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Things you didn't know you were supposed to clean

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 

The other cleaning thread is interesting and deep, but I thought it'd be fun to have a more light-hearted one. A few people in the other thread expressed sentiments like, "You're supposed to clean baseboards?!?" Knowing that I've had similar thoughts when friends have mentioned certain cleaning feats, I thought this could be a fun thread. 

 

So what are some things you didn't know you were supposed to clean? mischievous.gif

post #2 of 110

I'm a clean freak when I'm feeling good.  You're supposed to clean everything!!

 

When I was pg with dd I was on bedrest.  My dh mentioned one day that he had to clean the water cooler "almost every day, it gets so dirty lately!"  Um, dude?  It's always gotten dirty, you've just never had to clean anything before.  Dork :)

post #3 of 110

I haven't found any new ones in a long time, but I do remember getting bawled out for not cleaning the curtains before I left my first rental, and thinking, "you can clean curtains?". I always assumed they had to be sent away for professional cleaning, and that property owners/managers took care of that. (I think that's because I remember my parents sending come curtains out for cleaning - but I think they were some kind of specialty fabric.)

 

I can't think of anything else. We were always taught that everything can/should be cleaned...baseboards, window tracks, tubs, sinks, toilets, counter tops, range hood, inside the fridge, under/behind the major appliances, etc. etc. etc.

post #4 of 110
I never thought about cleaning the top of the fridge until it was time to leave my first rented apartment and realized I hadn't cleaned it while I lived there!
post #5 of 110
The arms on wooden chairs, the blades of the ceiling fan, the heater grate.
post #6 of 110

My grandma starting talking about how the curtains I bought would be so easy to clean and I was like... wait.. I'm supposed to take them down and wash them?!  Never crossed my mind!

 

Same with baseboards and around doors/windows.  I've never pulled out a stove to wash behind either.  The top of my fridge could use a dusting.  I always forget about windows although I know they are supposed to be cleaned hahaha.  I also hate pulling out big furniture to clean under.

 

oh!  WALLS.  I was reading about... which cleaning organization program is it... and cleaning the walls was in it and I was like 'wait... people clean walls?'  I get if there are like spaghetti sauce hand prints on them or something... but as a part of normal cleaning... to just scrub the whole wall?  it was such an unusual idea to me!

post #7 of 110

LOL, cleaning walls was new to me, too.  When I started doing FlyLady and it was one of the things that you're supposed to clean I thought "but they're vertical!  Dust doesn't settle on them.  Why would I need to clean them?"  LOL.

post #8 of 110

We do spring and fall cleaning, where we tackle those areas, but yeah hubby was clueless about cleaning. The first time he mopped the kitchen floor, he used the dirty water from the bathroom I had just mopped.

post #9 of 110

Quote:

Originally Posted by lach View Post

LOL, cleaning walls was new to me, too.  When I started doing FlyLady and it was one of the things that you're supposed to clean I thought "but they're vertical!  Dust doesn't settle on them.  Why would I need to clean them?"  LOL.



Thats exactly how I see it!  Plus the fact that my whole house is walls.  How the heck do I clean floor to ceiling walls all the time??  Everywhere I turn is more wall.. Its definitely not a chore I could do in a day.  I think I'd rather just paint them every so often with a new pretty color....

post #10 of 110

I never realized that the vents that the (forced air) heat and central air conditioning comes through can be removed and cleaned.  Every once in a while I would look at them and say 'wow, it sure is filthy in there!' and then one day I saw DH pop one out and vacuum up some snacks that DS threw down there. Genius!

post #11 of 110
Thread Starter 

Yeah, for me it's pretty much all the vertical surfaces -- walls, cabinet faces, baseboards, doorframes, doors. I wipe up fingerprints, grease marks, splatters, etc., but I don't just walk up to a clean-looking vertical surface and go at it with a rag. The little ledge on top of the baseboards I do clean occasionally, because it's horizontal and collects dust. We paint ours about once a year or once they start looking too scuffed up, but other than that I really don't clean them. 

 

In our new house, the counter tile goes up onto the wall behind the counter for about 6 inches, and somehow I didn't notice that for about 5-6 months. By the time I did notice there was quite a bit of dust there (on the tiny ledge on top of the tile). Same thing with the teeny little ledge on top of electrical plates, like light switch covers. Once I noticed, I could easily see how dirty they all were. But I guess it never occurred to me to look. redface.gif

post #12 of 110

I read, laughed at, and promptly returned to the library, a cleaning book once that had tricks about stuff like treating the bottom of your rugs to make them easier to clean--WEEKLY. Same book suggested hands and knees with a brush and bucket as the best way to do the monthly wall to wall carpet wash. Wish I could remember the book because I'm sure it was full of that sort of thing, but I can only remember those two items.

post #13 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

I read, laughed at, and promptly returned to the library, a cleaning book once that had tricks about stuff like treating the bottom of your rugs to make them easier to clean--WEEKLY. Same book suggested hands and knees with a brush and bucket as the best way to do the monthly wall to wall carpet wash. Wish I could remember the book because I'm sure it was full of that sort of thing, but I can only remember those two items.



Oh. my.

 

I rent a steam cleaner and do my carpets about once a year (hard to say exactly, because my pregnancies have thrown that off a bit). I only do it that often because we have the stupid carpeted dining room and it gets gross. (Mind you, I'd probably do it 2-3X a year, if it weren't so expensive and such a PITA to rent, transport, clean and return those things. I hate gungy carpets.)

post #14 of 110

Where I grew up, I would estimate 90% of the families kept very, very clean houses - walls were washed down at least every spring/fall, baseboards/window sills/screens/wood trim was vaccumed each time the floors were done, which was at least once a week, all surfaces were dusted every week, bathrooms scrubbed at least weekly, etc.  Interestingly enough, I would describe most of these homes as being at least moderately cluttered.  The other 10% were really dirty homes, I am talking letting dogs pee on the rug, food built up on the counters and tables, bathrooms that were never cleaned - that type of dirty.

 

So yeah, the washing of walls, vacuuming of air vents, dusting on top of the fridge is completely normal to me.  I can't wait to read other responses to see if there is some cleaning issue I don't know about!

post #15 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

I read, laughed at, and promptly returned to the library, a cleaning book once that had tricks about stuff like treating the bottom of your rugs to make them easier to clean--WEEKLY. Same book suggested hands and knees with a brush and bucket as the best way to do the monthly wall to wall carpet wash. Wish I could remember the book because I'm sure it was full of that sort of thing, but I can only remember those two items.



Ha! That reminds me, whenever I pick up Martha Stewart's magazine my favorite thing to read is her calendar -- she's always doing stuff like that. Hold on, I have this month's issue, let me see if there's anything ridiculous in there. 

 

Hmm, there's nothing too crazy, because the cleaning stuff is all things you would do just once a year, so it's not as bad as the above where they expect you to do this stuff weekly or monthly. Here are some tips from this month's Martha calendar:

Sharpen and oil all garden cutting tools

When storing your candles, wrap each in craft paper to prevent dye bleeding

Clean the outside dryer vent with your vacuum

Use a battery-operated pill remover to defuzz sweaters

Organize your linen closet and print labels for each shelf/drawer

post #16 of 110
Toys.

I mean, I understand that if a toy gets grubby or dusty or barfed on, then it needs to be washed. But I've run into mothers who go through every single toy on a regular basis and clean it, "just because." And they buy those toy sanitizing machines. What's up with that? I think they have the idea that germs pile up on toys, and need to be removed. Yes, but aren't the germs from YOUR kids, so clearly the kids have already been exposed, right? My whole house I'm sure is filled with microorganisms, but their OUR microorganisms, and we live in happy harmony with them without the aid of sanitizing machines.

I think it comes from the fact that daycares clean toys-- but daycares have lots and lots of kids from different households, all playing with the same toys. I don't feel the need to clean and sanitize them on a weekly basis, no sir. And clearly my kids have survived through early childhood without any awful diseases caught from unsanitized toys. So I guess we're doing okay.

One that really got me, though, was my kids' crib. There were these little places along the bottom of the rails, between the slats, that got horribly dirty. In the first year or so of DD1's life, I guess I was just too busy or oblivious to notice. (I am not the kind of person who notices dirt, anyway.) Then we went to move the crib out of our room, when DD was 15 months old, and I finally noticed how horrendously grubby it had gotten. I had wiped down the tops of the rails, often, but it never occurred to me to clean the BOTTOM of the crib. duh.gif
post #17 of 110

Dryer innards. I had to repair my dryer last year (I did it myself! Woohoo!), and when I took it apart to get to the part, I was shocked and terrified by the amount of lint there was UNDER the drum. Where the open flame from the gas heat is. If you pull the cover off that's in front of your feet you'll see it. Vaccuum it out before it catches fire!

post #18 of 110

There is this trap like thing in the dishwasher. I was trying to figure out while my dishes looked like crud, so I took the bottom of the dishwasher apart. Uggg...apparently it needed to be cleaned. puke.gif

post #19 of 110

I'm some sort of freak because I do all of this stuff.  I don't have labels on my linens, vacuum the dryer vent (but maintenance does a few times a year and my garden tools just get stored in a bucket of oiled sand.

 

The vents get vacuumed when I dust once a week, the top of the fridge gets washed when I deep clean the kitchen every week and dh does the fan blades and trim about once a month.

post #20 of 110

If you have a microwave above your oven and the microwave has the vent underneath it? Never thought to clean that in my old house, then we moved into the house we live in now. The first time I turned on the fan I thought I was going to throw up. Makes me wonder why this one was gross, but 10 years in the previous house I never had a problem? What say you previous owners? lol.gif

 

I have to wipe and sanitize my toys daily because I am a daycare, but it always cracks me up when this makes people self conscious. Hey, if I didn't have 10 other kids here I wouldn't clean my

toys this often!

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