It may sound extreme but when you really think about it, everything in your home needs to be cleaned. In fact, house cleaning goes way beyond the basics of dusting furniture and keeping your floors clean; this is why spring cleaning your home is absolutely necessary. Even so, different cleaning tasks that are done daily, weekly, monthly, and annually, often leave out some crucial things that the average homeowner forgets about.
As we mentioned, everything in the house needs cleaning yet a couple of them are overlooked far too often. This means there are things in your house that are not just dirtier than ever, but carry bacteria too. Well, it’s time to put them on your priority list of things to clean and promise not to neglect them from here on out!
So, with that, here are seven things in your home that you probably forget to clean and why you should be cleaning them more often.
Considering the fact that your walls are an integral part of your home’s foundation, it’s surprising that most people don’t think to clean them! Particularly during a virus outbreak such as COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting your home (including the walls) is very important. This is because household surfaces carry dust and bacteria, both of which cause allergies and potential viruses respectively.
How to clean home interior walls: The first thing you need to do is remove dust and dirt. This can be done by wiping the walls with a dust cloth, vacuuming with an appropriate attachment, or sweeping with an electrostatic broom to pick up dust without unsettling it. For stains, use a mild soapy solution and a soft towel to gently rub them away. Avoid saturating the wall, scrubbing too hard, or using a strong cleaning solution as the wall paint may get damaged if you are not careful enough. If you plan on disinfecting your interior walls, use a reliable disinfectant, preferably an EPA-approved one, and a clean cloth to wipe down each wall from top to bottom.
It’s one of the nastiest things to clean in your home but it is also a very important cleaning task to include in your monthly cleaning routine. For obvious reasons, the trash can is crawling with bacteria and eventually develops a foul odour. The presence of a highly unsanitary dustbin in your home can cause illnesses considering that the location of the bin is usually the kitchen, otherwise known as the place where all the food is!
How to clean the dustbin: Use a trash bag to empty out any remnants in the bin. A good tip at this point is to keep the bin outside in direct sunlight for at least an hour or two in order to kill bacteria and neutralise the smell (to some extent). Next, wash the trash can inside and outside using dish soap, warm water, and a non-abrasive scrubber to avoid scratching the surface. Rinse out the dustbin and check for any missed spots and/or lingering odour. Depending on the smell of the bin and/or stains present, it might require a second scrubbing after the first rinse. Leave it outside to air dry before putting in a new trash bag.
TIP: Use gloves and a face mask when cleaning a trash can.
Consider how many windows your house has and when you last cleaned the sills. Perhaps, you’ve wiped down the inner ledge of your windows but what about the exteriors? Windowsills are prone to dust and debris, as well as pollen which, on a breezy day when the windows are open, will get blown into the house. We all know that both dust and pollen cause allergies and can be very troublesome for asthmatics; therefore, it is important to clean your windowsills every other week or as and when you notice the buildup of dust and debris.
How to clean windowsills: It is advisable to use a damp cloth when cleaning windowsills to prevent unsettling dust. If there are stains caused by prolonged dirt exposure or bird/insect droppings, use an old toothbrush and disinfectant to clean the surface. To remove stubborn stains left by bird/insect faeces, clean with an enzymatic cleaner.
Imagine the amount of sweat and dirt that has been absorbed by your upholstered furniture; it’s actually rather nasty to think that we continue to sit on chairs and couches that haven’t been cleaned in ages. Moreover, leaving upholstery dirty for too long can cause discolouration and stains to become permanent.
How to clean upholstery: First, you need to vacuum the upholstery thoroughly to remove dirt and dust. This is important because otherwise the dirt will get smeared around when you attempt to clean it with a damp cloth and a cleaning solution. Minimal scrubbing with water and laundry detergent is required to tackle light stains and freshen up the upholstery. Finish off by wiping over the upholstery with a damp cloth until the cleaner has been removed. Avoid saturating the material or using a strong cleaning solution.
According to studies conducted on showerheads, the presence of mycobacteria was found in fairly high amounts. This means that every time you turn your shower on, it spews bacteria at you; not exactly something you want to happen when you’re trying to clean yourself! More importantly, the health risks relating to inhalation of mycobacteria are worrying. From mild respiratory problems to infection of the lungs, the showerhead needs to be cleaned and disinfected routinely to prevent it from causing any such health problem.
How to clean the showerhead: One way to do this is by wiping down the showerhead with a disinfectant and a scrubber. Although this is enough when done on a monthly basis at least, it helps to soak the showerhead in vinegar to kill bacteria. The added bonus here is that if you add some baking powder to the vinegar, it will also unclog the showerhead by eating at mineral deposits lodged in the nozzles.
NOTE: After cleaning the showerhead, allow the shower to run for a few seconds to rinse off the cleaner before using it.
Behind the Furniture
This is something most people include in their spring cleaning routine, however, it is definitely something that needs to be done more often. Dust bunnies don’t wait an entire year to form; if you look behind some upright cabinets every couple of months, you’ll certainly find some hiding back there. What’s worse, in a damp and humid climate, mould can grow behind your furniture and start affecting your health without you even knowing it.
How to clean behind furniture: It’s as simple as it sounds; you will need to move furniture around and make space to pull pieces away from the wall so that you can get behind them and clean efficiently. If some spaces are too tight for you to vacuum back there, use a duster to remove dust and cobwebs. For a thorough clean, follow this up with another wipe down using a clean, damp cloth.
Ever notice how slimy the bottom of your toothbrush cup holder gets? Even a wall-fitted holder to hang up your toothbrush gets rather icky and discoloured over time. What’s worse, these holders also harbour germs because they accumulate water or are exposed to dampness and yet rarely disinfected. Obviously, this is not a hygienic place to keep your toothbrush unless it is cleaned frequently.
How to clean a toothbrush holder: Rinse off the holder with water to get rid of the slime-buildup. Pour mouthwash over a sponge (soak it completely) and use it to clean and disinfect your toothbrush holder. Finish off by rinsing it out and wipe dry with a clean towel.
We all have schedules that keep us busy in our day-to-day lives but a friendly reminder to prioritise home cleaning and all the things you may be forgetting to clean can be a real blessing! This is particularly important when the lack of cleanliness related to these things can cause health issues. So, whenever you think you’re forgetting something important to clean, consider this article to be your friendly reminder!