Often Overlooked Places That Need Cleaning

Everyone has places that need cleaning in their home. These places don’t get the attention they need just because they’re somewhat out of sight and out of mind – unless they smell. But, if you add these overlooked places into your calendar, you won’t ever have issues and your home will be much cleaner and fresher.

Common Places That Need Cleaning Throughout the Home

Stove Exhaust Vent

Most stoves have an exhaust vent above the stove with a fan that helps move smells and smoke out of the house. This gets very dirty and even covered in the old food and grease that are in the steam and smoke escaping. To clean the vent, first read your manufacturer’s directions.

Having said that, normally you can take it apart by unscrewing the screen. Soak the screen in hot soapy water, brush with a soft brush, and then dry thoroughly. Using a soft cloth with a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture, wipe down the outside and inside of the vent.


The dirty food going through the dishwasher sometimes gets stuck in the filter. Many people don’t realize that the dishwasher has a filter that can be removed, emptied and cleaned to keep the dishwasher fresh. In addition, you can run CLR cleaner through the dishwasher on the hottest setting (run it twice, once with the cleaner and once without to get all the cleaner out). Additionally, you can put a paste of baking soda on the surfaces and spray with vinegar, which will cause the solution to foam. Rinse well. This will make your dishwasher smell good and sparkle. Plus, it’s going to clean much better.

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The best way to protect your mattress is to keep a good mattress cover over it. But, if something happens, you can still get it clean. One great way to freshen your mattress is to shake baking powder over it, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it off. If you get stains on your mattress of almost any kind, you can use a high quality carpet cleaner to remove them. If it’s possible, one of the best ways to clean and freshen an older mattress that is still good is to put it outside in the sunshine on a very dry day.

Floor Vents and Air Return Vents

Many people who have central air have vents on the floor and also on the ceiling, both places that need cleaning. Plus, your AC has an air return vent – usually right near it. These places get dusty and dirty and also need to be cleaned. It won’t take long if you give them a quick cleaning and then wax them with car wax. Dust will be repelled for months. To clean the vents, just use a soft cloth soaked in hot soapy water. Wash, then rinse, then dry completely before waxing.

Washer and Dryer

Because the washer is cleaning dirty clothing, and there are small holes, it can become smelly if not properly cleaned and is one of the most important household places that need cleaning. Dryers can collect tons of dust and can become a fire hazard without proper care.

Each machine has factory recommendations, so follow those. But in general, to clean your washer you can run an empty load on hot with vinegar, baking soda, or a special cleaning packet you can get at the store put out by different detergent companies.

To clean the dryer, always clean the filter before use. Monthly, you will want to use a special lint cleaner for the dryer to get any lint out that didn’t get into the filter. You should also use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the dryer at that time, drying fully before running another load.



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This is the area in every single room in the house that is near the floor – usually with some sort of molding around it. When you mop, take the extra time to also wash this area. Just use a soft cloth with a vinegar/water solution and wipe it down. If your wood is getting dry, you may want to add some olive oil to the solution.

Sink Drains and Garbage Disposal

If everything seems to be working right, we tend to ignore drains and the disposal, but they are places that need cleaning. This area can easily become very smelly. The fastest and less expensive solution is to pour baking soda down the drains, then follow with vinegar. Let sit for about an hour, then rinse. You may have to do it more than once if you haven’t done it in a long time. It would also be a good idea to try a high-performance drain cleanser!

Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

Nothing is worse than having a party and realizing you have a lot of dust and cobwebs on your ceiling fans and light fixtures. It’s simple to clean them, but it’s best to do this weekly so that it’ll go faster each time.

Just take the sconces off the lights and run them through the dishwasher if they’re just regular glass. If they have a coating that might get ruined, soak them in the sink in hot water and vinegar, then wipe down and dry. Using a dusting tool so that you can reach safely, wipe down the surfaces. To keep your fans dust free longer, wipe with a dryer sheet after you’ve dusted with your duster or microfiber cloth.


The best course of action here is to use a long duster to get into all the corners of your house on a weekly basis before you dust the rest of the house. If you see a particularly large one, go ahead and tackle it with your vacuum cleaner. Cobwebs also happen under furniture, so be sure to turn over your furniture on at least a monthly basis to run a vacuum on the surface of the bottom of chairs, couches, and beds.

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Keeping your home clean involves a lot of thought and work, and these places that need cleaning in the home are often overlooked. However, they still need cleaning. If you add them to your chore list, you won’t forget them again.

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