Keeping our homes clean is no small feat and as adults, we all have to do it. Some may love to clean and call it their therapy, while others may do the bare minimum to just get by. With most of us staying at home more due to COVID-19, there have probably been items you have been wanting to add to your cleaning list and think now might be a good time. Or on the other hand, your life had been so crazy pre-COVID, where there may be items you look at and think, that has never been cleaned, so maybe it is time.
No one ever wants to add more to their cleaning list, but there are some items you should definitely consider adding, especially now that everyone is doing a little more to make sure their daily space is clean. As your family is home more and starting to participate more in socially distanced activities, there is going to be a little more bacteria to grow or continue to grow in places we don’t want it to live. Here is a list of 15 items to consider adding to your cleaning list and once you see our list you’ll question whether those items have ever been touched.
Add These 15 Items To Your Cleaning List
1. Oven Vent: Talk about out of sight out of mind. These vents are not always in your line of sight so easily forgotten about as they are tucked under the hood of your oven. You can’t always see it, but these vents are full of grease and sometimes a black messy film from cooking splatter. A good way to clean these filters is to start by carefully removing them if possible. Once they are removed, you can soak them in warm water and a grease-fighting soap bath or use baking soda and warm water for a more natural cleaning solution. Make sure to grab a good cleaning brush to get into all the grates. Depending on how long it has been since its last clean, you might need to put a little elbow grease into it and, of course, ensure that elbow grease doesn’t spill over onto the vent.
2. Small Kitchen Appliances: Some of the small kitchen appliances could include the toaster or toaster oven, blender and food processor, coffee pot, and any other small gadget you might find on your counter or tucked away in a cabinet. Your daily cleaning list might already include a swift wipe after each use, however, sometimes the base of these appliances and outer hardware never get wiped down. Get some sudsy water and wipe away. Don’t forget to get under and behind the appliances as we all know there could be extra splatter and crumbs just waiting to be eaten by uninvited household guests.
3. Refrigerator and Freezer: Believe it or not, even though coldness is a great way to keep bacteria from spreading there are still a lot of germs that can live in your refrigerator. The packaging from the grocery store, fresh produce, and meats just breed on germs. It is also helpful to ensure your refrigerator and freezer are kept at the correct temperature to prevent mold growth and spoilage bacteria. Ensure all raw meats are properly packaged and sealed tightly to prevent raw juices from potentially contaminating other foods. Gosh is there anything else to think about for the cold box?
There is a lot to think about to keep a fridge safe. Not to say all of this isn’t already happening in most households, but it does help us to remember that our freezer and refrigerator are not free from dirt and germs. It is a great habit to go through your refrigerator weekly and throw out old food, clean out containers and wipe out the inside. Make sure to get into all the drawers by clearing them out and starting fresh for the week.
Read More: Mastering Kitchen Clutter
4. Reusable Grocery Bags: When you stop to think of all the places these bags have sat and been carried you might wonder how many collective germs might be sitting in the fabric. These bags are a great way to save our planet from extra plastic and paper when going to the grocery store, however, they aren’t the best at keeping germs from our floors and countertops. Make this part of your weekly laundry cleaning list and add them in on a warm wash. The great thing is that most of these bags can also be dried so throw them in on low heat and they are ready to use again the next time you are running to the store.
5. Pillows: These are often forgotten to be added to the cleaning list. Pillows could be any pillows in your house whether that is decorative, throw, or ones you lay your head on each night. Think about all the sweat, skin cells, and potentially saliva that gets into the fabrics of your pillows. Yes, all of our pillows have this, yours is not special. Pillows are often covered so those covers need a good clean as well. Check the tags on the pillows for cleaning advice and make sure you’re washing them on appropriate temps to ensure cleaning quality. Cleaning pillows is recommended at minimum twice a year so go ahead and add it to your spring and fall cleaning list.
6. Mattress: Most of us remember to wash our sheets on a weekly basis, but when did you stop to also clean your mattress? This may be on your spring cleaning list, but what about adding it more than that. If you are an avid mattress rotator or flipper every six months, go ahead and clean your mattress at the same time which makes it an easy way to remember it needs to get done. An easy mattress cleaning method is to sprinkle with baking soda and if you want, add in some essential oil for scent. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and vacuum away the unwanted residue. Voila! You now have a flipped and clean mattress.
Read more: Cleaning Without Chemicals
7. Shower Curtain and Liner: Remove the curtain and liner and toss it into your washing machine along with a couple of dirty towels. You can use detergent and also add in a bit of baking soda at the start of the cycle and if you can, add in vinegar during the rinse cycle for extra cleaning properties. It may feel like we are adding more laundry to your cleaning list, however, we are already doing laundry sometimes on a daily basis so what is the harm in adding the curtains in as well. Easy peasy!
8. Toothbrush Holder: These little containers could potentially house the most germs in your home. Depending on what type of holder you own it might not be very often that you peek inside. We all want a clean toothbrush so why not a clean a toothbrush holder too? On your next cleaning spree, add some hot water into the holder and swish it around to loosen up the grime. Next use a small pipe cleaner or something that can break up the dirt even more. Lastly, fill the holder with rubbing alcohol or antibacterial mouthwash and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and let that freshly cleaned holder breathe before inserting your toothbrush back in.
9. Shower Head: A dripping shower head can be a huge disappointment so make sure you are not only wiping the surface of the showerhead but actually cleaning the inside too. There are mineral deposits that can build up within the showerhead causing blockage and creating that slow, annoying dribble. The next time you clean your bathroom, start with the showerhead. Mix together equal parts white distilled vinegar and water and pour into a small bag. Immerse the showerhead into this bag and tightly secure the bag around the showerhead. Go deep clean the rest of your bathroom and any other items on your cleaning list. Come back in about an hour to remove the bag and your all set.
10. Computer Screen and Keyboard: It is safe to say we are all on our computers more so now than ever before with working from home and virtual learning. Cleaning your computer screen and keyboard is quick and easy. If you can’t remember the last time that those items were cleaned then it is probably time. When cleaning your computer screen or other touch screen devices, make sure never to use liquids and always use a dry microfiber towel.
For keyboards, shake it out every once in a while, and wiping these down is also extremely important. There are small bacteria that can grow from all the germs on your hands unless of course you wash your hands before each use and touch nothing in between (which, let’s be honest is very unlikely). Baby wipes are a great option to use on your keyboard or you could use soap and water or even equal parts vinegar and water. All you need to do is dampen a cloth and wipe away!.
11. Desk: Another surface that probably is getting neglected as an area that is not cleaned on the regular is your desk. Because your desk may be in an office not close to any cleaning products or a room where things may not need to be cleaned often it probably gets missed on your cleaning list. Whether you are working from home or working in an office setting, wiping down your desk is a must. Desk surfaces are shown to be more than 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Grossed out yet? There are easy ways to keep these surfaces clean. Depending on the material of the desk, warm water and soap should do the trick. Once the dirt and any grime are wiped off, follow that by using an antibacterial wipe and let the desk dry on its own. Also, try to avoid eating at your desk. Cleaning your desk can go hand in hand with cleaning your keyboard and computer. Less than 5 minutes and you have clean healthy surfaces all around.
12. Cards In Your Wallet: How often do you swipe your Visa, AMEX, or MasterCard or lay it in the restaurant tray to pay a server or even hand it to a checkout clerk to swipe it for you. That is a lot of extra touches and surfaces that these cards go through. According to a 2012 study, one in ten bank cards contained fecal matter… YUCK! If that doesn’t entice you to wipe these down with disinfecting wipes, then we are not sure what will.
13. Washing Machine: Yes, it is true that the machine that cleans all those dirty clothes also needs a little scrub from time to time. Cleaning a washing machine depends on what type of washer you have. But regardless of how you clean, you can use bleach and warm water, or if you are looking for a more natural cleaner you can try white distilled vinegar. Some of the newer machines even have a cleaning button which either of the options above would help to clean out the drum. Depending on how much dirt comes out with your cleaning method of choice, you may need to get a wet rag and wipe out the inside to ensure that dirt isn’t going right back into your next load.
14. Vacuum: Bagless vacuum cleaners may not need a ton of cleaning but they still need to be cleaned even though there is no bag. The great part is that most pieces are plastic and can be washed with warm soapy water. The canister collects a lot of dirt and dust and the vacuum needs plenty of airflows to work properly. Filter changes will be slightly different per device so make sure to check out your manufacturer’s guide online to get specifics on filter replacements. These ladies do lots of work to keep our floors clean, so giving them nice spruce up everyone once in a while will help them last longer too.
15. Iron: This hot mama is often forgotten on the cleaning list unless it is spitting out debris onto your clothes, has a discolored bottom, or even potentially sticking to your clothes. In order to make sure your clothes continue to stay crisp and pressed, clean your iron before the mess starts. Cleaning an iron does not need to be difficult and there are many clever ways to safely clean this item without getting burned in the process.
It is safe to say that cleaning can be a full-time job on top of the many other roles you have going on right now. The easy solution is to try and do these things scattered throughout the year and not wait until spring or fall to do this all at once. Deep cleaning for a whole weekend can be pretty overwhelming. It might also be good to get the family involved if your kids are old enough for chores. These are easy items that can be added every couple of months or even as little as twice a year and those chores might just become their favorite! This list isn’t meant to add stress but rather awareness of areas we might be missing all too often. Now more than ever we want to make sure our homes and surfaces are clean so get out that cleaning list and start checking those boxes.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 21 Phenonimal House Cleaning Tips.
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