No matter how clean your kitchen is, there’s dirt and grime hiding underneath and behind your appliances.
The Most Overlooked and Under-Cleaned Areas of Your Home
You clean your house once a week… or do you? Sure, you dust, vacuum, and scrub the kitchen and bathrooms, but you still aren’t getting your home as clean as it can be. This is a problem if you or a family member suffers from allergies or respiratory illness. This isn’t your fault, however, so don’t beat yourself up. There are nooks and crannies in every home that hide dirt, and there are household items you might not even realize need cleaning. I’m here to help you avoid these hidden traps. Let’s talk about nine of the most overlooked and under-cleaned areas of your home.
- Under and Behind Major Appliances: You can see the dust bunnies under your couch; you cannot see them under your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer, and dryer… and you likely don’t want to. These areas become a breeding ground for dust, grease, and grunge. Even if it’s only twice a year (spring and fall), pull these appliances out and scrub underneath and behind them. A solution of white vinegar and water works well, and you can use baking soda to scour away any tough stains.
- The Appliances Themselves: Before you slide your appliances back into place, clean the backsides and sides of each, paying special attention to anything that needs cleaning on the unit, such as your refrigerator coils, which you can dry brush or vacuum clean. Empty and clean the insides of your appliances using a water and baking soda solution, and then scoot them carefully back into place. Make sure to disconnect and unplug everything before you clean.
- Drains: Drains collect a ton of grime. Whether it’s your kitchen drain filled with food residue or shower drains filled with hair, it’s important to regularly clean these areas in order to maintain function. Once a month, take 1/2 cup of baking soda and sprinkle it down each drain. Next, take 1/2 cup of white vinegar and pour that down so the mixture foams. Leave the drains alone for 30 minutes. After a half-hour, boil a large pot of salt water and carefully pour that down each drain to rinse everything clean.
- Faucets: Your drains aren’t the only things in your sinks, showers, and tubs that need attention. You also need to clean your faucets. Unscrew the faucet heads on those that are removable and soak them in white vinegar for 30 minutes. Grab an old toothbrush and gently scrub away any lime and residue, rinse clean, and then replace. Note: Some of your faucets will have multiple parts as you unscrew them, so make certain you remember how to reassemble them properly.
- Ceiling Fan Blades: Ceiling fans are wonderful appliances for keeping the temperature in your home even and controlled throughout the year, but as those blades are gently circulating your indoor air, they are collecting a tremendous amount of dust. If you don’t include your ceiling fan blades in your weekly dusting, make sure to dust and clean them at least once a month. You can either dust with an extended-reach duster or carefully use a stepladder to reach the blades.
- Lighting Globes, Panels, and Lampshades: If your home is older, you may have ceiling lights that are covered by globes. You may also have kitchen ceiling fluorescent lighting and lamps throughout your home. It’s wise to remove your ceiling lighting globes and panels at least every couple of months and clean out the dead bugs and grime that collects. Simply sponging them down with warm, sudsy water will do the trick. Don’t forget to dust your lampshades, too.
- Baseboards: This is one of the most forgotten areas of your home. Many people don’t think about cleaning their baseboards until the grunge is already caked on; this holds especially true in humid environments such as your bathrooms. Don’t forget to clean around the base of your walls monthly to ensure your baseboards are not gathering irritating dust. You can dust them with a feather duster or damp sponge, depending upon how dirty they are.
- Kitchen Cabinet Tops: In most cases, there is a space between your kitchen cabinets and your ceiling and that area is dust bunny heaven. Once a month, take a damp sponge or cloth and wipe clean the tops of your kitchen cabinets. If your home isn’t prone to collecting too much dust, a feather duster might do the trick. Don’t stand on your kitchen counters to do this; that’s dangerous. Use a sturdy stepladder and work slowly and carefully.
- Remote Controls: Surprise! You didn’t see that one coming, did you? Believe it or not, the one thing that you cannot pry out of your husband or kid’s hand is one of the dirtiest and germ-riddled items in your home. Dirty, grimy, sticky fingers spend all afternoon and evening pressing the buttons channel surfing, so wipe down your remote controls weekly with a cotton ball doused in rubbing alcohol, and get in between the buttons with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. Remove the batteries first.
This might seem like a lot, but it really doesn’t take that much additional time to clean these hidden and grimy areas of your home. If you keep it up as you do the rest of your house, you’ll forget you’ve even added them to your cleaning routine. The bottom line is that your home is your castle! You’ve worked hard for it and you’re proud of it, so make sure you’re not overlooking and under-cleaning parts of it.