Tackling grime in oft-overlooked spots is like wearing frilly underwear. It’s thrilling for you, even if nobody else notices. And if someone does? Well, isn’t that swell.
Here, 11 places you’re probably overlooking.
It’s right there in the name: dust ruffle. Don’t let this guy get disgusting…which it will if it sits unwashed at floor level for years at a time.
How to clean it: Read the care instructions and throw it in the wash with the rest of your bedding every few months (unless it’s dry-clean only, of course).
THE UNDERSIDE OF YOUR COUCH CUSHIONS
Because you can only flip once before that red wine stain comes back to haunt you.
How to clean it: Unzip the cover and give it a good shake. Or if you can’t remove the cover, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to suck up crumbs and dirt. Spot treat stains per fabric type recommendations, or flip removable covers inside out and throw them in the washer.
SILVERWARE DRAWER ORGANIZERS
So. Many. Crumbs.
How to clean them: Once a month, remove plastic dividers and wash by hand or in the dishwasher, then wipe down with bleach and let dry. Tackle built-in drawer organizers with a small vacuum attachment and wood-cleaning wipes.
Even this workhorse built for doing dirty work can get filthy, and over time, bits of food and residue can cut down on the machine’s overall effectiveness.
How to clean it: Run a rinse cycle--without the dishes--about once a week for a deep clean with big payoff.
Dusty bulbs in open fixtures slash light output and just look gross.
How to clean them: Turn off the fixtures, let bulbs cool and dust with a clean, dry cloth.
UNDERNEATH A GAS COOKTOP
The land of forgotten penne and soup splashes.
How to clean it: Use the rod (like the one on a car hood) to prop up the cooktop. Pick up larger bits of food, use a hand vacuum to suck up crumbs and finish off with a surface cleaner.
BEHIND THE TOILET
Look…if you dare. How to clean it: Use a new toilet brush--not your bowl-cleaning go-to--to get to these tough-to-reach spots. If there's still grime that won't come off, break out the steamer (yep, the same one you use on clothing) and run it over the offending area.
CEILING FAN BLADES
All’s well until you turn on the fan and get dusted with allergens.
How to clean them: Use a stepladder to get close to the fan, place a pillowcase over a blade and then drag it toward you so it catches the dirt inside.
THE WASHING MACHINE
Did you know the door of a front-loader is a breeding ground for slime and mold?
How to clean it: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the rubber gasket and door glass after each cycle. Give the same attention to the detergent dispenser twice a month and leave the machine door ajar between loads to air it out.
THE BATH MAT
Moisture + your feet = mold.
How to clean it: Launder mats once a week on the highest washer setting (separately from bedding and other household linens). And don't forget to clean the floor underneath while you're at it.
KITCHEN TRASH CAN
Stop that weird lingering smell at its very source.
How to clean it: Empty the can, rinse it out in a bathtub or outside with a garden hose, then spray the inside and outside with disinfectant.