You’ve just cleaned the house – vacuumed the floor, dusted, cleaned the toilet – and you’re feeling a sense of accomplishment. But what about the hidden dirt that lurks unnoticed in all parts of your home? Recognize that grime and bacteria exist everywhere and have some favorite spots in which to hang out. The next important factor is knowing how to get rid of it. A handheld steam cleaner is effective for much of the dirt. Some of the most popular places for dirt to congregate may surprise you.
Dryer Lint Trap
“Of course,” you say. “I clean the lint trap regularly.” But do you remove the invisible build-up? Dryer sheets, for example, have a silicone-based surface that can collect on your lint filter, setting up an invisible barrier. Wash the filter a few times a year to help your dryer to perform more efficiently and last longer. Use a soft brush with warm soapy water, then rinse and let dry overnight. Also, to reduce the risk of a fire, remember to vacuum out dust and lint that can become trapped in the hose.
A Kitchen’s Dirty Secrets
Any food and grease that you fail to rinse off the dishes that go into the dishwasher can team up with soap scum to lodge in the corners. These deposits look bad, smell offensive and decrease efficiency. Wash out your dishwasher filter, then sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the appliance overnight. Next day, run a cup of vinegar through on the hottest cycle. Voila! Your dishwasher’s fresh and clean.
Moving on, we see that a refrigerator’s efficiency and lifespan result are increased by regularly cleaning the coils. Dirty coils end up adding to the load on the compressor. Twice a year, unplug the fridge and use the brush attachment on your vacuum to get rid of the excess dirt on the coils. Plug it back in, knowing you’ve just increased its life and efficiency.
It’s hard to believe, but the kitchen sink has more E Coli than a recently flushed toilet. The combination of wet atmosphere and food particles populating the sink are to blame. Clean your sink daily with a disinfectant. An easy approach is to mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part water. Then, after cleaning the sink, spray it with the alcohol mixture. As it quickly dries, it will also act as a disinfectant.
Trash can grime comes from the liquids and pieces of food that somehow end up outside the trash bag. Don’t miss attending to the lid. You can maintain a better state of cleanliness by using a disinfectant wipe on the lid each time you remove the bag, along with giving the can a thorough cleaning monthly. A layer of baking soda sprinkled on the bottom and left for ten minutes is an effective start. Follow up with all-purpose cleaner, a good rinse, and careful drying with paper towels.
Look beyond the kitchen for dirt. Bed pillows love the dust mites they attract. The disgusting fact is that a pillow can double its weight in two years because of the mites and their waste. Add the mite waste to dead skin particles, mix in the occasional drool during sleep and you have a pillow that you should launder at least twice a year. Wash on the heavy cycle, a few at a time, using gentle detergent. Put in the dryer with a couple of tennis balls encased in socks to help the drying process. Dry thoroughly to avoid developing mold.
Favorite Finger Places
Two spots just made for fingers are door knobs and light switches. Who knows where all those hands have been? Start with a non-toxic disinfectant (white vinegar is effective) and wipe the knobs and switches clean as regularly as you wipe your kitchen counter.
Then move on to the computer. Use a can of compressed air to loosen hairs, crumbs, and particles of dirt, then wipe down with a tech wipe or spray. You can also use our old favorite, rubbing alcohol.
If you think about your house’s nooks and crannies, you’re sure to find more spots to clean.