Even the housekeeping pros can miss dirt and grime in out-of-the-way places, so don’t be surprised if you discover you’ve been missing some key areas in your cleaning routine. Read through our guide below and identify the spots you may be missing and add them to your house cleaning checklist.
Fresh and Clean Doesn’t Mean Germ-Free
You use microfiber cloths, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, natural cleaning and disinfecting solutions and can you rattle off your go-to cleaning tips. But are you confident that your kitchen counters, bathroom faucets and other areas that easily harbor bacteria and germs are as clean as they should be?
Here’s a list of commonly missed areas that can promote the spread of germs:
- Doorknobs (inside and outside doors)
- Cabinet pulls
- Appliance handles
- Kitchen counters
- Computer keyboards and mice
- Toilet handles
- Sink and bath faucets
To tackle commonly missed spots, mix up a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water for a safe, natural disinfectant and get to work. Use a clean microfiber cloth dampened with your disinfectant solution for switch plates, computer accessories and your smartphone. Wipe them down and repeat if necessary to make sure they stay wet for 10 minutes. DO NOT WIPE OFF THE RESIDUE! Let the disinfectant air dry to get the best results. For the rest of the surfaces, spray the disinfectant onto the surface being careful not to let the over-spray get on walls or fabrics. Again, keep the solution wet for 10 minutes and let the surface air dry.
Out of Sight and Overlooked
Some commonly missed cleaning spots have built up dirt and grime because they are out of sight and easy to forget. Others are right under our noses still get ignored.
Spots Across Your Home
Ceiling fans collect dust, dirt and grime. When you turn them on, they whirl all those pollutants back into the air you and your family breath. To start cleaning, lay a sheet under your ceiling fan to collect the dirt and debris. Use a step stool or ladder and slip a pillowcase over each blade to capture all that dust and dirt right into the pillowcase. If the fan blades have grimy build-up, use a damp microfiber towel to remove it.
From scuffs and spills to pet hair and built-up floor cleaner spatter, your baseboards accumulate layers of grime. Use microfiber cloths and a natural cleaner to remove dust and dirt. Use Magic Erasers for buildup, stains and scuffs. When you hit the corners of the rooms or hallway, keep an eye out for cobwebs while you’re there and remove any you find.
Cleaning blinds is a chore that is often ignored rather than forgotten because it can be awkward to clean them. Grab your vacuum and get rid of the surface dust on each side of each blind and the headers too. For stains and grime, use a solution of vinegar and water to remove the buildup and let them air dry. If your curtains or drapes are washable, pull them down and throw them in the washer. At the very least, give them a good vacuum and steam cleaning if you have the tools.
Spots in the Kitchen
All that sweeping and mopping in the kitchen can create dirty buildup underneath your refrigerator. If you have a flat microfiber mop, get down there and clean. Otherwise, pull out your fridge and sweep and mop the floor and wipe down the walls. While you’re at it, vacuum the refrigerator coils. It will help your fridge run more efficiently.
Open the refrigerator door and place a towel on the floor beneath it. Use a stiff brush to remove food and debris in the grooves of the door seal. For buildup and stains, use a damp microfiber towel and baking soda. Repeat for the freezer door and spray both door sills with your disinfectant spray to kill germs and potential mildew.
Dishwashers can build up residue, mold and mildew if they aren’t cleaned once in a while. Pull out the filter at the bottom and clean it in the kitchen sink with hot water and mild dish detergent. Dislodge any food or other particles from the permanent filter at the bottom with a toothbrush. Inspect each hole in the spray arms and remove any blockages. Replace the removable filter and put a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack to sanitize and dissolve mineral deposits. Run a cycle on the hottest setting. Once the first cycle is done, remove the bowl and sprinkle baking soda in the bottom to deodorize and help remove buildup. Run another cycle on the hottest setting.
Spots in Bathrooms
Pick up those bottles of shampoo, body wash and lotions from your bathroom counter and bathtub. Wipe the base of the bottles and clean those “rings.” Use a duster or vacuum to get rid of the dust on your bathroom vent fan and wipe away slime on your shower door tracks. If you have a shower curtain, put it in the washer.
Remove gunk from your shower head with a scrub brush and then mix a cup of water and a cup of white vinegar in a plastic bag. Secure the bag around the showerhead for about an hour and then run the shower on hot to get rid of sludge and mineral deposits.
Clean and disinfect behind the toilet to prevent odors and disinfect the flush handle to get rid of germs.
Spots in the Living Room and Den
Either get under your furniture with a broom and mop or move the pieces to tackle that thick layer of dust. Remove the cushions and use a vacuum crevice tool to remove food, hair and other grime down the sides and back of sofas and chairs. Spot clean any stains and let the upholstery dry.
Vacuum the sides of each cushion and spot treat any stains. Once everything is dry, sprinkle a little baking soda where the cushions will go and put them back. Grab a damp microfiber cloth and a dab of mild dish soap and give the tops of sofa and chair arms a brief scrubbing and let them air dry.
Spots in the Laundry Room
Even if you remember to pull out the lint trap in your dryer once in a while, the buildup of lint and fibers in the exhaust hose and around the barrel can present a fire hazard. Make it a habit of cleaning the lint trap after every load and vacuum inside the trap housing weekly.
If you have a front load washer, clean the door seals and disinfect. For top or front loaders, run a full cycle on the fullest and hottest settings with baking soda to freshen and clean. Repeat, but use vinegar for the second cycle to disinfect.
From underneath and behind furniture and appliances to areas that harbor germs and bacteria, add these commonly missed cleaning spots to your housekeeping routine for a cleaner and healthier home. If you need help cleaning those out-of-the-way places or any other housekeeping services, The Maids has you covered.