In the never-ending quest for a clean home, some chores inevitably slip through the cracks. Dust silently accumulates on neglected surfaces, grime builds up on overhead exhaust fans, and one only knows what's happening behind the fridge. Addressing these easily forgotten tasks is crucial in warding off the buildup of mildew, dust, mold, and other unwelcome guests, ensuring a cleaner, healthier living environment—here are a few of the most popular offenders.

Pillows

There's nothing quite like the feeling of climbing into a bed with crisp, clean sheets and fluffy pillows. But did you know that pillows can harbor dust mites, allergens, and even bacteria if not washed regularly? Washing pillows is a simple task, assuming it's done correctly, which can impact the cleanliness of your bedroom and even the quality of your sleep. As always, begin by checking the care label, but generally speaking, use a cold water cycle and unscented detergent. Launder two pillows at a time, and pre-treat any stains with a dab of liquid laundry detergent. When the cycle is done, place in the dryer with several dryer balls on a low heat cycle and dry until the pillows no longer retain moisture.

hand cleaning a counter with a grey kitchen cloth

Light Fixtures

Another commonly overlooked but impactful task involves cleaning light fixtures. Dust, grime, and cobwebs accumulate over time, impacting not only the look of the fixture but also diminishing its brightness. Use a step ladder and a dry microfiber cloth (a flat-weave cloth if you have one) to remove dust and cobwebs. If glass components are removable, you can wash and rinse them (ensure everything is dry before reassembly). For stubborn grime, wet a general purpose microfiber cloth in a mixture of 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/2 tsp of dish soap. Remember to turn off and allow the lights to cool before cleaning.

Underneath & Behind

This group of overlooked spots can include couches, fridges, stoves, and beds. They fly underneath the radar because they are hidden from view; however, neglecting these areas can adversely affect air quality, and when it comes to appliances, it can affect their performance. For example, dusty fridge coils can strain the unit, leading to inefficient cooling. The biggest challenge in cleaning these areas is usually moving the furniture/appliance in question. Once that's been done the cleaning is relatively straightforward using a vacuum, and for the case of vents on appliances, a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Aim for a thorough cleaning of these areas at least twice a year for appliances and underneath furniture every other month.

May 29, 2024