15 Places You Forget to Clean in Your Home

Have you ever had that moment where you sit down after a long day of cleaning, you are just, finally, starting to relax. Maybe it’s just as you sigh into a comfy chair.

And then you see it.


Looking at you. Mocking you.

A giant mother of all dust bunnies leering at you from underneath the overlooked corner of a bookshelf.

Perhaps you get up with a little reluctance to take care of it. Or maybe you just look the other way, trying to forget you ever saw it.

It may be because they’re out of sight or because it never even crossed your mind but every home has a long list of these places that can collect so much dust without even realizing it. Either way, here’s a list of the 15 places you forget to clean in your home and how we suggest adding them to your cleaning routine so that you never have to stare down a dust bunny again. 


Sure, washing your pillowcases is a regular task of your cleaning routine. However, how many times have you washed your actual pillow since you bought it? Less than you can remember, probably – or maybe never (guilty…).

Pillows collect dust, mold, odors, and bacteria from our skin, hair, and the environment. Aim to wash your pillow at least once every three to six months. Many pillows are machines washable, so all you have to do is throw them into the washing machine; always check the labels beforehand for care instructions.

If you have a hard time remembering – the frequency is the same as how often you should be checking your smoke detector batteries (and you do that regularly….right??).

Under Appliances

Humans are wired to ignore anything that doesn’t meet the eye, so it’s no surprise that the space under your appliances is one of the most common places you forget to clean. While the space may be small, layers of grease with crumbs, dust, and grime accumulate there. 

Start your cleaning session by pulling out your dishwasher, fridge, and other appliances. Then, sweep the floor to eliminate the dust. Next, prepare a solution with warm water and vinegar. Grab a scrub brush, soak it in the solution and scrub the floor until the grease and grime are eliminated. Then, grab a dry cloth and absorb the water on the floor. Finally, mop the floor as many times as needed to leave it shiny and clean.

Ceiling Fan

Dust and dirt travel through the air and tend to collect on high surfaces, like ceiling fans. Given ceiling fans are usually out of reach (and definitely out of eye-line), we forget to clean them regularly and this only raises the chances of dust building up faster on the fan’s blades. 

To clean a ceiling fan you’ll need a ladder/step ladder and an old pillowcase. Simply put the pillowcase over the blade and then pull it off. This will remove all the dust and particles seating on the blades in one fell swoop and you can toss the pillow case in the wash after.

Not a fan of heights? You can also use a duster on an extendable handle to reach the fan blades.


You’d never think that the dishwasher is one of the places you forget to clean. Quite the opposite, it should be one of the cleanest places, right? After all, most of us run our dishwashers at least once per day, with soap and hot water! 

Sadly, the idea that our dishwashers are clean is far from the truth. Food, water minerals, undissolved detergent, and grease accumulate on the dishwasher’s filter and interior walls. 

To clean your dishwasher, first, you need to remove the filter and rinse it under hot running water. Check the manual to know where it is located and how to remove it. Then, run the dishwasher empty on a hot water cycle with vinegar with a dishwasher cleaner. If you want a truly oh-so-clean dishwasher, run another short wash cycle with baking soda. 

Small Appliances

The coffeemaker, toaster, juicer, and microwave – you use all these appliances on a daily basis. However, their cleaning doesn’t happen as regularly as it should. All these appliances can be wiped down first with a damp microfiber cloth. To clean the interiors, make sure to check out their respective manuals, but often they are safe to run with a solution of diluted vinegar to breakdown any calcium or mineral buildup.

Window Treatments

Many people get window treatments since they’re both functional and pretty. However, despite them being visible, they are one of the top culprits of places you forget to clean in our home and even fail to notice the dirt that builds up on them. 

Unlike other objects in your house, cleaning window treatments is fairly simple. First, use a vacuum with the brush attachment to remove dust and dirt. Then, depending on their material, you can wipe them down with a damp sponge to remove any grime. If you have machine-washable curtains, just throw them in the wash! 


It’s still a mystery why, but books are like a magnet for dust and dirt. Whether you are a bookworm or simply love how books elevate a room, your books will collect dust.

While cleaning your home, there’s a decent chance that you’re dusting the bookshelves. When you do this, take the books and wipe them down too; first clean the spine and then the cover. Also, flip through the pages to remove the dust that’s inside the book.

Trash Cans

Of all the places in your house, trash cans are probably the most neglected items during your cleaning session. Cleaning trash cans isn’t only about getting rid of unpleasant odors. It’s about preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Trash cans are dark and moist environments, perfect for mold, bacteria, and other germs to grow. 

This said, you want to clean your trash can at least once every two weeks. Prepare a cleaning solution using warm water and detergent. Then, soak a brush and scrub the trash walls until clean. You can also spray with disinfectant afterward. 

Shower Curtains

Just like trash cans, shower curtains are almost constantly damp. This moisture retention leads to mildew growth. Let’s not forget that curtains also are in contact with soapy water as you shower. Consequently, soap scum also builds up on them. 

There are two ways to clean your shower curtains. If it’s made of fabric, you can take it off and put it in the washing machine with hot water, soap, and/or bleach. If it’s made of plastic, you’ll need to scrub the curtain by hand. Lay the curtain out on a flat surface to facilitate the cleaning process.

Washer and Dryer

Like your dishwasher, the washer and dryer are two of the most common places you forget to clean. It may seem that the washer is actually cleaning itself as it washes your clothes and that your dryer remains clean because your clothes are clean. However, both appliances lack proper ventilation, draw moisture, and collect fluff from your clothes, meaning they’re encouraging mildew growth. 

To clean the washer, add one cup of bleach and then run a cycle of hot water. To clean the dryer, grab a damp cloth and wipe down the drum. Then, remove the dryer vent and use a vacuum to extract the dust. 

Undersides of Furniture

The bottom of your furniture also falls into the if I don’t see it, I don’t clean it category. However, get your courage up and take a look. You’ll find everything, from dust to your old pet’s toy that magically disappeared. 

The easiest way to clean the undersides of your furniture is to move the piece of furniture, vacuum the floor, and then drag it back to its place. You can also buy a duster with an extendable handle to reach the surface without moving furniture. 

Walls, Baseboards, & Doorframes

Baseboards and doorframes have some of the worst dust buildup. When you’re cleaning, some of the dust and dirt you’ve removed from other items around the house will collect in these tiny surfaces. To clean baseboards and doorframes, it’s better to start by vacuuming them to remove the first layer of dust. Then, use a cloth or a sponge damped in water and vinegar and remove the rest of the dirt. 

Just like doorframes and baseboards, walls are often one of the places you forget to clean for most people. Fill a bucket with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Dampen the cloth and then squeeze any excess water. Gently wipe walls to remove any stains or scuffs. 

Tops of Cabinets 

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house, and that means it gets a lot of traffic. Cabinet tops not only collect dust, but also sticky grease caused by cooking oils and fat from foods. 

To degrease your cabinet tops mix water with white vinegar and dish soap. Grab a sponge, soak it in the solution, and scrub until you remove the oil film from the surface.

Air Filters and Vents 

You might be cleaning your house weekly, or even daily. Yet, you can’t seem to keep dust at bay. There’s a high chance that all that dust is coming from your air filters and vents. 

First off, you shroud check your air filter to see if it’s in good condition. If not, get a new one. There are all types of filters, from very expensive HEPA filters to inexpensive mesh. Then, make sure to clean the vents. You can first vacuum the vents to remove most of the dust and dirt and then take a damp cloth to wipe the outside.

Cleaning Tools

Paradoxically, we rarely stop to clean our cleaning tools when these should be as clean as possible. If your cleaning tools aren’t properly cleaned after each session, you’ll be spreading around dust and dirt each time you use them. In a sense, you’ll be sabotaging your cleaning efforts. Make sure you thoroughly clean your kitchen sponges clothes, mop, vacuum bag after every time you use them. Check that they’re in good condition and replace them when necessary.

Hopefully, with this list of places you forget to clean in your house you’ll never have your relaxation ruined by another dust bunny creeping out of a corner our out from under an appliance. But just in case they do, Summit Maids is here to help. Our team of cleaning services in Cleveland, OH are ready and waiting to lend a hand.


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.