Spraying your couch down with Febreze doesn’t do much to remove the dirt. Next time you’re cleaning, move your couch. You’ll notice all the dirt, crumbs, and lost socks that have been left behind. Couches can get incredibly dirty with daily use, even if you don’t have pets. To keep your couch in good condition (or at least good enough that your guests don’t grimace when they sit), take all the cushions off and vacuum everything once a month.
Bottom of Toilet
Surely you already scrub your toilet once a week or every other week, right? If not, you should probably start. But take a look at the bottom of your toilet, and you’ll likely find a bunch of nasty surprises. Thankfully, this part of the toilet doesn’t need to be cleaned as often, but it’s important to keep an eye on it and clean when necessary.
One thing even dirtier than your toilet? Your kitchen sink. Think about all the dirty dishes you wash every day, and it’s not hard to imagine all the bacteria taking refuge in such a damp environment. Give it a good bleach wash every now and then to keep your sink sparkling – and washing the dishes without letting them pile up first might help, too.
Between messy spills and spoiled produce, your fridge can be a smelly place. Don’t wait until the mess becomes unbearable; stick to a routine and clean out your fridge once a month. You should also clean out the refrigerator coils every six months to make sure everything stays running smoothly and efficiently.
Spaces Between Appliances
Check out the crevice between your fridge and your kitchen counter, and you’ll likely find a bunch of dust, dirt, and other nasty stuff. (Is that a raisin or a bug?) These tiny spaces often get neglected during the usual cleaning routine so it’s important to remember to keep them vacuumed regularly.
You likely already wash your bed sheets and pillow cases every few weeks without giving it a second thought, but what about your pillows and comforter? Your pillows soak up all the oils from your face and hair each night so they should be washed every three to six months. Throw a couple of (clean) tennis balls in to dry with them to maintain their natural fluff. Then there’s your comforter, which, if you have animals, is probably coated with animal hair, and if you have babies or toddlers, is probably stained with spit-up and slobber. Check out the washing instructions on your comforter’s tag and either take it to the dry cleaners or wash it on the gentle cycle every six months.
Just because your clothes get clean doesn’t mean your washer is 100% germ-free. Run a cup of vinegar through the warm cycle once a month to neutralize odors and keep the pipes clean.
Similar to the washing machine, your dishwasher should be cleaned periodically. Add a cup of vinegar and run a hot cycle to get rid of crumbs that can become stuck in the crevices.
Ceiling fans are one of the most forgotten spots in a home, but the dust that accumulates could be making you and your family sick. Grab a chair (or a tall person) and a wash cloth to dust your fans regularly – every other week should do the trick (or really, any time you notice dust).
Microwaves can get pretty nasty, but it’s such a small space that not many people ever think to clean the inside. It’s actually pretty easy to clean, though: just get a microwave-safe bowl, pour in half a cup of vinegar, mix with with half a cup of water, and microwave for five to ten minutes (depending on how dirty your microwave is). Voila! The mixture loosens the stuck-on food so you can take a sponge and simply wipe up the mess.
The bathtub may be where you go to get clean every day, but it needs a good cleaning (and bleaching) every now and then too. Even if you have a disinfectant spray you use every time you get out of the shower, like the one Scrubbing Bubbles makes, you should still give it a good scrubbing once every other week. You should also bleach your tub once a month, and you should definitely clean out your drain every now and then, too.
Have you ever actually looked down into the little slots of a toaster? You’d be surprised (and a little disgusted) at the mess you stick your toast into each morning. After a few uses, make sure you turn the toaster over your trash can and shake out any excess crumbs. If your toaster has a removable tray, you can just slide it out and dump it.
Cell Phones and Tablets
It’s no secret that your cell phone carries tons of nasty germs. If you’re like most people, your cell phone is with you at all times of the day, and you use it constantly – after eating greasy pizza, after changing a baby’s diaper, after reading a newspaper, and the list goes on. The point is, your phones and your tablets need to be cleaned more than any other thing in your home – and an alcohol pad should do just the trick.
Vacuuming is probably already a basic step in your usual cleaning routine, but if you’re not steam cleaning, you’re not really getting out all of the dirt. Aim for getting your carpets steam cleaned once or twice a year.
Walls and Baseboards
Luckily, walls and baseboards don’t need to be cleaned as often as everything else. Walls typically only need cleaning if you notice a mark or a spill, in which case you would just wipe it with a wet cloth. Baseboards, on the other hand, are a bit more tedious (and gross) to clean.
Most people don’t notice how dirty their baseboards are until the dirt and grime is caked on, and the best way to get it off is by spraying them with a heavy-duty all-purpose cleaner and scrubbing everything off with a toothbrush or a sponge. As long as you do this a couple times a year, your home will be much cleaner.
Doorknobs are one of the most overlooked places in a home when it comes to cleaning, which is gross, because think about it: How many people live in your home? How many people visit? Do you know where everyone’s fingers have been? No, you don’t so you should disinfect your doorknobs regularly. The best way to remember to do it is to incorporate it into your weekly cleaning routine.
The same goes for light switches. Just think about it: how many times a day do you turn all the light switches on and off in your home? Now multiply that by how many people live with you. Grossed out yet? Get to cleaning.
Curtains are the perfect place for collecting dust and animal hair. You should either wash or vacuum your curtains every six months or so.
Flipping through TV channels while snacking is perfectly acceptable behavior, and we all do it; just make sure you give your remote a proper wipe-down afterward so it doesn’t stay greasy.
If you’ve noticed your air conditioning or heat isn’t running as smoothly as it used to, it could be because your air filter needs to be changed. Air filters should typically be changed about every three months, but even more often if you have animals or if it’s an unusually harsh winter or summer. The best thing to do is to check your air filter once a month and change it accordingly.
You probably have a flatscreen TV, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t accumulate filth. Your television will have vents to get rid of heat will collect tons of dust. If you don't have vents on the top, it'll still get extremely filthy. Wipe down the top and grab a can of compressed air to spray the vents. Clearing the dust will even extend the life of your TV.
Window blinds? Crazy dirty. Dust can easily settle on the curves of the wood and plastic. The fastest way to clean blinds is by purchasing a duster specifically for this. You can also just grab a duster and rub it down thoroughly.
You know that fan that keeps you cool in the summer? Yeah, it’s covered in dust bunnies. Even if you clean the blades, the inside can be pretty bad. They’re easy to open up and dust with a compressed can of air. After you’ve cleaned it out, it’ll actually work better.
Let’s talk air vents. If you don’t clean them, they’ll create this gross line of dust where the air continuously blows. Grab a duster and rub down the vent inside and out. If you’re really serious, you can remove the vent and clean some of the duct.
Remember those scenes where someone takes out a rug and beats it? Everyone should do that to their area rugs. They get insanely dusty, and all that grime gets stirred up when you walk around. If you have allergies, then good luck because this will make them SO much worse.
Sure, you could throw out your lampshades and get new ones, but why not clean them? You can use a duster on the plastic ones—or even a damp washcloth. For the fabric shades, a microfiber cloth and sticky tape is the best tool for the job.
Window Sills and Tracks
Window sills may be a given, but tracks? If you get grossed out queasy, cleaning window tracks will be rough. Bug bits, dirt, grime, and clumps of dirt accumulate in the track like magnets. It’s worth vacuuming and cleaning with a Lysol wipe.
Computers and dust go together like cookies and milk. To clean a laptop, grab a can of air and spray it down. Do not open a laptop unless you have experience doing so.
Most desktops allow you to clean it by removing the side of the case and spraying it with a can of air. Do not tilt the can of air to have that cool spritz of ice come out—that could ruin your motherboard and circuitry. If you feel unsafe cleaning it yourself, a computer shop can clean your computer.
Everyone loves to curl up with a good throw blanket, but they get filthy. Even though you’re only using it occasionally, you should clean it as often as your sheets. Read the tag to make sure you’re not ruining the fabric—many throws are made of delicate materials that’ll ruin in a hot, hot dryer.
Everyone loves to curl up with a good throw, but they get filthy. Even though you’re only using it occasionally, you should clean it as often as your sheets. Read the tag to make sure you’re not ruining the fabric—many throws are made of delicate materials that’ll ruin in a hot, hot dryer.
Computer keyboards are absolutely disgusting—trust us. Grab a can of air and spray it down. Turn the keyboard upside down and hit it with your hand a few times lightly. This should jostle anything loose. Hair, food, and all manner of junk will fall out.