When I think about the way I clean my own home, I tend to focus the majority of my attention the floors, furniture, and fixtures in the areas that get the most traffic. By hitting the living/dining room area, the kitchen, and the hall bathroom often, I’m making sure that grime and germs aren’t building up somewhere unseen—or at least that’s what I thought!
But after some recent research, I learned there were a few notoriously germ-ridden and dirty places that completely slip my mind during my normal cleaning routine! And in fact, I’ll bet that most people are guilty of neglecting at least one or two of the grimiest areas of their homes!
So today I’ll be sharing a list of 7 dirty places in homes that are frequently overlooked or neglected. Especially with spring cleaning on the horizon, hopefully this will serve as a timely reminder for us all to ensure these spaces don’t get left in the dust—literally! :-)
7 Dirty Places In Your House You Forget To Clean
1. Kitchen Counters
It’s common to set your stuff down on the kitchen counter after coming into the house, especially if you’re coming back from the grocery store. Combine that with the likelihood of food contamination (particularly from raw meat), and it’s no wonder that most kitchen counters are far grimier than we might think!
Aim to clean your kitchen counters frequently (once a day wouldn’t go amiss) and disinfect them as needed, like after working with raw meat opening packages, or unloading groceries. (Need a refresher on the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? Brush up here.)
A grimy kitchen sponge looks like prime real estate to bacteria, and since you use that sponge to clean your dishes, that’s not a good combination!
Familiarize yourself with the 1-1-4 rule (scroll down to #3) to know how often to clean your sponges and when it’s time to toss them.
3. Dishwasher And Washing Machine
As surprising as it might sound, the machines that clean your dishes and clothes need to be cleaned from time to time too! Cleaning your dishwasher and washing machine helps eliminate grimy buildup and detergent residue that may be lurker in the interior workings of your appliances.
Cleaning your major appliances regularly—I try to do it around once a month—is an easy way to ensure they will continue to operate efficiently and effectively.
4. Coffee Makers And Water Dispensers
Hard water buildup, mildew, and mold aren’t things you want in your coffee or drinking water, but they can easily become problems if you aren’t careful! To prevent problems like these, it’s important to clean all water reservoirs regularly, like those in your coffee maker, water dispenser, etc.
For general cleaning, wash water reservoirs with hot soapy water and then allow them to air dry completely with the lid or cap off. (If hard water stains or mineral deposits are an issue, soak it in equal parts water and white vinegar for a half hour or so before washing.)
How often you need to clean your water reservoirs will vary depending on your climate and how frequently you use the item in question, but once or twice a month is a good starting point!
Speaking of hard water buildup, it can also affect the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms. Most of us in the U.S. have hard water, which contains minerals like calcium that can cling to our faucets and fixtures and form crusty or discolored deposits over time.
To keep these deposits to a minimum, scrub your faucets weekly with soapy water and a firm brush or toothbrush. To eliminate especially stubborn mineral deposits, try this method using white vinegar.
6. Bath Mats
It’s all too easy to shove your bath mats to the side when you sweep or mop the bathroom floor, but it’s important to resist the temptation! Your bath mats and bath rugs need cleaning too, as they’re constantly collecting dust, hair, makeup, hair products, and anything else that falls on your bathroom floor.
An easy way to keep them clean is to toss them in your washing machine once a week with your towels. (I always recommend choosing machine-washable bath mats and rugs for this reason!)
7. Keyboards And Remotes
When was the last time you inspected the gaps between the keys on your keyboard? They’re especially vulnerable to collecting crumbs if you like to snack while you work like I do!
Keyboards and other “touch points”—things or places that are touched by multiple people every day like remotes, light switches, and banisters—need to be cleaned more often than other surfaces around the house. An easy way to keep them clean and sanitized is by lightly spraying rubbing alcohol onto a clean cloth, then using it to wipe down your keyboards, remotes, and other touch points. (Be sure to clean all sides and get into any nooks and crannies too!)
Are there areas in your home that you tend to overlook while cleaning?