10 Odd Spots to Keep in Mind When House Cleaning

posted by Andrea | 01/24/2012

I know it’s still January… but I never like waiting until spring to do ALL my spring cleaning. I think it’s much simpler and less overwhelming to tackle a little bit at a time.

The following guest post from Jakob, who has a bunch of great tips for cleaning those odd spots around your home that you might not get to during your weekly cleaning.

It’s always good to sweep the floor, vacuum the rug, tidy up clutter, and scrub the bathroom at least once a week. Doing so prevents the build up of hard-to-remove dirt and crud.

However, there are plenty of nooks and crannies that aren’t as easy to reach on a regular basis (and don’t get as much attention) but certainly need an occasional wipe-down. When left untouched, they attract germs and grime… which is why doing periodic home inspections can actually contribute to better health and give your home a little extra shine around the edges :)

All you’ll need is a little little soap, water, a rag, a mildly abrasive sponge… and you’re ready to clean!

Here are some of the areas you might want to check:

1. Door knobs:

The amount of hands that touch your door knobs every day is a lot, especially if you have a large family. The oils from our skin collect in places like this, leaving a dry scum. It’s those markings you’ll want to search for and eliminate.

2. Household handles:

Door knobs are one thing; handles are another. This is especially true in kitchens where meals with messy preparations often result in oven, fridge, microwave, and cabinet handles getting coated with a long list of ingredients such as oil, dough, and sauce. You may need a good degreaser for this one.

3. Light switches:

It takes one finger to flip a light switch but hundreds of flips later, the switch’s surrounding plate can look a little dark around the edges from all the use. Simply wipe them down with a damp rag and they are good as new.

4. Windows:

Both interior and exterior windows collect a lot of airborne matter that blocks natural light. Giving them a quick cleaning every few months will make a world of difference.

5. Chair legs:

Have you looked at your chair legs recently? The legs of your office chairs, dinning room chairs, and even living room chairs can become covered with filth from your shoes, dust, debris, food, etc. If your chairs have wheels, they might also pick up a lot of particles, hair ,etc.

6. Floor creases:

Especially in older homes, the spaces between the carpet and hard flooring collects crud. Clean out the creases, and if necessary, fill with putty or caulk to prevent new dirt from entering.

7. Light covers:

Check the domed coverings of all your light fixture and ceiling fans… you might be surprised at the number of dead bugs and the amount of dust inside!

8. Small ridges:

Door and window frames often have ridges or ledges that collect a lot of dust particles. Remove the dust and a room’s highlights may stand out better.

9. Shelves:

It’s a good idea to take everything off your shelves a few times each year to eliminate all the dust and dirt that can accumulate. This is also a good time to declutter those shelves too :)

10. Rugs and mats:

Door mats and other rugs are full of dirt, dust, and grim… which eventually gets tracked into your home. Shake out all your mats and wash the ones you can wash. You might even consider replacing some that are in really bad shape.

I know this might seem like a long list, but I bet you can accomplish most of it in an afternoon… and then you’ll be finished with a chunk of your spring cleaning chores well before spring!

What odd spots would you add to this list?

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He writes about eco-friendly topics for remodeling pros across the U.S. including New York flooring contractors.

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19 comments

  1. Teri Bennett

    01/24/2012

    This is so funny that you posted this because just this week I was doing my daughter’s hair in their bathroom and I dropped the rubber band on the floor. When I went to pick it up, I noticed how dirty the base boards in the bathroom were. Well, this sent me on an odd cleaning spree. I wiped down all bathroom base boards and the vent covers all over the house. I couldn’t believe all the dust I found!!!

    [Reply]

    Teri Reply:

    Next up… bathroom drawers!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know… I actually use the “wand” and “brush” attachments on my vacuum to go around and suck all the dust off the baseboards and out of the vents. I’m sure you got yours even cleaner by using a rag… but either way, it’s A LOT of dust and dirt!

    [Reply]

  2. Amie

    01/24/2012

    I tend to forget to vacuum under the couch cushions. This article reminded me…I found lots of combs, hairbands, popcorn and dust under the cushions. I would add that to the odd spots list!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh that’s a good one… I just did that the other day too!

    [Reply]

    Ann Reply:

    My mom always told me to vacuum the cushions first. Then remove the one on the left and vacuum under it. Slide the middle one over and vacuum under where it was. Slide the right one to the middle and vacuum on the right. Replace the formally left side cushion on the right and flip it over if possible. This way they will wear evenly from left to right and each cushion will get flipped over every 3 weeks or so. (Of course, this presumes that your cushions are interchangeable which is a must for me!)

    [Reply]

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  4. Tanya

    01/24/2012

    I was just doing some cleaning around my house as well and I went to clean my glass stove and I have a ring around one of my burners that I cannot get to come clean. It looks terrible.
    Any ideas on how I can get it off?

    [Reply]

    Edie Reply:

    Make a baking soda paste and scrub the grimy ring, works like a charm

    [Reply]

  5. Mae @ Truffles Magazine

    01/24/2012

    Don’t forget to clean behind the fridge (a lot of dust & dust bunnies can collect there) also clean out the dryer vent (prevents house fires)

    and a good rule of thumb is if you can’t see it – it needs to be cleaned (under couches, beds, behind dressers and entertainment centers, etc)

    [Reply]

    Faye Thompson Reply:

    Yes behind headboards, nightstands and dressers as well as bookcases not attached to the wall. If you have shelves in your closets above and below them as well as under your shoes. In all under sink cabinets. the creases on the control panels of your washer and dryer. The corners of the ceilings. On TOP of the refrigerator as well as the rubber seals, the door shelves and of course all the little spills on the shelves(freezer too) and the really unnoticed if your have rubber coated freezer racks…AND the walls inside. The grate on over stove microwaves as well as the seals and door cracks, the back splashes. I pull out my silverware organizers and wipe out under those, and heavens don’t forget the bigger utensil drawer with the turkey baster, cheese cutters etc. Inside the lampshades and the bulbs. I have 3 shedding dogs so the dust and debris is massive in our home and these are actually many things I have to do weekly. I could go on but I don’t anyone to think of moving lol

    [Reply]

  6. Lorna

    01/24/2012

    Stair railings! I take a damp rag and wipe up and down a few times. It is totally amazing just how much grime I get off of them!

    [Reply]

  7. Ann

    01/25/2012

    Now that I have no toddlers around, my baseboards do not get cleaned as often. I used to put socks on their hands and have them crawl around and wipe the baseboards. They loved it and it helped me!

    [Reply]

  8. Lori

    01/26/2012

    Hinges on all doors seem to collect their fair share of dust, tops of doors as well. And don’t forget that silverware drawer…crumbs and spills can end up in that drawer since it seems to b opened the most by the most users. I also wipe out the interior of the microwave when I have a tub of hot soapy water in the sink…

    [Reply]

  9. Karen

    02/24/2012

    Don’t forget to clean the rubber seal on the refrigerator and freezer doors. You would be shocked at how dirty/moldy that area can get. I use Q-tips with vinegar to clean in between the ridges.

    [Reply]

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  11. Christine

    02/16/2013

    The tops of doors and the top of the framing of doorways and windows. You would be surprised at how much dust collects up there!

    [Reply]

  12. Tia

    03/06/2013

    Don’t forget to clean hanging picture frames. They collecyt lots of dust and it can be a pain during allergy season.

    [Reply]

  13. Jo

    04/02/2013

    This article has been very helpful! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this!

    [Reply]