10 Common Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

You may have noticed while putting your Christmas decorations away or preparing for your New Year’s Eve party that your house isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be. That’s why many of us don’t wait for spring cleaning to do a thorough sweep of the house. But no matter how detailed our checklist is, we always seem to miss a few household items that gather dust, dirt and debris. If we forgot them once, chances are we will miss them again…and again. Check out this quick list to make sure you’re not missing any of those easy-to-miss spots.

10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean


Vents & Radiators

Heating vents, air conditioning vents and radiators are magnets for dust and other debris. Aside from taking some power out of your air flow or just appearing unsightly, the dust and dirt on your heating vents can be a safety hazard, potentially causing fires. If you want to give your vents a thorough cleaning this season, make sure you unscrew the vents and wipe them clean, inside and out, and take a look inside the air duct as well.

Ceiling Fans

Not many people realize that ceiling fans can cut down on heating costs in the winter and make your home feel a little bit cozier. All you have to do is reverse the flow of your fan to clockwise. This simple switch pulls cold air up (use a low speed setting) while pushing warm air to the edge of the room so it flows down to the floor. If you’re interested in saving on heating costs, turn on your ceiling fan, but wipe down the blades first.

Door Handles & Buttons

Some household items just don’t pop up on our radar when we’re cleaning. Door knobs, handles, even the buttons on electronics like the TV, video game console or DVD player are things we touch every day. If we touch it with our hands and fingers, it needs to be cleaned, so take a quick moment and walk through every surface and appliance you turn, hold, press, and twist. Light switches are also a common culprit we forget.


10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

Refrigerator Drawers & Shelves

It’s easy to think of the refrigerator as that nice, cold place where bacteria can’t survive, but that’s pretty far from the truth. Because it’s not something we clean very regularly (aside from spills and ordinary upkeep), it’s always possible that some unseen germs are lurking in the drawers and on the shelves. A quick clean will also get rid of any underlying odors. Make sure you clean underneath shelves, and get the walls, too.

Refrigerator Coils

To keep our refrigerator working properly, it’s important to clean the coils at least once a year. It’s such an easy process, but few of us remember to do it. This isn’t just about brushing off or vacuuming the coils. It’s also about vacuuming or cleaning the fan. Yes, this means pulling out the fridge, unplugging it for a brief period of time and shutting off the water supply (if it’s connected for water or ice), but it’s only once a year.

Coffee Maker

It doesn’t matter if you’re a coffee connoisseur or just need that morning brew to wake up for work, chances are your coffee maker is filled with bacteria, even mold. Maintaining a clean coffee maker requires more work than scrubbing the coffee pot. Bacteria and mold build up in the machine’s reservoir and carafe more than anywhere else. Separate all the removable parts, scrub them clean and put everything back together.


10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

Toothbrush Holders

We use our toothbrush holders every single day, exposing them to new germs or leaving them susceptible to residue over time. A lot of nasty gunk can build up on the edges, bottom and deep inside your toothbrush holder, so once in awhile we need to give it a deep clean. All you need is some hot water and soap. Better not to take any chances on something that houses our precious toothbrush almost twenty-four hours a day.

Bath Mats & Runners

Mold is constantly trying to invade the bathroom, and that goes for common items like bath mats. We might think that if the top of the mat looks clean then we’re in good shape, but bacteria can be hiding deep inside and is particularly fond of the underside of the mat. If your mat is machine washable, it’s as easy as tossing the mat in on its own. But if your bath mat is a little more fragile, you’re going to want to hand wash and dry.

Shower Curtain Liners

Shower curtains and shower curtain liners are built to thrive in their environment, but they’re not built to last forever. Instead of throwing yours out or changing the liner after a certain period of time, you can save some money by washing it yourself. Use this washing technique to clean your shower curtain and shower curtain liners in the washing machine with some assistance from baking soda and vinegar to keep it looking fresh.


Credit Cards & Keys

It’s probably weird to think about adding items like credit or debit cards to your regular cleaning list, but they are some of the things we own that are handled by strangers the most. Whenever you hand your credit card over to pay for something, it’s picking up bacteria. This goes for anything in wallets or purses, from licenses to car keys. Try to keep purses, handbags or anything else you take out of the house on a daily basis clean.

Freshen Up Your Home for Fall

FallNow the kids are back in school, you’ve probably had some time to sit down, step back, and take an honest look around your house.

Do you like what you see? I’m not talking about major renovations—you probably still like your couch, your countertops, and your coat closet. But you may feel that your home has become a tad bit stifling, or that you need a subtle change as you and your family transition from summer to fall.

It’s amazing what a simple cleaning and subtle décor shift will do to rid you of that uncomfortable, stagnated feeling! Here are four simple ways to freshen up your home as the seasons change to fall.

An All-Over Clean
Not a deep-clean of every last surface in your house—this is like you freshening up at a hotel after a long drive, not a long primping session for opera night. But you should, before you begin, give your house a basic cleaning job all over. It actually used to be a common yearly ritual in European households to clean at the start of a new year to bring in new life and good fortune, especially the sweeping out of old dirt and debris and replacing the rushes, which were a common medieval floor treatment. While it’s not likely you’ve chosen that particular option for your floors, sweeping them as well as cleaning the house will give you the same refreshed feeling.

Dust where needed, clean & disinfect surfaces, sweep and/or vacuum your floors. Clean and organize your cupboards, throw out any dead plants or spoiled food. Doing this will leave you with a clean, blank canvas to work with, and everything will feel fresher now you’re rid of that old dust and last season’s dirt.

Shift Paradigms by Shifting Furniture
You can laugh, but I’ve got evidence to back this one—frequent re-arranging of furniture keeps people happy by keeping them from being bored with their surroundings.

If something absolutely needs stay in place, like the TV near the cable hook-up,  move around the things you can—you’d be amazed what placing the same items of furniture differently does to the look of the room.

A More Polished Look
Even if your home doesn’t have hardwood floors, there are probably still some wood surfaces you could stand to polish.

If you don’t want to drop a lot of money on expensive furniture or all-natural cleaners, never fear! Just add a little lemon juice or essential oil to vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar pulls out dirt, the oil polishes, and lemon gives it that clean smell. And you’ll feel like your hardwood flooring and furniture are brand new!

Clear the Air
The air you breathe has to be good air if you want to feel refreshed! So make sure to clear the air in your home.

Clean vents and replace your furnace filters. If you haven’t already, see if you can’t buy and install filters meant to reduce allergens.

Then, bring in some summer-to-fall seasonal potted plants to match the rooms in your home! You don’t have to be a total green thumb to enjoy the natural, oxygen-replenishing benefits of plants—you just need the plants in their pots, your own sink, and maybe some led grow lights, and you can easily enjoy potted plants in this changing season. For flower lovers, try sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlia, or Chinese lantern. For those of you more practicality-minded, why not grow useful herbs, such as flavorful basil or soothing mint.

Doesn’t your home feel fresher already?

Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.

Image Credit: Best Quotes 4 You

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

You finished doing your spring cleaning months ago, but have you really been trying your hardest to maintain the neatness? It’s always easy to allow your home to revert back a total state of disarray, but maintenance doesn’t always have to be such a chore. After all, you’ve worked so hard to organize, tidy up, and get rid of the clutter, you should be able to enjoy it for more than just a month or two! The best maintenance is hassle-free and doesn’t interfere with your daily or weekly cleaning routines.

Furniture-Cover
For instance, if you have pets, you already know how hard it can be to perpetually make sure that your couch and the furniture stay clean! Furniture covers are a great way to keep dander, and pet fur from consuming your time. Their quilted design and plush armrests make them comfortable enough to be the perfect lounging area for your pet. Need to entertain guests? Removal is a breeze. Also, storage is very simple as they fold really well to fit into tight spaces. Since they come in such vibrant colors, we love to use these to spruce up old or dull pieces of furniture. Whatever your needs are, take advantage of these to maximize your spring cleaning efforts!

Shoe-Chest
Paying attention to cleanliness is just the start, though. Even a clean house can look dirty if things are strewn about. Do you own many pairs of shoes? These are almost always the worst offenders to cleanliness.  They have the uncanny ability to make an area appear extremely messy within mere seconds. Cabinet storage is the best way to keep your floor free from any unnecessary clutter. These are available in either 24-pair or 36-pair units to accommodate shoe collections of all sizes! They come equipped with a zippered sheet so you’ll never have to worry about trying to find a lost shoe again. Vertical storage is absolutely the best way to open your floor plan for more space.

Nonslip-Runner
After a vigorous cleaning, the last thing you want to see is a dull floor. Unfortunately, hardwood floors quickly lose their luster, especially in high-traffic areas. The result is that people often get fed-up and end up neglecting their floors. Floor runners are the perfect solution for these kinds of problems. Not only do they stay in place, but they protect your floors from unnecessary wear and tear. These runners come in 60”, 90”, and even 120” to meet the particular needs of any floor. Also, select from a myriad of colors to match your décor, and make the most of it!

These are just a few of our favorites from the week to help you maintain a clean and beautiful home. Don’t put up with a month of beauty and neatness, and eleven months of mediocrity. These simple solutions can save you a great deal of time, and most importantly, a great deal of extra work. Explore our collection for new and exciting ways to make your spring cleaning efforts last well into the summer months, and beyond!