Here Are 7 Household Items You Definitely
Should Know How to Clean

See also: Improving Your Wellbeing

When you have so much going on, it can be easy to overlook things that don't need cleaning as regularly as other appliances and areas in your home. However, by neglecting these areas too long, you'll end up with a dirty home that never feels perfectly clean, one you can't exactly relax in. You have to learn what to prioritize when cleaning deeply so that your house can help you feel as relaxed as you should.

Here are some commonly missed places you should prioritize for your next deep clean.

1. Fabric Furniture

A study conducted by UNICEF and Domestos found that a living room couch is dirtier than the bathroom, with around 12 times more bacteria on the surface of a sofa. You can't expect your fabric furniture to be clean after just spraying it with a household cleaner. If you can slip the covers off your couch, you can easily get them clean in the washing machine. If your furniture doesn't have slip covers, you might find it a little more difficult — but it's not impossible to clean them.

You can clean your couch by following direct instructions according to the fabric. First, you should sprinkle baking soda on your cushions. This action will help eliminate any odors when you vacuum it up later. You can create your own couch-washing liquid by combining dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water. Let your couch dry completely before sitting on it again.

2. Walls

People don't wash their walls often enough. If you have children or a lot of people running through your home, you're likely used to the fingerprints and dirt that accumulate. While you might clean this dirt from other places, your walls need the same treatment. Before you clean your walls, you need to use a duster to remove the loose dirt and dust in every corner.

After you've dusted everything, you can clean your walls. You can easily clean painted walls with warm water and a bit of dishwashing detergent. You can wipe the soap and water mixture onto the wall, then wipe it off with a clean sponge. After that, make sure to dry your wall with a clean towel.

Wallpaper can be a bit trickier. While vinyl wallpaper is often water-resistant and can be treated with a soapy water mixture, older wallpaper might need to be cleaned with a dry sponge. Try to keep as much moisture as you can away from your wallpaper and dab off any excess.

3. Microwave

With all its little parts and tricky crevices, knowing how to clean your microwave effectively can help rid your kitchen of unsavory smells and finally get off anything that has been caked on for a while. If you don't clean your microwave often, it might even allow bacteria to fester and grow, allowing them to invade other foods you microwave.

The best way to prevent this occurrence is by cleaning your microwave weekly. You can clean it relatively easily by just microwaving a bowl of water. The steam should loosen some of the bits that are caked on, so you can easily wipe them away. You should add some vinegar to the bowl, as it could work as a disinfectant to eliminate some of the bacteria.

4. Baseboards

The rest of your home could be sparkling clean, but if you ignore your baseboards, they could ruin the look of your entire home. Baseboards bear the brunt of the dirt when you have children and pets running inside and outside constantly, as well as people's shoes that may splash mud up on them. While cleaning your baseboards might be a process, it'll definitely be worth it to have your whole home look neat and cohesive.

First, you'll want to vacuum your baseboards using a brush attachment. Doing so will help you remove any dust or dirt barely hanging on. Then, you'll have to do the more intense work of scrubbing your baseboards with a mixture of warm water, vinegar and dishwashing liquid.

Make sure you clean the corners and the areas people wouldn't normally see, too. You can also protect your baseboards from further dust by running a dryer sheet over them. If you don't have a dryer sheet, you can vacuum regularly to hopefully cut down on the frequency of cleaning your baseboards.

5. Washing Machine

You put your clothes in the washing machine, but how can you ensure they truly get clean? If you haven't cleaned your washing machine in a while, it might not be doing your clothes or other fabrics any service. Vinegar and baking soda is a great mixture to add to your washing machine as it runs a full cycle, as vinegar can defeat any potential bacteria that would otherwise get on your clothes.

Alternatively, you can use a washing machine cleaner tablet. This tablet will get your machine clean after running on a full cycle — and it won't require as much work from you. Dropping a tablet in is an easy routine to get in the habit of doing, and it can ensure that your clothes stay clean once you wash them.

Remember to clean your agitator, too. It's often overlooked, but it can harbor dirt, bacteria and other remnants from each wash. You can remove the cap and clean it out with soap and water. Otherwise, do your best to get it clean — and call in a professional if you need to, as a clean agitator may make a difference in how well your clothes are washed.

6. Oven

Your first instinct might be to reach for whatever chemicals can help you clean the grime off your oven, but it's simpler than that. You can use natural methods to clean your oven and keep it sparkling after countless dinnertimes to come. Many ovens have a self-cleaning option, which you can use if applicable. It will burn off some of the caked-on grease and food, so it'll be easier for you to remove.

You'll want to wipe out any food debris that is loose in your oven. If you want, you can also use a vacuum to get the mess up easily. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, then spread it all over the inside of your cool oven. You'll want to let it sit for a bit, giving you enough time to clean the rest of your oven while you wait.

Cleaning your oven racks is as easy as soaking them in water to loosen some of the food debris. Once you've got everything you can off the racks, use some vinegar and baking soda to clean what's left on the racks. Next, you'll scrub the inside of your oven and rinse off the paste. After that, you can spray the inside of your oven with vinegar and dish soap to keep it clean. Once finished, you can insert the oven racks and feel assured that your oven is now reset and should work more efficiently.

7. Fireplace

Your fireplace is one of the most crucial places to clean, especially if you plan on starting it up for the colder months. You must ensure it's clean enough and won't pose a fire hazard to your family. You should also have your chimney inspected once a year if you use your fireplace regularly, allowing you to cut down on the chance of experiencing a house fire. When you clean your fireplace, make sure to clean the tools and the doors. Doing so may just keep your household safe.

After you're finished using it for the year, make sure to clean it up, so it's easier to get ready for the next year. You can remove leftover wood and ashes and tidy up your fireplace so it can be decorated year-round. Vinegar and warm water will help you get any grime off the bricks. You can use a vacuum to remove excess dust in the firebox. Vinegar and warm water can tackle any grime left on the bricks.

Learn How to Clean Effectively

The reason you might feel like you're cleaning all the time could be that you're not cleaning your home effectively. Knowing the right way to clean things can help you cut down on how much time you spend cleaning, so you can use that extra time for things you thoroughly enjoy. By brushing up on your knowledge of how to clean things and declutter, you'll have a home that's sparkling at all times. You might even find that you're happier in a cleaner home — all thanks to paying attention to how to take care of your house.

About the Author

Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you'll find her in a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.