5 Spots You’ll Probably Want to Deep Clean ASAP

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April 11, 2019

It’s spring cleaning season, which means paying special attention to all the nooks and crannies in your home that get overlooked the rest of the year. (And if you’re anything like the folks in this recent survey, there may be a lot of said nooks and crannies.)

I asked several cleaning experts which spots around the house people most often forget when it comes to deep cleaning. Here’s what they said, along with their tips for tackling these neglected areas.

1. Dishwasher

“People forget to deep clean their dishwashers,” says Melissa Maker, the blogger and YouTuber behind Clean My Space. “We think because they’re a ‘cleaning appliance’ that they’re inherently clean, but that’s not the case. If your dishes come out with food particles or water spots, or if the appliance smells, it’s a good sign that it’s time to clean your dishwasher.”

Here’s how she suggests doing so:

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Top Comment:
“I clean houses and buildings...alot of people miss behind the toilet and the wall...under the rim the part that has the tank sitting on gets pretty yucky so if you're wondering why your restroom smells that's the reason”
— Leticia R.

Remove and clean the filter. Remove the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher—if you don’t know where it is, Google your model and pull up the manual to learn how to disassemble it. Soak it in hot, soapy water, then scrub it with a cleaning toothbrush.

Clean the cavity. Next, spray the interior frame of the dishwasher with all-purpose cleaner and allow it to soak. The area underneath the dishwasher door and the door frame can get gunky, so give these areas extra attention. After they’ve soaked for a few minutes, scrub the inner cavity down.

Clean removable parts. Remove the cutlery basket and clean it with hot soapy water and a dish brush.

Use a dishwashing tablet. Finish off by using a cleaning tablet on an empty cycle. Once done, your dishes will come out cleaner and the dishwasher shouldn’t smell anymore.

2. Picture Frames and Wall Decorations

Debra Johnson, Cleaning Expert for Merry Maids, says there are a few places dust and allergens can hide around your home, including on picture frames and other wall decorations.

“I often find that people forget to dust their homes as frequently as they should,” she says. “I recommend doing a deep dusting in those areas you neglect throughout the rest of the year—especially right before allergy season kicks in.”

It’s a quick and easy task when you follow her tips:

Dust them down. Start by dusting picture frames and other knickknacks on shelves and mantels with a dry microfiber cloth.

Clean the surface. Remove these items from the table or shelf where they normally sit, then use a dry microfiber cloth to dust the surface. You can then put them back into place.

Tackle wall decor. Remove any pictures or decorations from your walls and use a dry microfiber cloth to dust them. Wipe down the area behind each decoration, as well, before hanging it back up.

3. Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal gets rid of unwanted food, but little bits and pieces can get left behind, says Donna Smallin Kuper of Unclutter. If your disposal smells funky, it’s definitely time to deep clean it.

Here’s what Kuper recommends:

Try a quick fix. Put a cup of ice cubes and some salt (to help melt the ice) into your garbage disposal. You can add lemon rind, if you happen to have it—this will give your kitchen a nice, fresh scent. Turn on the disposal and grind until the ice is gone.

Deep clean the appliance. To more thoroughly clean your garbage disposal, add ¼ cup baking soda to drain. Heat up 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in the microwave, then pour it on top of the baking soda. Let it bubble for a few minutes. Flush with hot water.

Don’t forget the flap. “The part of the disposal that rarely gets cleaned is the underside of the flaps that prevent food from flying out,” Kuper says. To be safe while cleaning these flaps, it’s best to unplug your garbage disposal, and remember to never put your hand in the drain. Instead, lift the flaps all the way around so you have access to the underside. Spray generously with all-purpose cleaner. Use a scrubby sponge to remove any grime. Rinse with hot water, then set the flaps back into place.

4. Baseboards

Becky Rapinchuk, who runs the blog Clean Mama, says people often forget to clean baseboards—the strips of covering that hide the place where wall meets floor. The area is small, but it can collect dirt, dust, and allergens all the same.

Here’s how she proposes cleaning them:

Start by vacuuming. Use a vacuum cleaner with a dusting attachment to go over the edges of your baseboards.

Wash them down. Next, create a mixture of 4 or 5 cups of warm water and a few teaspoons of gentle liquid soap, if safe for your baseboards’ finish. Dunk a microfiber cloth into the soapy water, then wring it out well. Use it to wipe the baseboards, taking care to keep any excess water off the floor or walls. Dry as you go.

5. Ceiling and Ceiling Fan

Johnson also recommends cleaning both your ceiling and ceiling fan to prevent dust build-up:

Get rid of cobwebs. Use a microfiber cloth or vacuum to remove cobwebs in corners and along the edges of the ceiling.

Clean the fan. Turn the ceiling fan off, and dust along the blades with a microfiber cloth. Remember to get the top, edges, and bottom of the blades, as well as the mount.

Vacuum the room. Chances are you’ll knock some dirt and dust onto the floor during this process, so finish cleaning by vacuuming.

All products are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.

Do you have any tips for deep-cleaning overlooked areas of the home? Let us know in the comments.

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Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.


charlie February 27, 2020
If you don't have time to your garbage..There's no need for you to mess things up.. And expect another person to clean up behind you.
marie November 10, 2019
Life is hard enough... do we really have to clean things that are designed to clean things?
Apples May 7, 2019
What’s the name of the song used as background music for the easy eggplant parm recipe?
Nancy May 3, 2019
Thanks for the reminders. Use an old pillow case to clear the top of ceiling fan blades. that way the accumulated dust can fall into the pillow case instead of the furniture below. Then vacuum, then wipe down.
Jane April 12, 2019
Don't forget to clean the vacuum out too. Make sure everything is dry before using again.
Tara T. April 12, 2019
Great suggestions.
From a category standpoint along with the dishwasher the clothes washer, and while you're there the dryer:).
The two other categories that, in my opinion if these are clean I'd bet your whole house is because when you go to clean them you'll, I gauranteed, find some neglected dust all around!
Switch plates, outlets, and electrical cords... the ones behind the credenzas and dressers.
And the second, doors ( especially around the handles and above the casing), cabinet fronts & around windows openings ( I not just the glass but the sills, glides and handles or locks).
I like to use a very diluted murphys oil or any natural cleaner the whole room smells fresh.
Happy cleaning!
Leticia R. April 12, 2019
I clean houses and buildings...alot of people miss behind the toilet and the wall...under the rim the part that has the tank sitting on gets pretty yucky so if you're wondering why your restroom smells that's the reason