The house is a place where we spend most of our time and it’s important to have a clean home. If you’re feeling like your cleaning routine needs an overhaul, this post will help point you in the right direction! The article includes 12 easy-to-miss areas that are often overlooked when cleaning the house. Give these tips some thought and see how much difference they make for you!
Are you planning any cleaning projects this year? Hopefully you have made a list of where to clean if so. If you have made your list, are you certain you have gotten everywhere you should be cleaning already? Believe it or not, you probably haven’t. Spring cleaning can be such a large job that it is incredibly easy to overlook certain areas. These twelve easy to miss areas in your spring cleaning routine are just a few.
During your cleaning fest is the perfect time to either clean or replace the air filters in your home. Your furnace and a/c unit will not run correctly or efficiently if they are dirty.
Behind the Fridge
Pull the fridge out and make sure to clean behind it. Most families store at least a few things on top of the fridge which makes it super easy for stuff to fall behind there and get forgotten about. Sometimes spills are on the sides or underneath too.
Behind and Beside the Stove
Unless you have a freestanding stove, the same is true for it. Food particles, silverware and even that brand new bottle of garlic powder you just bought can all fall behind and beside the stove. Pull it out away from the wall and give it a good clean.
You clean your dryer’s lint trap with every load, but when is the last time you cleaned the dryer vent itself? Even though this vent leads outdoors, they typically still see build up of lint and dust over time.
How many unused cleaners do you have under your sink? Probably quite a few along with who knows what else? Don’t skip cleaning under every sink in your home and while you’re at it, either use or toss all those open bottles.
The Fridge Coils
While you have your fridge pulled away from the wall to clean behind it, don’t forget to clean off the refrigerator coils. Doing so will allow the fridge to cool more efficiently.
Under the Deck
If your home has an outdoor deck or raised porch, be sure to clean under it. Animals, trash and other humans can make it a pretty cluttered space. While you’re down there, be sure to look for signs of damage whether it be damage caused by age, weather or pests.
Your Outdoor Crawl Space
The same can be said for an outdoor crawl space if your home has one. Don’t forget to give it a once over. This one is especially important since animals may be getting into it. Small rodents may actually be able to use this area as a way to enter your home. By cleaning it up a bit, you’ll be removing anything that may attract them.
The doors in your home
We touch the doors in our homes daily, but few people don’t think much past cleaning the doorknobs when the doors themselves can get dusty, dingy and if you have kids, flat out dirty. Give them a good wiping down with a paint safe cleaner. Don’t forget the top of the doors too. They may not be easily seen but they can build dust very quickly.
Heating and A/C Vents
If your home has the heating and a/c vents in the floor, you’ll want to pull the grates and clean them out when you are doing your spring cleaning. Not only can dust gather in them, but small toys, food particles and more can all fall into them.
If you have ceiling vents, you will still want to remove the cover and give them a good dusting. This is especially true for your air intake vent. If it is not properly cleaned, your furnace and a/c will need to run harder to cool or heat your home.
Your Computer Fan
Inside each computer is a fan that will get extremely dusty very quickly. While we do not recommend taking your computer apart, you should look on the back of a desktop or side of a laptop. Using a soft brush, clean off any surface dust that may have accumulated on the outside of the fan.
If you do want the inside fan cleaned, it is best to take it to someone who has experience doing so. Best Buy’s Geek Squad is always a decent option for a reasonable price.
Most people won’t think of cleaning their phone as part of cleaning, but if it has been a while, you will want to include it in your spring cleaning list. Clean and disinfect the screen and back of your phone. Use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe down the camera lenses and clean out the charging port and headphone jacks.
Your phone will work much better and last longer once you’ve given it a gentle clean.
These 12 easy to miss areas in your cleaning routine are a good place to start. Some of them I do weekly while others like the lint vent we do monthly, and pulling out the stove is usually a quarterly clean. How often are you cleaning them?
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are some commonly forgotten places that need regular cleaning?
When establishing a whole home cleaning routine, there are invariably some overlooked areas that fail to make it onto checklists focused mainly on floors, counters and bathrooms. Areas like baseboards, vents, windowsills, door handles and even wall edges fall lower on priority lists. But incorporating these commonly forgotten spots into regular cleaning schedules prevents dust and grime accumulation over time.
Baseboards attract dusty debris and pet hair yet get frequently overlooked since attention focuses higher on wall surfaces and displayed décor. But allowing cobwebs, soil and fur to collect along floor trim over months creates rapid buildup. Seasonally target baseboards using vacuum attachments then scrub any scuff marks to refresh room aesthetics. Ceiling fan blades also surprisingly collect airborne particles. So dust fans monthly to remove grime that would eventually sprinkle below.
Vents and air return filters easily get neglected too until enough debris restricts airflow. But routinely vacuuming metal vent slits and replacing filters minimizes allergens circulating. Around windows, sliding mechanisms and sills harbor hidden dirt in tracks and corners. So lubricate runners seasonally while scrubbing minor stains before they etch glass.
As high-touch surfaces prone to germ transfer, doorknobs rank important for frequent disinfecting. But the surrounding door jambs and hinges also attract sticky dirt buildup over time. Preventative cleaning here reduces wear plus keeps entryways looking cleaner. Finally, utilize seasonal deep cleaning splurges like moving furniture away from walls to address baseboard edges, electrical outlets, and uncirculated corners in need of attention hiding behind furnishings year-round. Reaching neglected zones keeps homes fresher!
How often should I wash all my throw pillows and cushions?
Regularly washing decorative throw pillows every 2-3 months removes embedded skin cells, hair, and other grime that accumulates from daily use. For cushions supporting more skin contact, maintain freshness by washing every 4-6 months, or whenever noticeable staining or odors arise. Establish quarterly launderings to balance preservation of delicate fabrics while eliminating unhealthy bacteria, allergens and dust mites over time.
The frequent handling throw pillows receive transfers skin oils, cosmetic residues, and microscopic dirt into fabrics which can irritate sensitive individuals or trigger allergic reactions. More porous cushions also absorb airborne dust, pollen and pet dander settling on surfaces. So quarterly washings limit contamination buildup to healthier levels before it becomes visibly obvious. Set seasonal reminders to launder cushioning around solstices for easy remembering.
For pillows used strictly decoratively, simply vacuuming every other week suffices between deeper cleanings. However inspect white covers seasonally for yellowing which indicates deeper oil cleansing is required. Spot treat minor spills right away before stains set. And consider slipcovers for easier removal compared to washing entire cushion inserts.
Washing guides depend on the fabric composition. Generally, launder polyester or cotton covers in cold water on a gentle machine cycle. Line dry instead of high heat drying to preserve fibers and fire retardant chemicals. Add tennis balls to fluff filling fully. Refer to labels for material-specific considerations to optimize longevity while removing lingering odors. With consistent refreshings, throw pillows and cushions maintain their supportive function and decorative flair.
Do mattresses need regular cleaning too?
Yes, mattresses require regular cleaning every 2-3 months to remove embedded skin cells, dust mites, bodily fluids and other grime that builds up from hours of nightly use in order to stay fresh and hygienic. Vacuuming loose debris is step one, but occasionally deeper treatments must penetrate layers for a healthier sleep surface.
The average mattress contains anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites that feed on shed human skin cells and thrive in warm, moist environments. To limit population explosion, start by vacuuming the surface using specialized hard floor attachments with brush rolls designed to agitate materials and dislodge allergens. Pay extra attention to seams, tufts and sides where particles filter down.
For deeper cleaning, use an enzymatic cleaner made specifically for urine, sweat and other bodily stains that might soak into mattress cores. This breaks down heavy soiling from repeated human contact that can deteriorate materials quickly and release foul odors over years of use. Carefully test solutions on inconspicuous spots first. Let soak before blotting excess liquid. Rinse with cold water and allow 48 hours for drying thoroughly so no molds develop.
Mattress covers like hypoallergenic encasements also protect inner construction between routine vacuuming and intermittent deep cleaning. Waterproof casings prevent spills and accidents from penetrating interior foam and fabrics while blocking dust mites. Check for bed bug infestations too if skin reactions seem to worsen at night. Ultimately keeping mattresses cleaner improves sleep health by eliminating irritants and bacteria transferring nightly to skin and airways during delicate rest periods.
How do I clean above cabinets and the top of the refrigerator?
Cleaning the often overlooked spaces on top of tall cabinets and refrigerators involves utilizing specialized duster tools with extendable poles. This eliminates precariously climbing ladders trying to blindly swipe away debris in hard to access areas. Strategically attack dust and grime buildup accumulating over time on these high spaces for safer whole-room cleansing.
Start by gathering microfiber dusters or soft dusting sleeves that attach securely to threaded poles that lengthen from 3 to 6 feet. Look for solid twist or snap locks that prevent unstable slipping or detaching which could damage nearby surfaces. Replaceable covers that velcro around poles also allow quick switching from fluffy dusting fabrics to scrubby microfiber pads for tackling sticky spots above appliances.
Before scrubbing, vacuum any loose particles first with narrow crevice tools secured using converter wands for longer reaching heights. This avoids spreading debris across wider zones. Then utilize the duster swivel heads to polish and collect remaining dirt along the tops of cabinets, light fixtures, decorative millwork, ceiling edges and door frame lintels offering driving angles that access hard to reach corners.
Slow broad strokes lift and trap dust effectively. Rotate dusters often to expose clean sides that won’t just redistribute grime scraped up. Take time to also dust the back top side of tall shelving and kitchen cabinets since hidden sections still attract dirt over time.
Finally, schedule seasonal repeat sessions to keep areas above sightlines cleaner for improved air quality since lingering dust and pet dander gradually sprinkles back downward over days. With the right commercial grade tools, formerly forgotten high zones get refreshed safer, faster and leave whole rooms brighter.
What’s the best way to clean trash and recycling bins?
The most effective method for eliminating grime and smells from garbage and recycling bins involves thoroughly hosing down the interior and exterior with water, scrubbing all surfaces with soap then allowing bins to completely air dry before replacing trash bags. Quarterly deep cleanings limit nasty buildup.
Start by removing any bags and debris first, taking the empty bin outdoors to prevent messes while scrubbing vigorously. Use a garden hose with pressure nozzle to blast away loose crumbs stuck on bottom and inner side walls. Adjust to a wide fan spray to cover all surfaces evenly across the top opening edges, outer lid, latches and wheels too if present.
For stubborn sticky residues, apply a heavy duty all-purpose cleaner diluted as directed or pure baking soda paste. Distribute solutions across all basin surfaces using a scrub brush with tough bristles rated for outdoor hardware. Allow soaking for 5 minutes before intense scrubbing to lift stains in crevices and perforations along the bottom. Rinse cleaner residue thoroughly.
Flip bins fully upside down to air dry in the sun for 2-3 hours which naturally deodorizes any lingering funkiness using UV light waves. Alternatively, prop open indoors near windows for 48 hours if warmer weather permits to ensure complete evaporation and prevent future mildew issues in damp crevices. Now refreshed bins can be relined with new trash bags.
Stay ahead of major cleanings by interim steps like sprinkling in baking soda before relining to absorb smells or Double bagging to contain leaks. But a thorough quarterly deep scrub restores bins fully since they endure so much dirty work protecting our homes!
Should I clean behind appliances and furniture?
Yes, it’s important to periodically clean behind movable appliances, electronics, and furnishings to eliminate built-up dust bunnies, grime and hidden debris. These cramped spaces tend to get neglected for months during standard surface cleaning because of inconvenient mobility and tight squeeze access. However, letting dirt accumulate long term back there allows allergens to circulate and potentially damage floors or walls trapped underneath.
Appliances like refrigerators, ovens and washing machines should get pulled out carefully from alcoves once or twice a year to directly vacuum and mop behind. Be cautious of snagging electrical cords or hoses during sliding. Check for any missing flooring protectors while migrated outward too. Scrub crevices where walls meet appliance backs to remove grimy build-up from years of off-gassing. Sticky grease likes lingers behind ovens especially. Disinfect floors if appliances rested near food prep zones.
Electronics like entertainment consoles and bulky computers also benefit from occasional moving to directly clean hides spaces. Electrical components mean keeping dust and liquids away, so focus just on vacuuming cords, vents and floors underneath. Remove media, equipment or display items first for safe access.
For stationary heavy furnishings like shelving, beds and dressers, clean by reaching underneath awkward corners with crevice tools, dusters and mops for partial seasonal refreshings. Removing books, files or decor allows better vacuum maneuverability targeting edges and inside framing. Anchor top-heavy furniture to avoid accidental tipping before leaning. Scrub walls and extension cords too while accessible. Just shuffling items slightly still clears significant dirt in hard to access yet necessary areas!
What’s a good cleaning schedule for walls, blinds and curtains?
When determining optimal cleaning routines for walls, window blinds/shades and hanging curtains around a home, tailor schedules based on sunlight exposure, moisture levels and visibility priorities. High traffic rooms need more frequent attention versus guest rooms or basements rarely visited. Match refresh cycles to how aggressively environment factors degrade materials in each unique space.
Walls need spot cleaning approximately monthly around kitchens, bathrooms and main walkways where hands transfer oils and soil regularly at light switches or door knobs. Dampen microfiber cloths to wipe clean smudges before they build up into dingy outlines. However limit scrubbing intensity on painted walls which risks damaging the protective coats. Only freshly painted accent walls require such cautious maintenance.
Window blinds or faux wood shades should undergo seasonal dusting and wipedowns since visibility and airflow matters more here than decorative upkeep. Use microfiber dusters or soft brush attachments on vacuum cleaners every few months to remove airborne dust trapped within slats. Spot clean by dampening cloths with mild cleaner for greasy buildup on horizontal edges.
Meanwhile curtains demand much more frequent cleaning on a 2-3 month basis depending on sunlight exposure. Fabric curtains left hanging in bright natural light quickly show fading damage, yellow stains from pollution or billowing dust. Rotate panels seasonally to even wear and tear but launder Polyester and linen blends multiple times a year to prevent permanent water marks or UV damage. Delicate sheers require monthly attention.
Remember to develop flexible cleaning plans by observing how lifestyle and environmental variables affect surfaces in each room uniquely over time. Then adapt maintenance tactics accordingly by priority – air flow, visibility, aesthetics – to keep home textures looking their best sustainably.
How often should I wash throw blankets and pet bedding?
For optimal cleanliness and health, launder lightweight throw blankets after each week of use, or at minimum once monthly. More porous fabric allows dust mites, pet dander, dead skin cells and bodily oils to penetrate deeper over nights spent cozying on the couch. Wash pet bed liners weekly as well since furry friends sleep on them for prolonged hours.
Even decorative throws draped on furniture for purely aesthetic reasons still collect microscopic allergens and pollutants passively from circulating indoor air. So fold intricately woven wool, cotton, or faux fur throws and wash gently monthly to remove embedded irritants and refresh flattened sections from compression even without active human contact.
For pet sleep areas supporting nightly animal use, aim to wash removable covers weekly. Dogs and cats shed hair, dander and transport other undesirables throughout bed linings over hours of direct contact. Bacteria and yeast from accident leaks also necessitates frequent sanitization of covers. Swap freshly laundered liners into cushion inserts to limit contamination of interior foam building up long term. Spot treat minor spills promptly.
When machine washing, choose gentle cycles and cooler water settings under 100 degrees followed by low or no heat drying cycles to prevent fuzzing delicate natural or synthetic fibers. Shake covers vigorously after drying fully to redistribute flattened batting and stuffing. As an interim step between washes, pass hands vigorously over blankets to remove surface lint and revive flattened fibers restoring loft. With weekly refreshings, throw blankets and pet beds provide cleaner contact for both humans and furry friends while cozying up!
What’s the best way to clean carpets and area rugs?
The most effective way to clean carpets and area rugs involves a combination of frequent vacuuming to remove surface dirt paired with periodic deeper cleaning methods performed seasonally or annually depending on traffic within households. Regular maintenance keeps fibers looking fresh while special treatments tackle embedded pollutants.
For wall-to-wall carpeting supporting high foot activity like hallways or living rooms, aim to thoroughly vacuum using a motorized brush roll vacuum twice weekly. This removes dust and debris before it gets ground deeper into fibers to stain or cause accelerated wear. Periodically change vacuum pathways perpendicular to prior passes leaving crisp lines noticeable.
Spot clean food spills, grease marks and mud immediately by blotting excess liquid then dabbing with a damp white cloth avoiding aggressive scrubbing which could damage delicate fiber tips permanently. Weigh down rug edges first if not anchored fully. Let damp patches dry 24 hours before walking over sections.
Every 12-16 months, arrange professional hot water extraction cleaning which flushes embedded grime from base fibers using pressurized wands and powerful suction. Truck mounted units prove more effective but offer portable versions for routine upkeep restoring brightness. Thorough air drying prevents mold or mildew development afterward.
For pricier wool heirloom rugs laid over wall to wall carpeting, follow vacuuming and blotting protocols but allow specialty rug cleaning companies to handle deeper treatments given expensive materials. Preventative maintenance keeps high traffic zones presentable continuously while restoring investment pieces fully on occasion.
How do I sanitize my kitchen sink drain area?
Sanitizing the kitchen sink drain area weekly helps eliminate bacteria growth and organic buildup that causes odors. Sinks hold moisture, food debris and grease drippings lingering in the drain itself, disposal unit or along the strainer basket. Routine scrubbing maintains hygiene while monthly drain refreshing fully deodorizes.
Start sink cleansing by removing strainer baskets and metal or plastic drain stoppers. Toss large food scraps into trash cans and compost smaller leftover morsels like lemon rinds or vegetable peelings. Use a toothbrush dipped in baking soda scrub interior metal strainer holes over trash cans gently rubbing away staining or limescale. Avoid abrasives on polished finishes but lemon juice dissolves mineral deposits well.
Check sink corners and crevices along the basin for grimy buildup as well using an old toothbrush. Scrub surfaces leading toward the drain using hot soapy water followed by disinfecting spray like diluted bleach solutions. Rinse surfaces thoroughly afterward eliminating standing water and suds to prevent recontamination.
Deep clean drains themselves by pouring a halved lemon worth of juice down opening followed by very hot tap water for natural deodorizing. Also flush with a baking soda and vinegar foaming reaction weekly letting the sink bubble up freshly eliminating odors. Caustic chemical drain cleaners also dissolve clogs and residue but require caution regarding metal finishes and pipe materials.
Finally laying paper towel coated with undiluted lemon concentrate along sink edges overnight naturally cuts through alkaline-based grime and soap scum rings improving overall shine too. With consistent drain maintenance plus deep monthly refreshers, kitchen sinks stay odor and stain free continuously.
How can I easily clean ceiling fans and lights?
Cleaning ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures sounds daunting but with the right tools it becomes an easy routine maintenance task. Using dusters with extendable poles simplifies reaching the tops of rooms without lugging bulky ladders around. Combine with specialized microfiber sleeves, brush attachments and cleaning solutions to efficiently trap and remove dust buildup from blades and lighting elements concealed above.
Start by turning ceiling fans and lights off and allowing any residual heat from bulbs to dissipate first before gripping fixtures directly. Then slip a snug fitting microfiber sleeve over extendable duster poles available in various lengths from 6 to 20 feet. Secure locks prevent unwanted detachment mid-cleaning over your head. Utilize wide triangular custom dusting heads fitted with soft bristles to sandwich fan blades gently removing particles clinging to top and bottom sides in one swoop. Slow passes lift away dead insects, airborne dirt, and greasy cooking residuals that sprinkle below if left unattended.
For decorative lighting elements with dangling glass pieces or protruding metal arms, modification brush attachments minimize risk of breakage swiping away dust layered on fragile structures. Some dusters feature a split double-sided design with microfibers on one end and gentle polymer bristles on the other for tackling various fixtures with the quick flip of a wrist.
Include a periodic wipe down using a damp cloth lightly spritzed with all-purpose cleaner to cut through stuck-on grime building up over seasons. Then rotate fans to inspect blades fully illuminated without shadows. Touch up spots with a small brush before using duster sleeves in wide arcs across all surfaces to polish away any last remnants pulled loose. Lower dusters slowly while rotating your wrist to access all angles. With the perfect tools, ceiling cleaning worries remain grounded permanently!
What cleaning solution works well for stainless steel appliances?
An effective homemade stainless steel appliance cleaner made from dish soap, vinegar, and water works wonders at removing stubborn greasy residue, water spots, and fingerprints that accumulate on refrigerators, ovens, and sinks. The degreasing and antiseptic properties of this simple cleaner restore shine too.
Using liquid dish detergent as the cleaning base works well because surfactants lift and surround oily grime and grease splatters from cooking. Opt for mild formulas without additives like moisturizers. Mix a few squirts into a spray bottle three quarters filled with warm water already. Then add equal parts vinegar which cuts through alkaline-based mineral deposits leftover from water evaporation. Vinegar also removes soap scum rings around sinks and breaks up iron-rich water spots.
Spray directly onto stainless steel surfaces using cotton cloths to gently distribute cleaner evenly across grain lines before scrubbing difficult areas. Wipe gently with the grain first before lightly buffing perpendicular streaks away. Pay attention to handles, trim edges and control panels which harbor hidden debris inside crevices and textured surfaces.
Avoid overly abrasive scrubbers and allow to air dry instead of vigorously shining to prevent potential scratching of protective exterior layers. Never use bleach products on stainless steel and skip ammonia-based cleaners which damage metal over time. For speedy daily touchups between deep cleanings, keep pre-moistened wipes handy featuring similar disinfectants safe for appliances.
The key remains gently yet effectively clearing soils without damaging special protective finishes that give stainless steel its durability and shine. This balancing act prevents corrosion issues long term. With routine cleaning using non-abrasive soap solutions, stainless maintains its hygienic and sleek appearance for years enhancing appliances beautifully.
Should I wipe down walls regularly too?
Yes, walls benefit from regular wipe downs every couple of months to keep paint or wallpaper looking cleaner long term by removing accumulated grime from hands, airflow and cooking messes. However limit scrubbing intensity on wall surfaces which risks eroding protective finishes prematurely. Gentle, consistent cleaning removes stains without requiring extensive repainting.
Over time, walls naturally collect dust, oils and everyday dirt through deposition and direct contact transfer. Areas around light switches, door knobs and backing kitchen appliances directly reflect heavier soil and oil build up from frequent touching. By occasionally wiping away grime before it digs into wall material, you maintain brighter fresher interiors longer without extensive cleaning.
Use soft microfiber cloths dampened with mild cleaners to spot treat scuffs or fingerprints monthly along high traffic zones. Avoid excessive water application which risks absorption issues behind fragile surfaces. Combine gentle circular wiping motions to lift surface debris without damaging underlying paint adhesion. Limit direct scrubbing on flat expanses with delicate matte or satin sheens.
For kitchen backsplash zones prone to prolific oil splatter and steam contact from cooking responsibilities, spray water flecked with dish soap before wiping gently using tucked corner microfiber cloths to navigate around protruding tile grout lines cleanly. Rinse thoroughly removing soapy residue before rehanging decorative plates or utensil racks.
Take care around wallpapered rooms using only dry vacuuming and delicate dabbing when treating stains. Avoid over-wetting which destroys adhesive integrity causing peeling and bubbles long term. Every few years consider full interior repainting or wallpaper replacement to completely rejuvenate finishes after responsible surface level maintenance maxes out over time through responsible cleaner rotation.
What’s the cleaning schedule for bed sheets?
To keep bed sheets fresh and hygienic, launder bedding once a week on average. This removes dead skin cells, bodily fluids and oils, allergy triggers and other grime that transfers to linens during daily use while sleeping. Adjust the wash schedule of certain speciality sheets, duvet covers and decorative pillowcases according to seasonal use.
Cotton, poly-cotton blended and moisture-wicking performance sheet sets used every night directly against skin and hair should get washed weekly without fail. The heavier nightly contact means embedded bodily oils, harmless microbes and sweat residues accumulate faster reducing textile freshness when left unchanged for multiple weeks at a time. Stick to a strict 7 day maximum rota for primary bedding to prevent unhealthy bacteria from multiplying within sheets against thin pajamas. Consider dividing sheet sets into two rotations to lengthen time between necessary hot water washing which fades materials prematurely.
Alternatively for guest suites or little-used space with linens untouched for weeks, still launder sheets at minimum once every other month. This prevents musty odors from developing if air circulation proves poor. However interim steps like laying linens out fully in sunlight for several hours naturally freshens fibers via UV sterilization between lengthy vacancies. Lightly used linens may tolerate biweekly washing comfortably.
When cleaning decorative duvet covers or shams utilized strictly atop blankets, focus on seasonal washings to restore loft since insulation layers minimize contamination risk. Follow any special fabric care instructions but generally wash covers twice yearly using gentle cycles. For washable quilts or blankets between duvet outer layers, schedule quarterly cycles depending on use frequency, pets or climate.