12 Surprisingly Dirty Places You're Forgetting To Clean

12 Surprisingly Dirty Places You're Forgetting To Clean

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

dirty cabinet doors kitchen
They're surprisingly dirty!

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 possibly disgusted!) by what you find lurking there.

3. Don't forget to clean your fridge handle

fridge door handle
Disinfectant is key!

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 vegetables are 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?

bath mat cream
When was the last time you cleaned yours?

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! 

8. Cleaning kids' toys

Calling all parents! 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.

9. Deep clean your dishwasher

dirty dishwasher cleaning tips

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

oven knobs buttons
What did you touch before the oven knobs?

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

inside bathroom cupboard
A haven for spills!

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 your mouse mat 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! 

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author N. Kerswill on June 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Yep I do all these every week.

  2. Author jay on June 8, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Get rid of toilet mats! They are probably the most unhygienic thing in your house. DISgusting things.

  3. Author Doreen Ross on June 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    i buy mouse mats that have a shiny or Matt but cleanable surface. i use a cloth wrung out in washing up liquid and hot water and wipe the top side.dry with kitchen paper then turn it over and because i have a pet, i find i still get pet hairs somehow underneath the mat. use sellotape wrapped round your hand to pick up all the hairs. then wipe over with your cloth. leave upside down till it dries completely.otherwise it will damage your desk if its a wooden varnished one.

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Doreen. Buying 'filmed' mouse mats as opposed to sponge is a great option - they're much easier to keep clean. We love the sellotape tip - it sounds like your mats are really spotless. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Author stephanie eebb-morris on June 8, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    No one seems to clean around the taps either in the kitchen or the bathroom. I just spray with a good quality cleaner and scrub the base of the tap and all other parts with a used toothbrush. Leave for 5 minutes, rinse well and dry off with kitchen roll. Repeat once a week. Works every time.

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Stephanie, The taps can get dirty pretty fast - especially with hands covered in food and hard water - so they're important to clean regularly. You're right to leave the products to sit for 5 minutes - this will mean most of the hard work is done for you! Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Author Sandy on June 8, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Steph - Some good, interesting tips there, as always. #6 - I find that the easiest way to remove build-up from window sills, the runners (if you have double or triple glazing) and rebates (a haven for spiders!), is with an attachment on the vacuum cleaner. Then you can clean it with hot soapy water. #8 - As well as kids' toys, don't forget your furry friends' toys, too. They can get even dirtier especially if they take them out in the garden or try to bury them! Carry on your excellent work. Best wishes, Sandy

    1. Author Joanne A on July 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Sandy! We're glad you enjoy our work.

  6. Author Audrie57 on June 10, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I have never thought of cleaning my mousemat, or the one that my partner uses with his computer, but I will do now , Thank you, I do know that my other half has used the nozzle on the hoover every now and again, but yours sounds so much easier, I shall give it ago. Many Thanks.

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 11, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Audrie, Mousemats are something most of us forget, so don't fret! Good luck with your cleaning - I hope it's a success :)


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