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The most-ignored parts of your home to clean today

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When was the last time you looked at the tops of your kitchen cabinets? Or worse yet, the area behind your stove? These areas rarely fit into a regular cleaning schedule. But every now and then, you have to take a look and tackle those most-forgotten chores. These are the out-of-sight tasks you might be missing.


You may be diligent about water spots, but how often do you deep clean your showerheads and faucets? If you can't remember, try this: Fill a small plastic bag with vinegar or a 50/50 water and vinegar solution; submerge the fixture head in the solution and secure the bag to it for an hour; remove the bag, run the water and give the fixture a quick scrub.


Light bulbs are easy to forget, but a thick layer of dust can make them a fire hazard. Plan ahead so you can leave the lights off for a while. Then, remove the bulbs and wipe the dust away with a dry cloth. You'll want to wear plain plastic gloves for halogen bulbs, which are sensitive to oils from our fingers.


The insides of trash, recycling and compost bins are often left to collect grime and residue perhaps because we associate them with waste, not cleanliness. But this can lead to sanitation and odor issues. Give all of your trash cans, including those in your bathrooms, a good scrub-down. And disinfect them for a fresh start.


When you can't see the top of something, it won't be top of mind. But kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and tall furniture can amass an impressive amount of dust and dander. In most cases, a good dusting will do the trick. But if the job is more challenging, be sure to use the appropriate cleaning solution for the surface material.


Sink stoppers and strainers keep drains and disposals out of sight, but they are magnets for gunk. Take a day to treat all of the drains and disposals in your home. Try adding baking soda, following with vinegar and stopping up the drain for a chemical reaction that will break down grime. Then, flush with hot water. Tackle leftover scum with a toothbrush for good measure.


We often overlook the insides of appliances, whether they're countertop toasters and coffeemakers or washers, ovens and refrigerators. Pick one or two to clean on your next free day. And remember details like drip pans, crisper drawers, oven racks and the underside of your ventilation hood. If you're feeling ambitious, pull your appliances out and clean the area behind them.


Though we use our cabinets nearly every day, we certainly don't clean them as often. Rather, we close the doors on medicine cabinets, under-sink areas, pantries and drawers and forget that they need maintenance. Choose one cabinet or drawer to detail when you're cleaning the house, and you'll have all-clean cabinets in no time!

The list doesn't end here. We also tend to forget things like air and exhaust vents, window tracks, ceiling fans, mattresses, the undersides of tables and chairs, bathroom accessories, handles, switches, curtains, upholstery and more. If you're behind or don't have enough time for these sideline chores, consider a one-time deep cleaning service so you can start off with a clean slate.

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  1. Schroeder's Avatar
    The light switches. Don't forget the light switches! And door knobs. And handles. It's funny how we often brag about doing thorough cleaning but often forgo these small areas which are the biggest germ carriers!

    Just because they are not enveloped in dust doesn't mean they are squeaky clean. This is where all the worst stuff actually collects over time. Water doesn't cut it in this case though - best cleaner is a sanitizer. And while you are at it, don't forget your phone too.
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