Your primary suite may not get much guest traffic or public presentation, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve attention. Our bedrooms and bathrooms are our personal sanctuaries, and keeping them clean is important for our sanity and sanitation. If you’re preparing to sell your home, prospective buyers will be viewing every room with a magnifying glass. Regardless, your mental and physical health can be bolstered by a periodic deep clean. Here are 12 things that are often neglected during weekly cleanings, but should be tackled regularly.
1. Light switches and door knobs – This is an easy way to start: simply use disinfecting wipes for these frequently handled fixtures.
2. Ceiling fan blades – Their spinning motion doesn’t keep them from accumulating dust and grime, so this hard-to-reach surface needs a good, periodic wipe down. While you’ve got the stepladder out, take a look at other high-up surfaces that will accumulate dust like the tops of dressers, door moldings, ceiling lights and cabinets.
3. Trash cans and hampers – You change out the trash bags regularly, but gunky germy grime will accumulate on waste baskets and hampers. Disinfecting wipes might do the job if you regularly clean these items, but a deep soaking dump in the bathtub or laundry sink may be necessary periodically.
4. Throw blankets, comforters and pillows – Hotels might not wash comforters between guests, but our own bedding is also probably not as hygienic as it could be. And while you’re washing your extra bedding, collect rugs and bath mats for a separate heavy duty washing. This may even require a trip to the dry cleaner!
5. Curtains (including shower curtains and liners) – A good seasonal cleaning will keep your curtains fresh, but be sure to check labels for directions.
6. Oft-neglected and/or seldom seen places – Baseboards, chair rail, moldings and underneath hard-to-reach places like beds, nightstands, bookshelves and cabinets all need to be tackled regularly. You’ll be surprised at the dust and grime build-up!
7. Mattress pad and mattress – Regularly wash and bleach your mattress pad. (Don’t forget to periodically flip your mattress – and to clean the sides as well as top and bottom.) There are many ways to clean your mattress:
Sprinkle baking soda with lavender oil over your mattress and allow it to sit for an hour before vacuuming up. This will help eliminate odors.
Create a solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing soap. Spray onto the mattress and allow it to air dry.
Sprinkle baking soda. Allow to sit for an hour. Vacuum. Then steam clean according to your steamer’s directions. Wait for the mattress to dry before covering.
8. Shower doors – Add white vinegar to baking soda to form a paste. Apply this solution to the door and allow it to sit for an hour. Rub with a microfiber cloth, rinse and then buff with a dry towel. Don’t forget to squeegee after every shower to protect soap scum spots.
9. Tile grout – Grout is porous and therefore is susceptible to bacteria. Use a scrub brush and bleach to brighten and sanitize dingy grout, keeping the room well-ventilated during this process. Extra tip: Apply a coat of car wax to ceramic tile once a year to keep it gleaming.
10. Cleaning tools (toilet brushes, sponges, dust rags) – You can soak these in bleach to sanitize these periodically, but consider a complete replacement as needed.
11. Shower head – Mycobacterium avium, a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease, can build up on your shower head. And descaling a shower head will make it work and look better. If you can remove the shower head, immerse it in a bucket of white vinegar for an hour or more, then scrub with a toothbrush and rinse. For fixed shower heads, secure a plastic baggie filled with vinegar on the shower head, soak, then scrub with a toothbrush and rinse.
12. All bathroom surfaces – Speaking of the shower, you can use its hot steam to help clean your entire bathroom. First, spray all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Next, steam up your bathroom. After the steam and cleaner work together for 30 minutes, wipe everything down with a cloth. You can use a mop to reach high spots. (Pay extra attention to your bathtub which can be a welcome host to staphylococcus bacteria.)
Download our bedroom + bathroom cleaning checklist to keep track of all the items noted in this blog!