Many common items and spaces around the house are often overlooked when it comes to regular cleaning sessions. Insider spoke with Melissa Maker, a YouTuber, author, and founder of Toronto-based cleaning service and brand, Clean My Space. Maker revealed her biggest recommendations for what spaces, appliances, and accessories people probably aren't cleaning daily, but should be. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Cleaning the house can tend to feel like a chore, where sparkling results shown on cleaning product labels are rarely achieved. Insider spoke to Melissa Maker, a professional cleaner and founder of Clean My Space, to find out which household items and spaces typically aren't cleaned every day — but should be. Keep reading for the spots Maker recommends tidying on a daily basis, and that can make a surprising difference in a home's appearance and cleanliness.Toothbrush cups can easily be neglected, but they should be cleaned often.
"The one thing I think people don't ever think about in their bathroom is their toothbrush holder," Marker said. "I'm actually so grossed out by toothbrush holders that I've forgone one altogether. I lay out a face cloth and put all my accessories on there and change it every couple of days." Many cups and toothbrush containers can be regularly cleaned in the dishwasher, Marker said, or they can be rinsed with dish soap every few days. Bathroom mirrors, countertops, and sinks should be wiped daily to make the space seem substantially tidier.
Marker told Insider that taking a minute each day to refresh the bathroom countertop area can make a big difference in the cleanliness of the overall bathroom. "One thing I like to do is just to grab a microfiber cloth and just wet it with water, and I wipe the mirror first, then faucet and handles, and then sink," Marker said. "It takes under a minute and just doing that makes all the difference. It helps the bathroom stay tidier between bigger cleans." Electronic toothbrushes and their chargers can become built-up with gunk over time.
Marker said that when people put their freshly used electronic toothbrush back in the charger or stand, it can easily lead to stains and hard-to-clean gunk. She recommends laying the toothbrush on a washcloth and only using the stand or charger as needed. "You can also use a microfiber cloth with baking soda and clean any discolored areas on the toothbrush handle," she said. Taking a few minutes to clean the shower daily can prevent mildew and stains.
Marker recommends using a squeegee to wash the wall of the shower and the base of the shower or tub on a daily or regular basis. "This helps force everything down the drain and prevents any water or residue being left behind," Marker said. "It also means you won't get any hard water buildup or soap scum buildup, or mildew," she added. Glass cooktops, when not cleaned, can easily build up with burnt food and become hard to manage.
As tedious as it may seem, in order to keep a glass cooktop from amassing layers of burnt-on foods or liquids, it's necessary to clean it after every use. "They can be really challenging to clean," Marker said. "If you're not on top of it, baked on and burnt-on stuff can build on top of each other. So after you cook on the surface, you should clean it up right away once the glass has come down to a cool temperature, but a lot of people avoid this." She recommends using a sponge or cleaning wand that's designed specifically for the glass cooking surface. Cleaning a kitchen sink with baking soda every day can transform the entire space.
"A clean sink is the hallmark of a clean kitchen," Maker said. "You can have a sparkling clean sink but if there's pieces of scrambled egg or carrot sitting in the food trap, it ruins the whole effect." Maker said in addition to not leaving dishes in the sink, taking a few minutes to rinse the sink can make the whole kitchen feel cleaner. She recommends putting a tablespoon of baking soda in the bottom of the sink, then circling a wet sponge from the bottom to the top. "Your sink will look like it's brand new and beautiful," she said. Coffee makers should be rinsed between heavier weekly cleanings that may involve vinegar or baking soda, depending on the machine.
"With all coffee makers, it's not bacteria that we're worried about, but more odors, coffee grinds, staining, oils, and hard water," Maker said. The cleaning expert explained that drip coffee machines and single-use coffee makers have different cleaning needs. Drip coffee makers require the use of a descaling solution or a cleaning product that helps get rid of tricky stains. Once a week, it's necessary to flush leftover bits of coffee and buildup by running a brew cycle with white vinegar (without coffee grounds or water), then running a few cycles after with just water. But on a daily basis, Maker said, it's necessary to rinse the carafe with water, dump out any leftover coffee, and remove the filter to help prevent stains. The same goes for single-use coffee machines. "You can also make a scrub out of dish soap and baking soda to give your coffee machine a good rinse, but I would use that solution very sparingly," she said. Our phones and computer keyboards contain bacteria and are probably not cleaned as often as they should be.
A 2017 study from the University of Arizona found that cell phones are 10 times dirtier than toilet seats. Maker said that while it may not be realistic to expect every person to clean their phones daily, it's a worthwhile habit to incorporate regularly. She said she likes to use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe the surface of her phone. "Just wet a microfiber cloth with water, and you'll start to see that grease and dirt will lift right off," she said. For added cleanliness, Maker recommends mixing equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle, spritzing it on a microfiber towel, and using that as an anti-bacterial cleaner for electronics.
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