UGH! Sometimes I want to forget all the cleaning and cooking and just live in a hotel with room service. There are so many hidden areas in the house that need attention, but most of the time, I just hit the surface ones and call it a day. After reading an article from the cleaning expert at Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Carolyn Forte, I rethought some of the cleaning tasks and added these to the mix. Some of them aren’t rocket science and don’t take hours but will make your home cleaner, even if nobody notices. Maybe that’s why I hate to move the couch when I clean! Nobody ever comes to visit and moves it to see if there are any hidden monsters or prize jewels behind or underneath it.
Identifying Hidden Areas
Your Kitchen Sponges
Sure, it’s busy cleaning all day long for you, but what have you done for it lately. When you stop to think about it, the sponge probably sees and cleans more yuck and bacteria than anything else in your kitchen. You can put it in the silverware tray of your dishwasher or zap it in the microwave to kill germs (make sure the sponge is soaked with water). I always rinse my sponge thoroughly before doing that. Disinfecting it regularly with bleach also helps kills the nasty germs and mold. Use ¾ cup bleach to each gallon of water.
That Small Space Between Appliances
I remember when I bought the new refrigerator and some friends came over to help me move it in place. The minute we moved the old one, I was mortified to see ten years of dust and dirt big enough to almost grow plants. Thank heaven those flax seeds never fell in there, although, the poppy seeds might have added a nice touch. The article suggested a thin crevice attachment for the vacuum or a longer duster to get into that area.
Your Ecofriendly Reusable Grocery Sack
Those cloth sacks help the environment, but unless you are careful can be a harbinger for a germy invasion. It won’t take long to clean this one. I take mine outside, turn it inside out and shake it. Then it only requires a toss in the washer and dryer. Make sure you check the fabric to make sure it’s both washer and dryer safe.
The Bins and Shelves in Your Refrigerator
I am super lazy about doing these. However, there comes a point where I can’t stand to open the vegetable bin and worry whether something is going to crawl out and attack at night. We lose power frequently here. Sometimes, it seems, all it takes is a raindrop or bird landing on the pole. I clean my fridge after each outage, since I often throw away a lot of the stuff in it. Take out your drawers, dump any residue and put soapy water in them, scrub and rinse. Wipe off the shelves and your fridge will look like new.
Make Friends with Only Short People or Make Sure You Clean the Tops of Everything
There are more tops in your home than you suspect and all of them are dust and grime gatherers. Of course, you probably immediately think of the top of the fridge, but consider the top of the stove vent, that has hidden grime you don’t easily see on stainless steel, the top of light fixtures, molding, cabinets and windows all are dust collectors.
The Spot I Always Forget Until I Turn It On—the Ceiling Fan
We had friends over and I had a minor—oops I forgot the food in the oven—moment. The house was a bit smokey, but nothing the ceiling fan couldn’t handle. It turned it on and it rained dust bunnies for a few minutes. Don’t forget to clean the dust from the top of the blades periodically. You can get special dusters to make the job easier.
Clean that Remote and Your Cell Phone Too
YUCK! Take a look at your remote. I never noticed until I read this article. It’s filthy. The oil from all the hands that grabbed this little device hundreds of times has built up and collected guck. Come to think of it, my cell phone isn’t that clean and I put it next to my mouth. Alcohol or disinfect can clean the remote. You need to insure you’re using a cellphone appropriate cleaner when you do clean.
Your Trusty Broom
Every witch knows you have to clean your transportation once in a while, but did you know you have to clean your cleaning tool? Just like the washer, your broom needs some cleaning, but it doesn’t take a lot to do the job. Go outside and tap the bristles against a firm item to remove any loose residue or come into this century and use a vacuum with a hose to clean it. Fill a bucket with soapy water and swish the broom bristles around and allow it to dry.
Winter Staples, Hats, Mittens, Gloves and Scarves
If you live in the frozen North, these are must haves in the winter. Most of the time, you don’t think about them once you come inside the house. You take them off and put them away with your coat. But if the wind was blowing hard, you probably covered your mouth with that scarf and made it a breeding ground for germs. Dead skin collects inside mittens and gloves and so does bacteria. Make sure you wash them periodically and use leather cleaner for the leather gloves.
Get the Stink Out of Your Gym Bag
You probably immediately toss your gym clothes or your family’s gym clothes, in the washer when getting home. It’s time to consider what carried them and what probably now has the stink etched into the fabric, the lowly gym bag. If you can toss it in the washer, do so. Otherwise, wipe it out with a damp cloth, make sure it’s dry then sprinkle some freshening baking soda inside it. Close the bag, shake and let it sit overnight. Empty the baking soda and it’s ready for use. (Make sure it’s clear of residue if you’re transporting dark clothing.