6 Things You’re Probably Not Cleaning Often Enough
If you pride yourself on having a clean home, be sure you’re cleaning these six things that often don’t get enough attention.
Maybe you’re already on the ball and you do things like regularly cleaning fridge condenser coils, but some things could still be slipping past your eagle-eyed attention. They’re either not getting cleaned at all or they’re not being cleaned often enough. Read on to discover what six of these often neglected things are and how to clean them.
- Dryer Panel and Dryer Vents
If you’re going to do a deep cleaning, your dryer should be at the top of the list. Even if you keep your dryer lint screen appropriately clean, lint can build up inside the dryer cabinet. Built-up lint inside a dryer is a fire hazard.
To clean your dryer, first clean the exhaust duct. To do this, unplug the dryer (and turn off the gas if it’s a gas dryer). Pull the dryer away from the wall, disconnect the duct, and use a brush or a vacuum to remove all the lint inside.
Next, you want to clean the inside of the dryer cabinet. Again, you need the dryer unplugged, and if it’s gas, make sure that’s also turned off. Open the cabinet from the top or the front, depending on your particular model. Check your owner’s manual to see which is appropriate for your dryer. Your owner’s manual will show you how to open the cabinet. This procedure varies in different types of dryers, so you’ll have to follow your owner’s manual instructions. If you’ve lost your manual, you can do a search for lost manuals online. Search by the brand and model number.
Once you have the top or front open, use a vacuum and a long brush to clean out all the lint you can see and reach. Be gentle around the wires and mechanical parts. But of course, if you are looking for something easier, check out this good kit for your dryer which will make your cleaning way more fuss-free.
- Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Because bathroom exhaust fan vents aren’t a surface you often come in contact with, you might not think to clean them. But bathroom exhaust fans can be a mess. The high humidity and moisture in a bathroom can combine with dust and pet hair to create a thick muck that cakes the fan. This muck reduces the fan’s efficiency.
To clean a bathroom exhaust fan, all you need to do is grab the outside edge of the fan cover and pull it down. The cover is held in place by springs. Squeeze them to release them from their slots. Then use a vacuum or brush to thoroughly clean the fan.
- Faucet Aerators
When water runs through something, you often don’t think to clean it. But if you want water to flow through your faucets properly, you need to clean your faucet aerators. Faucet aerators are wire mesh screens that can get clogged with mineral deposits from your water. If they get too clogged, it will impair the faucet’s water flow.
To clean an aerator, either unscrew or pry off the aerator (depending on what type it is). Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any buildup you find, and then rinse the aerator. Buildup can also get stuck inside the neck of the faucet, so use your finger to loosen whatever debris you can reach.
If the mineral build-up remains after you scrub, you can do either of two things. First, you can soak the aerator in vinegar. Soak it overnight. This should soften mineral build-up, so you can scrub it away.
Second, you can buy a new aerator. They don’t cost much, but you might have to search a bit to find a match if you don’t have standard aerators. Just do an online search for your brand of faucet plus “faucet parts” to find the aerator you need.
But if you clean your aerators regularly, you shouldn’t have to replace them.
- Outdoor Lights
Obviously, anything that stays outdoors can get pretty dirty. Outdoor lights are no exception.
You should inspect your outdoor lights at least once a year (twice is better). Check for rodent or insect nests. They can be attracted by the heat put off by the light. Remove any nests you find. Then clean the light fixture or surface of floodlights because built-up dirt diminishes the lights’ functionality. One drop of dishwasher soap in a cup of warm water applied with a soft cloth will do the trick.
I could freak you out right now with a bunch of facts about dust mites and dust mite waste, but suffice to say, pillows need to be washed a couple times per year at least.
Follow these steps to clean pillows:
- Check the pillow labels to be sure they’re washable.
- Roll up your pillows lengthwise. Using rubber bands, secure the roll in the middle and on each end to prevent severe fiber clumping during the washing process.
- Wash two pillows at a time to keep your washing machine balanced.
- Use a mild, low-suds-generating detergent like Woolite. Set the water temperature as recommended by the pillow label.
- Run the pillows through the wash cycle (again, at the recommended setting) once.
- Run the pillows through the rinse cycle twice.
- Follow the label’s instructions again for drying the pillows. If you can put them in the dryer, put a couple tennis balls in the dryer with the pillows. This will speed up the drying time and prevent fiber clumping.
- If you need to air dry your pillows, either put them out in the sun or hang them by their corners in a warm room.If your pillows aren’t machine-washable (most memory foam pillows aren’t, for example), you can wash them by hand by submerging them in warm water or you can wash those pillows in the machine carefully. Only do this on a sunny day when you can hang the pillows outside until they’re completely dry. If you don’t dry a memory foam pillow very quickly, mildew can grow in the cells of the foam.
- Remote Controls
You probably use it every day, but do you clean it? Probably not. Because they’re constantly used by grubby hands, remote controls are party central for germs. You don’t want to be handling a germ-infested gadget all the time, do you?
To clean a remote control, you’ll need a cotton cloth, rubbing alcohol, and some cotton swabs. Now follow these steps:
- Remove the batteries from the remote.
- Dip the cloth in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the entire surface of the remote.
- Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and then run the swab around the buttons on the remote.
- If you see grime in the cracks between the buttons and the remote control’s housing, use a toothpick to dig it out.
- Dry the remote with a lint-free cloth.
- Reinstall the batteries.
In a healthy household, cleaning a remote control should be at least a monthly task. If it’s cold and flu season, clean it even more often.
You thought your house was clean before? It’s going to be even cleaner now that you’re aware of these six things that might have been escaping your notice before. Clean them regularly, and you’ll have a healthier and cleaner home. If you need more advice and tips on cleaning your house, I highly recommend you take a look at the guide from Lighting House on how to clean your house in under 1 hour!