Out of sight, out of mind, right? If only it was so easy. Although you could say hang to anything that can’t be cleaned with an outstretched arm and a damp cloth, sooner or later, you’re going to have to get around to those hard to reach places… for your own peace of mind, if nothing else. Fortunately, just because an area’s in a difficult spot doesn’t mean it’s impossible to clean. With a few little tricks, those grimy little nooks and dirty little crannies will soon be as gleaming as the rest of your house. Keen to find out more? Then read on for our top ten hacks for cleaning hard to reach places.
1. In-Sink Garbage Disposal
Cleaning your garbage disposal might seem an unnecessary chore, but a thorough clean every once in a while is the only way to prevent that nasty, putrid smell that signifies a dirty disposal unit. Before you start cleaning, make sure the electricity has been turned off at the electrical breaker (seriously, don’t overlook this step, or think that turning it off at the switch is sufficient… not unless you want to come away from the experience with a few less fingers, in any case). Next, grab some baking soda, a scrubbing brush, and get to work on giving the insides a good clean. Once you’ve finished, turn the electric back on and leave the water to run for a few minutes to flush away any remaining grime. To maintain your good work for as long as possible, always run the disposal with cold water for around 10 seconds after it’s been switched off, adding a handful of ground citrus peel to keep it smelling sweet.
2. AC Vents
If your AC Vents are looking grubby, grab a butter knife and wrap it in a microfiber cloth. The butter knife should slide effortlessly between the vents, leaving them squeaky clean in no time.
3. Dishwasher Filter
Cleaning the dishwasher filter can seem a thankless task, but it’s a must if you want to keep the machine in good working order. First of all, locate the filter – although this varies by model, it’s usually found on the dishwasher floor. Next, empty the dishwasher and take out the bottom rack. If the filter’s the removable kind, remove it and leave to soak for several minutes in warm, soapy water. Wipe it down with a soft cloth before replacing. If the filter is fixed, make sure you wash it thoroughly beneath the cap. To keep the machine in tip-top condition and stop any nasty smells, remove the bottom rack, add two cups of white vinegar, and leave to sit overnight. In the morning, run the machine on empty to remove any last remnants of odor.
4. Refrigerator Coils
Dirty refrigerator coils don’t just let your good housekeeping skills down, they can also add several zeros onto your utility bills over the course of the year. Fortunately, with the right tools and a little know-how, they’re a breeze to clean. First of all, locate the coils: typically, you’ll find them either underneath the fridge or at the back. If they’re underneath, remove the ventilated grill before using a long-handled brush with a stiff head to remove dust from the corners and the condenser brush. Finish off with a quick whiz round with the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner. Refrigerators with coils at the back are even easier to clean: simply pull the refrigerator out to expose the back, then use the upholstery brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to suck away any dust and debris.
5. Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Want to clean your bathroom exhaust fans in record time? Then follow the advice of Off Beat Bros and simply use a can of condensed air to effortlessly and quickly remove any dust. Finish off with a quick vacuum to remove any dust that lands on the floor, then grab that can of condensed air and move onto our next hack….
6. Computer Keyboards
Computer keyboards can attract dust, debris, and bacteria like a magnet. Thankfully, cleaning them takes less than a minute when you have the know-how. First of all, either disconnect the keyboard from the PC, or turn off your laptop. Turn it upside down and give it a good shake to remove the worst of the debris. Next, turn the keyboard at an angle and aim your can of compressed air between the keys. A quick swipe with a cotton bud soaked in rubbing alcohol should be enough to finish things off nicely.
7. Window Blinds
Window blinds can harbor no end of dust, dirt, and grime. Fortunately, a pair of kitchen tongs, a couple of microfiber cloths, and a few rubber bands are all you need to get them sparkling. Simply wrap each side of the tongs with a cloth, secure in place with a rubber band, then slide the tongs across the blinds. If the blinds are particularly grubby, you might want to replace the cloths with a clean pair every few rows.
Due to their design, it can be hard to reach every inch of a tap with just a cloth. To get those hard to reach spots sparkling, simply mix some baking soda with water to make a paste, dip a toothbrush into the solution, then get scrubbing.
9. Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are notorious for gathering dust, but can be a pain to clean using conventional methods. Make life easy for yourself by enveloping each fan blade in a pillowcase, then gently drawing the case back to lift away the grime. Any clumps of dust will simply fall into the pillowcase, leaving the blades clean without any debris falling to the floor.
It’s not just the insides of our homes that need a complete spring clean every now and again. While most of us have no problem in keeping the exteriors of our cars sparkling, the interiors can be a little trickier. While the floors and dash are easy enough (a cloth and a vacuum should be enough to do the job), ridding the many little nooks and crannies of dust and debris can seem an impossible task. Enter the cotton bud. Simply soak a bud in rubbing alcohol before swiping it around the offending areas. Replace the bud with a fresh one every time it starts to look grimy.