Chances are, you have a household cleaning ritual that involves remembering to wipe down countertops, vacuum rugs, occasionally dust surfaces, and wash towels. But there are some items around your home that you may not always think about cleaning…but should.
1. Your handbag
A purse travels to many interesting and grimy places throughout the course of a day. It sometimes sits in a grocery cart or on the floor of a restaurant and can pick up all sorts of nasty germs. In fact, research has found that handbags can carry traces of E. coli, especially on the bottom. And then you, unwittingly, carry it into your home.
At least once a week, give your bag a quick wipe-down. Cotton bags can sometimes be machine- or hand-washed, while leather bags can be cleaned with an alcohol-free baby wipe. But just be sure to test a hidden spot before doing the entire bag to make sure it won’t stain.
2. Your bedroom pillows
Yes, you likely remember to launder your pillow cases, but you should also consider cleaning your actual bedroom pillows every six months. Dirt, sweat, dead skin, and even dust mites can collect over time so it’s a good idea to give pillows a good wash and dry. If you have pillows made from natural materials like cotton, you can stick them in the washer and dry them on low until they’re completely dried. However, be sure to check what your pillows are made from since most synthetic foam pillows are not washable.
3. Your coffee maker
If you read the instructions on your coffee maker, it probably includes directions for cleaning. But most people simply forget or neglect to clean it. There are two reasons why you should give it a good cleaning every month. One, oily buildup over time can make your coffee taste bitter. Two, the reservoir of your machine can actually accumulate yeast, mold, and bacteria—not something you want in your morning cup.
Cleaning it is simple: Fill the water chamber with a mixture of one-half water and one-half vinegar, then turn the machine on as if you’re brewing it until it’s run halfway. Turn it off and let it sit for half and hour. Then turn it on again. Next, fill the reservoir with fresh water, “brew” it again, and repeat another cycle with just water.
4. Your kitchen sink
Surprise! Even though we think of our kitchen sink as a place to keep things clean, it’s actually one of the dirties places in your home thanks to all of those food particles—even worse than your toilet seat!
There are great natural cleaning products on the market or use a combo of vinegar and baking soda to give your sink a good scrub.
5. Your mattress
You remember to wash your sheets and blankets but keep in mind that your bedroom mattress can also accumulate dust, dead skin, and crumbs over time. Once a season, give it a good vacuuming using an upholstery attachment. You can also keep your mattress in good shape by using a good mattress pad and remembering to flip or rotate it every six months.