In my journey as a homemaker, I’ve looked at many systems of how to keep your house clean – there are lists, cards, binders, folders, envelopes, charts, boards — just about any organizational tool you can think of has been made into a system to help moms clean. We all know the basics, but sometimes we don’t know how to clean specific areas or we don’t even think about them. So here, in no particular order, is my list of 11 spaces and surfaces we often forget to clean.
- Light switches and door knobs – the first cleaning system that I found that told me which day to clean light switches and door knobs had me stumped. I couldn’t remember the last time I did clean those regularly. Yeah, when we’re sick, we do the doorknobs with Lysol, but cleaning them regularly to keep fingerprints off? Now there’s a good idea! It’s easy too – your favorite spray cleaner or hot, soapy water and a rag will do wonders for them. You’ll still have to disinfect regularly, but getting the grimy fingerprints off makes your room look so much better! Sometimes it’s the small cleaning details that make the biggest difference.
- Underneath the bathmat – I don’t know how often you clean the bathtub or how well you clean it, but I know I haven’t always been the best at keeping it sparkling. And the worst part is always underneath the bathmat – if you are awesome at taking the bathmat out when you clean the tub, do you remember to clean the bottom of the bathmat? Here’s an easy way to clean the bathmat – toss it in the washer with some bleach – and don’t forget to add the shower curtain (clear plastic kind not your decorative fabric one!) and the bath poofs.
- The dryer – Sometimes when we use an item to clean (or dry) other items, we don’t always remember that that item needs cleaning love too. Usually if we remember to do some of the cleaning tasks for the dryer, we’ll forget some of the others. Maybe it’s just me, but it happens here a lot! In the dryer, we need to clean the lint trap (with every load, but you knew that, right?), clean the area where the lint trap is housed (there are neat brushes with bend handles that do this beautifully) and I like to take a damp cloth and just wipe down the paddles and the drum inside the dryer. On the dryer, we need to clean the exterior, including the knobs and dials and buttons or whatever you dryer has on it. We also need to move the dryer to clean behind and under it – this is a big one! It’s a fire hazard to NOT have this clean, so make sure you do it. We also need to clean the hose that goes out from the dryer (again, fire hazard). I clean the hose, under and behind the dryer with the vacuum.
- Under, behind and on the back of the refrigerator – This is one I forget a lot, but it actually helps with the efficiency of your fridge and, in turn, lowers your electric bill. We recently talked about this in a mom’s group I attend, and some of the gals said that they use the vacuum and some use a broom to brush off the back of the fridge. That’s an easy one, but one we forget a lot.
- Knobs and pulls of cupboards and pantries – Again, this one is seemingly a no-brainer once you hear it, but we really do miss it. Sometimes you have to look at the cupboards from an angle before you see the grime on it, but once you clean the cupboards, you can totally tell a difference. This is like the light switches – your favorite spray cleaner or hot, soapy water on a rag will do the job. While you’re at it, clean the handles of the fridge and freezer too.
- Inside Cupboards – So you’re going along, washing all your awesome dishes and you put them… inside your cupboard that hasn’t been cleaned since you moved in. If you just moved in a couple of months ago, that’s no big deal, right? But if it’s been a year or so… might wanna clean that. Again, my favorite cleaning utensil is a spray cleaner or hot, soapy water and a rag.
- Banisters and chair rails – This may seem like an odd pair, but I stick them together because they’re at the same height – and that makes them easy to remember together in my book. Hot, soapy water or a spray cleaner and a rag will give you what looks like a whole new banister or chair rail, but is actually the same one you’ve had all this time…
- TV – We look at it all the time, but how often do we clean it? For this, how you clean it depends on what type of TV you have. I clean the back and sides with hot, soapy water and a rag (damp, not sopping and only when it’s off and unplugged). I have a flat screen TV and I use a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water and a microfiber cloth to clean the screen. It’s amazing how many finger prints can accumulate when you have a preschooler who is not allowed to touch the screen…
- Windowsills – Windowsills are overlooked so much, but now in the Christmas season they’re usually coming to their stride since people are putting up lights and whatnot. Grab your hot, soapy water or spray cleaner and a rag and get to work. And while you’re at it, sprinkle some lavender oil on the sill when you’re done to help keep spiders out!
- The underside of the table – just writing this makes me think of the Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. But here’s why it’s funny – if you have kids, this is where you really need to clean, and you’re probably not listening to Pink Floyd. Hot, soapy water it and you’re good.
- Doorframes – I’m sure my husband and brothers can’t be the only monkey men around who insist on holding up the doorframes when they’re just lounging around. They leave finger prints and people grease, which you don’t even notice until you wash it off with your hot soapy water!
Have you cleaned these recently? What are your hardest to remember cleaning spots?
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