things you are forgetting to clean at home (1) (1)

25 Cringe-Worthy Things You’re Forgetting To Clean

Have you ever wondered what things you’re forgetting to clean at home? There’s a good chance you could have been skipping over some of these places for a while. Maybe forever. Uh oh… could they have been causing your guests to cringe in horror.

Not anymore because this checklist of things you may have overlooked will help you get ever the most well-hidden places of your house in shiny, spotless condition!

While cleaning isn’t likely your idea of fun. It certainly isn’t mine. There is great satisfaction in deep cleaning your home. Especially if it means cleaning something you’ve neglected for a while because it slipped your mind.

If you happen to clean any of the items on this list as part of your regular deep cleaning schedule, GO YOU! You’re doing awesome.

If most or all of these items are on your ‘haven’t been cleaned in a while’ list, know that you’re not alone. Now is the time to add them to your regular cleaning routines to make sure they are spotless, germ-free and sparkling clean too.

Things You’re Forgetting To Clean At Home

Time to get your house truly spotless with this list of forgotten things, places and spaces that need deep cleaning. Not just when the unexpected happens! Sometimes we become so desensitized to our environment that even with exceptional cleaning habits, we still miss a few.

Some of these areas could be causing your guests to cringe and you don’t even know it. But not for long! Here are the things around your home that you need to clean more often:

Cleaning a light switch with a cloth and spray

1. Light Switches

Light switches are part of the home that is touched often, only a daily basis, by multiple hands. Not all of these are clean hands! Especially if you have kids at home.

If you haven’t cleaned your light switches in a while, the ones in the busiest areas of your home will likely be pretty grotty! Thankfully they are easy to clean. Give them a spray with an all anti-bacterial cleaner or vinegar solution and wipe down with a microfibre cleaning cloth.

2. Door Handles

Just like light switches, door handles are touched often through the day and can often be home to a lot of bacteria. Kids that forget to wash their hands after the bathroom for example. Eww!

Do the door handles at the same time as you do your light switches as a time-saving cleaning hack. Spray with an antibacterial cleaning spray and wipe down with a cloth.

3. Ceiling Fans & Light Fittings

We often forget to look up and that means light fixtures and ceiling fans can end up pretty icky! Fans will collect floating dust through the air, just as these dust particles settle on your light fittings. Bugs often end up trapped inside light fittings too.

To clean these items, use a stable step ladder, ideally with someone there to assist, and remove the fixtures if you are able. This will make it easier to clean them. If not, take care to clean them while attached to the roof using a damp cloth to remove the sticky dust.

EXPERT TIP: If they are really dusty, consider placing an old sheet below where you are cleaning so you can wrap it up and shake out the dust outdoors afterwards, rather than letting the mess all fall to your floor.

4. Baseboards

Baseboards can become a ledge of dust over time as they are easily forgotten during our usual cleaning routines. It can be time consuming cleaning the baseboards throughout your entire house, however it is simple to do.

A damp cloth is usually effective enough to clean your baseboards and have them spotless again. If it has been a while, you will need to rinse out your cloth or have a few cleaning cloths so you aren’t simply moving the dust around.

5. Walls

Walls will get marks and scuffs over time. It’s unavoidable. While in most areas, this won’t justify any intensive cleaning, there are certain high traffic wall areas that will need a little extra effort.

Some of the worst areas are walls near doors, hallways and especially any walls that are next to beds. If you haven’t got a headboard, the area of the wall where pillows, hair and hands may brush against the wall can make it pretty filthy. Same of any walls that run alongside beds. Kids rooms will likely need a wipe down.

Use a damp cloth. If you need a little extra cleaning power, a cleaning spray or vinegar can help lift more stubborn marks.

6. Toilet bowl bases

If you have little boys, this is one job you definitely won’t want to forget for too long. A dirty toilet base is sometimes the culprit of a smelly toilet area if you’ve cleaned everything else thoroughly so make sure you take the time to wipe it down.

Use an antibacterial spray or vinegar solution and spray down your toilet base. You can use either a reusable cleaning cloth or disposable paper towelling, depending on your preference.

While you’re at it, give the outside of your toilet system a wipe down as well.

Person cleaning window tracks with sponge

7. Window & door tracks

Keeping windows clean is one thing. But how often do you clean out the tracks from dust, dirt and dead bugs? The gunk can build up and isn’t pretty.

There are a few ways to clean your door and window tracks. Sometimes a vacuum cleaner with the head attachment removed can be great for getting into the small area. But it doesn’t always budge.

Use a damp paper towel and run it along the track, scooping up the extra gunk along the way. I prefer to use disposable options for cleaning tracks as they get into the tight spaces better.

EXPERT TIP: For another cool window track hack, get a sponge, mark out the track grooves and cut your sponge to suit to create a reusable cleaning sponge that gets right into the nitty-gritty of your window tracks.

8. Remote Control & Gaming Controllers

Another item that gets a lot of use is any handheld controller or remote. The television remotes and gaming console controllers can get grubby or provide a home to plenty of invisible bacteria.

To clean these items, be careful not to get them too wet. Wipe down well a cloth you have lightly sprayed with antibacterial cleaning spray, taking care not to damage the buttons as you wipe.

9. Behind electronics & Appliances

There is nothing worse than when you have to get in behind your home electronics for whatever reason, only to find yourself looking at enough dust and fluff to cause a sneezing fit. Yuck!

We recently had this situation with our home water cooler. It is a free-standing cooler and a friend was visiting with their toddler. We turned the cooler around to prevent her refilling her cup over again, only to discover the wall of dust on display. Embarrassing!

Use a duster or a dry cloth to remove the dust build-up from behind your electronics. Take care not to knock any cords out of place.

EXPERT TIP: Don’t forget to clean under kitchen appliances too, such as under and behind the fridge and dishwasher!

10. Tops of Doors & Door Gaps

I dare you to go run your fingertips along the top of one of the doors in your house. What did you find? Maybe you’re a door cleaning superstar and it was spotless. But more likely, it was coated in a layer of dust. Same as the gap where the door is hinged to the doorframe.

These areas are often forgotten during cleaning and certainly benefit from a quick wipe down with a microfibre cloth.

Kitchen cabinet doors are another place to check as they sometimes end up with drips from food prep and cooking. Give them a wipe down when you clean down the fronts.

11. Bins

It doesn’t take long for a bin to get a little smelly. Over time, plastic rubbish bins tend to absorb smells, especially if you have the occasional leak from a busted garbage bag.

Incorporate bin cleaning into your regular cleaning schedule as often as you can. Even fortnightly or monthly is better than never though!

Take it outside and hose it out. Then use a scrubbing brush and dishwashing liquid, give it a thorough scrub down both inside and outside. Leave it in the sun to dry as this will help kill bacteria too.

Make sure your rubbish bin is thoroughly dry before taking back indoors. Moisture leads to smells and bacteria growing.

EXPERT TIP: Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your garbage bin and a drop or two of lavender essential oil. This will help reduce smells and absorb any liquid that escapes from your garbage bag too.

12. Blinds

While curtains can often be removed and washed (check the instructions first), we often forget about cleaning blinds.

For vertical blinds, use a damp cloth to wipe down each blind section. This will remove dust and any shallow surface marks.

For horizontal blinds, use a duster between each panel, bottom and top. Alternatively, a damp cloth works well also.

13. Taps, Faucets & Sink

When we do so much of our cleaning in the kitchen sink, it’s easy to forget to clean the area we actually use to clean. This includes taps, faucets and even the sink itself.

Create a spray bottle with half vinegar, half water and a few drops of essential oil (lemon is great for cleaning). Spray this solution over your sink and tap area. Leave it a few minutes then wipe down with a cloth.


Related Reading:

how to deep clean your house room by room checklist (2)
age appropriate chores for kids + printable chore chart
cleaning hacks everyone should know

14. Showerhead

Showerheads can become clogged with limescale over time. This is easily solved and can improve the flow of water too.

Follow these showerhead descaling instructions to learn how to do this with vinegar and baking soda, without needing to remove your shower head fitting.

15. Kettle

Just like showerheads and taps, kettles will also need descaling semi-regularly.

Fill your kettle halfway with water and top up the other half with vinegar. Leave this for an hour or two then boil. Leave it to sit for another half hour before pouring out the vinegar solution. Repeat if needed.

Make sure you rinse your kettle well after descaling, to remove any lingering vinegar flavour.

16. Range Hood Filter

The range hood on your stove is designed to collect the steam, grease and smoke from the air while you cook. This means it ends up with a layer of greasy residue over time and it loses some of its effectiveness. Unless you clean it!

This isn’t a job you need to do often, but one you should aim to do every now and again. And it’s easy to do!

Remove the filter (this should be relatively simple). Place in it a sink filled with hot water and dishwashing liquid or degreaser. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes then use a scourer and give it a good scrub. Take care not to damage it.

Allow it to dry completely before placing it back in the range hood.

17. Dishwasher & Washing Machine Traps

These are some of my least favourite areas in the house to deep clean. It doesn’t take them long to build up with gunk and without regular cleaning, they can cause issues with your appliances. The best method is to incorporate this into a fortnightly cleaning schedule.

With each device, follow your appliance maintenance instructions or search online for your model and follow the steps to clean out the traps. For your washing machine, you will also want to drain the pipe at the bottom too. Have a shallow bowl ready for this step.

EXPERT TIP: Clean your dishwasher (and microwave) using vinegar and baking soda on a regular basis.

18. Dryer Lint

While you are giving your laundry a deep clean, don’t forget to remove the lint build up from your dryer too! If not done regularly, this can cause a fire. I like to do this every time I use my dryer since it only takes a minute.

19. Toilet Brush & Holder

Do you wash your toilet brush? A toilet brush cleans one of the grossest places in your home, but you probably never considered cleaning that brush. Or the revolting brush holder it sits in, dripping dirty toilet water.

Eww. You should though.

Fill a bucket with very hot, soapy water and submerge your brush and holder. Give them a couple of hours to soak. Alternatively, add a small splash of bleach to your bucket if you really want to kill all the bacteria. Dry them outside in the sun.

Still hate cleaning? Try these fun cleaning games with kids and tips for making cleaning fun for grown ups too.

20. Toothbrush Holders

Whether you use toothbrush holders all the time or just when you are travelling, don’t forget to clean them! We use them to keep our toothbrush free coming into contact with bacteria, but what about the holder itself?

The mouth is home to over 700 strains of bacteria and some of these are harmful. They are also easily transferred from your toothbrush to your toothbrush holder. This means along with maintaining great dental hygiene, you also want to regularly wash your holder in hot soapy water.

21. Hairbrushes

Many parents know the dreaded headlice routine of cleaning hairbrushes, but what about the rest of the time? Hairbrushes become filthy with hair, product build-up, skin particles (gross) and dust. Keep them clean with this simple hairbrush cleaning method.

Remove as much of the hair from your brush as possible. Fill a sink with hot water and add a few drops of tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil or antibacterial cleaner. Allow your brushes to soak for an hour then remove any build-up and hair, which should come away easily after soaking.

EXPERT TIP: Don’t forget your make up brushes too!

Woman cleaning computer desk she's been forgetting to clean

22. Mouse & Keyboard

Our handheld and touchscreen devices get used a lot and sometimes if you take a close look, you might be horrified to see how icky they are. The same goes for the electronics you use at work too.

To clean your keyboard, unplug, take it outdoors and give it a gentle shake upside-down. This will remove most of the dust, crumbs and hair that falls between the keys.

Lightly spray a cloth with an antibacterial cleaning spray or a homemade all-purpose cleaner and give your mouse and keyboard a wipe down.

23. Shower Curtain

Anywhere in the shower is prone to soap scum build-up and limescale. Shower curtains included.

How you clean your shower curtain depends on the type you have. If there are cleaning instructions, follow them, otherwise, you have a few options. Some can be washed in the washing machine.

If you aren’t sure, wipe down with cleaning spray if you don’t want to remove it. Or fill a bathtub with hot soapy water and soak for an hour.

24. Under Furniture

Have you moved your couch lately? What about your bed? Oh boy! It can reveal a whole lot of dirty horrors when you do.

Don’t forget to clean under your furniture too. This is usually a job that needs an extra set of hands if you need to move a bed or couch. Pick up any toys or, if you get lucky, coins and treasures, then give it a vacuum.

25. Mattress Protector

A mattress protector works hard to keep your mattress safe from stains and spills, but sometimes it needs a clean too. If instructions state it’s safe to do so, wash it in the washing machine on the appropriate setting. If not, give it a wipe down with a damp cloth and spot clean any stains.


How many items on this list were things you have been forgetting to clean at home? Trust me, most of us have a few, if not all of these.

In most cases, out of sight, out of mind is a factor and certainly nothing to do with your cleaning habits. But once we realise we’ve been forgetting any of these areas, suddenly the urge to get deep cleaning kicks in.

Now, work out how often you want to clean these things and areas of your home and add them to your cleaning routine and add them to your weekly, fortnightly, monthly or less often cleaning schedule! There will be no more forgetting to clean them again!

Don’t have a cleaning schedule? Find tips on how to create your own cleaning schedule.

For more cleaning inspiration, check out the room by room deep cleaning guide and spend less time cleaning with these time-saving tips.

Things you're forgetting to clean at home checklist

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