15 Things You Never Think To Clean

What is something that everyone in your house touches yet no one thinks twice about?

You know to scrub dishes and mop floors and dust furniture, but there are some things in every home that have probably never been cleaned.

Here are 15 things you should make an effort to clean to help prevent germs from taking hold of your family.

Remote controls

Remote controls are among the most germ-ridden surfaces of the house. Odds are you’ve never cleaned it. Think of all the food particles that must be gumming up the works. People sneeze and cough and think nothing of grabbing the remote. The best way to clean a remote control is by using a disinfectant wipe. Be sure to get between the buttons.

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Disinfectant Wipes

Light switches

For the same reason, you should be suspicious of your light switches. Again, they’re a common enough item that everyone touches without even thinking. Run a disinfectant wipe over all the switches every week or so, or more frequently if anyone in your house is sick. 

Door knobs and drawer handles

These definitely need a good cleaning, not just a quick wipe with a rag. Use Lysol or another disinfectant, then make sure to clean them every week thereafter. Yes, there are a lot of them, which means there are a lot of places that germs can linger. This is especially true for the front door and any drawer handles in the kitchen and bathroom.

RELATED: Cleaning & Hygiene Tips To Help Keep Your House Safe From COVID-19

Inside trash cans

This should be obvious but it’s not. Even the strongest garbage can liner can spring a leak. Take your trash cans out back and hose them off with some bleach or cleaning solution. Or you can clean trash cans in your shower or tub. Just remember to clean the tub too before using it for its intended purpose of keeping your own body clean.

Behind trash cans

Just take a look at the wall behind your trash cans. Sometimes people miss the can when they’re throwing away trash and hit the wall instead. It’s a good idea to clean out behind the trash can while you’re cleaning the inside of the can. You probably already sweep behind the garbage area, but a quick once over with some household cleaner will do a lot of good. Bleach is not recommended if you have wallpaper. A multi-surface cleanser like Formula 409 will work just fine.

RELATED: 7 Tips To Keep Your Skin Healthy While Washing Your Hands Often

Automatic ice maker

You probably clean out your refrigerator at some point, but if you have an automatic ice machine in the door, chances are you’ve never cleaned that part. It’s recommended that you do a deep clean of your refrigerator and freezer at least twice a year, but if your ice cubes come out tasting weird, flushing the system with vinegar and water should help degunk it.

The water reservoir in the coffee machine

Whether you have a machine that makes a full pot of coffee or one at a time with a pod, the water you’ve been using has probably built up in the works. Especially if you have hard water, you want to keep the coffee machine clean. Run a cycle with a solution of half vinegar, half water, and then run a second cycle with plain water. Doing this regularly will help keep your coffee maker running in top condition.

Brushes, combs, and other styling equipment

Your hairbrush can get clogged with hair in no time. Therefore, it’s important to remove the hair from your brush frequently, and then soak the brush a mixture of water and shampoo. Let the brush air dry. Combs are easier to clean hair from, but they also collect all kinds of dead skin cells in between the teeth. Regular cleaning of combs is just as important. Use an old toothbrush to clean out the worst of the buildup.

Pet toys

No matter how close you are to your pet, their toys are among the filthiest things in your house. Covered in pet drool, dander, and fur, the toys need to be taken care of to keep your pet healthy. You can run soft toys or stuffed animals in the washing machine, and rubber toys can be sanitized by running them, separately, through the dishwasher on the top rack.

Bathroom knickknacks

You probably already know to keep your toothbrush covered because flushing the toilet sends up a mist of germy water. But do you ever think about cleaning off your bathroom decorations? Whether you put flowers on the toilet tank or a dish of pretty soap by the window, everything in your bathroom gets re-introduced to germs with every flush. So, wipe everything down as you clean the bathroom, and change out the towels once a day. 

Washing machine

You would think the washing machine would be the cleanest appliance in the house, but you’d be mistaken. Just like the coffee maker and the ice machine, the washing machine needs an occasional run through with vinegar and hot water. This will help prevent mildew from forming inside the machine. Or, if your model of machine has a self cleaning setting, don’t be afraid to use it.

Dish cleaning brushes

The cleaning brushes in the kitchen are among the worst offenders for keeping germs around. Since they’re plastic, they can be run through the dishwasher on the top rack. Or, if you don’t have a dishwasher, soak the brushes in hot water with a dash of antibacterial dish soap. 

Vents for heaters and air conditioners

Spring and autumn equinoxes are ideal times for taking care of chores that need doing twice a year. That includes checking batteries in smoke detectors. But you should also check and clean out your heating vents at that time. Clean them once before the cold season starts, and then again once it warms up and you turn the heater off. Run a vacuum cleaner over the vents to dislodge dust and buildup, and be sure to change out the air filter if it’s dirty.

Light bulbs

Light bulbs get dusty just like everything else, especially if they’re the new LED-style bulbs. These bulbs last years longer than the old filament style bulbs, which means they can build up a lot of debris. Don’t use water, obviously. Bulbs can be cleaned with a quick wave of a dust-free cloth. Be sure the bulb isn’t turned on when you do it.

Yoga mats

Yoga mats go everywhere and get stepped on frequently, so it’s easy to see how dirty they can get. And you don’t want to be lying face down in any of that. Fortunately, they can be refreshed with a spray bottle and a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. This will also get rid of the sweat and skin buildup you’re shedding on them at every workout.