Barbeques. Friends. Family. Summertime is such a fun and busy (but relaxing) season. So it’s just a shame we couldn’t coax ourselves into spring cleaning back when we had the chance. Or, if you did tidy up, the things you’re forgetting to clean may have unexpectedly debuted. I mean, last week at the picnic, wasn’t it 6-foot-5 Uncle Fred who stumbled into the kitchen — and made a point to swipe at the embarrassing layer of accumulated dust on top of the refrigerator? Only God knows how long it had been there.
The not-so-noticeable dingy household areas can be hard to see, so it’s no wonder we forget. But the house is not clean until we’ve wiped down and sanitized these very important neglected areas. You might be surprised at some of the things you’re forgetting to clean!
The Things You’re Forgetting to Clean Can Be Remembered
Hold on to your kitchen drawers and grab your chemical-free cleaners! You’re gonna need them! But first – just like when you create a shopping list – make a checklist of the household things you’re forgetting to clean. It’s that simple.
#1 – Pet Bowls
55% of households show mold inside uncleaned pet bowls. Not to mention: Bacteria in the pet bowl is real, folks. These bowls can become contaminated with harmful germs just like our dirty dishes do if left out for too long.
Needless to say, foodborne illnesses percolating in dirty pet bowls are certainly a cause for concern. By cleaning them frequently and adequately, we prevent passing the contamination to both pets AND pet owners.
The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine recommendations are as follows:
- Pet bowls should be washed with hot soapy water after every meal.
- Water bowls should be cleaned at least every two days.
#2 – Upholstered Furniture, Bed Pillows, and Throw Pillows
If you or anyone in your household suffers from asthma or allergies, BUGS could be the reason why. To be more precise – microscopic dust mites are eating on your skin cells left behind on mattresses, upholstery, and pillows. Blah!
Tips on Treating (and Cleaning Away) Dust Mites (whether or not you have allergies!)
- If you have allergies, wear a filtering mask (UNLESS you can find someone without allergies to help you clean).
- Wash bedding, pillows, and throw pillows in hot water. According to WebMD, choosing a hot water cycle (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) will kill 100% of mites. It is recommended you launder these items once a week.
- Although most bug killers can be toxic, try researching non-toxic and chemical-free dust mite killer products safe to spray on comforters, upholstery, and pillows.
- Use an electric dryer to dry clean comforters, upholstery, and pillows on the hottest cycle.
#3 – Walls
Your walls get covered in dust! Get a Swiffer Sweeper floor mop to clean interior walls. Attach a dry baby diaper or microfiber cloth to the very end so you can clean away dirt and cobwebs without having to use a step ladder. Try doing this once a year.
#4 – Remote Controls
Over 55% of households have moldy remote controls. These are for TVs, DVDs, ceiling fans, fireplaces, chandeliers, and on and on. Believe it or not, your hand-held remote controls are swimming in dead skin cells and germs. Yeesh! So wipe them down at least once a week with 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them. Remember to let the alcohol spray dry on the device to kill (almost all) the germs (99%). That takes about 10 minutes.
#5 – Cell Phones
Has it been more than 24 hours ago since you cleaned your cell phone (or other electronics such as laptops)? We recommend disinfecting them daily. First, dampen a tissue or a soft cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Then, gently wipe them down.
#6 – Closet Spaces
Although we’ve most likely decluttered our closets at one time or another, when is the last time you’ve wiped down the walls in your closet? Give the walls and shelving a good vacuum once a year (or every season).
#7 – Light Switches
Light switches are just as important to clean as your toilet seat. In fact, they may just be the dirtiest spots in your entire household. Dampen a lint-free cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol to wipe down daily.
#8 – Ice Makers
I know somebody who stopped using their ice maker because the ice tasted funky. Yet all it needed was to be deodorized. In normal circumstances, ice makers do not need to be washed. However, to keep the ice from absorbing fridge and freezer odors, clean both compartments at least twice yearly with dishwashing liquid and soft cotton cloth. In between cleanings, open a box of baking soda and place it in both compartments.
#9 – Coffee Pot Reservoirs
50% of households have mold in the reservoir of the coffee maker. You already clean your coffee pot, or so you say. But, unfortunately, coffee maker reservoirs are hanging out with mold and yeast – according to the Public Health and Safety Organization. It’s best to take off all removable components and run them through a dishwashing cycle. Mix water and white vinegar to clean the reservoir itself.
#10 – Hair Brushes
Brushes can last for as long as up to three years – that is if you clean them properly. If it’s been three years already and you haven’t cleaned your brush at all – well – toss it and start fresh! Wash your brush by hand with your favorite shampoo once a month. Before washing, pull or cut out the hairs.
#11 – Dish Brushes, Rags, and Sponges
Bacteria grows on anything that sits in or soaks up water.
- Nuke non-metallic sponges in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Then, remove it with an oven mitt and let it cool.
- Sanitize metallic scrub pads (and any other kind of sponge) by using the hottest dishwasher cycle, and be sure to use the dry cycle, too.
#12 – Computer Keyboards
68% of families have yeast and mold on electronics such as computer keyboards. Why do you ask? Because we eat over them all the time. Food gets stuck in between the keys causing mold and yeast.
- To clean, turn them upside down over a trash can to empty out all crumbs.
- Then, take a 70% isopropyl alcohol dampened cloth and wipe it down.
- NEVER use bleach on a keyboard (or anything else for that matter). Go ahead and clean your mouse, too, while you are at it!
#13 – Toothbrush Holders
It’s alarming to think that 64% of households have mold in their toothbrush holders. To clean and sanitize, soak the entire holder in hot, soapy water. Scrub away the gunk out of the holes with a soapy pipe cleaner.
#14 – Pet Toys
Some 55% of households have mold and yeast on slobber-laden pet toys!
- To clean and sanitize plastic toys, fill the kitchen sink with hot water and dish soap. Let them soak for a few minutes. Wash each one individually and set it aside to dry.
- To clean plush pet toys, place them in a mesh bag and launder in your washing machine. Set the cycle to gentle. Use cold or warm water.
- Repeat this routine every two weeks.
A word of caution: Never wash pet toys in the dishwasher (they may not be dishwasher safe!).
#15 – Washing Machines
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that front-loading washing machines are one of the most important things you’re forgetting to clean. Moldy and mildewy bombshells are NO fun. These uncleaned machines are stinking up the clothes and messing with your allergies. To prevent this from happening, run an empty load on the hot water cycle. Use vinegar instead of your go-to detergent.
There you have it – 15 things you’re forgetting to clean in your household!
How to Reduce Mold in Your Home by Simply Cleaning
First and foremost: the things you’re forgetting to clean can actually help you reduce mold in your home. That is – IF you clean them. According to an International Household Germ Study, both mold and yeast were discovered on many uncleaned wet items found in 31% of the households in the study. So, like we said: take care of this top 15, and you’ll be well on your way to healthier inside air quality.
What Household Items Were Found to Have Mold? Let Me Tell You.
- Dish Sponges And Rags
- Remote Controls
- Pet Bowls
- Coffee Reservoirs
- Computer Keyboards
- And the list goes on!
At Park Avenue Cleaning, We’ve Got Your Back
Our clients recognize us here at Park Avenue Cleaning as the Greater Baltimore area’s premium cleaning crew and maid service for residential cleaning, real estate cleaning, and commercial/office properties. We do it the spotless way! For 20+ years, we’ve sanitized and cleaned ceiling fans, baseboards, and everything in between.
Give us a call! We would love to hear from you: 877-546-9837.