Your home may look incredible after you do a quick 20-minute tidy, but that doesn’t mean your house is truly clean everywhere. It’s easy to overlook certain items, appliances and areas of your home that you don’t frequently use. It’s hard enough to remember to clean your Keurig coffee maker or your washing machine, let alone your remote and that tricky gap between your oven and kitchen cabinets.
Hidden germs and grime may linger in some unexpected places. Here, I’ve listed nine spots in your home that you may have been neglecting and should make an effort to wipe down the next time you’re deep cleaning. (For more cleaning tips, check out how to clean your pillows the best way and how to clean a yoga mat.)
1. Microwave ceiling
Microwaves get lots of splatters, and while you may regularly clean the sides and the glass tray, you may be missing another important part — the ceiling.
Vera Peterson, the president of Molly Maid, said the best way to clean this tricky area is to add a quarter cup of vinegar to one cup of water and boil the solution in your microwave for three minutes. The walls of the oven’s interior will be coated with scalding hot, acidic humidity, which will allow you to easily scrub away the stuck-on food with a sponge.
2. Dryer vents
You may know that you need to empty the lint screen after every load of laundry you dry, but did you know that you also need to have your dryer’s vents thoroughly cleaned at least once a year? Scott Thomas, the director of systems at Dryer Vent Wizard, says that you need to take this extra step if you frequently use dryer sheets.
“Dryer sheets leave a waxy buildup on the lint screen and can lead to possible fires,” Thomas said.
The best way to clean the vents is with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush. Thomas recommends cleaning the vents every three to six months.
3. Television screen
So many people watch their television daily yet don’t consider that it needs to be part of their weekly dusting routine. Peterson recommends keeping your TV cleaning routine simple: just do a quick swipe with a duster or microfiber cloth over the vents, speakers and other crevices.
If the screen itself needs further cleaning, use a gentle cleaning solution that is labeled to be safe on electronic screens. Also, be careful of how much cleaning solution you use.
“Your television is an electronic [device], so it should never be oversaturated with any product,” Peterson said. “Always spray into your cloth, never directly on the device.”
4. Gap between your oven and cabinets or walls
Since it’s typically quite small, most people don’t realize that the gap between their oven and the cabinets or walls in their kitchen can attract a big mess. Because you’re cooking and meal prepping in this area, it can quickly accumulate crumbs, spills and splatters, which can lead to bad odors.
5. Ceiling fan blades
You only need to look up to see the dust and grime that can accumulate on the top of ceiling fan blades. There’s an easy fix, though.
Simply disconnect the power to the fan and position a ladder or step stool below. Slip a pillowcase over each blade one at a time, using the top portion to wipe the blade and the bottom to catch the debris. Then, use a lint-free cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner to remove residual grime and wipe down the base and light fixture.
Read more: Pay Close Attention to Your Ceiling Fan. It Might Just Save You Money
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6. Silverware tray
The kitchen is host to many surfaces that can collect some icky messes. Your silverware tray may seem like a surface that is sure to stay clean since you only put newly cleaned silverware in it after washing, however, that’s not really the case.
Peterson says many utensils aren’t totally clean after a dishwashing cycle, which in turn dirties the silverware tray.
The good news is that you only need to worry about this chore once per month. Just remove all your silverware from the tray and dump out the debris over your trashcan or sink. Using a mixture of two parts water to one part distilled vinegar, dampen a clean cloth and wipe out the container. If the tray is dishwasher safe, you can also just simply run it through a cycle.
7. Window screens
Dirt can easily transfer onto your glass from a soiled window screen, making your window itself dirty no matter how recently you’ve cleaned it.
“A clean windowpane’s worst enemy is a dirty screen,” Ken Fisk, the director of technical services at Window Genie, said.
You don’t have to do a lot to get a screen clean, though. Remove the screens, use a dry brush to get obvious dirt and grime off the screen, then simply rinse it with a hose. Let the screens dry by placing them on a towel in your yard, then return the screens to your windows.
8. Remote controls
A remote control is used so often in most homes that it doesn’t have a chance to accumulate dust. However, frequent usage is precisely why you will want to frequently clean it since remotes can accumulate germs from your hands. Try wiping it down with disinfecting wipes at least once per day or whenever you feel it needs it.
9. Sides of the refrigerator
The front and sides of your refrigerator need to be regularly cleaned. Germs on the outside of the fridge can easily get on hands that then touch the food that you eat.
To clean the exterior of a refrigerator just close the door and wipe down the outside of the refrigerator with a soapy cloth. If you have a stainless-steel appliance, remove fingerprints and grime with store-bought stainless-steel spray.
Peterson recommended a clever trick if you don’t have stainless steel spray: Apply baby oil to a microfiber cloth and wipe with the grain. And as an added bonus, baby oil costs virtually nothing compared to store-bought cleaner.
For more fridge cleaning tips, check out which foods you should throw out when deep cleaning your refrigerator, and how often you should be cleaning out your fridge.