7 Spaces in My Home That I Always Forget to Clean

published Jul 27, 2022
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My screen time has increased substantially thanks to TikTok. In my defense, my For You Page is a happy and positive zone filled with adorable videos of babies and dogs, hilarious pranks, and #cleantok. Being on the cleaning side of the app has done wonders for me and my home. Recently, I came across a new series about places around the home people often forget to clean.

Here are seven of those commonly forgotten areas to clean that I sure missed, and you may have overlooked too.

Light Switches and Door Knobs

Light switches and door knobs are probably touched and used the most each day, but are generally forgotten during my cleaning rounds. I don’t want to throw myself under the bus, but when I did go to clean them, I was shocked that I didn’t notice how dirty they were sooner. Assuming it’s not overly filthy, use a disinfectant wipe and all-purpose spray to clean them.

Trash Cans 

You add bags and sometimes bin liners, but when was the last time you cleaned the trash can itself? Trash cans tend to be a dark, warm, and moist environment — perfect for germs and bacteria to thrive. A 2007 study from the Global Hygiene Council found that on average there are 411 bacteria per square inch in a garbage bin. To put that into perspective, the average toilet seat had 295 bacteria per square inch. The TikTok account @lenacleansup suggests filling a bowl of warm water with detergent and scrubbing until clean. As an additional and optional step, spray with disinfectant after it’s clean and dry.

Laundry Basket 

The laundry basket is another easily forgotten area to clean. Just think about it, the dirtier your laundry, the dirtier your basket. Like the trash can, laundry hampers are typically left in a dark and moist area, like the back of the closet or tucked away in the bathroom, and hold your dirtiest attire (hello, sweaty gym clothes). If you use a fabric bag, toss it in the washer and run a hot water cycle with heavy-duty detergent. If you use a plastic one, clean and disinfect regularly.

Under (and inside) Appliances

Often, you only clean what you see. Your toaster may look clean, but what about the bottom of it? The bottom of your small appliances can be completely forgotten, especially when they stay in one spot. The water-tight rubber seal or gasket at the base of or inside your appliances, like your food processor or blender, may be great for safety when using, but it invites Salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold, according to NSF International. Be sure to regularly use an all-purpose cleaner or dish soap and water to scrub the bottom or inside of your appliances. 

Inside the Washer and Dryer 

Sometimes you forget to clean appliances that do the cleaning for you. In terms of your washing machine, Caroline Solomon of @neat.caroline suggests adding two cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser before running it on the hottest cycle. After that, add half a cup of baking soda and repeat the hot cycle. Lastly, clean the entire inside drum by spraying a vinegar solution (equal parts water and vinegar) and wiping it down with a microfiber cloth. Remove and wash the dispenser tray with warm soapy water and wipe down the bare cavity to prevent mildew and mold.

Shower Head 

Shower heads easily produce hard water buildup, which can potentially clog and plug holes and limit the flow. If you can visibly see that the head is dirty and/or the flow isn’t as good as it used to be, simply fill a Ziploc bag with vinegar and submerge the head in it. Leave it for up to eight hours and then turn on the hot water at full blast to clear it out.

Houseplants 

Just like other decorative pieces in your home, your indoor houseplants, whether real or fake, also need to be cleaned. For real plants, the dirt and debris can reduce the sunlight it absorbs and interfere with its ability to feed itself through photosynthesis. The TikTok account @indoorfriends suggests using a damp cloth and wiping down both sides of each leaf. Smaller and more manageable plants can also have a mini shower.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Places in My Home That I Always Forget to Clean — But TikTok Reminded Me About