When it comes to cleaning, it's easy for the big jobs to take over. We all remember to clean things like countertops, the toilet and shower, but what about the smaller, easy-to-miss spots?
Throughout your home - in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom - are some often-neglected spots that are dirtier than you might imagine.
Today we're sharing some surprisingly dirty places you're forgetting to clean so you can get your home more spotless than ever. You'll be shocked what dirt you find lurking in these secret spots - discover them now!
1. Cabinet doors
Wiping down the countertops is all well and good, but what about the surfaces beneath them?
Just because cabinet doors aren't horizontal, it doesn't mean they can't accumulate dirt. Spillages from food regularly find their way onto cupboards doors, and any ledges or grooves in the door will gather dust and be a shelf on which grime can gather.
Be sure to wipe your cabinets down every couple of weeks using a cloth dampened in hot water and washing up liquid (just be sure to wring it out thoroughly), or a general household cleaner, to keep them looking clean and free from bacteria.
2. The underside of surfaces
When cleaning, don't just concentrate on those things at eye-level - think up high and down low too.
The undersides of surfaces can get extremely dirty. This includes under cabinets, breakfast bars, and tables too - anything that has a top will also have a bottom.
Spills can unknowingly make their way underneath surfaces, causing a sticky buildup which can lead to ants. There are also dirty hands to consider - many of us put our fingers under surfaces without realising.
Clean under as well as on top of surfaces during your next clean - you'll be amazed (and possible disgusted!) at what you find lurking there.
3. Don't forget to clean your fridge handle
Many of us clean the inside of the fridge, but what about the outside, and, in particular, the fridge handle.
Bacteria is easily transferred in the kitchen. Coming in from a long day and heading straight for the fridge without washing your hands will mean germs are left on the handle.
It's also worth remembering that food itself contains a surprising amount of bacteria. Meat can have traces of faeces, and fruit and veg is often covered in dirt.
All of these things can lead to germs being transferred to and from the fridge handle. Get into the habit of disinfecting it daily to keep your kitchen germ-free.
4. Behind the wardrobe
Out of sight, out of mind?
Perhaps, but you might get a shock when you finally move your wardrobe and other heavy furniture. When you do, you're likely to find a thick layer of dust on the back of your wardrobe, and also the skirting board behind it.
For this reason, we recommend moving furniture and cleaning behind it every few months or so. If you, or someone in your household, has dust allergies, you might want to do this more often.
5. How dirty is your bath mat?
Be honest - when was the last time you washed your bath and pedestal mat?
For obvious reasons, pedestal mats can become dirty extremely quickly, and the more people using the bathroom, the filthier they'll become. Your bath mat, whilst 'cleaner', is often left damp - providing the ideal breeding ground for germs and bacteria to thrive and multiply.
Both your bath mat and toilet mat should be washed weekly, at 60ºC with your normal detergent.
6. Inside the window sill
You may be cleaning the inside and outside of the window pane, but what about the inside of the window sill?
When you open your windows during the cooler months, leaves and other debris can soon gather here. This will make your windows more difficult to open and close, and also looks pretty untidy!
We recommend cleaning them a few times a year with hot soapy water to keep them nice and clean.
7. Don't forget your sofa!
Has your sofa seen better days? With so much time spent on it, it's no wonder really.
You can keep yours looking fresher and smelling better for longer with a quick baking soda treatment. It will deodorise and clean your fabrics gently - and it takes just 20 minutes!
Discover how to refresh your sofa (and other soft-furnishings) in our guide to cleaning your sofa.
8. Cleaning kids' toys
You don't need us to tell you how grimy and sticky your little one's fingers can get - and that's without mentioning they never seem to notice this themselves!
Unless you're on hand to make sure they're washing their hands every 10 minutes, we recommend giving toys a wash every once in a while. If you're feeling particularly courageous, you could even try and get the kids involved in this too.
The good news is, most plastic toys can be washed in the dishwasher, or, in the washing machine on cold in a large net bag.
Calling all Mums and Dads - be sure to check out these other parent cleaning tips too!
9. Deep clean your dishwasher
B-b-b-ut...dishwashers are clean, they must be!
We understand your logic, but, just like your washing machine, the constant damp state of your dishwasher can lead to mould and hard-water build up.
Head over to the appliance experts, Which? to discover the best way to clean yours today.
10. Clean your oven buttons
We all hate cleaning the oven. In fact, most of us hate it so much, we're so eager to get it over and done with that we forget to clean all the knobs and buttons that make it function flawlessly.
Luckily, cleaning your oven buttons is much easier than cleaning the oven itself, which is more reason to do it more often!
Sticky hands will soon make them dirty, so try to give them a wipe after every use, or at least a good clean once a week to keep them bacteria-free.
11. Cleaning the inside of cabinets
Emptying the cabinets isn't a job many of us have time to do all that often, but that's not to say we should forget about them completely.
Bedroom cabinets are one thing, but kitchen cabinets containing condiments, and bathroom cupboards containing lotions and potions are a different ball game entirely.
The longer you leave spillages from such products, the more difficult (and messy) they'll be to remove. To make things more manageable, why not break your rooms down and set yourself the task of cleaning the cupboards in each over the course of the year.
12. Mouse mat
Next time you're at your computer, take a look down.
Yikes - that mouse mat looks pretty dirty, right? Dirt and germs from your hand will rub off onto your mat when in use, hence its discolouration. If you eat at your desk too, it's likely to be even dirtier.
Watch the video above to get yours spick and span in a flash - your desk will be the envy of all your colleagues in no time!
Is there anything that surprised you on our list? What will you be cleaning first? Let us know in the comments below!