Are you a spring-cleaning wizard? Are you the queen of clean, the Duke of dusting? We take for granted that cleaning our homes top to bottom means they are truly spotless. There are a few areas, though, where dirt lingers, and germs thrive. Take this fun quiz to see if you are on top of your house cleaning game with these eleven things most of us forget to clean.
Read on for cleaning tips for the things most of us forget to clean around our home!
1. Sponge (15 points)
Your kitchen sponge is one of the germiest items in your kitchen. We frequently use them to wash dishes as well as wipe off countertops. Replacing them weekly or whenever you notice an odor from them is a good idea, but here are some kitchen cleaning tips to get extra life out of your favorite sponge.
Cleaning tips: Soak overnight in a mixture of vinegar, hot water, and salt. Rinse out the next morning and use as normal. You can also thoroughly soak your sponge and microwave it for two minutes.
2. Fridge (7 points)
A drip here, a drop there; have you really looked at the shelves in your refrigerator lately? Chances are, they could use a good wipe-down. Don’t forget the wall bins and the pullout drawers as well.
How? You may be able to run your refrigerator accessories through a cold/light soil cycle of your dishwasher, but avoid heat drying them. You can also use a rag with vinegar or a bleach mixture to cut through that grime.
3. Shower Curtain (10 points)
Germs, mold, mildew, and bacteria love damp, dark places. Your shower curtain may currently be home to many unwanted critters.
Cleaning tips: You can spray them down with vinegar or a bleach solution, but they can also be washed in a gentle setting of your washing machine.
4. Underneath rugs (5 points)
Pick up the corner of your area rug. Go ahead; we’ll wait. What did you see underneath of it? Dust, crumbs, hair and several unidentifiable items as well. We vacuum our rugs but seldom do we clean under them.
Cleaning tips: Occasionally, pull back area rugs and damp mop floor surfaces.
5. Toothbrush and toothbrush holder (15 points)
You’re not going to like this one. Your toothbrush and toothbrush holder sit on your spotless bathroom counter, an oasis of fresh breath and cleanliness. Unfortunately, every time you flush the toilet, you are exposing your toothbrush to…well, unpleasantness that should stay in the toilet. Of the eleven things, most of us forget to clean, this is probably one of the yuckiest.
Cleaning tips: You can store your toothbrush in a small cup full of hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash daily between uses, making sure to change out the liquid daily. Your toothbrush holder deserves to be cleaned frequently as well.
Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every couple of months, but beware: brand new toothbrushes right out of the package also need to be cleaned before using them.
We warned you that you wouldn’t like this one.
6. Pillows (10 points)
Pillowcases are a pillow’s protection against all things yucky, right? Well, not exactly. The cloth pillowcase allows more exposure to some pretty revolting stuff than you even want to think about. Dust mites, saliva, skin oils…it’s a nightly war waged around your sleeping head.
Pillows should be washed several times a year, but they certainly make the list of eleven things most of us forget to clean regularly. Don’t forget to wash your throw pillows while you’re at it.
Cleaning tips: Check the labels of your pillows for washing instructions. Most can be safely machine washed on cold. If you can’t wash your pillows, grab a heavy-duty anti-bacterial spray and spritz them down. Let them dry in the sun for an extra power punch of clean.
7. Mattress (10 points):
Now that you’ve addressed your pillows, let’s look at your mattress. The same principles apply; those cloth fitted sheets aren’t doing a lot of protection from body oils and dust mites.
Fun fact: at night, a person can sweat nearly one half of a pint of fluid as they sleep. While you can’t throw your mattress in the washing machine, you can refresh it.
Cleaning tips: Mattresses have an aversion to a lot of water, so drenching it with cleaning solution frequently isn’t a good idea. So, solve this problem you can use a simple household cleaning hacks. You can spot treat some areas, being careful to keep a fan on the mattress until it is completely dry. Use an antibacterial spray and allow it to dry before putting the sheets back on completely.
Vacuuming will remove dust from the embroidered designs of your mattress, and you can do this safely as often as you like. For odor fighting power, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress before vacuuming it. Don’t forget to flip your mattress a few times a year to make sure it is getting evenly worn.
8. Doorknobs and light switches (3 points)
Think of all the germs that jump from your hands to your doorknobs and light switches. This is a common source of germs, but luckily it is easily remedied.
Cleaning tips: Use a moistened antibacterial wipe or a cleaning solution to wipe down knobs, switches, or even remote controls.
9. Fan blades (10 points)
That furry presence on your fan blades aren’t a new pet; it is the buildup of accumulated dust. Your fan blades will build up dust, even if they are constantly running.
Cleaning tips: Swiffer makes a product that will make quick work of fuzzy fan blades. You can also take an old pillowcase and place it over the blades, closing it as you wipe backward to catch all the dust as you wipe. A wet cloth is another great way to keep the dust from flying as you wipe the blades off. Don’t forget to wipe off the light fixtures while you’re up there.
10. Microwave (5 points)
Microwaves are fast, convenient, and frequently a mess of caked on spills and stains. The best way to avoid microwave messes is to place a wet paper towel or a cover over your dishes and plates, or a paper towel under them. This one is pretty obvious although it is frequently overlooked, earning it a spot on our list of the eleven things we forget to clean.
Cleaning tips: Luckily, the turnstile glass of your microwave is dishwasher safe. For the rest of the microwave, they make commercial cleaners that evaporate inside the microwave, making it a snap to wipe them out after use. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, take a bowl of water, vinegar and lemon juice and microwave it for at least three minutes, or until it boils.
Carefully take the bowl out, then wipe down with a clean, dry towel. Your microwave is now ready for the next onslaught of spaghetti sauce.
11. Dishwasher and washing machine (10 points)
What about the machines that do your cleaning for you? If you have a newer model large appliance, they are usually equipped with a self-cleaning feature. Make sure to use it at least once a month. If not, read on for some large appliance cleaning hacks.
Cleaning tips: For washing machines and dishwashers, you can add vinegar and baking soda directly to the detergent compartment or the bottom of the appliance. Turn the machine to the hottest and largest load settings, let it run, then let it run one more time with hot water only. Don’t forget to wipe down the rubber gaskets and the inner lip of the washer, too.
What was your final score? A score of 90 or above means you’ve got this cleaning thing down to a science and have achieved cleaning immortality! A score of 50 or below means that you, along with the rest of us mere cleaning mortals, needed this reminder about the eleven things most of us forget to clean.