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The 15 Most Overlooked Places to Clean in Your Home

Even if you clean your house on a regular basis, there are just some places that are all too easy to overlook. From the dishwasher to the fireplace, these hard-working areas need a thorough clean too, in order to prevent mildew, dust, mold, and other unpleasant substances from getting out of hand.

Over the years, our cleaning experts at Merry Maids® have written a few different guides on how to clean the tricky spots in your home. But in order to clean them properly, you’ll need to know where they are first! That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the top 15 most overlooked areas for house cleaning.

Here are the top 15 things people tend to forget to clean:

1. Dishwasher. It may leave your dishes sparkling, but your dishwasher isn’t self-cleaning. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your dishwasher, you may need to dedicate some time to scouring the filters and loosening up old food and grime. Just turn your dial to the hottest wash setting and add a strong cleaning agent, such as baking soda.

2. Outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture weathers the elements every day, and can easily become caked in dust and dirt over time. Our experts recommend hosing down outdoor furniture with water outside, then using dishwashing liquid and microfiber cloths to gently remove dirt. Learn more about how to clean outdoor furniture.

3. Lampshades. Lampshades are a magnet for dust and dirt. But because most people don’t think to clean them, all that accumulated dust may be affecting the quality of your light and air. Depending on your lampshade fabric, you may need to use very specific cleaning methods on these. Read our handy how-to for cleaning lampshades here!

4. Throw pillows. From pet stains to food stains, throw pillows attract a lot of unpleasant odors and bacteria over time. Make sure you throw the covers in the washer every other week or so, and if your decorative pillows are not machine-washable, try a gentle hand-cleaning process with special upholstery shampoo instead.

5. Garbage disposal. Garbage disposals take care of excess food waste in a pinch, but they can also be prone to mold, decay, and clogs. Give them some attention every week by turning on the hot water, pouring a solution of equal parts vinegar and baking soda down the drain, and running the disposal for at least 1 full minute.

6. Drip coffee maker. Mineral deposits and water stains aren’t the only things you have to worry about with your drip coffee maker: It can also be home to mold and mildew if it isn’t properly cleaned on a regular basis. To correct these problems, run a half-brew cycle with vinegar and water, following our coffee maker cleaning guide.

7. Curtains and upholstery. Did you know that your drapes and curtains need to be cleaned, too? Using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum, you can eliminate dust and lint while you vacuum the house. For deeper cleaning, hand wash them with a soap made for delicates.

8. Door knobs and handles. Our hands are always touching door knobs and handles, so it’s important to rub those down often! Give them a thorough wipe with damp microfiber cloths and all-purpose cleaner every now and again to keep them sparkling.

9. Toothbrush holder. That’s right – even your toothbrush holder needs to be cleaned! Home to all kinds of bacteria and debris, your holder and other bathroom accessories need regular cleaning. If your holder is dishwasher safe, just run it through a cycle on the top rack. Here’s how to clean a toothbrush holder without a dishwasher.

10. Light switches. Much like door knobs and handles, light switches have the tendency to collect bacteria from our hands. Make sure to spray your all-purpose cleaner onto a microfiber cloth first, taking care to avoid spraying the lighting hardware.

11. Fireplace. Fireplaces can make your space feel cozier, but they can also accumulate ash, dust, and soot, and make life very difficult for people with allergies. However, the way you clean your fireplace will vary depending on what type of hearth you have. Get the full scoop on how to clean a fireplace here.

12. Trash cans. Every once in a while, it’s important to disinfect the bottom and sides of your trash can, to prevent mold and other contaminants from growing there. In some cases, it may be easier to use an outdoor hose to loosen the debris, followed by disinfectant spray and a scrub with a clean toilet brush.

13. Cleaning supplies. Does cleaning your cleaning supplies sound like overkill? Maybe a little, but it’s still an important (and often missed) step in the cleaning process. From throwing out old sponges to disinfecting your toilet brushes, keeping your supplies clean will prevent the spread of dangerous germs.

14. Baseboards. Baseboards likely encircle your entire home, but you probably never think about them! For a deep clean, give them a thorough dusting with a dry microfiber cloth, and then scrub away grime with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Here are a few more tips on how to clean your baseboards.

15. Refrigerator drawers. The crisper in your refrigerator may look clean and transparent, but there could be any number of bacterial strains lurking in the corners. Because e. Coli often covers the surface of fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s important to wash out your refrigerator drawers often.

Need a Hand with All that Housework?

If you’re busy juggling other tasks and don’t have time to clean these overlooked areas, don’t panic: The Merry Maids team is here to help. We’ve got over 40 years of experience cleaning every corner of America’s homes, even the parts you’d never think to clean. Our time-tested methods will make light work of your next big cleaning project, and we’ll leave you with a home that feels as clean as it looks!

For more information on our cleaning services, call (888) 490-4227 today.