Tackle Your Deep Cleaning Goals: Sanitizing the Most Overlooked Spots in Your Home

Changed your sheets? Check. Wiped down the stovetop? Check. You’ve taken care of your everyday cleaning routine… now what? This is a great time to focus on those easy-to-miss spots that may not be on your typical to-do list. 

Even for those of us who clean our homes on a regular basis, there are bound to be spots that we overlook. Over time, these little out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach areas can build up plenty of dust, mold, and bacteria. 

Feeling ready to take on a deep clean that goes beyond the basics? Let’s see if we can help make it easier! 

Here’s how to sanitize some of your home’s most commonly overlooked touch points: 

1.) Door knobs

We all touch our door knobs and handles countless times a day, without even thinking about it. Wipe these spots down with all-purpose disinfectant and a clean cloth on a regular basis. 

2.) Light switches

Just like our door knobs, we all flick these switches on and off without stopping to clean off the bacteria and germs that our hands can leave behind. Spray your favorite disinfectant cleanser onto a clean cloth, then gently wipe down the switch to keep it fresh and sanitary. 

3.) Cabinets and hardware

A clean kitchen can make your whole home feel like new. Wipe down cabinets — including hardware, such as pulls and handles  — with your favorite all-purpose disinfectant. Use a vacuum attachment or extendable duster to clean off the tops of your cabinets, or safely use a step stool to clean off these out-of-the-way areas by hand

4.) Baseboards and crown molding

These little architectural details can make a space pop, but they can also gather plenty of dust and grime. To clean your baseboards, dry dust with a clean cloth, and then make them sparkle with a gentle solution of dish soap and water. For those hard-to-reach crown moldings, try swiping off dust and debris with an extendable tool. Then carefully use a ladder and wipe down your molding with a gentle cleaning solution, such as water, castile soap, and a few drops of lemon essential oil. 

5.) Under bulky furniture

When was the last time you checked to see if dust bunnies were lurking under your sofa or armchair? Get help to move these bulky items, then carefully clean up the dust and grime that’s normally hidden out of sight.  

6.) Behind the toilet

This out-of-the-way area can easily become a breeding ground for germs. Use a dry brush or a vacuum attachment to clear away dust and debris, like loose hairs. Next, follow up with a wet sponge and a solution of water and your preferred disinfectant.

7.) Inside cabinets, closets and vanities

The area under your sink can be a catch-all for cleaning supplies, tools, and plenty of other household items. Keep the interiors of your vanities, closets, and cabinets clean by wiping down shelves and walls with a clean cloth and a gentle disinfectant solution. 

8.) Under the fridge

Just like your bulky furniture, this hefty kitchen appliance can conceal plenty of unwanted messes. Unplug your refrigerator and turn off any connected water lines, then gently walk the machine away from the wall so that you can clean the floor with a broom and wet mop. Wipe down the walls and the sides of the fridge with your favorite cleanser, then move the appliance back into place. 

9.) Lampshades

Lampshades can hold plenty of dust and dirt. Be sure to consult with your manufacturer’s instructions for proper care. For most fabric lampshades, you can collect dust with a dry microfiber cloth. Plastic and glass lampshades can be cleaned with a clean cloth and a solution of dish soap and water. 

10.) Throw pillows and blankets

If cozying up on the couch is second nature to you and yours, it’s worth asking – when was the last time you cleaned your throw pillows and blankets? If your throw pillows have removable covers, take them off and check the tag for washing and drying instructions. Similarly, be sure to wash your favorite throw blankets on a regular basis. When you vacuum, use a furniture or upholstery attachment to clean dust and dirt off these fabric surfaces.

11.) Coffee maker

If you start your day with a hot cup of coffee, remember to regularly clean your coffee machine. Regularly disinfect the outside of your device with cleanser and a clean cloth, and clean out the pot with dish soap and water. Inside the machine, fight back against mineral deposits and mildew by routinely cycling through a solution of vinegar and water. 

12.) Toothbrush holder

This unassuming piece of bathroom decor can harbor plenty of germs. If your toothbrush holder is dishwasher safe, you can simply run it through a cycle. If you need to clean it by hand, a solution of warm water and dish soap, applied with a clean cloth, should do the trick. 

13.) Blinds and curtains

Regularly sanitize blind pulls and cords with a disinfectant cloth. Dust horizontal blinds with a clean cloth, then use a vacuum or dustpan to collect any debris that falls to the floor. You can also clear dust and debris off of blinds, curtains, and drapes with a specialized vacuum attachment, and clean horizontal shades thoroughly with a disinfectant solution and a clean cloth. 

14.) Inside the refrigerator

How often do you clean the inside of your fridge? It may be time to give this important spot a wipedown. Unplug your refrigerator. After emptying out all food and drinks and storing them in a cooler, wipe down the shelves, walls, and drawers with a clean cloth and your favorite disinfectant, then dry with another cloth. Load your food back in, turn on your fridge, and voila! Don’t forget to sanitize your refrigerator handles while you’re at it!

15.) Trash cans

Long before they start to smell, trash cans can be a haven for germs and viruses. Regularly disinfect the outside of your trash cans, including any handles or lids. On a regular basis, clean out the inside of the can with hot water, disinfectant spray, and a brush. In some cases, it may be easier to take this job to the backyard, where you can use the hose to get into every nook and cranny. 

16-17.) Washing machine and dishwasher

It’s important to regularly clean the machines that do the cleaning for you! On the outside of your devices, regularly disinfect surfaces, lids, and dials. Clean your washing machine’s fabric softener and bleach dispensers with a toothbrush, and run cycles of alternating vinegar and baking soda to clean the drum. Once you’ve run your cycles, wipe down the interior of the machine with a clean, dry cloth. For dishwashers, be sure to regularly clean out all traps and filters. To clean the machine, run a cycle of vinegar, followed by a cycle of baking soda. 

18.) Remote controls

Settling in for a Netflix marathon or a round of gaming on your Nintendo Switch? Be sure to regularly disinfect remote controls and video game controllers, using a disinfectant solution sprayed onto a clean cloth. 

19.) Ceiling fan

Lay down a sheet or tarp on the floor, then use an extendable duster to wipe down the tops of your ceiling fan to clear away built-up debris. Use a vacuum or broom and dust-pan to catch any clumps of dust that may fall to the ground. You could also use a stepladder to reach your fan, then clean each blade by sliding it into a pillowcase or bag, which can help clean both sides at once, while minimizing the amount of scattered dust. 

20.) Outdoor furniture

Whether waking up to a beautiful sunrise or winding down the day with a mug of tea, spending time on your patio, deck, or rooftop can be incredibly calming. Be sure to clean patio furniture thoroughly  — including wiping down tabletops, sanitizing chairs with soap and water, and washing any outdoor fabrics, such as pillow cases or furniture covers.