- Light Switches
Some light switches are used by multiple members of the household dozens of times a day. Gunk builds up and needs to be cleaned. Modern switches have protection against liquids sprayed onto the front of the switch, but I still recommend not spraying a switch (or outlet) with cleaner. Water and cleaners are highly conductive to electricity, and while modern plugs do have protections against that, there is still a potential for shock. I recommend using a cleaning wipe on light switches every couple weeks if the switches are frequently used, and every couple months if not frequently used.
It seems counter-intuitive that a machine that uses scalding-hot water and concentrated soap would build up so much gunk, but it does. If you use your dishwasher a few times a week as I do, then you know what I mean. I used to hand clean the dishwasher every other month, but it takes a long time to clean the racks. An easier way is to run a high temp wash cycle with a dishwasher cleaner agent.
- Washing Machine
Like the dishwasher in item number 12, it’s surprising how gunk builds up when the washing machine gets the same soap that clothes do. Cleaning the washer can be done a couple of times a year with your favorite multi-surface cleaning spray, adding a cup of white vinegar to a wash cycle, or by using specialized washing machine cleaning tabs. I prefer cleaning tabs because I can drop one in, set a wash cycle, and come back later to a sparkling clean washing machine.
- Behind Toilet and Under toilet seat
Even with regular cleaning around the toilet seat, underneath where the toilet seat mounts to the bowl builds up bacteria and gunk. It is good to remove the seat occasionally and clean the seat-to-bowl mating surfaces.
Behind the toilet accumulates dust, but is often forgotten about. Cleaning this spot when cleaning the rest of the bathroom will keep the dust buildup down.
- Inside of kitchen drawers
It is not fun removing everything out of kitchen drawers and cleaning them. It does, however, reduce the potential for unwanted pests, and increase the chances of only keeping utensils and items really needed for the kitchen. I have never kept a schedule on when to clean the kitchen drawers and do it as needed.
- Pantry shelves
If onions, potatoes, garlic, fruit, and bread are kept in the pantry, debris will build up very quickly. I like to clean the area with onions once a week, deep clean the frequently used shelves once a month, and the unused shelves once every few months.
- Underneath throw rugs
It’s common to think that under the rug gets no traffic, so it doesn’t get dirty (I’m guilty too). However, throw and area rugs have tiny holes in them, allowing dirt through. Also, dirt can be pushed under the edges. I like to clean under the rugs every two weeks, but monthly is adequate to keep debris buildup down.
- Cooking range hood
Our home was made in 1968 and has the original cooking range hood over the stove. Imagine my surprise when I removed the slidable cover to change a light bulb! It was the most grotesque thing I’ve encountered in this house so far. Besides looking like an insect graveyard, there was an unbelievable amount of built-up grease. I was so disgusted that I almost replaced it right then. Now, as part of my deep kitchen cleaning routine, I will take the removable pieces out of the range hood and clean them. How frequently this needs to be done varies with how much you use your stove. (I do once every few weeks)
- Top of ceiling fan blades
Ceiling fan blades encounter the same electrical charge creation as described in Number Two on the first page of this article. The reason more dust is on the leading edge of the blade is that the leading edge encounters the most friction when air is passing across it, so it has the greatest amount of net charge. Some people recommend removing the blades and washing them in the dishwasher. I find that unnecessary, as cleaning wipes will gather dust and kill germs at the same time. If a ceiling fan isn’t used much, cleaning can be done as infrequently as twice a year. If it is used multiple hours every day, cleaning could need to be done once a week or every other week.
- Fridge shelves
Fridge shelves somehow build up a lot of random debris even when there’s not a lot of activity with certain shelves. If left unattended, mold could grow and create an unsafe environment. This is not something that is well-paired with food. Cleaning spills right after they happen is a good idea, and removing the shelves for cleaning at least four times a year will help in keeping the fridge sparkling clean and smells away.