Are You Cleaning These 4 Areas in Your Home?


We all have our housecleaning routine. Maybe it’s laundry on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday and bathrooms on Wednesday. Or maybe you spend all Saturday afternoon giving the entire house a deep clean.

That’s how you keep your home healthy and happy.

But what about the areas that aren’t so easy to reach? There could be germs hiding throughout your home if you forget to clean them.

That’s why we’ve outlined some of the most commonly neglected areas in your home — and tips on how you can fix it.

1. Behind and Beneath Furniture

This may sound familiar: Every time you clean the house, you tell yourself not to forget to vacuum behind the furniture. But after vacuuming all the rooms in the house, finishing the laundry and doing the dishes, who has the time?

It’s easy to avoid vacuuming behind and beneath the furniture — those are the areas no one can see, after all. But allowing debris to pile up in these spots could cause dust mites and worsen allergies. And just imagine if you had a mice problem!

Cleaning tip: Rearrange the furniture in each room every few months, if possible. This will allow other areas of the carpet to experience more traffic, as well as spread out areas of the carpet hidden by furniture.

When moving heavy furniture, use sliders. If you don’t have any, an old blanket can make the job easier. If you don’t need props, be sure to bend at the knees to avoid back strain.

Make it a habit to deep clean your carpet every year. If you can’t do it yourself, regular professional carpet cleaning can do the trick.

2. Ceilings

Ceilings don’t get any foot traffic or greasy fingerprints, but they are subject to dust and cobwebs — especially in corners. Ceiling fans are magnets for collecting dust and floating debris as well.

In the bathroom and kitchen, water droplets — often in the form of condensation — can also cause germs to spread on the ceilings.

Cleaning tip: Use an extension on your vacuum cleaner to suck up any dirt, cobwebs, dust and other particles. If you have high ceilings, use a step ladder.

In rooms where the ceiling gets wet, wipe it with a mixture of distilled white vinegar diluted with water. Bleach can fade the color of the paint and, in the case of white ceilings, cause the paint to wear down and disintegrate.

For ceiling fan, use an old pillowcase and turn it inside out when you’re done wiping the blade to keep the dust from flying everywhere. Shake the dust out outside so you don’t track any inside other areas of your home.

3. Behind the Toilet

Scrubbing the inside of your toilet is likely a part of your routine bathroom cleaning, but when was the last time you got down and cleaned behind the toilet?

Unsurprisingly, the area is prone to germs, dust and mold. And when you flush the toilet while the seat is up, that increases the spread of germs drastically — and these germs last for hours post-flush.

Cleaning tip: Make behind the toilet just as important as inside the toilet. If the idea of getting on your hands and knees and wiping the area is too unappealing, use a mop. Keep the area dry to prevent the growth of mold. You can also hire a professional housecleaning service.

Encourage your family to make it a habit to flush with the toilet seat down to avoid the spread of even more germs.

4. Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen contains the most germs out of any room in your home, even more than your bathroom. And your kitchen cabinets are partly to blame.

Over time, kitchen cabinets collect grease, food particles, dust, dirt and moisture. Wood cabinets in particular become a breeding ground for germs to grow and spread. And this isn’t just on the outside — this is true for the interior of your cabinets and drawers, too.

Plus, cabinet handles and knobs harbor germs spread by hand. If one person in your home is sick, you can bet their germs will make it to at least one of these surfaces in the kitchen.

Cleaning tip: Just because the germs seem to be everywhere doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. To clean the exterior surfaces and hardware of your cabinets, wipe or spray them with disinfectant multiple times a day.

Empty cabinets on a rotating basis to get the inside clean. Brush out any crumbs, disinfect all surfaces and put clean dishes or food items inside.

Get more simple cleaning tips to keep your home fresh >