You get to work and follow your usual routine of doing laundry, vacuuming, mopping, and bathroom scrubbing until the entire space is clean and neat. But is everything clean? Add these often missed spaces and appliances to your normal cleaning routine to ensure your home is squeaky clean all Summer long.
Reusable Grocery Bags
You'd be surprised how germy reusable grocery bags are. Reusable grocery bags are a responsible way to keep plastic out of landfills. But when was the last time you washed yours? It is particularly important to clean the bags used for produce, meats, and prepared foods after every trip to remove bacteria. Cross-contamination can also occur between cleaning products and food. Most bags can be machine-washed on the gentle cycle (remove the bottom insert and turn the bags inside-out). Air-dry them, and they'll be ready for your next shopping trip.
If you use the same box or bag to bring your lunch to work (or to send your kid to school with lunch), you probably clean it just about never — but you should actually clean it every single day.
Books are big dust magnets. Remove dust from the edges of the pages using a dry, soft makeup or artist's brush. Wipe down the covers with a microfiber rag or feather duster. You don’t need to do this every week—a monthly book dusting is more than sufficient.
When cleaning your bathroom, you can be quick to skip your toothbrush holder. Strap in for this icky fact: Did you know that your toothbrush holder is quite likely to be the germiest item in your entire bathroom? As a hot spot for germs, don’t overlook your toothbrush holder and be sure to give it a rinse or wipe it out with a damp cloth and soap. A weekly trip through the dishwasher will also solve the problem. If it’s not dishwasher safe, you can clean it by filling it with an antibacterial mouthwash and then scrubbing the sides with a small bristle brush.
Shower Curtain and Liner
Maybe you never think about them, or maybe you’ve been spending money needlessly to replace them, but your shower curtain and liner are totally washable. In most cases, you can toss them right in the washing machine (although you should make sure to wash any plastic ones on cold and skip the dryer).
If you notice a funky odor coming from your bathroom and kitchen sink drains, it's time to clean the P-trap. That's the curved portion of the pipe under the drain. With just a wrench and a bucket to catch the trapped water and mess, you can easily clean it out (or find the earring you just dropped down the sink). Flush the pipe with clean water (from another faucet) before reassembling. Run the water for 30 seconds and check the pipe for any leaks.
Air Filters and Vent Covers
The air you breathe should as be clean as possible, so don't forget to clean your vent covers. Dust and dirt settling in your HVAC vents can stir up respiratory allergies and reduce your vent system’s efficiency, which will ultimately cost you more in energy bills. Change your filters every couple of months or purchase washable versions and rinse them at similar intervals.
Dryer vents are prone to lint buildup, which keeps the dryer from working effectively and can actually be a fire hazard. Unplug the dryer and detach the vent by unscrewing the clamp that holds it to the dryer. Insert a clean toilet bowl brush into the vent pipe and dislodge excess dirt and lint. Vacuum and reattach the vent pipe.
This is one appliance you’d think would just stay clean — but the reality is that minerals in your water and grease, food bits, and detergent residue can build up over time which ends up leaving spots on the dishes and glasses it’s designed to clean...Give it some love!
To deep clean your dishwasher, start by taking out all the removable pieces and wiping them clean. From the dishwasher interior, extract any bits of food, remove the filter and scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush, wipe the walls with a wet sponge, and scrub the gunk off the rubber seal with a toothbrush. After you’re done, return the removable pieces to their proper places, dump a cup of baking soda into the empty dishwasher, and run it.
Vacuums, Mops, and Brooms
It’s hard to imagine your cleaning supplies need cleaning, but neglecting your cleaning supplies can result in germs spreading throughout your home. Shake out your dusters and run your cleaning cloths through the wash weekly. Wash or replace vacuum filters. Check hoses and rollers for blockages, and cut away tangled hair. Wash mop heads with hot water and a good detergent. Swish brooms in a bucket of hot, soapy water, rinse, and air-dry.