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Consumer Tips: common household items that need cleaning

Jul 08, 2023

SHREVEPORT, La. - There’s nothing better than sipping a cup of coffee while you relax and enjoy the results of a cleaning marathon.

But wait—what’s that? Something dirty lurks amidst the shine. Here are the sneaky spots that could be ruining your chances of a whole-house clean.

It’s easy to overlook what’s over your head. Be sure not to miss those hidden high-up spots with your cleaning rag. Wipe down the tops of large appliances like the refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer. For kitchen cabinets that don’t touch the ceiling, clean the top crevice, too (if you’ve never done this before, brace yourself for a sticky mess).

Dust also collects on top of windows, bookshelves, doorframes, and ceiling fans, so keep these spots on your cleaning radar.

You’re probably always scrubbing your stovetop, but the space below isn’t so easy to notice. Appliances like the oven or refrigerator often hide an icky underbelly of crumbs, dirt, and who-knows-what. Slide these to the side every few weeks and sweep up the gross remnants. Bonus points if you hit it with the mop, too.

Your fridge isn’t the only large object obscuring filth piles. Check under the bed, below chairs and sofas, underneath your microwave cart, and in any low-lying crevices you can find. Don’t forget to look below area rugs, as messes often literally get swept under the rug.

You probably never notice your baseboards, but you’ll definitely spot that layer of grime when you’re on the floor with the kiddos during your family get-together. It only takes a moment to run a damp cloth over baseboards, but it can go a long way towards getting your house truly clean.

You use your cleaning supplies to scrub your home spotless—but how often do you clean the supplies themselves? De-fuzz and scrub your broom regularly to release caked-on dirt. Give your hardworking feather duster a warm bath in mild soapy water (dish detergent works great) and hang it to dry.

Oh, and your kitchen sponge has more germs than a toilet seat, so be sure to sanitize it by microwaving it while wet or placing it on the top rack of your dishwasher.

It’s easy not to think about yesterday’s toast when you’re about to enjoy today’s toast, but trust us, it’s still there. Dump out your toaster regularly, and don’t forget to clean other appliances such as the coffee maker, microwave, and garbage disposal.

Items you touch every day can easily become nasty islands of germs and bacteria waiting to infect the next unsuspecting hand. Keep germs at bay by wiping down light switches and doorknobs with antibacterial wipes or cleaners.

There’s a reason some people call tchotchkes “dust collectors.” Have you checked your snowglobe collection recently? How about that decorative candle vase in the living room? Make sure to wipe down picture frames and wall art as well.

Don’t forget your treasured fiddle-leaf fig as you’re making your cleaning rounds. Foliage tends to gather a ton of dust over time, so you won’t want to miss it with your microfiber cloth. As a bonus, clean leaves will also help your green friends gather more sunlight and grow healthier.

No matter how diligently you rinse your recyclables and change out your trash bag, icky messes still find a way to accumulate. Give these bins a hot rinse with disinfectant cleaner so you don’t have any lingering grossness.

Air filters in central heating and air systems can gather a horrifying amount of filth over time, so you’ll want to make sure you’re changing them regularly. This task is one of the best ways to reduce dust in your home and can lessen annoying allergy symptoms. While you’re at it, clean out the vent grates so you can breathe even happier.

You cleaned the living room from top to bottom—you even remembered the ceiling fan! But did you remember to clean the blinds too? These, along with curtains and other window treatments, are super easy to overlook. While you’re at it, give the frames and windowsills a wipe down too.

Small handheld electronics that you touch daily are hotspots for germs, so it’s important to wipe down your cell phone, TV remote, computer keyboard, and any other small devices. Bigger electronics like your Blu-ray player, computer tower, and video game consoles also gather dust like a magnet, so hit these regularly to keep the dirt at bay.

Maybe you never think about them, or maybe you’ve been spending money needlessly to replace them, but your shower curtain and liner are totally washable. In most cases, you can toss them right in the washing machine (although you should make sure to wash any plastic ones on cold and skip the dryer).

You’re tossing your bedroom pillowcases in the wash regularly, but the pillows themselves often get forgotten. Many of these are machine washable, though you should always check the tags and wash per the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t forget the throw pillows in the living room, too—wash either the slipcover or the whole pillow according to the care instructions on the tag.

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