Things You’re Probably Not Cleaning (That You Should)
If you live in a house, the odds are good you prefer it to be clean. So, you likely have a regular cleaning routine and maybe even do a mega spring cleaning every year. Perhaps you devote time each day to tidying and cleaning specific areas.
You might even hire a professional cleaning service if you have it in the budget. You know it’s important to keep your home clean. But what you might not know, is you’re probably not cleaning all the things you should.
Clean your keys, cell phone, and remotes with disinfectant every day. Remove the toilet seat to get all the hidden germs and icky spots. Clean shower loofahs and kitchen sponges in the dishwasher. Use a degreaser to give your range hood filters a thorough cleaning. Don’t forget to clean inside cabinets, drawers, appliances, and the trash can.
Is your head spinning already? Don’t sweat it. This list will help you tackle all of those hidden germs in places you have never thought about cleaning.
Don’t Forget To Clean These Germ Magnets And Dust Beacons
Cleaning things like countertops, appliances, sinks, and floors is a no-brainer. Wiping down the shower and bathtub is a given when you clean the bathroom. But what about things like your kitchen sponge, your shower loofah, or your trash can? How often do you clean these things?
You might forget about these smaller items, and the crazy thing is, they’re items you use every day. Therefore, they see a lot of use and collect a bunch of dirt and grime. Here’s a list of things you should clean, but probably don’t think about when you break out your cleaning supplies.
1. Inside Cabinets And Drawers
Wiping down the outside of cabinets and drawers is a common part of deep cleaning the kitchen. But don’t neglect the inside of these areas. Over time, things can build up and creep in, like dust, crumbs, and more.
The inside of drawers especially accumulates debris. Crumbs fall into open drawers from the kitchen countertop. Hair, fingernails, and other icky things end up in bathroom drawers. Routinely empty out drawers and wipe them down with a cleaning wipe to keep them mess-free and sanitary.
2. Shower Loofah
Bath sponges and shower loofahs aren’t something you likely think about cleaning since they’re covered in soap and water almost daily. But these little poofy bathroom essentials are harbingers of things like dead skin cells, bacteria, and more.
The good news is you can easily disinfect and clean your loofah by including it in your next dishwasher cycle. Place it on the top rack, then hang it to dry. If you don’t have a dishwasher, soak the loofah in a diluted bleach solution for five minutes, rinse, and let dry. Clean your loofah once a week, and replace your loofah monthly.
3. Bathroom Towel Rack
You’ve probably never considered the idea that your towel rack is one of the dirtiest places in your bathroom. The reason is that people often hang damp towels on these racks to dry. The damp towels are an ideal breeding ground for things like mildew, bacteria, and more.
Make sure when you clean your bathroom to include a thorough wipe down of the towel rack. Use a disinfectant wipe or a similar cleaning solution appropriate for your rack. Allow the rack to dry completely before hanging up towels.
4. Toothbrush Holders
This is one spot you undoubtedly want to make sure stays clean since you’re putting your toothbrush in it every day. Depending on the style of the toothbrush holder, you may be able to clean it in the dishwasher. If it’s not dishwasher safe, use an antibacterial mouthwash to scrub it, then rinse, and allow it to dry.
5. Inside The Washing Machine And Dishwasher
When it comes to appliances, you know to wipe down the stove, clean the microwave, and clean your oven. But do you ever think about cleaning your dishwasher or washing machine?
It’s easy to assume that since these appliances wash things all the time, surely they’re already clean. But that’s not the case, which is why your dishwasher and washing machine smell sometimes.
You can use specific products like affresh to clean your washing machine or dishwasher or use white vinegar for a DIY option. To clean the washing machine, run an empty cycle using one cup of white vinegar on the highest temperature setting.
To clean your dishwasher, run a cycle with a bowl of white vinegar sitting on the top rack. Then run a second cycle after pouring one cup of baking soda into the bottom of the appliance.
6. Kitchen Sponge
Wash your kitchen sponge well with hot soap and water after using it to wash dishes or wipe down counters. Wring out your sponge after every use and set it in the dish rack or an elevated sponge holder, so it dries thoroughly.
You can also disinfect your kitchen sponge in the microwave to keep it free from bacteria. Wet it and place it in the microwave for one to two minutes. Or add the sponge the next time you run the dishwasher. Clean kitchen sponges every other day, and replace them after a couple of weeks.
7. Your Keys
Let’s be honest; nobody ever really thinks about cleaning their keys. But your keys pick up a lot of germs during the day. Clean them with an antibacterial wipe once a day, or at least spray them with some Lysol to disinfect them.
8. TV Remote And Your Cell Phone
When was the last time you cleaned your cell phone? This is an item you carry around with you everywhere, every second. It ends up on public tables, in bathrooms, on floors, and everywhere else. Then you hold it in your hands and up to your face -- eww.
Then there’s the TV remote. Lots of hands touch it, food and drinks spill on it, and it falls on the floor. Use a disinfectant wipe or spray containing 70% alcohol to clean your phone and remotes.
9. Throw Pillows And Throw Blankets
Isn’t it nice to snuggle up on the couch for a movie? You get a cozy blanket, and the next thing you know, you pass out on the sofa, drooling over the throw pillows. Or maybe your friend or favorite Uncle Joe falls asleep and drools all over the blanket and pillows.
These items often spend a decent amount of time on the floor, too. Wash your blankets according to the care label. Also, many throw pillows have removable covers that are machine washable or the whole pillow can go in the machine. If not, spray them down with a disinfectant spray like Lysol and allow them to dry completely.
10. Shower Curtain And Shower Liner
Wash fabric shower curtains in the washing machine, according to the instructions on the care label. You can also wash plastic or vinyl shower curtains in the washing machine on the gentle or delicate cycle. Use a mild detergent, cool or warm water, and include a few towels in the load.
Wash shower curtains and liners monthly. If you need to wash them by hand, do so in the bathtub, allowing them to soak and scrubbing them with a soft brush. Rinse them thoroughly and hang them to dry. Consider replacing plastic shower curtains every six months.
11. Shower Head
You can clean your shower head with white vinegar, a plastic bag, and a rubber band. It’s best to clean it about once a month. Fill the plastic baggie with vinegar (about halfway) and place it over the showerhead, securing it with the rubber band.
Let it sit for about 30 minutes (longer for stubborn grime and stains), then run the shower for a few minutes and scrub the shower head with a small brush (an old toothbrush will do).
12. Coffee Maker
Do you love your morning coffee? Are you one of those people who can’t get going until you’ve had your cup of Joe? Well, make sure you’re not getting more than you bargain for when you fill your mug.
Clean the coffee maker once a month to keep it sanitary and bacteria-free. Fill the reservoir with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Let it brew for a bit (only about halfway), then turn off the machine and let it sit for 30 minutes. After, finish the brew cycle, then run a couple of cycles with clean water to rinse out the machine.
13. Trash Can
Even with a liner, the inside of trash cans end up funky. Make it a habit to spray the inside of the can with a disinfectant spray every time you change the bag. Once a month, rinse it out with a diluted bleach solution and hot water and let it dry.
14. Kitchen Range Hood Filter
Did you even know your range hood had a filter (probably more than one)? These pieces usually can go in the dishwasher.
But if that’s not an option for you, wash it with hot, soapy water, rinse, and let dry. If it’s particularly grimy, soak it for a few minutes in a utility sink or bucket using a mixture of hot water and a degreaser. Then rinse and let dry.
15. Computer Keyboard
You can purchase a keyboard skin to make things easier and protect your keyboard from crumbs and dust. But it’s still good practice to clean your keyboard regularly.
Use compressed hair to blow out dust and small particles. Then gently wipe down the keyboard with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Remove hair from your brush every time you use it to decrease the amount of buildup and dead skin cells that end up on it. (Yuck!) Additionally, rinse your brush weekly and give it a little cleaning with shampoo. Then soak it overnight in a baking soda and water mixture, rinse, and let dry.
17. Toilet Brushes
The idea of toilet brushes hanging out next to the toilet just seems to be a little gross. But all you need is a little Pine-Sol in the bottom of the brush’s holder.
After using the toilet brush, flush the toilet, rinse the brush, and then place it in the holder. The Pine-Sol disinfects the toilet brush, and as a bonus, gives your bathroom a fresh, clean scent.
18. Hidden Parts Of The Toilet
You scrub the inside of the toilet, wipe down the outside, and lift the seat to clean under it, but what about the spots you don’t see?
Remove your toilet seat and the bolt covers on the bottom of the toilet every two weeks. This allows you to wipe down all of the crevices and spots you typically don’t see. You’ll be surprised how funky these places get in such a short period of time.
How Clean Is Your Clean Routine?
Do you suddenly feel the urge to clean? Don’t worry, you don’t need to stress about all of the hidden places you’re not cleaning. Now you know where they are and you can incorporate these cleaning tips into your usual routine.
It doesn’t have to take hours and hours, especially when you make it part of daily, weekly, and monthly habits. Overall, you’ll have a cleaner, fresher home, and keep you and your family safe from nasty germs lurking in plain sight.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall