Keeping a neat and tidy house is no easy task, and you’ll inevitably overlook a few much-needed cleaning duties from time to time. Here are eight oft forgotten jobs that are worth the extra effort for a healthier, happier home.
When’s the last time you cleaned your furry friend’s bowls? Their favorite blanket? Their toys? Odds are, these items don’t make your regular to-do list, but the good news is that they’re easy to take care of.
Bowls and Hard Toys: Many pet bowls are dishwasher-safe, and you can place them in the top rack with your regular load of dishes. If you’re not sure, it’s best to wash them by hand with hot water and a drop of gentle dish soap. Hard dog toys can also be placed in the dishwasher or washed gently by hand.
Blankets and Soft Toys: Blankets can be cleaned in the washer and dryer, and believe it or not, so can squeaker toys. For a load of pet items, you can use natural, or “free” laundry detergent, but our favorite is several capfuls of white vinegar. This should be added during the rinse cycle for the best results.
Blankets and toys can be dried at a low setting, but if you can, it’s best to let toys air-dry naturally. You may have to squeeze water out of toys to get them totally dry, but once they are, they should be in perfect condition, squeakers and all.
The Crevices in Kitchen Appliances
Whether you’re dealing with a stove or a dishwasher, every kitchen appliance seems to come with its fair share of hard-to-reach places. Under burners, around and behind knobs and the underside of handles can collect lots of dirt and grime. To get at the tightest places, we recommend using a mixture of mild soap and water or baking soda and water on an old toothbrush. Scrub away and then wipe clean.
Trashcans bear the brunt of a lot of germs and general nastiness, and sometimes leaks go undetected. That’s why it’s important to keep your trashcans clean by giving them a good wipe-down on a regular basis. The best way to give them a thorough cleaning is to take them outside and fill them with water, dish soap and bleach. Let them soak, then spray them off with a high-powered hose and allow them to air-dry.
Doorknobs and Light Switches
Doorknobs and light switches are among the most frequently touched surfaces of most homes, but for some reason, they never seem to be on our radar when the cleaning supplies are out. A disinfectant wipe will easily take care of any dirt, germs or stickiness.
Looking for a way to give any room an instant facelift? Cleaning baseboards will make everything noticeably brighter. Run a fabric sheet along baseboards to remove any dust that’s collected or break out the vacuum and use the hose attachment. Depending on the last time you cleaned your baseboards, you may be able to get away with just dusting, but if dirt and dust have collected in crevices, you’ll need to follow up with a wipe-down. Dip a sponge in warm, soapy water and then scrub away any stuck-on grime or stains.
If you don’t use your ceiling fan daily, its blades are probably harboring a thick layer of dust. A duster with an extender will do the trick, or you can look into buying a special vacuum attachment at your local hardware store.
While your TV remotes may not look or feel grimy, they’re frequently used objects that are susceptible to bacteria accumulation. Remote controls can be cleaned just like light switches. Just grab a disinfectant wipe and go to town. And while you’re at it, you can check the batteries to make sure they’re still in good shape.
Under the Bed
Dust bunnies are notorious for gathering under furniture, and beds can collect the most of all due to their surface area. Whether you have hardwood floors or carpet, your vacuum hose can take care of any accumulated dust quickly and easily. With hardwood, it may also be worth it to follow up with a mop.
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