How to Clean the Hard-to-Reach Areas in Your Home
...and maybe clean them with the right stuff, too?
Published Mar 7, 2016 5:00 AM
1. Doors & Door Frames
The handles aren’t the only thing that need cleaned. Take a good look at your doors and you’ll see what we mean. Scuffs, fingerprints, and dirt along the threshold; is this really the first thing you want guests to see? Wipe down with a wet cloth and an all-purpose cleaner, and you’ll feel the difference.
2. Tops of Lightbulbs/Lampshades
Is it a bit dim in here, or is it just us? Lightbulbs and lampshades are dust collectors, and we don’t often think to clean them. Make sure your lightbulbs are cool, and wipe them with a lint-free cloth. For your lampshades, make a habit of brushing them with your vacuum brush.
3. Behind & Under the Fridge (and other kitchen appliances)
Yikes! You’re probably going to find some unpleasant surprises back there. Vacuum any obvious messes, then focus on dusting the coils (it’ll increase operating efficiency). Finally, wipe down the walls with a lint-free cloth, water, and an all-purpose cleaner, and scrub the floors.
4. Books Sitting on Bookshelves
This one can be a bit time consuming depending upon your collection. We’d first recommend sorting & donating any books that you no longer want. Then, depending on the tools you have in your cleaning cupboard, either dust (with a dust pad or extendable duster) or vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
5. Air Vents
Dust settled in your air vents reduces efficiency, costs you extra money, and can irritate your allergies. Turn off the system and vacuum brush the grilles or use an extendable duster. Bonus: Remove the duct covers, scrub them in your sink, and allow them to soak for an optimal clean.
6. Medicine Cabinets
Our medicine cabinets are prone to collecting clutter. Start by tossing any expired toiletries and medication (and any other products you haven’t used in the last two months), and completely empty the cabinet. Wipe it down with a safe, effective bathroom cleaner and reorganize.
7. Light Switch Plates
If your white light switch plates are looking taupe, it’s time to clean up. Rumor has it that these are the dirtiest spots in your home. Grab your all-purpose cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Spray onto the cloth and wipe over the plates, focusing on the switch.
8. Tops of Tall Cabinets
Those cobwebs in the corner won’t clear themselves. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to go over walls and baseboards. For hard to reach areas, we recommend an extendable duster. Finish off by scrubbing your baseboards with a sponge and warm water.
Seriously, when was the last time you washed your pillows? Pillows absorb dust, allergens, and dead skin, so you should regularly (~3x a year) give them a wash. First, treat any stains with an upholstery cleaner. Then, check your tags to make sure you can toss them in the wash, and follow the care instructions on the tag. Easy.
11. Cleaning Tools
Yes, your brooms, dusters, dustpans, and sponges need to be cleaned too! Cleaning tools can harbor some grimy debris. Regular maintenance can take care of most problems. Don a pair of gloves to remove debris from brooms, mops, vacuum attachments and brushes, and soak them in hot water. Regularly launder cleaning cloths, microwave sponges to kill bacteria, empty your vacuum canister, and shake out your dusters (outside of course).