Don’t let this list of ten places you probably forget to clean make you feel bad. Even the best of us get used to our cleaning routines and sometimes overlook less obvious areas. Yes, that includes me — and I write books about cleaning house!
While these ten spots are all part of my cleaning routines now, they’re there because at some point I realized I’d been overlooking them. Rather than trust my memory, I added them to my cleaning checklists since most of them are spots that do need regular attention. How many of them are you overlooking?
10 Places You Probably Forget To Clean
1. Window screens and sills
Forget these, and you’ll wind up with dust coating your furniture the instant you open your windows to enjoy a nice breeze. They’re easy enough to do using your vacuum’s dust attachment. Or, pop the screens out and rinse them with your garden hose. While the window is open, go over the sill and tracks with a damp microfiber cloth, too.
2. Sink stoppers
If you’ve never removed the stopper from your bathroom sink to clean it, prepare to be disgusted. Everything that goes down your drain comes in contact with the stopper’s plastic shaft, and some of it winds up clinging to the thing. Not just hair, either: soap scum, dirt, and other debris form a biofilm which breeds nasty bacteria and odors. Scrub yours with a disinfecting cleaner at least once a month.
3. Rubber gasket on the garbage disposal
Like the stopper mechanism, the garbage disposal gasket comes in contact with everything that goes down your kitchen drain: food, soap, whatever’s on your hands, etc. If you’ve been fighting a fruit- or blue bottle fly problem, this spot might be the reason. Gently pry up the rubber flanges and give them a thorough cleaning weekly. (Also see: How To Clean A Garbage Disposal.)
4. Laundry hamper or basket
Do you carry dirty clothes to the laundry room in your laundry basket then use the same one to return clean, folded clothes to where they belong? You know where this is going: those dirty clothes are leaving behind grime that gets on your clean clothes. It doesn’t sound too bad until you think about carrying a child’s wet sheets in the middle of the night, or your teenager’s sweaty football uniform. Then it dawns on you: this needs to be cleaned with a disinfecting cloth often!
5. Under the bed
Monsters aren’t the only things that hide under the bed, so do dust bunnies, hairballs, and spiders. Even if you use this spot for storage — and many of us do — you need to pull everything from beneath your bed once a month then dust or vacuum. If you have pets or family members with severe allergies, you might want to do it more often.
6. TV Remote
Your television remote gets dropped on the floor, sneezed and coughed on, and grabbed with dirty hands. You pick it up, hit the pause button so you can meet the pizza delivery guy, then sit down and resume your show as you grab a slice of pizza with a side of e. Coli. Yum. Do yourself a favor and clean your remote with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol at least once a week.
7. Beneath the oven drawer
Not all drawers beneath the oven can keep food warm — many are simply for storage. One thing that is true for all oven drawers: a frightening amount of dust collects beneath them, especially if you have pets. Pull the drawer out at least once each season to clean under it, and more often if you’ve been having a problem with cockroaches or other household pests.
8. Bathroom fans.
Dirty fans don’t efficiently remove the humidity that leads to bathroom mold and mildew. They also pose a serious fire risk. Clean yours every three months by carefully removing the fan cover then vacuuming the blades with the dust attachment. Wash and dry the fan cover before returning it to place.
9. Light bulbs
Dust buildup on lightbulbs means you’re paying full price for less light. Whether covered with a lampshade or not, you need to keep your light bulbs clean for them to work efficiently. Do this by turning the light off and letting it completely cool before wiping it with a microfiber cloth. Add this task to your seasonal cleaning list.
Even if you’re fortunate enough to live in a home that doesn’t have popcorn or textured ceilings, you’d probably be surprised at how much dust collects up there. Make cleaning yours a seasonal task and enjoy how much less dust you’ll find floating around in your household air, too. (See my Recommended Product Page for an extension dusting kit that makes cleaning ceilings and walls super easy.)