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10 Household Cleaning Tasks You May Have Forgotten

April 05, 2023
Basket with brushes, rags, natural sponges and cleaning products and modern kitchen interior in the background

Even if you regularly clean your home, there are just some tasks that are easy to overlook. You won’t even notice how dirty something is in your house until you come face-to-face with it. You throw open your curtains and find yourself with a face full of dust. You come home after a weekend away and smell a funk. It’s important to tackle those commonly forgotten chores to prevent mildew, dust, mold, and anything else unpleasant from getting out of hand.

We’ve put together ten cleaning tasks you may have forgotten so you can add them to your spring cleaning checklist this year. Keep reading to learn some frequently missed areas and how to tackle them like a pro.

Woman kneeling in a kitchen disinfecting cabinet pulls

Sanitize and wipe down frequently touched items

Your hands come in constant contact with certain items in your home. Door knobs and handles. Light switches. Kitchen handles like the fridge, oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Handrails if your home has stairs. These items collect bacteria from our hands, which can spread throughout the entire house.

Kitchen handles are prone to food contamination from raw meat, risking a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Scrub appliance handles and cabinet knobs at least once a week with a cloth and disinfectant spray or a mix of one-part hot water and one-part vinegar.

Grimy hands touch light switches every single day. Clean the switch plate with a disinfectant spray or a damp cloth soaked in hot water and vinegar. Don’t spray any liquid solutions directly onto the light switch or socket. If the fluid enters into the device, you risk an electrical short circuit.

Dust anything overhead

Out of sight, out of mind comes into play when you’re dusting your home. Be sure to include overhead items in your dusting routine, such as ceiling fans, light fixtures, crown molding, and air return vents. These items accumulate dust over time affecting the air quality and making your home look dirty. Use a duster with an extension to help you get those hard-to-reach areas so you don’t have to lug out the stepstool in addition to all your cleaning supplies.

Clean behind your large appliances

Many people forget to clean behind their refrigerator, stove, and other large appliances, which can accumulate dust, dirt, and food debris over time. When too much dust and debris collect around these appliances, their performance can suffer. For example, if the fridge coils become too dusty or dirty, the fridge will have to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Aim to clean under your major appliances at least twice a year or if there are any spills.

Clean your window screens and tracks

You already know that cleaning your window glass affects your room, but you likely forget the screens and tracks. This is one of those chores that isn’t your favorite, but will become a manageable undertaking if you do it often enough. Aim for the beginning and end of every season, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to tackle.

Woman dusting window blinds

Dust your blinds and curtains

Window coverings are notorious for collecting pet hair and dust which can trigger allergies. You can quickly dust hard materials like blinds and shutters but must vacuum fabrics like curtains and drapes. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum or hand wash them with a soap made for delicates if you need a deeper cleaning.

Deep clean carpets and rugs

We love a statement-making area rug in almost any room. They’re stylish and cozy but are prone to wear and tear over time. Regular vacuuming is essential, but carpets and rugs must be deep cleaned periodically to remove dirt, stains, and odors.

If you have a small rug made of cotton or synthetic fibers, like the one in front of your kitchen sink or inside your front door, you can throw it in the washing machine. Just check the care instructions to ensure it isn’t dry-clean or spot-clean only.

Wipe down baseboards

Baseboards are one of the most commonly overlooked areas when cleaning your home, but if you don’t keep them clean, they instantly make the spaces look dingy. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy task with an immediate payoff. Thoroughly dust them with a dry microfiber cloth and scrub away any residual grime with dishwashing liquid and warm water.

If your knees aren’t a fan of crawling on the floor, use your vacuum attachments or slip a sock over a yardstick for a more creative solution. Use a microfiber sock for best results, as cotton and wool won’t be as effective at grabbing those fine dust particles.

Hands deep cleaning a couch cushion with a vacuum attachment

Wash your throw pillow covers and cushions

Pet stains. Food stains. What-on-earth-is-that stains. Your throw pillows and cushions become bacteria magnets over time, so throwing the covers in the washer every other week or so is essential. Try a gentle hand-cleaning process with special upholstery shampoo if you have decorative pillows that aren’t machine-washable. Just be sure to check the labels for proper care instructions.

Woman lounging on a couch with coffee while a robotic vacuum runs

Run the self-cleaning cycles on appliances

Who says you have to be the one doing the cleaning on these often-forgotten items? If your appliances have a self-cleaning option, take advantage of it! Modern appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, and vacuums have self-cleaning cycles. Run the cleaning cycle on your devices so you have time to focus on other tasks.

Address areas prone to odors

Homeowners can become nose-blind to lingering odors in their own home. Pay special attention to areas prone to developing a less-than-lovely smell, such as trash cans and garbage disposal.

Garbage disposals are prone to mold, decay, and clogs, so giving them some attention every week is essential. Turn on the hot water, pour a solution of equal parts vinegar and baking soda down the drain, and run the disposal for at least one full minute. Lemon wedges and peels are a popular way of freshening up the disposal, but most plumbers advise against this as it could clog and damage the drain.

Disinfect the bottom and sides of your interior trash cans to prevent mold and other contaminants from growing in there. Use an outdoor hose to loosen debris, disinfectant spray, and scrub with a clean toilet brush if they're especially grungy.

Young mother and daughter cleaning home together and having fun

With spring cleaning season upon us, now is the perfect time to tackle these forgotten areas of your home!

Be sure to check out the Brookfield Residential blog for more design advice, homebuying insights, mortgage tips, and more, including how to organize your garage and how to declutter your home. You can also explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!