Tips for Tackling the Dirtiest Places in Your House

Mention the dirtiest place in the house and most people will imagine dusty attics or cluttered garages. The dirt and cobwebs in the little-visited attic should be vacuumed and swept away at least once a year. But there’s dirt and then there’s germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew. What you might not imagine is that some of the dirtiest places in your house are the ones you come in contact with on a daily basis.

Top of the Kitchen Cabinets: When you’re reaching into your kitchen cabinets, how often do you ponder the empty space below the ceiling and the topside of the cabinet? This shadowy 18-inch area doesn’t even have a technical name. Yet it is a magnet for dust, spiders, dead plants, forgotten food, and rodent and cockroach droppings. The cabinet tops should be cleaned once a month with the help of a step-ladder, a vacuum with long hose, or a brush and pan. This will keep the ick from above raining down on your stove, countertops, and lasagna.

Next to the Toilet: (Almost) everyone knows the toilet needs to be cleaned regularly, but what about the area around the commode? Break out one of those blacklights you see on the detective shows and the uric acid in urine will glow brightly on the walls next to and behind the toilet. If you have tile, you can use a cream cleanser to wash and sterilize the area. If there’s drywall, spray the area with an enzyme cleaner which will break down the organic material and allow you to wipe it away. And save the blacklight for your next party.

Around the Stove: Cooking can be some of the messiest fun you’ll ever have. Sauce, crumbs, and food bits fall down behind the stove and in the cracks between the stove and the countertops. This goo gets heated up from the oven, becoming a breeding ground for germs. To clean it up, grab a bucket, a plastic putty knife, some oven cleaner, and a brush and pan. Carefully pull the stove away from the wall, making sure not to damage the gas hose or electric plug. Spray the sides of the oven with oven cleaner and scrape away with the putty knife. Be sure to clean up the cabinet sides and back wall, sweeping up the residue along the way.

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