7 Nasty Things You Should Be Cleaning (But Probably Aren’t)!

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Cleaning light bulbs

We spend a lot of time cleaning our homes – kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms… the list goes on. However, there are a number of areas in the home that we tend to forget about, at least I know I do.

When you clean, you get into a routine and you kind of get used to doing the same thing each time; cleaning those same spaces, the same way, with the same stuff – and that’s great, at least you’re cleaning! But, every now and then it’s a good idea to clean some of those items that often get overlooked.

Shower Head

When writing these posts I often have to take my own advice. I was standing in the shower this morning looking up, and it was spraying water in all different directions reminding me that I need to de-scale my shower head. If you haven’t done this in a while, it’s time.

All you need to do is take a plastic zippered bag, fill it halfway with white vinegar (and if you have extra strength white vinegar, even better!) and then a fix it to your shower head and secure it with an elastic band. This might take a little bit of finagling depending on the kind of shower head that you have. If your shower head can be removed, like mine, take it right off and sit it in the bag of vinegar. Leave it overnight and remove it in the morning for a wonderful fresh shower with loads of pressure.

Plants

It’s nice to have plants around the house (if you can keep them alive, I’ve killed four this year already! *sigh*) but beyond being watered they also need to be cleaned. The reason it’s important to clean your real plants is because if there’s a layer of dust on the leaf, it can’t actually absorb sunlight properly, which means it’s not going to grow properly. If you have a fake plant, dust is just going to make it look dull.

The first thing to do is just to get a damp cloth, I use a general purpose microfiber cloth, dampen it with room temperature water, then simply brush the leaves gently one by one to remove the dust. Now, this might sound like it takes a lot of work but it really only takes a minute. If it’s a smaller more detailed plant you can use a cotton swab or a paintbrush for dusting.

While you’re doing this, if you notice that there any dead leaves, feel free to pick those off and you can put them at the bottom, where the soil is – that’s going to help feed the plant.

If you have a fake plant or a plastic plant, you can use any of the techniques that I talked about or if it’s super durable, you can just run it under the sink.

clean toilet

Toilet Wall & Handle

You guys might know that I have my own cleaning company which I started back in 2006. When I started that company, I did all of the cleaning myself for the first little while. I learned a lot about life, and toilets. Up to that point I had only shared a bathroom with my sister so I had not yet learned about the value of cleaning the wall behind the toilet. Yes, men, I’m talking to you.

When I was cleaning, I learned quickly that there were a lot of splashes and splatters that go on which cause the wall to smell and become discolored. All you need to do is spray that surface with an enzyme cleaner and allow it to sit for five minutes and then wipe it clean.

Although we usually do a great job on the rest of the toilet, another area of the toilet that we don’t tend to focus on is the toilet handle. There’s going to be a lot of bacteria transfer there and you just want to make sure that aside from cleaning the tank and the lid, the seat and the bowl, that you’re cleaning the toilet handle as well.

Bath Mats

It’s really nice to have a comfy plush rug or two in the bathroom, that way, when you step out of the shower, or you’re brushing your teeth, your feet are feeling great. The thing is, those rugs collect a lot of not-so-good stuff; odors, bacteria, splashes, hair etc. For this reason it’s important to clean these rugs every now and then.

To do so, first check your fabric care label and see if they are machine washable. If they are, pop them into your machine on a cold, gentle cycle. Once that’s done you can either hang them to dry or place them in the dryer on the fluff or air-dry cycle. That way nothing getting ruined and they’ll come out smelling fresh and looking great!

clean remote control

Remote Control

Chad and I cut cable about seven years ago, but that doesn’t mean we don’t watch TV, because we are obsessed with Netflix. When Chad and I are hanging out, either in our family room or in our bedroom, one of us is usually cuddling a cat and the other one is usually cuddling the remote control. Think about it, with all of the passing of the remote, popcorn snacking and cat cuddling, our remote, like most peoples, is likely covered in germs. Studies were done that show that over 50 percent of remote controls have the cold virus on them.

To quickly get rid of that just mix up your own electronics cleaning solution with equal parts rubbing alcohol or plain white vodka. Spray it onto a microfiber electronics cloth, give it a good wipe and let it dry. If you have any gritty areas that are hard to get to between buttons you can spray the product on a cotton swab and use that to get in those nooks and crannies.

Door Knobs

Speaking of points of contact, another thing that we forget to clean often are doorknobs. These are things that we’re touching and turning, opening and closing. To boot, lots of different people – family members, friends and guests – are touching these. So, it’s really important to disinfect these every now and then. Just spray a microfiber cloth with any disinfectant you like, or spray right onto the door handle, and wipe it down.

Light Bulbs

If you have any exposed lightbulbs at home, it’s a great idea to give these a good cleaning every now and then, because over time they get dusty, which means they’re not shedding light the way you would expect them to. If they’re hanging somewhere visible, without a covering, take a look – they can get pretty gross looking.

Make sure that the light fixture is turned off, so that it’s cool and doesn’t melt your cloth or burn your hand. Once the bulb is cool get yourself a flat weave microfiber cloth (I don’t put any product on it at all) just give it a good wipe to get rid of any dust. This job takes literally four seconds per bulb. It’s totally worth it.

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Remote control — I’m guessing you mean to say mix equal parts rubbing alcohol or plain white vodka AND WATER. 😉

  2. Thanks, Melissa, for these great idea! I definitely need to clean the wall behind the toilet with enzyme cleaner! Do you have any brands that you can recommend? I googled “enzyme cleaner” and came up with a huge list, mainly of carpet and upholstry cleaners! Obviously, this isn’t what I am looking for 🙂 Help!

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