Deep in the heart of your home, past the freshly mopped floors and beyond the gleaming countertops, lies overlooked areas in home cleaning—the forgotten frontiers of our cleaning routines. These neglected nooks and crannies can harbor a surprising amount of dust, grime, and germs; and while they might escape our notice during regular tidying sessions, their impact on the cleanliness and health of our living spaces cannot be ignored. Here we’ll explore these areas and provide strategies to ensure they get the attention they deserve.
- The Unseen Corners of Cleanliness
- Integrating Into Your Routine
- The Benefits of a Truly Clean Home
The Unseen Corners of Cleanliness
Cleaning is often a well-intentioned endeavor fraught with oversights. It’s not just about the dirt you can see; it’s also about the dust you can’t. Paying attention to the following oft-forgotten areas can make a substantial difference in your home’s overall hygiene.
1. Baseboards and Crown Mouldings
Tucked against walls and often camouflaged, baseboards and crown moldings gather dust that can go unnoticed. Baseboards in particular, being close to the floor, also accumulate more grime and are subject to scuff marks and other debris.
Cleaning Tip: Wipe down baseboards and crown moldings using a damp cloth or a microfiber duster. For deeper cleans, use a gentle cleaning solution, and for more stubborn marks, a magic eraser can work wonders.
2. Door Frames and Tops of Doors
While we often clean doors themselves, the tops and frames rarely get the same treatment. They can accumulate impressive amounts of dust that can cascade down when doors are slammed or during vigorous cleaning elsewhere.
Cleaning Tip: Using a step ladder, regularly dust the tops of doors and frames with a microfiber cloth. For sticky residues or fingerprints, use an all-purpose cleaner and a sponge or cloth.
3. Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures
It’s easy to forget about what’s overhead, but ceiling fans and light fixtures are dust magnets. And when switched on, they can spread that dust around the room.
Cleaning Tip: For ceiling fans, use an extendable fan blade duster. For light fixtures, remove the fittings if possible and wash them in soapy water. Make sure to do this regularly to prevent dust buildup.
4. Behind and Underneath Furniture
The spaces behind sofas, under beds, or behind large appliances like refrigerators and stoves can often become dust bunny breeding grounds. It’s not just about appearances—this neglected dust can contribute to allergies and degrade indoor air quality.
Cleaning Tip: Move furniture periodically to sweep or vacuum behind and underneath. For appliances, ensure they are turned off before cleaning and take special care to clean the coils and vents behind refrigerators, which can improve their efficiency and longevity.
5. Window Tracks and Screens
We clean the glass to enjoy a clear view outside, but grime in the tracks and on the screens can prevent windows from sealing properly and affect their functionality.
Cleaning Tip: For window tracks, use a crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, then follow up with a damp cloth or sponge to remove residual grime. For screens, remove and gently rinse them with water, and scrub with a soft brush if needed.
6. Air Vents and Ducts
Air vents and ducts play a key role in maintaining air circulation in your home, but they are also prone to collecting dust and allergens.
Cleaning Tip: Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to clean the ducts, and remove vent covers to wash them with soapy water. Consider hiring professionals for a deep clean of the entire duct system every few years, especially if you have allergies.
7. Under Sinks and Inside Cabinets
The area underneath sinks, often hidden by cabinets, can become a hotspot for moisture and mildew due to leaks or spills. While we’re in and out of our cabinets daily, the inside often gets less attention during regular cleaning.
Cleaning Tip: Check under sinks for leaks regularly and wipe down the area to keep it dry. Clean the cabinet interiors with a mild cleaner and replace liners if used.
8. Garbage Cans and Recycling Bins
Yes, we use them to contain trash and recyclables, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be clean. Bacteria and unpleasant odors can linger if these bins aren’t washed regularly.
Cleaning Tip: Dispose of the contents and thoroughly wash and disinfect indoor and outdoor bins. Allowing them to air dry outside is also effective in reducing odor.
9. Washing Machine and Dryer
While they clean our clothes, washers, and dryers often collect moisture, lint, and detergent residue, providing an environment conducive to mold and mildew.
Cleaning Tip: Wipe down the inside of your washing machine, especially the rubber gasket on front-loaders, and leave the door open to air out after use. Clean the detergent dispensers, and run a cleaning cycle as per the manufacturer’s instructions. For dryers, clean the lint trap after each use and the exhaust hose periodically to prevent fire hazards.
Integrating Into Your Routine
Regularly incorporating these tasks into your cleaning schedule can keep even the most overlooked areas in check. Consider creating a checklist to ensure each area gets attention on a rotating basis. Here’s how to seamlessly add these tasks to your routine:
- Zone Cleaning: Divide your house into zones and deep clean one zone per week, ensuring every area gets addressed monthly.
- Seasonal Reminders: Some tasks, like cleaning the coils behind your refrigerator, may only need to be done seasonally. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar.
- Team Effort: Make cleaning a family affair. Assign each member a task or area—many hands make light work!
- Hire Help: For areas that require specialized cleaning, such as vents and ducts, or if your schedule is too hectic, hiring professional cleaners once or twice a year can be a valuable investment.
The Benefits of a Truly Clean Home
When these forgotten areas are cleaned regularly, you’ll notice fewer allergens, less dust settling on surfaces, and generally fresher air. It’s not just aesthetically pleasing but also beneficial for your health.
A home is filled with overlooked areas for home cleanings, but with a bit of extra attention, you can conquer these uncharted territories, making the cleanliness of your home holistic and complete. Remember, a surface isn’t truly clean until every corner, both seen and unseen, is given due care. Are you ready to take on the challenge and give these forgotten frontiers the regular exploration they deserve?
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.