These sneaky spots need a little TLC too.

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First, use hot soapy water to wipe out any gunk caught in the rubber gaskets around the washer door. Then, run the empty washer on its hottest setting with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda thrown inside. You can also use store-bought machine cleaner pods.

Laurey W. Glenn

When you think of cleaning, you probably think of all the big to-dos: put away clutter, wipe off countertops, vacuum. And while we don’t necessarily want to add one more thing to our chore checklist, there are at least a few spots that get neglected when it comes time to tidy up. Read on for eight spots that may be in need of a little TLC.

Ceiling Fans

Don't look now, but the dust is creeping over the edges. Cue: nausea. No fear, this simple trick makes cleaning ceiling fans a snap. Grab a pillowcase and insert one blade of the fan at a time, wiping off the dust as you pull the pillowcase off. The dust will collect conveniently inside the case. Also, don’t forget to reverse your ceiling fan direction as the season changes.


This is where dust bunnies love to lurk, along baseboards in dark corners. Start by removing as much dust as possible with a vacuum or dust wipe. Then come back through with a damp cloth, Magic Eraser, cleaning wipe, or wood cleaner for non-painted baseboards.

Shower Head

Obviously you want the space you use to clean up to be pretty spic and span itself. So don’t forget to occasionally give your showerhead a little rinse off. For a hands-off, super-simple approach, try the plastic bag method: Wrap a rubber band around the shower head and fill a plastic bag with enough vinegar to submerge the shower head in it. Then simply use the rubber band to tie the baggie on the shower head and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on the finish and how much residue there is. Use a toothbrush to scrub off any stubborn residue. Run hot water for a few minutes after to make sure it’s fully cleaned out.

Washing Machine and Dishwasher

These guys need cleaning too! Just because you’re using them to wash other things doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to built-up gunk. There are several ways to clean these machines, but the easiest is to buy specially made cleansers that you run through the machines on an empty cycle.


Talk about tedious. But these fine lines need a good brushing every now and then also. You can use a vinegar and baking soda paste or commercial cleaner to scrub the grout. Just be sure to test in a discreet area if you have a porous tile or stone backsplash. For extra scrubbing power, use an electric toothbrush.

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Air Vents

Nobody wants to breathe dusty air. And while your air filter is hard at work, dust from within your home can pile up on the outside of vent grates and then get pushed back out into the air you breathe. Vacuum and dust the slats, and even wipe down with a damp cloth for extra assurance. Then unscrew the cover to wipe the underside, and vacuum the surrounding area. Make sure it is fully dry before re-screwing back on to prevent rust buildup.

Throw Pillows

This is one of those things you almost don’t want to think about what’s been building up on or worse, in it. Vacuum the pillow with the upholstery attachment for your vacuum nozzle. If the case is removable, you’re in luck. Simply throw it in the washing machine or hand-wash. (If wool or silk, take to the dry cleaners.) If you can’t remove the cover however, you can still attempt a cycle in the washing machine—just be sure to choose the delicate setting. And if there is any decorative detailing, delicate stitching, or sensitive fabrics, your best bet is to skip the machine, gently vacuum, and spot clean as best you can.

Garbage Can

Another spot you probably don’t want to think too much about—the smell may not even be your garbage but the can itself. Occasionally bags leak so it is necessary to periodically give the can a good wipe down with a cleaning wipe or soapy water solution.