I don’t know anyone that loves taking the time to clean their home (if you do, tell them to call me), however it’s a pretty important job. If you’re not getting your home spick and span, that means that dirt and grime are hanging out in certain areas - and that’s one party you don’t want to be invited to! We all know that germs are bad for your health - and this advice helps you to banish them from your home for good. Click “Next” to see 10 things you didn’t know you were cleaning wrong.
1. The Toilet
Your toilet bowl may look sparkling, but have you ever taken the time to check the back of your toilet? That commonly overlooked area can be home to plenty of built up urine and fecal matter, leaving a residue that’s not only gross, but also hard to clean. Soak a few paper towels in your bathroom cleaner of choice, roll them up, and “floss” that hard to reach area.
2. The Towels
If you think that fabric softener is getting your favorite towels extra fluffy, think again. Linens designer Nancy Koltes suggests forgetting the fabric softener when it comes to washing your towels. “Fabric softeners or worse, fabric softener sheets, function by putting a coating on fabrics which can’t be removed, rendering towels in particular less absorbent.”
3. The Pet Hair
Pet hair has to be one of the hardest things to remove from carpeting, furniture, and other fabrics. No matter how often you clean your home, you may never be free of the constant shedding from your favorite furry friend. Vacuuming, tape, and lint rollers will only pick up so much of the stuff. But the old rubber-glove trick - wearing a pair of damp rubber gloves and running your hands over your furniture - will pick up the hair that other cleaning tricks will not.
4. Those Red Wine Stains
Don’t believe what you’ve heard: white wine isn’t the best option when it comes to getting those pesky red wine stains out of the carpeting. Instead, sprinkle salt on the fresh stain before blotting it up. The oxi products work well on older red wine stains that have already dried.
5. The Garbage Disposal
Do you really know what happens to all the food that you throw down your garbage disposal? Sure, most of it ends up in the trash, but some of it remains in the disposal, leaving behind germs and (likely) a funky smell. To keep your garbage disposal fresh, it’s a good idea to clean it once a week. However, you don’t need an expensive store bought cleanser to do it. Homemade white vinegar cubes (yes, just freeze them yourself) will do the trick.
6. The Coffee Maker
Running hot water through your coffee maker every so often doesn’t make it clean. In fact, the pot, lid, and filter basket should be cleaned daily with warm, sudsy water. The same is true for Keurigs, though those also benefit from a little white vinegar. Simply run it through the machine every few months in addition to its daily suds bath.
7. The Knives
Even if they’re dishwasher safe, you really shouldn’t be putting knives in the dishwasher. Constant washes will make them dull fast - and you’re more likely to slip and cut yourself when using a dull knife. Save your knives (and potentially your fingers!) by taking a few extra minutes to wash them by hand with warm water and soap.
8. Your Sweaty Clothes
Regular laundry detergent doesn’t help much when it comes to washing the smell out of your workout clothes. Instead, add white vinegar and baking soda into the washing machine to help kill the bacteria that causes those unpleasant odors. The trick is to wash the clothes twice, first adding white vinegar to your usual load, and next, using half a cup of baking soda. After going to rounds, your clothes will be ready for the dryer.
9. The Sheets
Assuming you get 8-hours of sleep a night, you’re spending 56 hours a week sleeping. That’s lots of time rolling around in not-too-clean sheets - especially if you’re washing yours less than once a week. Midnight snackers be warned: even if you’re washing your sheets the recommended once a week, it’s still not enough. You’ll need to wash your bedding at least every three days to keep food particles and other potential germs at bay.
10. The Humidifier
Humidifiers are used to prevent congestion, but if you’re not cleaning yours regularly (or the right way), you could end up with something much worse: like the flu, or a serious lung infection. The water should be changed daily, and the humidifier scrubbed every three days. Don’t forget to leave time for the surrounding area to dry. At least once a month your humidifier should be given a deep clean to prevent the buildup of germs. That means taking everything apart and scrubbing it with white vinegar.