9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean

There's a good chance you're rolling your eyes right now. You have a hard enough time keeping your house clean as is without me telling you that you're forgetting to clean X-Y-Z. But these easily forgettable areas can be havens for germs and gunk. But the good news is that while all of the following nine areas are easy to forget, they're also easy to clean!

So the next time you're cleaning the house, take a few moments to wash, wipe down, or otherwise clean the following.

1. Under the Bed

Maybe it's a latent childhood fear of what lurks under our bed, but most people avoid this space of their house like the plague. Unfortunately, out-of-sight and out-of-mind doesn't mean this space is magically clean. It's a popular spot for dust and dust mites, and since you spend (hopefully) at least eight hours a day lying directly above it, this area deserves your attention. It's as simple as a good vacuum or sweep, and be sure to get the dust that collects around the bed posts.

2. Toothbrush Holder

For something that sits in our bathrooms and holds a brush that we put in our mouths at least twice a day, you'd think we'd clean toothbrush holders more. According to a 2011 study by NSF International, it's one of the germiest spots in the entire house. Keep your toothbrush holder clean with the help of antibacterial mouthwash — it's not just good for keeping your mouth clean!

3. Pillows

I don't mean to alarm you, but when was the last time you washed your pillows? If you're like many people, it's been a while, and pillows are a great hiding place for dust mites and general sleep filth. Every six months, give your pillows a good hot water wash in the washing machine and dry on low heat. Be sure to check the care instructions, and don't wash foam pillows.

4. Refrigerator

The fridge is something that often gets put on spring cleaning lists, and just moves from one to-do list to the next. It's also a job that always seems worse than it is, and is totally worth doing on a semi-regular basis. If you can keep your fridge tidy, you'll keep away gross germs, rotting food, mold, and generally make your life easier. Even a big fridge overhaul can be done in under 30 minutes, so no excuses! Just be sure to clean the coils in the back from time to time, since dusty build-up will make the appliance work harder, and drives up your energy bill.

5. Doorknobs

It makes sense when you think about it: hands are great carriers of germs, and you open doorknobs with your hands. At the same time, they are often overlooked when it's time to clean. Even though brass and copper doorknobs have natural antibacterial properties, they can still get coated with the oil from your hands, which can trap more bacteria and dirt. Give all of the knobs in your house a regular wipe-down with vinegar, and focus on the doors that get the most use, like the front, back, and bathroom doorknobs.

6. Light Switches

The same dirty hand principle applies to light switches, which are in no way anti-bacterial. They are frequently handled by clean and dirty hands alike, and are a fun place for bacteria to hang out. Every time you clean, give them a wipe with a cloth moistened with vinegar or antibacterial cleaner to keep germs from spreading.

7. House Plants

When plants grow outside, they get rained on and dusted by the wind regularly, keeping them clean. When green things live in your home and only get watered at the base, they tend to get dusty and dirty. In addition to this being unsightly and just kind of gross, it also impedes their ability to absorb sunlight and can encourage pests. Every couple of months or so, give your plants a cleaning, either with a damp sponge or with a full-blown shower. Mist them regularly to keep them perky and tidy. Before cleaning, be sure to consider what kind of plant you're dealing with so that you don't overwork or over-water.

8. Under Rugs

Even though that bit of floor is covered up with a piece of carpeting or rug, that doesn't mean that it's perfectly clean. Dirt and dust often gather at the edges, corners, and just underneath rugs. Keep your rugs and floors in good condition and keep your home clean by pulling up the rug when you clean from time to time. Don't forget to clean your rugs once or twice a year, too!

9. Handheld Electronics

We tend to use electronic devices without regard to how clean our hands are, and with touch screens things get extra grimy (and if you have kids, it's even worse). Keep your devices clean without damaging them by wiping them down with a solution of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is fast evaporating, so it keeps anything important from getting wet.

What things in your home do you sometimes forget to clean?

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Guest's picture

#2 is a good one. I have an electric toothbrush (Sonicare) and to keep it clean I immerse the business end in hydrogen peroxide between uses. That keeps it clean enough to share - although I don't. Rinse the brush head well between uses under hot water to keep from getting the peroxide all gunky with toothpaste residue.
Use one of those beer glasses with a heavy glass bottom that necks down small on the inside, put a couple of inches of peroxide in the bottom and stick the brush into the glass headfirst. The heavy bottom will help keep it from tipping over. You can even leave the charger on between brushings!

Guest's picture
I'm not a germaphobic

Great idea Tom . But more so CLEAN your tooth brush people, wash the whole brush with warm water and mild dish soap will work well or soak in the cup holder with a teaspoon of bleach and very warm water, , soak for a good fifteen mins. ,, especially the bristles, then wash well with mild dish soap . Just from the germs from your mouth is one of the filthiest parts of your body ...NOT to mention the spores that float around from flushing your toilet and those spores float on your toothbrush, they carry germs you wouldn't believe .. And IF your Sick (flu) or just a cold , your just not reinfecting yourself but your infecting your loved ones that puts their toothbrush in the same toothbrush holder.. Keep your toothbrush CLEAN people...! I told a doctor about cleaning the toothbrush when your sick, He said "OH MY GOD" your so rite.. I'll have to let my patients know about that... Gosh I never thought about the repercussions just from a dirty toothbrush... Thank You

Guest's picture

I clean all those things very regularly! lol

Guest's picture
Grace Nunez

Yes... I definitely forget to clean under the beds and sofas at home. The door knobs are also a good reminder. :) Sometimes you need to find a post on the internet that reminds you of cleaning these places! Here is a cool infographic that I found about this same matter : http://visual.ly/things-you-are-probably-forgetting-clean

Guest's picture

I don't actually use a pillow anymore (I realized I was always moving off of it in the middle of the night, so why bother?) so how would you go about cleaning the mattress?