When it comes to cleaning, there are so many nooks and crannies in our homes that it’s easy for some things to slip through the cracks. Some tasks are so minuscule that it never occurs to us to do them. Here are some commonly forgotten areas in your house that need some attention.
Walls and baseboards
Over time, walls can start to appear dingy and like they need a paint job. Things like dust, grease, hair, and skin cells accumulate in the air and settle on the walls, baseboards, and surfaces of the room.
More often than not, this issue of appearance is solved by simply wiping down these areas with a warm damp cloth. Take special care if you’re wiping wallpaper, and wipe again promptly with a dry cloth.
There are many areas inside and out of a refrigerator that gives an opportunity for a mess. Food can drip or leak, leaving stains and residue on the shelves and drawers. All bins, shelves, and drawers should be taken out and wiped down or washed.
The handles of the refrigerator also collect grime from hands, and the top and sides can collect grease and food splatters if it’s near the oven. These should be sprayed with a regular household cleaner or disinfectant and wiped down. Coils and vents are another dirt hotspot. Wipe or vacuum them to remove all dust, hair, and debris.
Do you ever wonder where the leftover food bits end up after you run your dishes through the dishwasher? They don’t just magically disappear- they end up trapped inside the machine’s filter. The filter is located underneath the bottom rack. Its exact location differs depending on the dishwasher brand.
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It looks like a cup or a plug with a rigid, grooved top and a see-through piece under it that contains the food waste. You can clean this filter by removing it, emptying out any waste into the trash, and rinsing or washing it before putting it back in. For exact instructions or a diagram, look at your dishwasher’s manual or look up your model online.
Despite our best efforts, food and other substances sometimes leak out of the trash bags in our cans and leave stains or liquid messes. The outside of the can is also prone to food drippings. Trash cans are easily cleaned by spraying them down with a household cleaner or filling them with soap and water, then rinsing and placing them upside down to dry.
If you’ve ever gotten down to the bottom of your silverware caddy or drawer, you’ve probably noticed some dust or other debris built up in the corners of the slots. This includes the ones inside your dishwasher and drying rack. These are easily cleaned with a thorough wipe down or soapy scrub if they are plastic, or just a wipe with a damp cloth if they are wooden.
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Shower caddies and shelves
Residue from your bath products inevitably makes its way onto the surfaces of your shower caddy or shelves. Soap scum is easily cleaned off with a thorough wipe if the buildup is mild, or a scrub underwater if it’s thick.
If you’ve ever noticed gray dusty fluff in the bristles of your hairbrush, you’re not alone. This is sebum, which comes from the repeated brushing of your hair. First, pull out as much hair and lose sebum as possible from the brush. A fine-tooth comb can aid this process and get out stubborn bits of sebum.
Next, heat a small pot of water with a few drops of shampoo in it. Make sure it’s hot, but not quite boiling. Swirl the head of the brush face down in the water for a minute. Then pull off all the remaining sebum from the bristles, using either your fingers or a fine-tooth comb. Dry face down on a small towel.
Fans are magnets for dust due to how they constantly circulate the air. On blade ceiling fans, get a ladder and wipe down the blades individually with damp cloths or use a feather duster. On vent fans, either take it apart and wipe it down, swab dust from between the vents or spray compressed air into it. Box or floor fans need the outer cage removed, then wiped down along with the fan blades.
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Pillows accumulate sweat, dead skin cells, hair, and more every night. They should be washed just like bedsheets. Washing them a few times a year is sufficient, and most can be thrown right in the washer and dryer with some detergent. Read the tags to be sure and wash on a gentle cycle, then allow plenty of time to dry.
Tidying these problem areas every couple of months along with your normal cleaning regimen will keep your home sparkling clean down to the smallest details.