The kitchen counters have been wiped down, laundry picked up and the carpets vacuumed. Cleaning is done, right? The everyday staples of cleaning often lead to overlooked areas around your home that can begin to harbor dust, allergens and germs. Follow our tips to deep clean these forgotten spots in your home and pass any white glove test.
Hard to reach and often neglected for this very reason, dust collects on fan blades, especially if used sparingly. A simple pillow case slipped over each blade and pulled slowly off can take care of any accumulated dust without showering you in allergens and grim. Repeat this process at least twice a year!
Window Treatments and Upholstery
Most vacuums nowadays have an upholstery attachment that makes easy work of removing food crumbs, hair and loose change from between cushions. But this attachment is also ideal for removing dust from curtains and drapes. Be sure to use the low setting if your vacuum features this option. Repeat once a year. For an even deeper clean use your washing machine’s gentle cycle on upholstered fabrics, pillows and furniture covers.
Light Switches and Door Knobs
Cabinet pulls, door knobs, and light switches are the highest-traffic items in any household. It only makes sense that these places would also become the dirtiest. Wipe these fixtures down once a week with a cleaning solutions (we like Clorox disinfecting wipes) to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.
Let’s face it: we've all pushed a crumb or two under the fridge or stove. These gaps between large appliances are a magnet for food particles, dust and grease. Pull these appliances out and clean between these gaps and crevices with a warm bucket of Pine Sol and a damp towel. Don’t forget the back of your fridge. Keeping your refrigerator's coils clean means better efficiency and a longer lifespan.
If you’re feeling really productive tackle the task of clean behind the washer and dryer, as well as cleaning out your home’s dryer vent. Keep your kitchen in tip top shape by repeating this clean once every other month.
If you're anything like us, you need a morning cup of coffee to get moving in the morning. But day after day use of the coffee maker will lead to hard water deposits, residue and even mold in some cases. Keep your morning coffee tasting great and your coffee maker running smoothly by cleaning with equal parts water to white vinegar. Turn on your machine and add several cups of vinegar and water and run until the reservoir is empty. Run the coffee maker with water only for 4-5 cycles after to rinse away any remaining vinegar.
Pull out the crumb tray of the toaster, rinse with hot warm and dry. Clean the exterior with a damp rag.
Remove baked on food and splatters from inside the microwave by filling a microwave safe bowl with water and lemon juice and running on high until the inside of the microwave is steamy. This will help to loosen any residue and grease. Wipe away the mess with a wet sponge.
Dust collects along the spine of books and between their pages. Dust your bookshelves with a soft cloth and a mild wood cleaner. Flip through the pages of your books and dust their spines with a microfiber rag at least once a year.
Throw Pillows and Blankets
These items just love to accumulate stains and dust. Throw pillows will oftentimes come with care tags, so refer to these instructions on how to properly clean your pillows. For quicker cleaning, use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum. This can work wonders between deep cleanings and help to eliminate dust. Launder throw blankets according to manufacturer’s care tag.
Pillows and Duvets
Even if your duvet covers and pillow cases are washed regularly, the pillows and comforters themselves can begin to collect bacteria, dust and odors. Most are machine washable so cleaning is as simple as tossing into the washing machine on a heavy cycle. However some comforters and pillow cases call for dry-clean only. Be sure to check the care tags before washing. Repeat this clean every 3 months for a clean feeling bed.
Portable humidifiers are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria thanks to their moisture and warmth. Keeping your humidifier unit clean is vital to fresh air quality and correct operation. Turn off and unplug your unit. Take apart any components as suggested by your manufacturer’s manual. Use white vinegar to clean the base and a bleach solution to disinfect the water reservoir. Be sure to thoroughly rinse all components after cleaning. Repeat three times a year: in the fall, during the winter and before storing away.
Shower and Bathtub Drains
Standing and slow-draining water is often a sign of a clog. Keep water draining properly by cleaning your tub or shower's drain and removing debris that could cause a clog. There are many drain cleaning products available, but for those looking for a more natural remedy, vinegar and baking soda can usually solve any minor clogging issues. Pour a cup of baking soda down your tub's drain followed by adding vinegar until you see the bubbles dissipate. Let the mixture sit in the drain for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly with boiling water.
Day after day, shower after shower, soap scum and mildew begins to build up on shower curtains and shower curtain liners alike. Throw both curtain and liner in your washing machine following the manufacturer’s instructions for water temperature and spin cycle. For extra cleaning power had a cup or two of baking soda to the wash cycle. To save time throw in sink and toilet mats, repeat four times per year.
Exterior lighting is not only for curb appeal but security as well. Dirt, dust, bugs and cobweb buildup can cause lights to look dirty and dim. Simply unscrewing the housing and rinsing out with soapy water will help to clean any unwanted build-up and keep your exterior lights shiny bright. We recommend doing this at the beginning of summer and once again at the end of fall.
If the smell of your garbage cans is making you rethink garbage days it may be time to give them a good cleaning. Spills and odors can easily be taken care of with frequent clean outs. Using an all-purpose cleaner, spray the inside of the trash can until soaked. Scrub with a long handle brush and rinse well with a garden hose. For deeper cleaning use a power washer when rinsing clean. Allow to dry in the sun.
Which tips did you find most helpful? Do you have your own cleaning tips you'd like to share? Let us know below!