Spring is on its way, and with it comes spring cleaning. We like to pride ourselves in going through the house and making sure everything is spotless. But there are probably some things even the most thorough of us aren’t cleaning — and we definitely should be. When you’re on your next cleaning binge, make sure you’re cleaning these.
1. Doorknobs and Locks
We touch these every day, but when’s the last time you can remember wiping one down? Depending on the material of your fixtures, this can be as simple as using a rag and warm, soapy water to get them clean.
2. Your Car’s Steering Wheel and Buttons
Since our hands are constantly on these, a buildup of sweat and body oils is inevitable. The wheel is probably the dirtiest place in your car. Without proper upkeep, the wheel can crack and start peeling. While you’re at it, scrub the buttons on the stereo and temperature controls as well. You don’t touch these as much as the wheel, but certainly enough that they could benefit from cleaning.
3. Reusable Shopping Bags
Constant contact with food can mean mold and bacteria growth. It also can make them stink and repulse the cashier bagging your groceries. Try to wash your reusable bags after every use. Depending on the type of bag, you may be able to throw it in the washing machine, making it a simple task.
Cleaning your gun is crucial to the longevity of its lifespan and avoiding corrosion and damage. It can also endanger the person firing it if it isn’t properly cleaned. Guns are an investment to take good care of. A quality gun oil lets you clean without solvents and metal brushes, making it the least time-consuming method, and the easiest on your gun.
5. Coffee and Tea Mugs
Coffee and tea stains are particularly stubborn. If you’re a coffee or tea fanatic, your mugs probably show the telltale brown stains, no matter how many times they’ve gone through the dishwasher. All it takes is a little baking soda and your mugs can look like new again.
6. Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets
You store all your clean pots, pans and dishes in your cabinets and drawers — shouldn’t you make sure they’re clean, too? Take a day to empty all of your cupboards, vacuum out any debris and disinfect them. Take the opportunity to get rid of any expired food lingering in the cupboards and any dishes you rarely use. That way, you can get rid of clutter, as well.
7. Credit, Debit and ID Cards
We use many of our cards every day. Not only do we touch them, but so do cashiers and automatic scanning machines. You don’t know what kind of germs are lingering on them. Dirt buildup can cause issues with the magnetic strip on cards, and it’s also embarrassing to hand a gross card to a cashier to pay for your items.
Another item we use every day, keys get dropped, buried beneath seat cushions and all sorts of other beatings. You want to make sure your key doesn’t rust or get dirty enough to compromise its ability to lock and unlock. And you also don’t want the germs it picked up when you dropped it in a public bathroom to linger.
9. Garbage Cans
Yes, they’re literally made to hold our trash, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean them. Even using garbage bags, they still tend to get smelly. For indoor cans, the smell test is usually a reliable indicator it’s time for a cleaning. But outdoor ones need it too, especially in the hot summer months when they encourage breeding flies.
10. Bath Mats
Towels get all sorts of buildup on them from drying off our bodies, so we wash them frequently. But the same thing applies to bath mats, which you’ve probably never really thought about. Fabric shower mats can also have mold and mildew since they stay damp longer. Luckily, bath mats are some of the easiest items to clean.
Take your spring cleaning to the next level this year. If it’s something you can’t remember cleaning, it’s a safe bet you should give it a go.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington