When I think about how I clean my own home, I tend to focus most of my attention on floors, furniture and fixtures in the areas that get the most traffic. By often hitting the living / dining area, the kitchen and the hall bathroom, I make sure that dirt and bacteria do not build up unseen – or at least what I thought!
But after some recent research, I learned that there were a few infamous bacteria-driven and dirty places that completely slipped me under my normal cleaning routine! And in fact, I bet most people are guilty of neglecting at least one or two of the dirtiest areas of their homes!
So today I share a list of 7 dirty places in homes that are often overlooked or neglected. Especially with spring cleaning on the horizon, hopefully this will serve as a timely reminder to all of us to make sure these spaces are not left in the dust – literally! 🙂
7 dirty places in your house you forget to clean
1. Kitchen counters
It is common to put your things down on the kitchen table when you enter the house, especially if you are coming back from the grocery store. Combine that with the likelihood of food contamination (especially from raw meat), and it’s no wonder most kitchen tables are far uglier than we might think!
Say to clean your kitchen tables often (once a day will not go wrong) and disinfect them as needed, such as after working with raw meat opening packages or unloading groceries. (Do you need an update on the difference between cleaning and disinfection? Brush up here.)
A dirty kitchen sponge looks like bacteria the best property, and since you use that sponge to clean your dishes, it is not a good combination!
Get familiar with the 1-1-4 rule (scroll down to # 3) to know how often you need to clean your mushrooms and when it’s time to shed them.
3. Dishwasher and washing machine
As surprising as it may sound, the machines that clean your dishes and clothes also need to be cleaned from time to time! Cleaning the dishwasher and washing machine helps to remove dirty accumulations and remnants of detergent that can lurk in the interior work of your appliances.
It’s an easy way to make sure they continue to work efficiently and effectively cleaning your large appliances regularly – I try to do this once a month.
4. Coffee machines and water dispensers
Accumulation of hard water, mildew and mold are not things you want in your coffee or drinking water, but they can easily become problems if you are not careful! To prevent problems like these, it is important to clean all water reservoirs regularly, such as those in your coffee machine, water dispenser, etc.
For general cleaning, wash water containers with warm soapy water and then allow them to air dry completely with the lid or cap off. (If hard water stains or mineral deposits are a problem, soak it in equal parts water and white vinegar for half an hour before washing.)
How often you need to clean your water reservoirs varies depending on your climate and how often you use the item in question, but once or twice a month is a good starting point!
When we talk about accumulation of hard water, it can also affect faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms. Most of us in the United States have hard water that contains minerals like calcium that can cling to our faucets and fixtures and form brittle 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 particularly stubborn mineral deposits, try this method using white vinegar.
6. Bath mats
It’s all too easy to push your bath mats to the side when sweeping or wiping the bathroom floor, but it’s important to resist the temptation! Your bath mats and bath rugs also need to be cleaned as they constantly collect dust, hair, makeup, hair products and anything else that falls on your bathroom floor.
An easy way to keep them clean is to throw them in your washing machine once a week with your towels. (I always recommend choosing machine washable bath mats and blankets for this reason!)
7. Keyboards and remote controls
When was the last time you inspected the spaces between the keys on your keyboard? They are especially vulnerable to gathering crumbs if you like to snack while working like I do!
Keyboards and other “touch points” – things or places that are touched by several people every day such as remote controls, light switches and railings – need to be cleaned more often than other surfaces around the house. An easy way to keep them clean and disinfected is by lightly spraying alcohol on a clean cloth and then using it to wipe down your keyboards, remote controls and other touch points. (Be sure to clean all sides and get into all nooks and crannies!)
Are there areas in your home that you tend to overlook while cleaning?