Do you clean thoroughly? Dusting shelves, wiping the hob and hoovering the floor is all well and good, but what about the spaces and levels in between?
Away from the biggest tasks at eye-level, there are often vital areas that get forgotten during our cleaning routine. Overlooking these hard-to-reach or less obvious places can lead to a surprising build-up of dirt, grime and germs that most of us aren’t even aware of.
Make sure you get your home clean from top to bottom, without an inch forgotten by covering these 20, easy-to-miss places.
1. Skirting boards
Next time you do your dusting, get down low. Skirting boards are basically shelves for the dust you clean off higher surfaces PLUS the dust they accumulate alone.
Be sure to flick over them with a feather duster or quickly polish over them on a regular basis before hoovering, and you won’t have to worry about doing a time-consuming, deep-clean on all fours.
2. Don’t forget to clean under the bed
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ certainly isn’t the case with regards to dust, as a build up can cause respiratory problems and also entice dust mites.
With that in mind, it’s definitely worth putting in the extra effort to clean under your bed every now and then – you’ll be able to sleep and breathe easily knowing you’re not sleeping above a mound of dirt.
Even with the use of bin bags, chances are the odd spillage still occur. Those sticky splodges can encourage flies, and contain millions of germs – a bin emptied weekly produces over four million germs, and the fortnightly bin 240 million.
If that’s not enough reason for us to consider deep-cleaning our bins at regular intervals, I don’t know what is. Wash them inside and out, using hot water and disinfectant to keep germs at bay.
4. Throw pillows
Washing the pillows we sleep on is something we’re all used to doing, but our throw pillows? The majority of us don’t even think about those.
They may just be used for decoration, but they still accumulate as much dead skin and other undesirable dirt as the ones you lay your head on – wash them frequently to keep them smelling as fresh as they look.
5. Be sure to clean your remote controls
Would tv time be the same without a generous side helping of snacks? I’m not about to discourage you from partaking in this wonderful activity, however I’d recommend giving your remote a good clean afterwards.
Eating sticky food and licking our fingers means all those germs end up on our remote controls. Wipe them down regularly using disinfectant (a q-tip works really well for in between buttons) to banish germs.
6. Door handles
Imagine how many times your door handles gets touched each day. While you may be able to vouch for the cleanliness of your own hands, can you really vouch for everyone else’s?
Disinfect your door handles regularly to prevent the spread of germs from one person to another.
7. Under rugs
We’ve all done it: seen something unsightly lying on the floor and kicked it under the rug before our guests step into the living room. Well, those little bits all add up, and you’ll be surprised just what’s hiding under your rug.
You don’t need to lift it up and hoover underneath every week, but schedule it in every month or so to ensure it’s not hiding dirty secrets underneath.
If you haven’t checked behind your radiator in a while, you may get a shock when you do – the irregular, maze-like shape of these contraptions is a dirt-haven.
Admittedly, they’re not an easy object to clean, but it’s definitely worth putting the time in every now and then to make sure all the crevices are as spotless as can be. In the meantime, use a feather duster during your weekly cleans to lift the loose layer of dirt.
9. Door frames
Does your house have some lovely, characteristic features? Whilst they’re gorgeous to look at, they definitely require more work to keep clean than modern houses.
One of the main dust-traps are door frames, which if left uncleaned, accumulate towers of dust. Avoid these towers tumbling into guests’ faces by including them in your weekly dusting – a quick wipe over is all it takes.
10. Don’t forget to wipe your microwave
There are two kinds of microwaves: the splashes everywhere, congealed pasta, foul-smelling kind, and the spotless, good-as-new kind. Make sure yours is the latter.
Whatever you’re cooking, give your microwave a good once over after you’ve eaten. Using a microwaveable cover will also help keep splashing to a minimum.
Kitchen sponges are, horrifyingly, the germiest item in our home. Don’t fret, though, this is easily remedied.
By simply soaking your dishcloths and sponges in boiling water with some disinfectant thrown in, you’ll kill all those nasty germs and ensure your kitchen is a clean and healthy place.
For a list of items with the highest germ-count in your house, check out my blog post that exposes the dirtiest places in the home and how to keep them clean.
12. Keep your keyboards nice and clean
The crevices in between the buttons on our keyboards are like magnets for dust and grime alike. Keep your fingers away from such nasties by cleaning down the channels between them with a q-tip.
13. Picture frames/mirrors
Your pictures and mirrors may look pretty, until someone knocks them and bring all the accumulated dust tumbling down.
Prevent such occasions by making sure you remember to polish on top of them during your weekly clean.
Do you have toast every day? Just at the weekends? However often you enjoy this delicious breakfast option, all those crumbs have to go somewhere.
Be sure to remember to keep your toaster functioning properly by removing the crumb drawers and wiping down the knobs regularly. A weekend without buttery toast isn’t worth thinking about.
15. Under your oven
All those delicious pastries, cakes and one-pot delights…if you’ve forgotten what you’ve made recently, take a look under your oven.
The cavity underneath our cooker seems to attract dirt, and it’s easy to accidently kick peelings and crumbs under there whilst we’re rushing around cooking up a storm.
When you’re sweeping your floors, make sure you don’t forget toget under your oven, right to the back too – food left lying around can entice ants and worse, mice.
16. Light Switches are easily forgotten
What’s the first thing you do when you come home at night? Light switch – right!
All the germs that you’ve accumulated since you last washed your hands will now be transferred on to your light switch for others to pick up.
While they may not look ‘dirty’, your light switches are harbouring a lot of bacteria so it’s important to wipe them with disinfectant regularly to prevent the spread of germs.
17. Light fixtures
You may not be able to see all the dust balancing on top of your light fittings from down below, but it is there.
An extendable feather duster is really useful for getting your lights shining bright – just make sure it’s the first thing you clean otherwise it’ll come tumbling down on all your polished ornaments and shelves.
18. House plants
Just because you don’t dust your plants outside, doesn’t mean the same rules apply for indoor plants. Cleaning off the dust that collects on their leaves not only keeps them looking great, but it’s also beneficial for their health.
One of the best ways to keep them looking tip-top is to pop them under the shower for a minute. This will wash away any dust particles, and get them looking fresh again.
You can also use a hairdryer to blast the dust right off. Hairdryers are handy for so many cleaning tasks – check out Colleen’s 21 uses for a hair dryer that will blow your mind to find out how to use yours!
Have you ever wiped a hand over your extractor fan? If not, try it now, and you’ll realise straight away it’s somewhere you should be cleaning on a regular basis.
All that steam, and grease from the delicious meals you cook on the hob builds up over on your extractor over time, and it can be a real tough job if you leave it too long.
A diluted soapy water used weekly is enough to keep the exterior nice and clean, and the filter can be soaked then wiped to remove greasy residue.
20. Don’t forget behind the toilet
Your toilet may look spick and span from a front-view, but is it hiding a dirty secret? Many of us fail to get to the dust and grime hiding inside the cavity round the back of our toilets.
It’s hard to reach, and easy to forget, but allowing this to build up will just increase the amount of germs in our bathroom, something we need to try and avoid in one of the dirtiest rooms in the house.
21. Washing machines need to be cleaned too!
You may think the washing machine takes care of itself, but it’s actually one of the germiest places in your home.
Read Collette’s complete guide to deep-cleaning your washing machine to get yours in tip top condition.