How to Clean the Dirtiest Places in Your Home

If you had to name the dirties, germiest spots in your home, you’d probably say toilets, door handles, the kitchen sink, and remote controls, just to name a few. And while you’re certainly not wrong, you may be surprised by some unexpected places dirt, grime, and bacteria lurk in your house. Even if you stay on top of regular cleaning, these areas often don’t get the attention they deserve.

Here are the places and items that harbor dirt, grime, and bacteria and tips on how to clean them.

Coffee Maker

Your coffee maker is likely one of the germiest items you own. As you brew your daily coffee, mold, yeast, bacteria, oily residue, and hard water deposits can build up inside the reservoir and pot. Deep-clean your coffee maker every 4 to 6 weeks. Fill the reservoir with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water then run a brewing cycle without any beans. Stop the cycle about halfway through to let the vinegar solution soak for at least 30 minutes. Finish the cycle, then repeat with clean water to flush away any lingering residue and vinegar.

Above Kitchen Cabinets

The space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling can be home to layers of dust, pests, rodent nests, droppings, and more. If you can safely do so, use a stepladder to reach the area with your vacuum’s hose attachment or small hand broom and dustpan to remove dust and debris. Then follow with a damp rag if needed.

All Around the Stove

Between all the spills and splatters and the ambient heat from the stove, you have the perfect environment for germs to thrive. To clean the area, pull the stove away from the wall. For gas stoves with a flexible hose, pull until the hose is almost extended. If your gas stove doesn’t have a flexible hose, you’ll need the help of a pro. Scrape off any buildup with a plastic putty knife, then spray the sides of the oven with oven cleaner. Finally, vacuum or sweep the floor and use a good all-purpose cleaner on the adjacent cabinets and floor.

Faucet Aerators

You probably wipe down the handles frequently, but what about the part where the water comes out? A faucet aerator can harbor black, mildewy gunk that can end up in the same water you use to drink and brush your teeth with. Remove the aerator by twisting it counter-clockwise (taking note of how to put it back together) and soaking in vinegar for 30 minutes. Gently brush all parts with an old toothbrush to remove residue, then screw it back on.

Bathtubs and Showers

Any place with standing water can breed mold, fungi, and bacteria. To reduce these risks, dry off the tub or shower surface after each use and disinfect regularly, up to three times a week for tubs used daily by multiple family members.

Walls Around the Toilet

If you’re only cleaning the toilet, you’re leaving behind a nasty mess.  The best cleaners for the walls around the toilet contain enzymes to break down organic material. Spray the walls and let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the enzymes to work, then wipe down with a clean, damp towel.


If you frequently spend time on the computer, your workstation is probably a breeding ground for germs because these high-touch surfaces are rarely cleaned. Use disinfectant wipes to clean each of these surfaces every few days to keep germs at bay.

Know what else you should clean or replace regularly? Your AC filter. A dirty, clogged filter not only fails to trap dust, allergens, and pollutants, but causes your AC system to work overtime to deliver the cool air you expect. This puts excess wear and tear on system components, leading to more frequent repairs and shortened equipment life. If it’s been a year or more since you’ve had your AC system inspected and cleaned by one of our skilled pros, contact Air Professional Associates today.

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