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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.