21 Things You Forgot to Clean

How many times have you cleaned the walls in your home? These are the things that everyone forgets to clean!

Take a look around your home. Is it clean? Mine is. I mean, it’s messy, but messy is different than clean. What I mean is, I might have a habit of leaving throw blankets on the couch, but I regularly disinfect the coffee table.

Of course, keeping a clean house is a full-time job. Actually, it’s a full-time job with required overtime. But no matter how many times you deep clean your home, I’m willing to bet there are a few things you forgot. There might be a few things you have never even thought about cleaning before! Can opener, anyone?

If you’re looking for something super satisfying, break out the cleaning supplies and go down this list. It’s all the things that we forget to clean… and maybe we “forget” some of them, too. If you know what I mean. From remote controls to dishwasher filters, under large appliances to the toothbrush holder, these things need a good cleaning ASAP!

Walls and Baseboards


I hate to tell you, but you do actually have to clean the walls in your home. Even vertical surfaces can accumulate dust and grime. And if you have textured walls or wallpaper, even more dust is lurking there. Of course, this also applies to the baseboards, too. You know those tiny ledges are collecting tons of dust!

Air Vents

an in floor air vent

We all know that we’re supposed to swap out the air filter to keep the HVAC running in tip-top shape. However, just about everyone forgets about cleaning the actual air vents in the home. While you’re down there cleaning the baseboards, give the vents a good cleaning, too. That way, they won’t waft dust around every time the air cuts on.

Light Switches

How many times a day do you or someone else in the home touch a light switch? Unless every single light in your home is voice-controlled with Alexa, you have dirty light switches. I am willing to bet the switches get touched more than you even realize. Not only that but they are touched by multiple people, creating quite a cesspool of germs.

Tops of Door Frames, Window Frames, and Picture Frames

family photos on the wall

Touch the top of your door frames. I dare you. The tops of window frames and picture frames are also nice little ledges that accumulate dust. They are often up high enough that we can’t see them very well, which makes them easily forgotten. While you are at it, the top of the actual door could probably use a wipe down, too. Are you rethinking that gallery wall of photos, now?

Bottom of the Closet

I am absolutely guilty of never cleaning the floor in the bottom of my closet. No matter how many times I clean the floor, I never actually dip into the closet space – mostly because there’s a bunch of stuff in the way! But that floor can gather dust and dirt just like the rest of the floors in your home. It will get even dirtier if that’s where you keep your shoes. Anything your shoes picked up while walking around is now in the bottom of your closet!

Related: Tips For Cleaning Out Your Closet

Vacuum Cleaner, Broom, and Mop


When was the last time you cleaned your cleaning tools? We use vacuums, brooms, and mops to clean our homes, so it’s safe to assume that they gather all kinds of yucky stuff. Not to mention, we are touching them with (likely) unclean hands.

Toilet Brush

I know I already talked about other cleaning tools, but the toilet brush is in a category all on its own. You already know what you use it to clean, so you can already guess just how gross it gets. On top of that, it sits in its little holder – so if you don’t let it dry completely, it can also be a breeding ground for mildew. Please, please clean your toilet brush.

All Those Houseplants

plants on a shelf

Yes, even houseplants can accumulate dust, but it is easy to forget. This is true for both artificial plants and live houseplants. With live plants, the easiest way is to gently wipe them with a damp cloth. Or, give them a spritz using a spray bottle. For artificial flowers, you can probably just get away with a microfiber cloth, or use a hairdryer set on cool.

Toothbrush Holders

I don’t even want to think about what’s in the bottom of toothbrush holders. Hey, those things are holding a lot more than toothbrushes. There are a lot of bacteria in our mouths that are easily transferred to the toothbrush, which then transfers them over to the toothbrush holder.

Ceiling Fans and Lights

I just dusted the blades of my bedroom ceiling fan, so it’s at the top of my mind right now. Here’s your friendly reminder to dust those blades, but don’t forget other surfaces up there. The ceiling fan’s light shade needs attention, too. And aside from fans, you can’t overlook ceiling lights, chandeliers, and even the light bulbs in regular lamps. After you wipe away all the dust, did your room get a little brighter?


hand on the door knob

How many times a day does a doorknob get touched? Don’t answer that question if you don’t want to, but don’t avoid cleaning it. This is likely one of the worst things you can overlook in your home. Especially if you have kids, these things see a lot of unwashed hands!

Remote Controls and Game Controllers

Speaking of things that see a lot of unwashed hands, when was the last time you thought about cleaning any remote controls or game controllers in your home? We use these items on a regular basis, so they should get a regular cleaning to combat grime and germs.

Can Opener

using a can opener

Don’t shoot the messenger here. Yes, can openers need to be regularly cleaned, too. Think about how many times the blade gets stuck down into a can. There’s food in there! On top of that, we put our hands on the can opener each time we use it. The can opener is one of the most contaminated kitchen gadgets you’ve got, according to the University of Rochester. You’re looking at cross-contamination and foodborne illness.

Behind and Under the Appliances

Large appliances are pretty heavy, so most people don’t move them very often – or at all. But I’ll tell you what, our fridge’s water line sprung a leak and it forced us to move the fridge, and underneath there was scary! This obviously isn’t something you have to do daily, but definitely clean behind and under appliances fairly often. It gets pretty yucky.

On Top of the Refrigerator

Unlike the stove, we don’t use the top of the refrigerator to cook or anything, so it doesn’t get that regular wipe down. Trust me when I say that the top of the fridge is a regular dust bunny farm.

Dishwasher Filter

loading the dishwasher, plate with sad face
Adobe Stock

If you didn’t know that dishwashers have filters inside, now you do! While some are self-cleaning, most generally need to be cleaned manually. If you don’t ever clean it, eventually your dishwasher will start to smell funky. Or worse, your dishes will start coming out feeling gritty or having food stuck to them.

Hair Brushes

back of head of woman using hair brush and looking in the mirror

I am absolutely guilty of ignoring items like hairbrushes and combs, but no more! Our brushes see hair, skin particles (dust and dandruff), and even product buildup. As an added bonus, that product buildup can act as a magnet for dust that settles on there.

Inside Kitchen Drawers

Because we use drawers for storage, most people forget that they also need to be cleaned. This is especially true in the kitchen, where crumbs and other things can fall down in there. And if you cook a lot, drawers of utensils or spices see a lot of action.

Related: How to Love Cleaning Your House


diffuser and plant sitting on a table

Diffusers can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, thanks to all those liquids sitting in there. Those are things you don’t want to breathe in as you enjoy aromatherapy benefits. It’s also worth noting that diffusers can collect dust, just like anything else in the home.

Toaster Crumb Tray

Even if you regularly wipe down the outside of the toaster as you clean the rest of the countertop, the toaster needs a little special attention. There is a tray at the bottom that catches all the crumbs from the bread and other items we stick in there. When was the last time you took the tray off the bottom and cleaned it out? Aside from just dumping out crumbs, do yourself a favor and clean it with soap and water, too.

Microwave Buttons

using the microwave

Although we might not touch the microwave as much as, say, light switches or door handles, the buttons and the door handle do get plenty of action. Like with other items we touch a lot, they can be a cesspool for all the germs on our hands – not to mention, any food we accidentally get on there.

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