Dust bunnies hide in the darndest places. Twice a year pull out your refrigerator and stove and sweep them away along with all those icky crumbs. Wipe down the walls behind appliances and vacuum dust and cobwebs from the coils on the back of the fridge. Use an all-purpose cleaner to clean grease splatters and drips from the sides of the stove, cabinets and floor.
Books are big dust magnets. Remove dust from the edges of the pages using a soft bristle artist’s or makeup brush. Wipe down the cover with a microfiber rag or feather duster. You don’t need to do this every week – a monthly book dusting is more than sufficient.
The air you breathe needs to be cleaned too! Dust and dirt settling in your HVAC vents can stir up respiratory allergies and reduce your system’s efficiency, which will ultimately cost you more in energy bills. Change your filters every couple of months or purchase washable versions and rinse them at similar intervals.
Don’t forget your cleaning tools! Rags, buckets and mops should be cleaned after each use. Keep your rubber gloves on and hose off brooms, mop heads and brushes. Disinfect sponges and rags by popping them in the microwave for a few seconds to blast away bacteria. Clean your vacuum filter and removable parts. Regular cleaning and maintenance will extend its life and cut down on household allergens like dust, pet hair and dander.
Doors and Switch Plates
Take a peek at your doors, doorknobs and switch plates. They’re used and abused on a daily basis. It’s no wonder they’re considered some of the dirtiest surfaces in the home. On close inspection, you’ll probably notice a slight haze or discoloration around the edges of your doors and doorframes as well as on doorknobs and switch plates. Wipe them down with a grease-cutting cleaner and you’ll immediately see and feel the difference.
This is one area we typically only clean when we’re getting ready to move. As a result, the medicine cabinet is a repository for clutter and dust. Once every six months throw away expired toiletries. Properly dispose of old medication via community events to avoid contaminating the local landfill and water supply. Wipe down the inside of the cabinet with a damp cloth and reorganize your items.
Even when your ceiling fan is working to keep your room cool, the blades are busy collecting dust and dirt. If you don’t believe us, climb up on a step stool and check out the fan blades. The leading edges are coated with a nice layer of household grime and gunk. Attack the ick by wiping off your fan blades every few months with an electrostatic or lambswool duster.
Toothbrushes and Holder
Think about the amount of germs in your mouth. Think about the amount of germs in your mouth when you’re sick. Now think about how often you clean your toothbrush and toothbrush holder. That would be never, right? After every brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot tap water. Every week or so, soak it in a glass of hydrogen peroxide or nuke it in the microwave. Clean your toothbrush holder with an antibacterial cleanser every week or two. Rinse well after cleaning.
In hotel rooms, the dirtiest items are the remote control and telephone. They’re even nastier than the bathroom! The same applies to small electronics in your house. Remotes, tablets, keyboards, smart phones and headphones are germ cultivators. Clean these delicate and expensive toys frequently with products designed especially for electronics.
If we can’t see dirt, it’s not there, right? Not so fast! What about the tops and fronts of your kitchen cabinets? Not only do they attract dust, they also become covered in a layer of film from cooking fumes and greasy hands. Wipe your cabinet doors and tops down with a household degreaser that won’t harm the finish. Once their clean, give them a monthly once over with an extendable duster.
If you’ve ever rented from a stickler of an owner, you’ve probably had to clean the baseboard on move-out. It’s not a fun chore. In fact it’s a back breaker. But it has to be done unless you want to forego your deposit or happen like the look of dirty gray base molding. A rag and warm water will remove the dirt. Keep them sparkling white by using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
Have you ever washed your bed pillows? Well, maybe you should. Pillows collect pollen, dirt, dead skin and dust mites. Clean them quarterly to keep them looking and smelling clean. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Alternatively, tumble them in the dryer or air them on the line outside for a quick freshen-up. If you don’t want to bother, simply replace your bed pillows at least twice a year.
Lampshades and Lightbulbs
Wondering why your lamp light is growing dim? It might be that layer of dust on the light bulb. Let the bulbs cool down and wipe them off with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget your lampshades either. Vacuum or spray with compressed air to remove clingy dust.
IMAGES AND SOURCES