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Cleaning Tips and Schedule for those Often-Neglected Home Items

Your family or cleaning service has a daily, weekly, and monthly routine about what to clean. Once a week, you vacuum, scour the bathrooms, do the laundry, and so on.  Once a quarter, you might scrub the carpet and change the air conditioning filter. And then you do things like cleaning the gutters when you see they are not working any longer.

However, there are many items in your home full of germs, pollen, and dust mites that need your attention regularly.

Here are 15 of the most neglected items in your home, plus when and how to clean them.


Overall Home



They may look clean, but they can hold a lot of dust, pollen, and dander, especially if you have a fireplace.

When to clean: Take all your curtains down once a year. Mark your calendar for April because if you have a fireplace, the season will be over by this time.

How to clean: If your curtains are made of linen or silk, take them to the dry cleaners. Cotton ones can go into the washing machine, but be sure to hang dry them.



Air conditioning and heating filters can move around germs and pollen in your home. If not replaced regularly, they can cause your furnace or central AC unit to work harder, causing a spike in your fuel bills.

When to replace: Monthly


Reusable Grocery Bags

These bags can be a haven for bacteria.

When to clean: Weekly

How to clean: Put in the weekly laundry on a hot water setting.


Computer Keyboard

This can be another haven for bacteria, mostly if you eat around the computer.  

When to clean: Weekly

How to clean: You can use disinfectant wipes or simple soap and water. If you use the latter, be sure to squeeze most of the water out of the paper towel or cloth before going over the keyboard.


Pet Bowls

The water and food bowls can hold germs and retain that pet “smell” many people complain about when they enter a home.  

When to clean: Daily

How to clean: Wash with hot water and dish soap.


Living Room and Family Room


Throw Pillows

These are where dust mites love to live.

When to clean: Monthly

How to clean: Vacuuming the pillows can loosen up the dust. Inserts can go into the wash. Please put them in the dryer on low heat, so there is no damage to the fabric.


Throw Blankets

These can be a conduit for germs, especially if you have pets.

When to clean: Monthly

How to clean: Throw them into the washer on cold water with a delicate cycle.




Bath mats

Every person who uses your bathroom touches these mats, making them an excellent place for germs to hide.

When to clean: Monthly

How to clean: Put in the washer. If they have a rubber back, avoid the dryer and hang dry.





When to clean: Monthly

How to clean: Put hot water and dish soap into the blender. Hit blend and let it run for a few seconds. Rinse several times and allow to air dry.


Skinny Necked Bottles

When to clean: Monthly

How to clean: Fill the bottle with water. Put a denture tablet into the water and let it sit overnight. The next morning, scrub the inside of the bottle with a bottle brush.



When to clean: At least twice a year, in April and October

How to clean: Before using the self-clean option, wipe down all racks, pans, and surfaces inside the oven. Clean the oven window with white vinegar and water. Pour salt on all baking spills. Then, set your range for clean.


Laundry Room


Dryer Vents

When to clean: Every April

How to clean: Go outside and take the cover off the dryer vent tube and vacuum it. Return inside and remove the flue-tube from the dryer and vacuum it.




Outdoor Furniture

When to clean: The beginning and end of the outdoor season. April and October

How to clean: A solution of vinegar and water should work on the pieces. On the upholstering, wipe it down with a wet rag.



When to clean: This depends on use, but at a minimum once a year in October

How to clean: Use a handheld steamer, and then if any residue is left, use the wire brush.



When to clean: Every November

How to clean: You will need an extension ladder, gloves, and someone on the ground spotting the ladder. It is a messy job requiring digging into the gutters and removing the debris collected all year long. 


These Tips Brought to You by Mulligan Management Group

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