Linda has experience with many home improvement projects. She likes to share her organization, storage and house-cleaning tips.
The Ultimate List of Things You're Probably Forgetting to Clean in Your House
You'd be surprised at the things you forget to clean or maybe don't even realize as part of routine household maintenance. While some of these tasks don't necessarily need to be part of your weekly cleaning schedule, they should be tended to on a semi-regular basis to keep your house looking its best!
13 Surprising Places You've Probably Forgetten to Clean
- Air Vents
- Cleaning Implements
- Doors and Switch Plates
- Medicine Cabinets
- Ceiling Fans
- Toothbrushes and Holders
- Small Electronics
- Kitchen Cabinets
- Lampshades and Lightbulbs
Dust bunnies hide in the darndest places. Twice a year, pull out your refrigerator and stove and sweep them away along with all those icky crumbs. Wipe down the walls behind appliances, and vacuum and dust cobwebs from the coils on the back of the fridge. Use an all-purpose cleaner to clean grease splatters and drips from the sides of the stove, cabinets, and floor.
Books are big dust magnets. Remove dust from the edges of the pages using a dry soft artist’s or makeup brush. Wipe down the cover with a microfiber rag or feather duster. You don’t need to do this every week—a monthly book dusting is more than sufficient.
3. Air Vents
The air you breathe needs to be cleaned. Don't forget to clean your vent covers. Dust and dirt settling in your HVAC vents can stir up respiratory allergies and reduce your system’s efficiency, which will ultimately cost you more in energy bills. Change your filters every couple of months, or purchase washable versions and rinse them at similar intervals.
4. Cleaning Implements
Don’t forget to cleanse your cleaning tools. Rags, buckets, and mops should be cleaned after each use. Keep your rubber gloves on and use hot water to hose off brooms, mop heads, and brushes. Disinfect sponges and rags by popping them in the microwave for a few seconds to blast away bacteria. Clean your vacuum filter and removable parts. Regular cleaning and maintenance will extend its life and cut down on household allergens like dust, pet hair, and dander.
5. Doors and Switch Plates
Take a peek at your doors, doorknobs, and switch plates. They’re used and abused on a daily basis. It’s no wonder they’re considered some of the dirtiest surfaces in the home. On close inspection, you’ll probably notice a slight haze or discoloration around the edges of your doors and door frames, as well as on the doorknobs and switch plates. Wipe them down with a grease-cutting cleaner, and you’ll immediately see and feel the difference.
6. Medicine Cabinets
This is one area we typically only tidy up when we’re getting ready to move. As a result, the medicine cabinet is a repository for clutter and dust. Once every six months, throw away expired toiletries. Properly dispose of old medication via community events to avoid contaminating the local landfill and water supply. Wipe down the inside of the cabinet with a damp cloth and reorganize your items.
7. Ceiling Fans
Even when your ceiling fan is working to keep your room cool, the blades are busy collecting dust and dirt. If you don’t believe us, climb up on a step stool and check out the fan blades. The leading edges are coated with a nice layer of household grime and gunk.
Attack the icky fan blades every month or two with an electrostatic, lambswool duster or microfiber rag. To keep the dust from flying, it's a good idea to slip a pillowcase onto the fan blade to catch the dirt and wipe it with a mixture of water and vinegar.
8. Toothbrushes and the Holder
Think about the number of germs in your mouth, especially when you're sick. Now think about how often you clean your toothbrush and toothbrush holder. That would be never, right?
After every brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot tap water. Every week or so, soak it in a glass of hydrogen peroxide or nuke it in the microwave. Clean your toothbrush holder with an antibacterial cleanser every week or two. Rinse well after cleaning.
9. Small Electronics
In hotel rooms, the dirtiest items are the remote control, alarm clock, and the landline telephone. Believe it or not, it could be even nastier than the bathroom. The same applies to small electronics in your house. Remotes, tablets, keyboards, smartphones, and headphones are germ cultivators. Clean these delicate and expensive toys frequently with disinfecting products that are designed especially for electronics.
10. Kitchen Cabinets
If we can’t see dirt, it’s not there, right? Not so fast! What about the tops and fronts of your kitchen cabinets? Not only do they attract dust, but they also become covered in a layer of film from cooking fumes and greasy hands. Wipe your cabinet doors and tops down with a household cleaner that won’t harm the finish. Once they're clean, give them a monthly once over with an extendable duster or wipe down with a degreaser.
If you’ve ever rented an apartment or house from a property manager, you probably were required to clean the baseboards on the move-out. It’s certainly not a fun chore. In fact, it’s a back breaker. But it has to be done unless you want to forego your deposit. A rag or scrub brush and warm water will remove the dirt. Keep the base molding sparkling white by using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
Have you ever washed your bed pillows? Well, maybe you should. Pillows collect pollen, dirt, dead skin, and dust mites. Clean them quarterly to keep them looking and smelling clean. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Alternatively, tumble them in the dryer or air them on the line outside for a quick freshen-up. If you don’t want to bother, simply replace your bed pillows at least twice a year.
13. Lampshades and Lightbulbs
Wondering why your lamp light is growing dim? It might be that layer of dust on the light bulb. Let the bulbs cool down and wipe them off with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget your lampshades either. Vacuum or spray with compressed air to remove clingy dust.
© 2019 Linda Chechar
Start a Conversation!
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on November 24, 2019:
Eman, so glad you enjoyed the cleaning home tips!
Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on November 24, 2019:
A very helpful article. Thank you for the tips.
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on November 13, 2019:
Linda Crampton, there are a few that we should definitely do once in a while. Thanks for taking time to check this one out!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 13, 2019:
You've included some great tips in your article. I already follow some of your suggestions, but I have to admit that you've reminded me of some things that I should do but don't!