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 or at least that’s what I tell myself, but every now and then it’s good to clean those things we usually forget about.
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 yours 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.
It’s nice to have plants around the house (if you can keep them alive, I have killed four this year) but beyond 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 photosynthesize the way it needs to. If you have a fake plant dust is going to make it look dull. So, there are a couple of ways that you can clean your plants that are easy and straightforward.
The first thing to do is just to get a damp cloth, I use a general purpose microfiber cloth. Dampen with room temperature water, as cold water can actually hurt the plant. 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 those at the bottom where the soil is because 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.
Toilet Wall & Handle
You guys might know that I have my own cleaning company which I started in 2006 and when I started that company, I did all of the cleaning myself. I learned a lot about life and toilets, in particular. 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 just wipe it clean.
Another area of the toilet that we don’t tend to focus on, though we usually do a great job on the rest of the toilet, 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.
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. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you know all about this. When Chad and I are hanging out either in our family room or in our room watching TV, 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 an electronics cleaning microfiber 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 clean as well.
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, closing, and lots of different family members as well as other people are using. 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.
It’s really nice to have a comfy plush rug or two in the bathroom. Y=That way when you step out of the shower or you go to the toilet or you’re brushing your teeth, your feet are feeling good. But those rugs collect a lot of not so good stuff; odors, bacteria, splashes, hair. It’s important to clean those rugs every now and then.
To do so, first check your fabric care label and see if they are machine washable. Hopefully, they are. If they are, pop them into your machine on a cold gentle cycle and add gentle detergent. Once that’s done, you can either hang them to dry or you can place them in the dryer on the fluff or air-dry cycle, only. That way nothing getting ruined but they’re going to come out smelling fresh and looking great.
If you have any exposed lightbulbs at home, it’s a great idea to give those a good dusting 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 and you can prominently see the light bulb, it actually looks gross. It’s easy to clean them but the important thing here is to make sure that your light fixture is turned off, so that it’s cool and doesn’t melt your cloth or burn your hand (or even pop the bulb).
Once your bulb is cool get yourself a flat weave microfiber cloth. I don’t put any product on it at all, I hold the bulb securely and I just give it a good wipe to get rid of any dust. The flat weave cloth means it’s not going to get scratched, and this job takes literally four seconds per bulb. It’s totally worth it.
There you go, seven things that you might have forgotten to clean but now, you know how to do them.