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9 Useful Tricks For Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

For the most part, my weekly cleaning routine keeps my house clean enough for my tastes. But every once in a while, I’ll notice that some inconspicuous area is actually a lot dirtier than I had thought! And the worst part is that once I notice it, I can’t STOP noticing it! Take, for instance, my laptop. I look at it everyday, and usually don’t think twice about if it’s clean or not. But then I’ll happen to notice one day that the keyboard is looking pretty grimy, and then I can’t rest until I take the time to clean it!

But cleaning out those tricky, hard-to-reach areas doesn’t have to turn into a huge project. In fact, if you know a few tips and tricks, you can get it done in just a few minutes! So I thought I’d put together a list of some clever hacks that will help you quickly and easily clean out all sorts of cracks and crevices around the house. This list will definitely save you time, energy, and frustration the next time you have to clean one of these areas! :-)

9 Useful Tricks For Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

1. Keyboard Cracks

The nooks and crannies beneath the keys of your computer’s keyboard can be tricky to clean, but a sticky note can help! First, turn your keyboard upside-down and tap on it to dislodge any loose crumbs and dirt. Then turn it back over, and run the sticky end of a sticky note in between the keys to pick up any leftover debris.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

2. Car Vents

Are the vents in your car looking a bit dusty? Use a cheap sponge paintbrush to swipe any dust or dirt away. The handle on the brush will help you reach inside the vents, no problem.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

3. Window Blinds

Dusting your blinds can be a real pain, but using your kitchen tongs can make it much easier! Just grab your kitchen tongs, a couple of microfiber cleaning cloths, and some rubber bands. Wrap the cloths around the ends of your tongs and secure them in place with rubber bands. Use the cloth-covered tongs to quickly clean both the top and bottom of each slat in your blinds.

Related: This Is The Best Way To Clean All Of The Blinds In Your House

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

4. Faucets

The faucets in your kitchen and bathroom can get grimy with deposits, mildew, and bacteria over time. Again, an old toothbrush can be a great tool for scrubbing them clean! The scrubbing action of the toothbrush and a little bit of soapy water will help you clear out all the nooks and crannies.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

5. Underneath The Rim Of Your Toilet

The area underneath the rim of your toilet bowl is a hot spot for all kinds of nastiness! Sometimes even a good scrubbing can’t get it all the way clean. The best way to clean this hard-to-reach area is to soak some paper towels in white vinegar, and stick them up under the rim. Let the vinegar work its magic for about 30 minutes, discard the paper towels, and use your toilet brush to scrub any remaining gunk away. (This approach also works wonderfully for cleaning shower tracks!)

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

6. Window Tracks

Your vacuum probably has tools for cleaning crevices, but they may not be useful in every situation. For instance, your crevice tool may not be narrow enough to fit into the tracks of your windows to vacuum them out! In these cases, try using the cardboard tube from the center of a roll of toilet paper. Tape one end to your vacuum hose, then squish the other end until it can fit into your window tracks and other narrow spaces.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

7. Dishwasher Filter

In order to keep your dishwasher running right, it’s important to keep all the nooks and crannies inside clean. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the screens, filters, and other small removable dishwasher parts.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

8. Car Crevices

Some of the nooks and crannies around your car’s interior can seem impossible to clean! But you can use a few cotton swabs to clear them out in just a few minutes. Use a cotton swab to brush away loose dust and dirt, or dampen it with a bit of rubbing alcohol to wipe away stubborn gunk.

Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Spaces

9. Air Vents

To quickly clean your air vents, start by vacuuming them to remove any loose dust. Then wrap a microfiber cloth around a butter knife, and use it to remove any dust that’s still stuck between the openings of the vent!

What’s your best tip for cleaning small or hard-to-reach spaces?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Great tips, especially #s 6 and 7! But I do have a comment about #8, the cotton swab trick. I recently had a conversation with my daughter about the environmental impact of plastic straws on our oceans and wildlife. We both have switched to stainless steel straws…one in the car for drive through soda orders, and one at home for iced tea and juice. It turns out that cotton swabs are an issue as well! For years I have been purchasing them at my local dollar store and on close examination I discovered that the stick portion of the swab is plastic. And where does it wind up? Yup…in the ocean and land fills where it can do the same damage as straws, maybe even more because those sticks can act like little swords. So I now have switched to cotton swabs that are biodegradeable, i.e., Johnson and Johnson or Swisspers. Sure, it costs about 3 times more (a whopping $3,00), but it’s worth it to do my bit for the environment! Search Google for eco friendly cotton swabs. p.s. might make an unusual (and memorable) stocking stuffer! :O)

    • Believe it or not, I clean my electric fans by laying them in the tub in a way that I will not saturate the motor assembly and then I spray the grilles and blades, e.g. everything else, with my favorite cleaner. I scrub the parts I can reach and let the rest soak a few minutes (do NOT immerse the fan in water). Then spray away the grime with the shower spray head. Some areas I even use the full-force setting that’s sort of like power-washing-lite. I might need to repeat the process and reach through the grille with a tool that will reach, like an old toothbrush or paint brush. Now this is important: I left it to dry thoroughly in case the motor got wet. I recently cleaned a dual-head window fan that was in my kitchen window for years and was about as dirty as could be. It came out like new.

      • Same here, I can get fans and other electric things really clean this way. As you stated, it is extremely important to resist the urge to use the fan before it is BONE DRY inside and out. “Is it dry enough yet?” If you have to ask, wait.

      • I do it like that sometimes but with the outside hose.I have to admit I usually take all the little screws off of a box fan and then you can really clean the blades and front and back grills. Spray with a cleaner after wetting,wipe parts down then rinse with a hose and leave it outside for a day in the sun. You can only do this in warm weather though!

  • bought a rotating brush, an old rotating tooth brush may also do the trick. If a normal tooth brush is not enough ;-)

    I the car i often use wipes, less static electro. so less dust attracted.

    It often helps to soak the dirt first ;-)

  • I had recently cleaned my keyboard with canned air but knew it needed a little more. Sure enough, I was very surprised at how much white dog hair the sticky note brought up. Thanks for terrific suggestions.

  • After removing air-conditioner filters for cleaning and doing so with a vacuum cleaner “brush” attachment I notice how much residual dust and dirt is still inside the air conditioner unit itself. There is no attachment that can reach it, so I fashioned a long tube using old paper-towel tubes and crunched them to reach those places.
    Not 100%, but quite a lot of the dirt can be removed with the vacuum cleaner.

  • I purchased from Amazon a Dust Daddy attachment for the vacuum cleaner. It looks like a bunch of small straws put together. A wonderful tool for radiators (we have hot water heat), the window channels, between the fridge and counter. Also use around books in the bookcase. Every time I use it I find something else it cleans really well! LOL

  • I don’t have a cleaning tip but a question: how to clean the complicated lids of some beverage travel mugs? It’s scary how grimy they can get up inside those little areas. I question the efficiency of the dishwasher to do this job.

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