Ever had the sudden realization that your home isn’t as guest-ready as you thought mere minutes before your guests arrive? You’re not alone. It happens to all of us.
We’ve all been there – running around, throwing things in closets, attempting to achieve an impossible level of cleanliness in an unbelievably short span of time.
The last-minute panic of realizing you’ve forgotten to clean something crucial can be a nightmare. Fortunately, we’ve compiled an extensive list of commonly overlooked areas that often escape our cleaning routines.
This list will serve as your comprehensive guide to achieving a sparkling clean, guest-ready home without overlooking those often-forgotten corners. It will provide you with a better understanding of the areas in your home that may require more regular attention.
Remember, a well-cleaned home is not just visually pleasing but also contributes to a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Now let’s dive into these 18 things you often forget to clean before guests arrive.
1. Light Switches and Doorknobs
It might not immediately come to mind, but light switches and doorknobs are touched multiple times a day. Despite this, they are often forgotten in routine cleaning. These frequently used items can harbor many germs and should be cleaned regularly to maintain a hygienic home environment.
To clean, simply use a damp microfiber cloth and an all-purpose cleaner. It’s an easy and effective way to reduce germs and make these surfaces shine. Consider adding this to your weekly cleaning routine to keep these high-touch areas clean and germ-free.
2. Remote Controls
Whether it’s the remote for your TV, air conditioning, or entertainment system, remotes are a breeding ground for germs. They’re often shared among household members and rarely cleaned.
Consider using disinfecting wipes or a cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution to clean the buttons and the back of the remote. Also, don’t forget to clean any gaming console controllers, as they often accumulate grime and bacteria from hands.
3. Underneath Furniture
While we might run a mop or vacuum around our furniture, how often do we clean underneath? Dust, pet hair, and lost items tend to gather under sofas, beds, and other heavy furniture.
Next time you’re cleaning, move your furniture around and clean those hidden areas. Not only will this reduce dust and allergens in your home, but you might also find that missing sock or earring you’ve been searching for.
4. Air Vents
Air vents, including heating and cooling vents, are often forgotten during routine cleaning. They collect dust and allergens, which can then be circulated throughout your home when the system is in use.
Ensure to wipe down the exterior of the vents with a damp cloth or use a vacuum cleaner with a dusting attachment to keep them clean. Periodically, it may also be necessary to remove the cover and clean the inside with a long duster.
5. Garbage Cans
Even though garbage cans hold trash, they shouldn’t be dirty themselves. Odors can build up over time and can be a turn-off for your guests.
It’s advisable to clean garbage cans periodically with hot water and mild detergent or a mixture of vinegar and water.
Also, remember to clean the exterior, especially the handle and the lid.
6. Computer Keyboards and Mouse
Just like remote controls, computer keyboards and mice can also accumulate dirt and germs, especially if you snack while working or gaming.
It’s best to clean these peripherals with compressed air to get rid of dust and food particles. Then, you can follow up with disinfecting wipes or a cloth soaked in mild cleaning solution.
7. Reusable Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags are good for the environment, but they can harbor bacteria and dirt if not cleaned regularly.
Different bags require different cleaning methods. For canvas or cotton bags, a simple cycle in the washing machine will do.
For plastic-lined bags, wiping them down with a wet cloth and soap, followed by air-drying, is a good method.
8. Shower Curtains
Shower curtains and liners are prone to mildew and soap scum build-up.
Most shower curtains and liners can be cleaned in the washing machine with regular detergent. For heavy mildew build-up, consider using a product specifically designed to tackle this issue. Don’t forget to let it dry thoroughly before hanging it up again.
9. Toothbrush Holder
Your toothbrush holder might be one of the dirtiest items in your bathroom, but it’s often overlooked during cleaning.
A rinse with warm water isn’t enough to get rid of the bacteria and mold that can grow in there. It’s advisable to scrub it with a small brush and let it soak in a mixture of water and white vinegar. Then rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry.
10. Cutting Boards
Cutting boards, especially wooden ones, can hide germs in their grooves. Remember to scrub them well with warm soapy water after each use. Once in a while, it’s good to disinfect them with a solution of water and bleach. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.
11. Pet Beds
Pet beds can be a significant source of pet hair, dirt, and allergens and should be cleaned regularly. Most pet beds have removable, machine-washable covers. For those that don’t, vacuuming and spot cleaning with a pet-safe cleaner can help maintain cleanliness3.
12. Coffee Maker
Coffee makers can accumulate hard water deposits, leftover coffee oils, and even mold if left uncleaned. Regular cleaning involves washing the carafe and filter basket after each use. For a deeper clean, run a mixture of water and white vinegar through the machine, followed by two cycles of plain water.
13. Ceiling Fans
Dust can pile up on the top of ceiling fan blades and get scattered around the room when the fan is in use. You can clean them by using an extendable duster. If the dust build-up is significant, you might need to use a ladder and wipe each blade down with a damp cloth.
14. Curtains and Blinds
Curtains and blinds might not look dirty, but they accumulate dust, pet hair, and odors over time. Curtains can usually be machine washed but always check the care label. Blinds can be dusted using a microfiber cloth or vacuumed using a brush attachment. For a deep clean, you can wipe them down with warm soapy water.
15. Kitchen Appliances
Small kitchen appliances like toasters, blenders, and microwaves are often overlooked when cleaning. For toasters, remove and clean the crumb tray, then turn it upside down to shake out any additional crumbs.
Blenders should be disassembled and washed after each use. Microwaves can be cleaned with a mixture of water and vinegar heated for a few minutes inside the microwave, then wiped down.
Indoor plants collect dust on their leaves, which can prevent them from absorbing sunlight effectively. To clean, simply wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. For plants with many small leaves, consider giving them a gentle shower with room-temperature water.
17. Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture can accumulate a lot of dust, pollen, and bird droppings.
They can generally be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. For stubborn dirt, you may need to use a soft brush. Remember to rinse the furniture thoroughly and let it dry in the sun4.
18. Personal Items
Finally, personal items like glasses, cell phones, wallets, keys, and handbags are often forgotten.
Think about it: how often do you clean your cell phone, or wipe down your glasses, or clean your keys?
A study found that cell phones can be ten times dirtier than a toilet seat4, which might give you pause the next time you press your phone to your face. Use a microfiber cloth and an approved electronic cleaner for screens and a mild disinfectant for other items.
Life Hacks to Quickly Clean Your Home Before Guests Arrive
You’ve just received a text: “Hey, we’re in the neighborhood and thought we’d drop by!” Your heart sinks as you look around your home. It’s not exactly guest-ready. Don’t panic! Here are some quick and efficient cleaning life hacks that will make your home look presentable in no time. These tips are perfect for those last-minute guest visits or if you simply want to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your home.
Focus on the Main Areas
Identify the areas where your guests are most likely to spend their time and focus your cleaning efforts there. The living room, kitchen, and bathroom are usually top priorities. By concentrating on these ‘high-traffic’ areas first, you can make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
Clutter Be Gone
Nothing makes a home seem messier than clutter. Quickly gather stray items and put them where they belong. If you’re in a hurry, use a laundry basket to temporarily stash items out of sight. Remember to return them to their rightful places later!
Speed Clean Your Bathroom
A clean bathroom is a must. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes, clean the mirror, and give the toilet a quick scrub. A neat trick for a quick clean is to use disposable toilet brushes. They clean effectively and can be disposed of immediately, saving time.
Freshen up your home by quickly vacuuming the main living areas and fluffing up your cushions. An easy hack to make your home smell fresh is to put a few drops of essential oils onto your air filters or onto a cotton ball placed in the vacuum bag.
Kitchen Quick Fix
In the kitchen, put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down your countertops. If your stovetop is dirty, a quick hack is to cover it with a large cutting board or serving tray.
Now, here are some general quick clean-up hacks to add to your cleaning arsenal:
- Use a lint roller: It’s not just for your clothes. A lint roller can quickly pick up dust and crumbs from your furniture, lampshades, and even your floor!
- Microfiber cloths: They are your best friend when it comes to cleaning. They can clean almost any surface and can be washed and reused.
- Baking soda and vinegar: This combo is a cleaning powerhouse. It can clean sinks, freshen up your fridge, and even unclog drains.
- Use your dishwasher for more than dishes: Many items like plastic toys, toothbrush holders, and even flip-flops can be washed in the dishwasher.
- Steam clean your microwave: Put a bowl of water with a slice of lemon in your microwave. Heat it up until the water boils. The steam will help loosen any gunk, and it will be easy to wipe away.
With these quick cleaning hacks, you can ensure your home is guest-ready in no time. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The most important thing is to enjoy your time with your guests.
In conclusion, whether you’re expecting guests or just want to maintain a clean and healthy home environment, this guide can serve as your comprehensive checklist.
By incorporating these 18 often overlooked areas into your regular cleaning routine, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with a sparkling clean home.
More importantly, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve tackled those hidden dirt and germs, contributing to the overall well-being of your household. After all, a clean home is not just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a key component of a healthy lifestyle.
It's best to clean these areas every one to two weeks, depending on how much they're used. However, it's always a good idea to give them a quick wipe-down if you're expecting guests. Not all surfaces are created equal! Different materials require different cleaning solutions. Always check the manufacturer's instructions or do a spot test first. If you're short on time, focus on the areas where your guests will spend the most time. These are usually the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Most of these areas can be cleaned with household items like a microfiber cloth, a vacuum cleaner, and a bucket. For certain areas like air vents, you might need a screwdriver to remove the covers.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐How often should I clean these often overlooked areas?
⭐Can I use the same cleaning solution for all these areas?
⭐What should I do if I don't have time to clean all these areas?
⭐Do I need any special equipment to clean these areas?
It's best to clean these areas every one to two weeks, depending on how much they're used. However, it's always a good idea to give them a quick wipe-down if you're expecting guests.
Not all surfaces are created equal! Different materials require different cleaning solutions. Always check the manufacturer's instructions or do a spot test first.
If you're short on time, focus on the areas where your guests will spend the most time. These are usually the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Most of these areas can be cleaned with household items like a microfiber cloth, a vacuum cleaner, and a bucket. For certain areas like air vents, you might need a screwdriver to remove the covers.