Thoroughly cleaning your home takes work. You make your bed, wipe down the countertops, polish the tub, and style your coffee table just so, but even after all that, is your house really clean? Filth can quietly build up in unexpected places, from the decor to the appliances (ever thought to clean your light switches?). To keep things tidy and germ-free this Summer, read on to discover the most overlooked spots to clean — and to learn how you can get them back in tip-top shape.
- Throw Pillows
- Kitchen Trash Can
- Curtains and Upholstery
- Bathroom Decor
- Washing Machine
- Knobs, Handles, and Switches
If your morning java is starting to taste funky, it's probably because your coffeemaker is in need of a cleaning. Hard-water deposits and brewing residue can take over your machine if you don't wash it every month or so by running a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water through the brew cycle. Turn off the machine halfway through brewing, and let it sit for an hour before turning it back on to complete the cycle. Then run fresh water through it a few times until the vinegar smell is gone. The carafe and filter can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
You know it's important to clean your bedroom pillows, but what about those stylish throw pillows on your sofa? Whether you're using them to prop up your feet after a long day or rest your head during a Netflix binge, they're collecting the same (if not more) dead skin, dust mites, and filth. Be sure to run the vacuum's upholstery attachment over pillows when cleaning the living room, and remove pillow covers for periodic laundering according to the care instructions.
Is that foul odor lingering even after you take the trash out? It could be leftover food debris and bacteria that have made their way into the trash can. Get it clean by hosing out any gunk before spraying with a disinfectant and an odor-eliminating product and giving it a thorough scrub down.
They might look clean to the naked eye, but curtains and upholstery trap everything from pollen and dust mites to bacteria and mold. Take the vacuum to them regularly, and for especially dirty fabrics, check the label to see if washing or professional cleaning is an option.
This one might seem counterintuitive, but even dish-cleaning machines require cleaning. Dishwashers get clogged with food debris, soap scum, hard-water deposits, and even mold. Start by cleaning out the filter of the dishwasher — yes, your dishwasher has a filter, and if this is the first time you're learning of it, odds are yours is clogged with old food particles — and then run a heavy-duty cleaning agent through the wash cycle. We're partial to baking soda bombs.
From the cup you hold your toothbrush in to the glass jars atop the toilet, you would be surprised how bacteria spreads around the bathroom. Give all your bathroom accessories a good antiseptic rubdown when you're cleaning the bathroom.
If you've ever noticed that your clothes smell less than fresh after being washed, then it's probably time to clean your washing machine. With all the water and damp clothes that go through them, these machines are especially susceptible to mold and mildew. You can clean your washing machine by running a mix of white vinegar and baking soda through the hottest cycle available.
Based on the number of dirty hands grabbing at them, knobs, handles, and light switches seem like an obvious place to disinfect, but they're frequently overlooked. Don't forget to address these bacteria hot spots when wiping down places like the kitchen and bathroom.