Some things just never get cleaned. Either they’re in hard to reach places, places you can’t see, or they are hard to clean. Maybe they’re just such everyday objects that you don’t think about cleaning them at all. Whatever the reason, I bet there is more than one item on the list below that you haven’t cleaned in at least six months, and it’s probably pretty dirty by now!
Don’t be embarrassed! We all have places we forget about and neglect when cleaning. Print this list out now and get started on checking these items off as you clean and sanitize. Find out how to clean each item below, then put them into your cleaning schedule for this week.
13 Things You Haven’t Cleaned in 6 Months
1. The top of your refrigerator. No matter what you keep up there, from kitchen appliances to lunch boxes to hot dog buns, chances are that the top of your refrigerator hasn’t been cleaned and a long time!
- How to clean the top of the refrigerator.
- Learn how to keep the top of your refrigerator from getting dirty once it’s clean.
2. Under the bathroom sink (kitchen sink too). How much stuff is under there, and how old is it all? Probably pretty old. Read this now: How to clean and organize under a sink. It is especially helpful to have a clean, organized area underneath your sink in case an emergency ever arises, such as a broken pipe. A clutter-free cabinet will leave much less of a mess for you to clean up from water damage.
3. Your keyboard. Many of us type on them all day long, transferring germs from everything else we touch. The particles that accumulate under the keys can be pretty disgusting as well. See for yourself -just turn your keyboard upside down right now and watch everything that falls out. Don’t worry, though! You can get your keyboard up to par with the following tutorials:
4. Your mouse. Ever think about how many germs you pick up from touching things that get transferred to your mouse? Learn how to clean a computer mouse.
Since one of our most frequently asked questions is how to become a better housekeeper, it’s clear that many of us like little tips and tricks that give us the edge on cleaning our houses without spending a lot of time on them.
5. The outside of your trash can. Food splatters are only the beginning of what can cause bacteria to grow on the outside of a trash can. Keeping it clean will provide a much more pleasant smelling kitchen!
6. The inside of light fixture covers (lamps, wall lights, ceiling lights, etc.).
7. Your kids’ backpacks. Chances are that your kids’ backpacks haven’t been clean since the first day of school! Those backpacks have gone from place to place collecting dirt and germs for months. Depending on the material and construction of a backpack, the method of cleaning will be different. It will either have to be hand washed or machine washed, and this guide for how to wash a backpack explains how to do both.
8. Picture frames hanging on walls. They look great showing off your family and friends, but picture frames collect all the dust and particulates from the air inside our homes. Watch a video that shows how to clean picture frames (for you visual learners) or read how to clean a picture frame here.
9. The drawer under the oven/stove.
How to clean this often-forgotten storage space:
- Pull out the drawer completely.
- Remove all items from the drawer.
- Using your vacuum cleaner hose, vacuum out all food particles, crumbs, dust, etc.
- Spray inside of the drawer with anti-bacterial cleaner or vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a damp sponge.
- Leave the door open to air dry.
- Once dry, replace the contents of the drawer and close.
10. The tops of your bookcases.
How to clean the tops of tall bookcases:
- Find a step stool, small ladder, or sturdy chair to help you reach the top of the bookcase.
- Remove any plants, knickknacks, or other items that might be on top of the book shelf.
- Dust the top surface with a feather duster or dusting cloth.
- Spray the surface lightly with an appropriate furniture cleaner, then wipe clean with a cleaning cloth or dish towel.
- Replace all items.
11. The produce / crisper drawers in your refrigerator. It’s not difficult to learn how to clean refrigerator drawers, see for yourself.
12. Your purse or handbag. The amount of E. coli and other bacteria found on the surfaces of purses is astonishing! According to Nelson Labs in Wisconsin, 25% of all purses tested were carrying E. coli bacteria. If you’re ready to be disgusted, horrified, and mortified into cleaning your purse immediately, read this, this, and this. The main reason for the large amount of bacteria found on purses is because they are transferred from place to place and set on the floor often. Learn how to clean your purse, no matter what kind of fabric it is constructed from.
13. The steering wheel, gear shift, and radio surface in your car. This video shows you how to do it all.
Originally published January 29, 2009. Photo courtesy of Tony Crider.