Cleaning hard-to-reach places

11 Hard to Reach Places: A Short Person’s Cleaning Tips

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Do you ever find yourself avoiding cleaning hard to reach places because it’s a hassle to haul out the ladder or step stool? As a short person, I get it!

But one of the benefits of being both short and into having a clean home? I’ve got some great tips to help you get to those hard to reach places, so you can deal with all those sneaky spots where dust hides.

1. Ceiling Fans

Ever wondered why ceiling fans are so dusty? It’s because their constant motion creates static electricity which attracts and holds onto dust.

The pillowcase method: Spray the inside of a pillowcase with all-purpose cleaner so it grabs onto grime. Then slide it over each ceiling fan blade and pull it back to trap the dust inside.

Extendable duster: Use an extension duster with a microfiber or electrostatic head to wipe the top, sides, and bottom of the blades. Be sure to dust the top of the fan housing, too.

Vacuum: Use your vacuum’s dust brush to the attachment on all sides of the blade.

Pro Tip

Attach a used dryer sheet to the end of a mop or extension duster and rub it on your ceiling fan blades to create an anti-static coating that repels dust.

2. Bathroom Exhaust Fans

One summer, my bathroom fan did nothing to remove shower steam, so I stood on a chair, pulled off the fan cover, and got a face full of debris. And that’s dangerous, because too much dust causes bathroom fans to overheat, which creates a fire risk.

To clean your bathroom exhaust fan, shut off circuit breaker then gently pull the cover down. Pinch the two U-pins on either side together to slide them out of the housing. Blow away dust with compressed air or vacuum it with the brush attachment, then wash and dry the cover.

3. Ceiling Corners

Dust isn’t the only thing that collects in ceiling corners: spiders like hanging out there since they’re rarely disturbed. To clean the high corners of rooms, use a wand vacuum attachment, an extension duster, or a broom handle covered by a clean microfiber cloth.

4. Above Kitchen Cabinets

Many homes, including mine, have a gap between the tops of the kitchen cabinets and the ceilings. That spot feels like a dust magnet! Depending on how much space there is, you might be able to clean this space with your vacuum’s dust brush attachment or, for tight spots, an extension duster or even a microfiber cloth wrapped around a yardstick.

Pro Tip

After cleaning, line the top of your kitchen cabinets with paper towels or wax paper to catch future dust and grime. Next time, you only need to crumple up the paper and put down a new layer.

5. Door and Window Frames

I’m always surprised at how much dust collects on door and window frames. Then when you walk in the room or open your windows, it goes floating around and lands on the furniture.

Dust your door and window frames with an extension duster, a dry mop, or a broom with a microfiber cloth attached. Wash them with a damp, soapy cloth and rinse with a clean cloth to remove the soap residue. When they’re dry, rub them with a used dryer sheet to help them stay dust-free.

6. The Top of Window Treatments

Whether you have blinds or curtains, the top couple of inches collect a lot of dust. Use your vacuum’s dust brush attachment on the front and back of these spots, or wipe them with a damp microfiber cloth. For curtain rods, push the curtains to one side then wipe the rod and repeat with the other side.

7. Window Tracks

Cleaning window tracks can be a bit of a hassle. Start by vacuuming out the dust using the brush attachment. For those hard-to-reach spots, a cotton swab or a small foam brush works wonders. Next, tackle the vertical tracks with a warm, soapy cloth, and then wipe off any soap with a clean, damp rag.

If you’re dealing with stubborn grime on sliding door tracks, try scrubbing them with a bit of baking soda on a damp brush. After that, give them a spray with a mix of equal parts vinegar and water. Once the fizzing settles down, wipe the track clean and dry it thoroughly.

Pro Tip

Keep your window tracks working smoothly by rubbing them with wax paper once they’re clean and dry.

8. Behind and Beneath Appliances

The tight spots between appliances collect all sorts of dust, crumbs, even lost utensils. If you can’t pull them out yourself, try reaching behind them with a dryer lint or your vacuum’s crevice tool.

You can create a makeshift duster for tight spots by attaching a microfiber cloth to a yardstick. Slide it around behind and beneath appliances to collect dust. Replace the cloth as needed until the mess is gone.

9. Refrigerator Coils

Dirty refrigerator coils will keep your appliance running nonstop, but cleaning them isn’t hard. If they’re on the back, pull the appliance out and use your upholstery brush attachment. If they’re on the bottom, remove the vent cover and loosen the dust with a dryer lint brush, then use your vacuum’s crevice tool to remove it.

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10. Behind Toilets

Since mops don’t fit the gap between the base of your toilet and the wall, you’ll need to clean it by hand but you don’t have to bend or kneel. Instead, attach a dry microfiber cloth to the end of your toilet brush. Use a dry cloth to pick up dust then spray bathroom cleaner on the area. Switch to a fresh cloth to scrub and use a third, damp one to rinse.

11. Nooks and Crannies in Your Car

Do you put off cleaning your car’s interior because it’s hard getting into the nooks and crannies? Head to the toy store and pick up a container of slime or Silly Putty. Both are great at grabbing onto debris in small spaces. And where they can’t reach, try compressed air.

Do you have any special tips for cleaning hard-to-reach areas? Share them in the comments and help each other out!

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6 Comments

  1. Some great stuff right there👆🏻👆🏻. There were at least 3 tasks I need to tackle asap! Thanks for all the great info! ❤️

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hey, so glad you liked it! 😁❤️❤️

  2. Connie P. says:

    As always, great tips! I will be using the tips for above the kitchen cabinets! Can’t wait to see how much easer to clean next year when I just remove the paper towels. The window tracks have always been an issue for me, just always so dirty so love the cleaning tip. I also know I need to tackle those bathroom fans🤦🏼‍♀️!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Window tracks are so annoying! I feel like they get dirty every time we open or close windows in the Spring.

  3. Katie, I’m also short, very short .🤗. This info is so valuable. I’ve been keeping house for 68 years and never knew about the used dryer sheet trick! It’s never too late to learn! Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Shorties unite! Those used dryer sheets come in handy. Be sure to check out the post about using them that I linked. There are tons of ways they can help around the house. ❤️

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