We all like to think we’re decent housekeepers: The counters are clear, the carpets are vacuumed, and the laundry is in the hamper (usually). That sounds like a great start, but if you’re like most homeowners, chances are you’re missing more than a few spots in your cleaning regimen.
The average home is filled with small nooks and awkward areas that almost never see the attention they deserve. While it might not seem like a big deal, some of these forgotten areas can become safe havens for accumulated dust, dander, and even mold – presenting a real health risk to your family.
Keep on top of things by checking this list of those tricky spots in your home you might be neglecting…
In the kitchen
Garbage disposals – “What, doesn’t all the hot soapy water that goes down the drain kinda take care of this already?” Unfortunately, it definitely does not. Bacteria can accumulate in garbage disposals, particularly in the plastic sealant rings. On the bright side, they can be easily cleaned with either a mixture of vinegar and baking soda (rinse the frothy mix down the sink with boiling water) or by feeding it a few ice cubes made of frozen lemon juice or vinegar.
Cabinets – You wipe down the counter all the time, but when was the last time you gave the cabinets a good scrub? This is something people tend to leave until they notice a buildup of grease or grime on the sides or front of a cabinet. By the time you notice this though, you could already have issues with stains and deep penetration in the wood. Ideally, you’ll want to get ahead of this by wiping down your cabinets on a regular basis, particularly those that are over or close to any cooking surfaces.
Range hood – You probably wipe down the range hood whenever it needs it, but don’t forget about the filter! This needs to be removed every few months (depending on how much you cook and what kind of meals you enjoy) and rinsed out with hot soapy water to remove built up grease and food particles.
Fridge Coils – Nobody likes the idea of pulling the fridge out from the wall, but it’s something you should do every few months. That dust accumulating on the fridge’s coils isn’t just getting in the air and making it more difficult to breathe, it’s also impacting the performance of your fridge! Unplug the fridge, gently wipe down the coils, and take the opportunity to sweep the patch of kitchen floor below the fridge before putting it back!
Shower head – You’re almost sure to clean the exterior of the shower head every time you clean your washroom, but just like an after school special would say, it’s what’s inside that counts. Calcium and bacteria builds up in the interior the shower head, blocking the water and making it less than ideal for getting clean. All you need to do here is screw off the head and place it in a bowl of vinegar for a little bit, rinse clean, and reattach. It takes all of ten minutes and it’s something you only need to do every few months to keep it nice and sparkling inside.
Shower walls – Again, another thing you probably wipe down on a regular basis, but your shower walls deserve a little more attention! A little wipe down will help delay soap scum and mold from visibly collecting, but it won’t prevent it. You need to clean the walls with an antibacterial cleaner at least once a month to really prevent the build up of harmful bacteria and mold.
Pet food bowls – Your puppy might not mind a less than pristine bowl, but unwashed pet dishes contain bacteria and can attract pests. These should be cleaned daily to keep your fuzzy family members safe! Thankfully, dishwasher safe pet bowls are common and affordable. This also goes with food loaded toys such as Kongs, treat dispensing balls, and activity feeders, make sure they are all regularly cleaned with nothing nasty building up inside.
Pet beds – You wash your sheets on a regular basis, but what about your pet’s bed? If your pet regularly naps in a pet bed (or a particular cushion or pillow), it should be washed every few weeks to prevent a build up of dander and hair. Same with any stuffed toys they snuggle with (awwww!)
Grill – Proper grill hygiene is essential for a good barbecue! You should be regularly scrapping your BBQ after use to prevent the build up of detritus and burnt material. Examine the grill for any outside material that may have fallen into it and any sign of rust or wear to ensure its longevity and cleanliness.
Garbage cans – Okay, maybe you’re not so concerned about how clean the can you literally dump all your garbage in is. Fair enough. But a trash can that accumulates excessive debris and grime is a magnet for pests and scavenging animals. No need to be super hands-on here, just empty the can, dump in some hot soapy water, and use a hose to spray down the sides.
Some of these tips might seem like a hassle or being overly fussy, but they really do make a difference! Staying on top of these easy-to-miss spots in your home will help keep you and your family healthy and your home as comfortable as possible.