It’s easy to see the obvious dirty spots in a home like spilt food on kitchen counters, soap marks in the shower, or a pile of dirty laundry. But there are just as many that fly under the radar. As spring is around the corner why not take this as an opportunity to do a deep clean?
Just about everyone touches remotes, whether they’re for the TV or the lights. To clean them, start by removing the batteries and replace the cover. Then, dampen a cloth with a cleaning agent and go over the entire remote, paying special attention to the spaces between the buttons.
If there are any pesky crumbs stuck in-between buttons, use a toothpick to gently dislodge them. Finally, dry the remote with a lint-free cloth and replace the batteries.
The grooves behind the radiator accumulate tightly packed dust and dirt that is then spewed back into the air when the radiator is on. Did you know that cleaning behind the radiator can actually keep your heating costs down? That’s because the dust squeezed between the vents can prevent heat from escaping, which means your heaters need to do double duty to keep the indoors warm.
- Kitchen sponge
Before you start your after-dinner dish duty, pause and take a good look at your good old sponge. According to the 2011 NSF International Household Germ Study, the kitchen is the dirtiest area in the entire home. A family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. coli was found in more than 75% of dish sponges and rags. A simple trick to know if a sponge needs cleaning or replacing is if it starts smelling—that’s proof that it’s containing bacteria. Cleaning it frequently is recommended, but it’s often better to just replace your sponges once every month.
Cleaning tip: Microwave the damp sponge for a minute (not the metallic ones). You can even soak it in a solution of one-quarter teaspoon of concentrated bleach per quarter of warm water.
- Stove knobs
Imagine how many times you’ve turned on and off those knobs on the stove while cooking dinner. It’s probably a lot. But how many times have you cleaned them while you’re scrubbing the rest of the stove?
Despite how often most of us shower, it’s not often that anyone takes a closer look at the showerhead. If you looked up more often, you’d probably notice that many of the holes aren’t actually shooting out water. That’s because, over time, the holes get clogged with mold, mineral deposits, and soap scum. So, the question is, why would you deny yourself a good, clean shower?
Cleaning tip: A shower foam cleaner, which specifically fights soap scum, limescale, and mold is a good option. If you can unscrew the head, soak it in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and hot water. If you can’t remove it, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and wrap it around the showerhead. Leave it on for a few hours and open the water.
- Toothbrush holder
Yes, there is a bacteria-loaded item in the bathroom, but it’s not your toilet seat: It’s your toothbrush holder. The NSF found it’s the third most germ-covered place in the home, so clean it once a week to make sure you’re not spreading that bacteria around.
The easiest way to tackle these is: Wipe any visible dust off with a dry cloth; give them a good scrub then rinse off the detergent. Zap any lingering bacteria with a sanitizing agent like Microban 24, which kills 99.9% of bacteria initially and keeps working throughout the day to kill bacteria for a full 24 hours.
- Inside the microwave
All it takes is one round of leftovers or a burnt bag of popcorn to turn a sparkling clean microwave into a grimy, smelly mess. A combination of splatters and smells can leave your microwave looking unusable.
Cleaning tip: you can prevent food explosions before they even happen with this handy $5 splatter gadget on Amazon. Not only does it help to protect your microwave from splatters, but it also keeps you from having to scrub away crusty food bits for the hundredth time.
- Utensil tray
This is a drawer that is in constant use and so will often catch crumbs and other residues from cooking. To clean, remove all cutlery and wash as normal, then remove the cutlery tray and wash this down (washing-up liquid and warm soapy water will be perfect here), and wipe down the interior of the drawer also. Dry everything and pop back in.
- Front doormat
Its primary purpose is to keep dirt out of your home. For your doormat to continue to work as it was intended to, you’ll have to keep it clean!
- Behind the refrigerator
Just remember the first step is to unplug the fridge and pull it away from the wall. A good wipe and vacuum of the cooling coils will do the trick.
So tell me which place are tackling first? For me it’s got to be the remote controls.