Inside: These are the common places you are forgetting to clean in your home. See if any of these resonate with you & if so, add them to your to-do list!

A guest post by Rose Morrison

If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy spending a lot of time cleaning your home. With having a regular cleaning routine, it’s easy to make sure you get the obvious areas, but other things can be overlooked in the process.

Often these areas are out of sight out of mind. You don’t think about them being dirty because you may not even notice that it is. This happens in almost every room in the home.

Today we’ll talk about these places you are forgetting to clean in your home. It’s important to address them so that you can have a cleaner space and also to maintain things so that they continue working properly.

 Add these areas you are forgetting to clean into your rotation and enjoy having a cleaner home.

Places You Are Forgetting to Clean in Your Home

Are any of these places you are forgetting to clean in your home? I know I was!

1. Window Treatments

It might be easy to forget window treatments because they blend into the background of each room, but curtains easily collect dust, pollen, and dirt, so it’s wise to clean them once a season.

Try vacuuming them or wiping them with a wet cloth to dislodge the grime. Better yet, toss the curtains in the wash if they’re machine washable.

If you have blinds, they collect lots of dust and dirt. Use some cleaner and wipe them all down. In some cases, it may be easier to take them out of the window to properly clean them.

2. Pillows

Machine wash all pillows every three to six months to remove fungus, mold, and bacteria that build up. Researchers found that excessive buildup in synthetic pillows can worsen asthma symptoms and harm those immuno-compromised.

Wash throw pillows on couches and chairs as well to keep your house cleaner.

3. Fireplace

Building a fire without cleaning out the chimney and fireplace first is unwise. While it might be tempting, do not use a vacuum — this can cause irreparable damage to the vacuum.

Instead, consider hiring a professional chimney cleaner to ensure the fireplace is safe to use or sweep out the ashes.

4. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans quickly accumulate a thick layer of dust on their blades. Clean them once a season so they don’t continually spread it throughout the house.

A simple way to clean ceiling fan blades is to cover each with a pillowcase, wiping the grime away. Utilizing microfiber dusters is another excellent way to reach high places and wipe away dust. 

places you are forgetting to clean

5. Books

Books are regularly neglected yet should be cared for once or twice a year. Try not to pull on the top of the book’s spine when removing it for cleaning, as this can cause it to break over time.

Instead, grab it at the center of the spine to remove it from the shelf. Then wipe the covers and edges of the book with a soft cloth. You can also vacuum away dust with a soft brush attachment.

No matter how you store your books, you’ll enjoy not having dust fly off the next book you pull off the shelf.

6. Small Appliances

It can be easy to forget to clean out small appliances like toaster ovens and microwaves. However, these devices can get grimy with food debris fast.

It’s wise to clean them as needed, but you can also set a regular maintenance date depending on how heavily used your appliances are. 

7. Trash Cans

Trash cans are naturally dirty, so cleaning them from time to time is a good idea. Take it outside and use your all-purpose cleaner to clean it out.

Next, scrub out the inside to kill any bacteria or mildew. It will help your trash can smell better for at least a little while.

8. Drains

Most homeowners don’t think of drains unless they back up, but they are odorous and full of gross bacteria. Clean them by filling a sink or tub with enough water to plunge it a couple of times properly.

This process should dislodge all debris. Next, remove the gunk and pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait 60 minutes and then flush with hot water.

places you are forgetting to clean

9. Door Frames

Out of sight, out of mind — door frames often fall victim to this idiom, efficiently collecting dust because it’s above eye level. Use a feather or microfiber duster to reach the top and sides.

Wipe away built-up grime a few times a year. 

10. Dishwasher

The appliance itself needs a good cleaning from time to time. Make it happen by locating the dishwasher filter and rinsing it out.

Run a hot water cycle with a cup of white vinegar without any dishes. This process should remove any pesky soap scum, food debris, or hard water stains.  

11. Mattress

Just like pillows, mattresses require cleaning, too. They are home to bacteria and dust mites that can contribute to allergies, so owners should clean them at least once a year.

Do so by vacuuming and flipping it. A plastic cover can also be used to keep out dust mites. 

12. Under Appliances

The space beneath larger appliances like a refrigerator or oven is nearly impossible to clean, so it naturally collects dust and grime. Once a year, pull out the larger machines to thoroughly clean out this space.

Use a coil brush on the refrigerator to dislodge dust particles and vacuum away excess debris. In addition to making the device look better, cleaning a refrigerator’s coils helps improve the appliance’s overall efficiency

13. Shower Curtains

After repeated use, shower curtains gather soap scum and sometimes can even get moldy. Remedy this problem by throwing it in the washer (as long as it’s machine washable).

In addition to detergent, use a cup of baking soda to lift difficult stains and remove soap scum. Wipe down shower curtains that aren’t able to go in the washing machine.

14. Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals require more than routine water rinsing to keep odors at bay. First, turn off power to the disposal. Next, pour in a mixture of half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar.

The mixture will bubble but can be covered with a sink stopper. Once it stops fizzing, rinse with hot water. If the garbage disposal still smells, consider using a sponge to clean it further.  

15. Baseboards

Add cleaning baseboards to your cleaning rotation as they easily collect dust and grime, especially in well-trafficked areas.

Use a brush extension on a vacuum cleaner or run a wet rag along the dirty baseboards for quick clean-up. 

16. Washer

Take the time to clean out the washing machine at least once a month to prevent the buildup of debris and odor. If not appropriately cleaned, soap residue can contribute to bacterial growth, making clothes stinky.

To keep things clean, wipe out the interior with an all-purpose cleaner and run the device through a cleaning setting or hot water cycle with 2 cups of vinegar. 

places you are forgetting to clean

17. Light Fixtures

Similar to the ceiling fan, light fixtures are another area that is often overlooked in the cleaning process.

Light fixtures can collect a considerable amount of dust and cobwebs. Don’t ask me how I know this. To clean it, use a microfiber cloth and wipe down each light fixture.

If you haven’t cleaned yours in a while, you may want to clear off the table or furniture underneath it first as some dust and debris may fall onto it.

18. Vents

Air vents are another often forgotten area to clean. Check both your registers where the air intake occurs as well as the heating vents.

If you have a brush vacuum attachment, this is a great opportunity to use it. This is also a great chance to replace your furnace filter which will help you have better quality air in your home.

It’s also a good idea to have your clothes dryer vent cleaned by a professional from time to time. This not only makes your dryer more efficient, but lint build-up can end up becoming a fire hazard.

19. Cabinets

Depending on the types of cabinetry you have in your home, dirt may be more or less noticeable. With wood-toned cabinets, it’s typically not as obvious when the cabinets are dirty.

And if you have cabinets that don’t go all the way to the ceiling, the top ledge is another place to check for dirt accumulation.

To simplify cleaning, use an all-purpose cleaner or degreaser (you don’t need a lot of different products) and wipe down kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You may be surprised at how dirty they’ve gotten…at least I was!

20. Oven

The stovetop is an obvious area that needs cleaning. However, inside the oven can be overlooked as it’s often out of sight out of mind.

You can deep clean the oven without using harsh chemicals. It’s so much nicer to cook in an oven that’s clean.

21. Electronics

Televisions, computers, and keyboards collect dust and dirt. Use a microfiber cloth to dust what you can and we use compressed air to clean out the unreachable areas in the keyboard.

Personal electronics like tablets and cellphones are another place people often forget to clean. They’re high-touch items that collect lots of germs so include them in your regular cleaning process.

22. Light switches

Speaking of high-touch areas, light switches are one more area that’s often skipped but should be cleaned regularly.

Use either your multipurpose cleaner or a sanitizing wipe to clean them often.

Add These Places You Are Forgetting to Clean to Your To-Do List

To deep clean your home, add any of these places you are forgetting to clean to your checklist. You’ll eliminate lots of dust and dirt as well as keep your appliances working well for longer.

If you don’t enjoy cleaning, pair it with something you do enjoy to make it a more fun process that you actually look forward to. You can find more tips on keeping your home clean, here.

Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers home décor and organization tips. She is also the managing editor of Renovated. You can check out her Twitter to see more of her work.

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  1. Great post Rose! I’ve been a cleaning lady for 15 years and while I do most of the smaller stuff there are some good things to remember for “special projects”. I have found that with some things like fans, door frames and baseboards, and blinds you can almost completely avoid making it a big job one day but dusting and wiping them every single time.

  2. An additional area I have to consciously attack are window sills! It is amazing how much dirt accumulates each week. Thank you for these ideas!

  3. Thank you for the excellent article! I so wish I could find an efficient method for cleaning white metal mini-blinds (horizontal blinds). Mine are not removable from the window brackets. Plus I live in an apt so I don’t have a driveway or garage where I can hose them off. I’ve tried using dusting cloths, swiffers, sponges, vacuum cleaner attachments, etc. but it’s slow going and can take hours! You have to be very careful so that you don’t bend any of the slats. The whole process is very frustrating so I find I don’t do it as often as I should. I’m desperate for suggestions!

    1. Hi Jo. After living with various types of miniblinds over the years I, unfortunately, have not found a magic solution for how to make it quick and easy. We currently have the small renters mini blinds and we just use a wet sponge to clean them.

  4. There are definitely a number that I neglect, though I’m glad to say some of these I clean regularly (e.g. I do the dishwasher once a month, and clean the filter every week, even twice a week). It’s a good list. The vents are very important. We never did them, and then when we had pros come in to do the ducts, they cleaned the vents, too, and reminded us that they needed regular cleaning and keeping them clean would help to keep the air clear of allergens.

    I think that one is missing, though. We all know to clean our toilets, but I’ve never seen a video about cleaning the toilet that mentioned the bottom of the tank. I just happened to notice mine while cleaning it today and realized that I had never cleaned it, ever. It was nasty, and there might have been black mold (something black was there, at least—it could have been just dirt). Just in case, after wiping, I sprayed it with an anti-mold spray. Do you clean the bottom of your tank(s)? If not, better check on it … never know what’s living down there.

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