10 Things in the House That You’re Not Cleaning (But Ought To)
Not a lot of people has the will and time to clean every single thing in the house, so most would just wipe down surfaces, sweep the floors and do the dishes every day. But when the ugly stuff accumulates, say germs, mold, and bacteria on our regularly-used products, using them become gross and cleaning turns into a nightmare.
You can intentionally ignore cleaning certain things and places in your home today, but you'll have to tackle it sooner or later. Why not just do the job and get it done over with? Here are the top ten places you may neglect or consciously overlook to clean, but you ought to!
#1 Garbage Disposal
Yes, we're starting the list off with the garbage disposal. The accumulation of food wastes in the disposal can turn into a mess over time and become the breeding ground for germs and bacteria. For something that you use on a daily basis, it's essential to clean the garbage disposal once or twice a week, even when things don't start to smell just yet.
Fortunately, cleaning the disposal is not time-consuming or even back-breaking. Often, you only need to clean it with baking soda and white vinegar, and then rinse with hot water. You can fill the disposal with ice cubes, then pour either rock salt or white vinegar to dislodge any build-up. Once the disposal is clean, you can grate some citrus peels and flush with cold water to remove the remaining stinky smell and freshen up the air.
#2 Door Knob
You use the doorknob every day, but it's also one thing you often overlook cleaning. Imagine how many people use the same doorknob and what they might have touched before coming in and going out. Suffice to say; the doorknobs are teeming with invisible germs that we come in contact with on a regular basis.
For all types of doorknobs, a disinfectant spray is often enough to kill germs and bacteria. Alternatively, you can pour some general purpose cleaner into a clean microfiber cloth and wipe metal and brass door knobs with it. However, you want to clean wooden door knobs with specialty cleaning product to retain the finish and avoid scraping the surface.
#3 Outdoor Lamps
Your kids love to use the inflatable pool by the yard in the summer, and you also enjoy entertaining guests at the patio over some grilled meat. What you likely miss to do though to keep things bright and beautiful outdoors is cleaning your lamps.
When left neglected, your lighting fixtures outdoors can get dirty. Their heat also becomes an invitation for pests to build up nests around the lights. So take an hour or two on the weekend to clean your outdoor lamps to ensure they stay efficient and beautiful.
Cleaning these fixtures is quick and easy. With the power turned off, take a clean microfiber cloth and glass cleaner or mild dish washing soap. Remove the fixtures and wipe gently scrubbing the surface to remove dirt and grime. Clean the nooks and crannies with a dry fine-bristled brush.
#4 Trash Bin
Understandably, you don't expect a clean trash can. After all, this is where you throw the kitchen junk. But food particles, moisture, and other gross elements could accumulate inside the bin, making your trash can not just visibly dirty but stinky as well. Importantly, having a filthy trash can is like an open invitation to various sorts of contamination and diseases.
Trash cans outside your home can use a twice a month cleaning. But those you use inside your home, particularly in your kitchen, needs to be cleaned at least once a week. And it's not enough that you just throw the plastic out and put in a new one. Trash bins can use some TLC too.
After removing your trash from the bin, pour some dish washing detergent to the insides of the trash can. Turn on your garden hose and power wash until clean. If the trash bin is particularly smelly, you can combine some bleach, detergent powder, and water to clean it, then rinse. Make sure to dry the trash can before fitting in a new garbage bag. It is preferable to do this during the day of trash collection and right after you've thrown out your trash.
When you have all the favorite foods in the fridge – cakes, chocolates, fruits, etc., it becomes less tempting to clean it. However, the refrigerator can be home to spills and stains, and possibly spoiled food and expired ingredients, which make the perfect recipe for foul odor and risks of contamination.
While it's definitely a hassle to clean the refrigerator every day, it's essential to clean it at least once a week. Cleaning also gives you the opportunity to defrost the freezer and inspect ingredients that you need to keep or discard.
On a weekend or any free day before you go grocery shopping, remove all the food from the refrigerator. Discard what you longer cannot use and consume. Remove the shelves and drawers and wash them at the sink, then let dry. Clean the insides of the refrigerator with mild dish soap and warm water, making sure to clean all the stains and spills. Wipe the interiors with a dry cloth, reattach the shelves and drawers and return all your food. Wipe the exteriors as well.
It's also a wise idea to vacuum the coils at the back or bottom of the refrigerator to keep the appliance running in smooth condition.
Over time, mold, bacteria, dust, and mites will love to reside on your bed. When sleeping on the mattress makes you itch or triggers your allergies, it's a sign that you need to give it a good clean. Also, sweat and other body proteins the mattress absorbs can lead to stuffy and smelly odor in the bedroom.
To clean the mattress, remove all the bedding, pillowcases and blankets then throw them in the washer. Take the bed out to the yard on a sunny day and let it bathe in sunlight. The natural heat and light, plus the summer breeze will remove most of the odor, dust, and mite.
Take the mattress back to the bedroom and run the vacuum over it thoroughly. To remove the remaining smell, mix baking soda with essential oil of your choice and sprinkle over the mattress. Leave for at least an hour and vacuum again.
The kitchen sponge is quite the multi-tasker. You use it clean dishes, wipe counters and surfaces. As a cleaning tool, it's hard to think of sponge needing cleaning itself. But repeatedly using a dirty sponge in an area where you cook and prepare food encourages bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli to spread and multiply.
You can clean the sponge in the evening by soaking it in hot water and white vinegar. The next day, give the sponge a good wring and rinse thoroughly before using it again. You may also want to let the sponge dry under the sun to kill the bacteria or bake a wet sponge in the microwave. Also, do make sure to replace your sponge at least every two weeks.
#8 Bathroom Drain
When water collects on your bathroom floor instead of going down the drain, it means you need to give the drain some attention. After all, where do all the fallen hair, soap suds, and other particles go?
Cleaning the bathroom drain is easy. First, you want to pour some hot water into the drain to dislodge any grime built-up inside. Next, pour one cup of baking soda into the drain. Follow this up with a cup of hot water and white vinegar. Let the solution do its thing for 10 minutes then flush with warm water.
A dishwasher is a cleaning appliance, so it probably cleans itself, right? Wrong. Your plates do come out clean, but leftover food particles, oil, and grime can get trapped inside, resulting in a reduction in performance efficiency and foul smell. For these reasons, it's important to clean the dishwasher at least once or twice in a month.
To clean, you need to start with a bare dishwasher. Pull out the bottom rack and remove any food debris. Next, pour some white vinegar on the upper rack and run the appliance in hot setting to remove grime and soften any build-up. Lastly, deodorize the interiors by sprinkling some baking soda and briefly running it on a hot cycle. Your dishwasher should be now clean, stain and odor-free.
#10 Dish Drying Rack
It's easy to think of the dish drying rack as clean just because you're placing clean dishes on it. But the moisture and other environmental factors can lead to the growth of mildew and mold on the rack. Soon enough, the place where you put your clean dishes on to dry becomes the very reason for contamination.
You should clean the rack periodically. Thankfully, it doesn't take a lot of effort. After putting away the dishes, take the dirty dish rack to the sink—full of water. Pour some dish liquid and white vinegar and let the dish rack soak for 20 minutes. Scrub each part of the rack until clean. Use an old but clean toothbrush to reach the crevices. Dry the dish rack with a clean cloth before using again.
Cleaning is such a chore, but it's necessary. It's crucial to look past and beyond the surfaces and make an effort to clean things you use on a regular basis to keep them away from the mold, mildew, and bacteria. It can take some time and elbow grease, but it's worth doing knowing that your household is safe from the invisible contaminants.