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.
“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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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