Cleaning. Nobody is a big fan. Especially when it comes to all those hard-to-reach spots in your apartment, you'd probably rather do anything else than tidy up. Yet, you don't want a messy home, so what are you forgetting in your regular apartment cleaning routine?
“Whether we deep-clean periodically or do more frequent light cleaning, what's most important is that we keep our families safer and healthier by removing germs, dirt and allergens that can build up," says American Cleaning Institute Vice President of Communication Brian Sansoni.
A recent survey showed that 74 percent of Americans are more likely to do light apartment cleaning. Everyday surfaces like sinks, countertops, toilets and floors usually fall into this category. This is good because it keeps your apartment sanitary, but what about the areas you've forgotten? The chance that they're building up dust and allergens, dirt or mold is pretty good.
While there's no set time frame for cleaning, it's important to know when each item in your home requires attention.
Running along the bottom of almost every wall in your apartment, baseboards collect a lot of dust. They can also get scuffed from regular foot traffic. Tackle this area in your home every month or so to keep it clean.
The brush attachment on your vacuum or a duster with an extendable handle can collect the dust. Even a broom will work in a pinch if you don't have anything else to manage debris. Remove scuff marks with a damp sponge or some all-purpose cleaner.
Often considered a single piece, ceiling fans and light fixtures need cleaning only a few times a year. Ceiling fan blades are the primary collector of dust. You can address the buildup with this special trick. Rather than fling dust around the room with a rag, use a pillowcase on the fan blades.
With this method, dust stays inside the pillowcase. When you're done, toss it into the washing machine. For the fan motor, pull chain and any other parts, use a microfiber cloth to remove dust.
Light fixtures may need a little disassembling to get clean. Glass coverings especially should get washed in warm, soapy water. Wipe down any parts you can't remove with a damp cloth. Wait for the glass fixtures to dry completely before re-attaching them.
The first thing to check with curtains is whether they can go in the washing machine. If not, you may be able to dry clean them or keep them clean with the brush extension of your vacuum. If they can go into the laundry, avoid the dryer. The best way to dry is by hanging them outside, out of direct sunlight. Vacuuming curtains should be in your regular cleaning routine to avoid dust buildup. Wash them maybe once a year.
Blinds are a little different but should get cleaned in your regular rotation, as well. Open them up and use a duster between each slat. For other residues, a dry sponge, available at most hardware stores, can remove any buildup. You can also spot clean binds with an all-purpose cleaner and a dry cloth. It's important to remember to move downward when cleaning blinds to keep them intact. Cleaning upward can cause blinds to unhook.
Curtains and blinds are a prime spot for allergens to collect, according to The Mayo Clinic. If you're an allergy sufferer, it's important to keep them free from dust.
The toilet bowl isn't the only place where bacteria can grow. Often forgotten, because it's hard to reach, is the area behind the toilet. Bathrooms should receive a deep cleaning every few months. This includes the never seen space behind the toilet. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not getting nasty. Mold can accumulate back there, along with dust, dirt and bacteria.
An extendable scrubbing brush will make short work of this tough spot. Add in a little all-purpose cleaner or a homemade solution of warm water, vinegar and dish soap to make this often-ignored spot fresh and clean.
About half of those surveyed by The Cleaning Authority say they skip over curtains, blinds and behind the toilet because cleaning them is too difficult or not a priority. “It's easy to forget to clean these areas where the buildup is less obvious unless you know to look for it," says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer.
Neglecting these areas can have consequences, affecting your health and your wallet. Most of these forgotten areas in your home accumulate a lot of dust which can irritate allergies. Additionally, moving out of an unclean apartment means your landlord may withhold some of your security deposit. Consider adding these areas in your home to your cleaning routine to make sure no spot gets ignored.