vital tools in your Russian communication kit. You never know when you might need to ask your homestay host to use their washing machine or when Russian friends might request your assistance with apartment chores.

Try making your own to-do list of cleaning phrases that reflect your real-life needs. With some practice, you’ll be chatting about dirty dishes and laundry woes like a native!

I hope this post swept away any uncertainties you had about cleaning vocabulary and left your Russian tidier. Feel free to dust off any other language dirt in the comments! What other household phrases do you find tricky to explain or understand in Russian? Let’s keep the conversation sparkling!

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