11 MORE Things You Should Be Cleaning More Often

Last month, we showed you 10 Things You Should Be Cleaning More Often. We were really excited with the response we got from that article, so we’ve found 11 more things to share to help keep your household as clean as possible. Once again, even self-professed neat freaks are likely missing at least some of these, so check them out and let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything!

  1. Contact Lens Cases – Let’s be honest: anyone who wears contact lenses has been tempted to re-use their solution (guilty!). We also know this is a bad idea, but do we understand how bad of an idea it really is? Every time you put your contacts in, you should empty and rinse out the case, then wipe it dry, or refill it with fresh solution for later. Pro-tip: Replace the case every 3 months or so for a truly hygienic routine.
  2. Washing Machines – you probably wouldn’t think that a machine full of hot soapy water dedicated entirely to the task of cleaning clothes would get dirty, but it does! The detergent you use to clean your clothes doesn’t actually keep the inside of your washing machine clean. To prevent hard water deposits, and to remove that funky “washing machine” smell, run a cup of white vinegar on a warm cycle through your washer every couple of months, or check out these instructions for a washer deep cleaning.  
  3. Dryers – dryers are much easier to keep clean than washing machines; clean clothes go in wet and come out dry, not a lot of opportunity for funky smells or hard water to build up. However, you should be emptying the lint trap every load, or every other load, to prevent your dryer from becoming a fire hazard.  Once in a while, take the vacuum to the lint trap and the inside edge of the dryer to make sure no fuzzies are trapped anywhere.
  4. Sheets & Bedding – It may seem obvious, but sheets and bedding should be cleaned regularly, perhaps more often than you think, especially in the summer when you tend to sweat more. Bed sheets, or anything you are directly sleeping on, should be washed and dried weekly using detergent and hot water. Regular laundering will keep dust mites and other unwelcomed guests away from your sleeping area, which can prevent allergic reactions and will extend the life of your bedding. Comforters and duvets also need occasional cleaning to prevent the same build-up of dust mites and other nasties. Follow the washing instructions on the tag to clean it at home, or take it to the dry cleaners for a yearly washing.
  5. Laundry Baskets – hampers are used to transport all sorts of dirty, sweaty clothes, towels and rags, making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Most people even turn around and put clean laundry right back into the same dirty hamper. Once a month or so, wipe down your plastic laundry baskets with a multi-purpose cleaner, or, if they are mesh, try washing them (always follow the label instructions). Pro-tip: Assign some baskets as clean, and some baskets as dirty to avoid cross-contamination.  
  6. The Refrigerator – This is an appliance you want to keep as clean as possible, since you store fresh food in here. Every 6 months, take everything out of your fridge, making sure to toss out any elderly science projects you’ve forgotten about. Give the inside a good wipe down, make sure to pull out all the drawers to clean anything that has spilled underneath. We like to use Hard Surface Cleaner, ZU’s all-natural cleaning paste that won’t leave any potential toxins near our food. Pro-tip: Pull out the fridge during these deep cleans and vacuum the coils while you are at it to keep your fridge running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
  7. Dishwashers – another great example of a machine devoted entirely to cleaning that doesn’t actually keep itself clean! No matter how careful you are with rinsing, a few bits of food always get trapped on the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher. Remove them with a rag once a week to keep them from floating around during the wash cycle. Every few months, you should also give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning by placing a dishwasher safe bowl full of vinegar on the top rack and running a full, hot cycle. Allow it to steam dry and use a cloth to wipe down any remaining dirt. You may need to do this more often if your dishwasher sees a lot of traffic.
  8. The Inside of your Car – aside from the aesthetic value of keeping your car clean, keeping your vehicle germ and bacteria free is equally important. Hot air blowing from the heater can encourage the growth of bacteria; cup holders are notorious for hiding unseen spills and food crumbs, and many of us don’t get to a garbage can to remove those fast food containers as often as we should! Once a week, wipe down the main surfaces of your car, especially the door handles and child car seats (if you have them).  Vehicles that transport children and pets will need special attention. Clean out the cup holders, and make sure that garbage is removed from the car. Pro-tip: Keeping your car spotless at all times will give passengers the subtle hint that your car is not a place for eating or causing unnecessary mess, which will make it easier to keep it cleaner longer.
  9. Carpets – another favourite home for dust mites. Vacuuming is an essential part of maintaining a clean home, and should be done weekly. However, an ordinary vacuum is really no defense against dust mites and other carpet-dwellers, especially if you have pets. Depending on the traffic in your home, you should be steam-cleaning your carpets once or twice a year. This will drastically cut down on the number of dust mites and other critters living in your rugs, and will also extend the lifetime of your flooring. Let’s be honest, it also feels great to walk barefoot on freshly shampooed carpets!
  10. Couches – pretty much everyone your household is going to interact with the couch. Most families spend a lot of time snacking and eating meals on their sofa; it’s basically a haven for crumbs, dust, hair and all sorts of other debris! This situation is going to be especially magnified in homes with one or more pets. Once a month, pull out all the cushions and get out the vacuum to remove all that hair and dust. You’ll probably be surprised at the sheer volume of dust and hair that you find in there, if you are lucky,  you may even find a few dollars to make it worth your while!
  11. Kitchen Sink Drain – this is one that you probably don’t like thinking about, but we’re going to be honest with you. Did you know that the average kitchen sink rivals the average toilet for sheer volume of germs and bacteria, even the dreaded E.Coli? Think about it – it’s warm, damp and full of old food particles – what better environment for bacteria to thrive? Each and every time you finish washing dishes, scrub out your sink. Clear the drain of excess food particles and anything left over from washing dishes. Spray down the sink with a cleaning solution (we recommend Universal Cleaner) and wipe it off. Wash your hands when you are done.