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Sure, everything in your house needs a deep scrub every so often. Obvious to-dos are the fridge, baseboards, the oven and behind the toilet. But there is oh-so-much more. Here are 13 things most people forget to clean and our tips for how to best clean them:
1. Coffee & Tea Stains
With a little vinegar and baking soda, you can clean the stubborn coffee and teas stains out of your favorite mug or thermos. Get the full instructions from Kitchn.
2. Your Keurig
It may seem super scary, but there is a simple way to clean your Keurig. We’ve got the instructions here.
3. Outdoor Umbrellas
Every spring, homeowners drag out their patio furniture and give it a good spray and scrub. This year, don’t forget the inside of your umbrella. Over the winter, bugs and creepy crawlies may nest in the folds and any moisture can create a mildewy mess. Do yourself a favor, and scrub the inside of your umbrella with some baking soda and water so there aren’t any surprises when you open it for the first time over your guests.
4. Bath Mats
How often do you wash your towels? If you’re like me, about once every week. Towels get dirty from helping us get clean. Guess what? Bath mats do, too. Just remember every time you wash your towels to throw your bath mat in as well!
5. Your Iron
Have you ever ruined a shirt because some gunk got on your iron, then subsequently was pressed onto your clothes? I sure have. Thankfully, Thrifty & Chic has a great tutorial using vinegar and baking soda to get your iron squeaky clean.
6. Storage Baskets
Often the catch-all for shoes, sports equipment, and pet toys, baskets can acquire a ton of dirt and grime. Next time you’re vacuuming near one, dump it out and suck out any dirt and debris.
7. Your Reusable Bags
If you use reusable bags or totes for groceries, here’s your reminder to give them a wipe (or gently wash) every few months. Different foods can contaminate the bags and occasionally there’s a spill. I recommend designating one bag to be used only for raw meats. You get a gold star if you do this already!
8. Lamp Bodies & Shades
Sure, you occasionally wipe them with a duster, but did you know the heat from your lamp can cause dirt to stick a little harder? My recommendation: Once a month, use a soft attachment on your vacuum to suction off the hard-to-remove dust. Don’t forget the inside of your lampshade, too.
9. Behind Your Faucets
Sure, you wipe them down every time you clean the sink, but every once in a while you should scrub around your entire faucets with an old toothbrush. Simply make a paste with baking soda and vinegar and scrub away. You’ll be amazed (or disgusted) at what comes off.
10. Your Vacuum
The poor vacuum spends its entire life cleaning for you, why don’t help it out by making sure it’s clean, too? Daily Mom has simple step-by-step instructions. All you need is a can of compressed air, water, dish soap and paper towels, scissors and a flathead screwdriver.
11. Your Humidifier
Proper humidity in your home can help lessen the symptoms of a cold. But when you combine water and heat to make steam, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Apartment Therapy recommends cleaning your humidifier about once a month when frequently being used.
RELATED: 11 DIY Ways To Increase The Humidity In Your Home (Without Purchasing A Humidifier)
12. Remote Controls
Lots of items in your home may have a remote — TVs, DVD players, XBoxes, ceiling fans, the list goes on. To clean, start by gently scrubbing with a toothbrush then gently wipe with rubbing alcohol.
13. Heat & AC Vents
Once every few months, you should clean your air vents. I typically like to do this at the same time I’m vacuuming my baseboards — I’ve already got the soft attachment hooked up, so it’s a simple task to add. Cleaning the vents that blow (and return) air to and from your furnace can help cut down on airborne dust particles in your home.
Got a floor vent that you can easily pull up? Turn it over and use the vacuum to clean the air flappers. You’d be surprised how much dust collects there (much like the top of your fan blades).