We each clean our homes a little differently. Everyone has their own routine. Some people clean the kitchen from one end to the other, some focus on the surfaces they use. Some keep the house spotless, some rock out on weekend cleaning jags often enough to keep the dust-bunnies at bay. But whether you’re a methodical cleaner or just hit it hard sometimes – we all miss a few invisible details. These are things that are so common that we never think to clean them.
We tend to focus on surfaces and items – but the infrastructure gets dirty, too. If your home feels grimy despite clean surfaces or if your home is full of an unreasonable amount of dust, the answer is probably those things you never imagined cleaning.
1. Air Vent Registers
Where do you think dust in the air comes from? It comes from everything but it definitely gathers on the air vents. Every breath of air that blows through your house is processed through the AC, the ducts, and then exits into each room through the vents. If your vents aren’t clean, your air can’t be clean. This is a once-a-year kind of task that you will fully appreciate when you make that first wipe with the cleaner-coated cloth over a vent register. The layer of dust you remove will be a layer of dust you won’t be breathing.
2. Light Switches and Power Outlets
We touch our light switches dozens of times a day, hundreds of times a week, thousands of times a year. Power outlets, too, see a lot of touching but not a lot of cleaning. Give each a wipe – even a scrub. You might even discover that your outlets aren’t really beige – they’re off-white with a lot of dust.
3. Shelves and Cabinets
How many times have you washed your dishes and put them in the cabinet? How many times have you washed the shelves in that cabinet? This alone highlights how rarely we clean our built-in storage in the house – and how much we should be cleaning those shelves.
4. Walls and Trim
Walls build up grime as well. It may be invisible, it may be part of the home structure, but the same grime that builds up on your desks or counters also builds up on the walls. If you smoke or vape in the house, that’s more that clings and stays to the walls. If you have pets, every time you have a shower or cook, you aerate more particles into the air that settle onto the wall.
So grab a mop or your best wet Swiffer and take to the walls. Use a sponge, otherwise. Find out what colour your paint used to be.
5. Light Fixtures
Light fixtures are the single dustiest part of any house. They sit up there near the top of the room. As heat rises, so does the dust that then settles onto the fixture. We never move light fixtures, go out of our way not to touch them, and otherwise never think of them as anything but sources of decorative illumination. But there is dust hiding and it’s our job to – at least once a year – bring it down with a long duster of a ladder and rag.
6. Door Handles and Appliance Handles
Another surface-set we touch far more often than we clean is handles. Door handles, the fridge handle, faucet handles, microwave and oven handles – we touch these things every day. We do not wash them every day. Consider the number, layers of fingerprints and palm impressions we leave on the household handles. And spare a few seconds each week to wipe down your most-used handles.
7. Staircase and Deck Railings
The same goes for railings. Anything your fingers brush or you grab for support on a normal day in the house. Look for railings, table edges, couch backs – the places where we thoughtlessly run our hands. These surfaces also tend to be duller and worn, darkened by years of extra grit and oil.
8. Bath Mats
Bath mats catch a lot more than shower splashes, and we don’t tend to vacuum them when other carpets and rugs are cleaned. Bath mats take special effort to get fully free of grit and moisture, and you should do this at least twice a month.
9. Storage Baskets
We clean our items, but often forget to clean the storage containers. Like shelves, the baskets and boxes you use never get cleaned. But a quick application of a cleaner and cloth is all it takes.
10. Pillows and Comforters
We also forget about the more permanent aspects of bedding. We wash pillow cases, but pillows should also be washed occasionally. As should your comforter, or the duvet inside the washable duvet cover.
11. Irons, Vacuums, and other Cleaning Implements
Last but not least – remember to clean your cleaning implements. Scrub your sponges. Wipe down your iron. Empty and polish your vacuum – then let it fully dry before using it again. If you have mops and brooms, clean them with the same attention you clean your kitchen counter. If your cleaning implements aren’t clean, how can they clean the rest of the house?
Not everyone has the time or the breadth of cleaning knowledge to keep the whole house spotless, from floorboards to light fixtures. The good news is that there are professionals who can take care of it for you. Just as you’d hire an HVAC specialist to clean your ducts, a professional cleaning service can take care of those areas you’d never think to clean – and many have never learned the best practices for cleaning these unnoticed things before. To save time and rely on experts to keep your home spotless, contact us today.