CLEANING HARD TO REACH PLACES
You know the grout in your tub, where the tiles meet the porcelain? I can almost guarantee it was a few shades whiter in its previous life
Dirt and grime have a terrible habit of finding the darkest crevices of your home. Dust bunnies hide under the couch. Errant peas roll under the fridge. Dirt gravitates to the whitest part of the bathroom floor. Reaching these places in your home can be challenging, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to compromise the cleanliness of your living space. You can reach all of these places. You just might need some assistance.
The first step to be able to clean these areas is to be able to reach them. Enlist a buddy (mine is usually my husband) to help move the clunky couch or pull the stove away from the wall. You’ll be amazed at the amount of debris that collects from the everyday use of a room. For most of these areas, your vacuum attachment is going to be your best friend. The angled tip will reach even the tiniest of corners. You can even use an extender to reach behind furniture for quick sweeps between deep cleans. Your attachment will also come in handy when tackling the spiderwebs that crowd entryways or loom in corners. If you can’t safely reach those corners while still keeping the vacuum on the floor, try using a broom or an extended duster.
The bathroom seems to breed the worst germs in the darkest corners. You know the grout in your tub, where the tiles meet the porcelain? I can almost guarantee it was a few shades whiter in its previous life. To help restore it to its gleaming whiteness, use a mixture of peroxide and water on a toothbrush. Invest in a package of cheap toothbrushes from your dollar store, and you’ll find many ways to use them. It may seem grueling and tedious, but being meticulous about the little things will make your home look and feel cleaner. Use this same method when deep cleaning where the tile meets the wall in your bathroom as well as the grout between the tiles. You’re definitely going to want to throw away that toothbrush when you’re finished.
The only place that rivals the bathroom in terms of crusty corners is in the kitchen. I’m an avid cook and baker, so my kitchen is usually in gradual stages of disaster unless I’m finished with a project. Most kitchens are angular structures, with cabinets, lights, fans, and other necessary equipment tucked into tight spaces to make the most out of the space. This makes the space look inviting and useful, but it also makes it difficult to clean. Crumbs tend to hide in the corners of cabinets. Make sure to clear your cabinets once every few months, pulling everything out onto the counter tops. Once cleared, either vacuum or dust the inside, then wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth. This should pull out any stray crumbs or debris that might be hiding from a forgotten loaf of bread or the bottom of a cereal box.
Next focus on the spaces hidden by appliances. My stove top lifts up for easy access to the space around the burners. I use the same microfiber cloth to reach around the burners and openings to wipe grime from the hard-to-reach areas. After that, I (meaning my helper and I) move the stove away from the wall. This space is tight and difficult for me to reach. Instead, I use my vacuum with the thin extension attachment. This allows me to reach behind and underneath, making sure I reach into the corners. It’s important to be thorough when cleaning around and behind your stove. If you’re like me, you get a little crazy with your cooking and might find surprises left over from the lasagna you made three nights ago.
Finally, I move to the bedrooms. My husband and I both have long hair, making the bedroom corners and underneath the bed a hub for dust bunnies and hair balls. I usually start by vacuuming the carpets (or other flooring that might decorate your bedrooms), focusing on the middle part of the floor. We’ll get to the corners later. Then, like we did in the living room, we’ll move the heavy furniture to the middle of the room. Once everything is consolidated, I use the angled attachment on my vacuum to really focus on the corners and the area where the molding meets the carpet. Human and animal hair will embed themselves deep in the carpet and in the space between the carpet and the wall. I’ll even crawl around on my hands and knees to make sure I’m thorough in my quest to keep my carpets clean. Feel like Cinderella yet?
If you’re deep cleaning, I suggest you clean your closets as well. Because closets are only used once a day to search for the day’s outfit, they tend to get neglected. Even though they aren’t high-traffic areas, it’s still important to make sure they’re tidy and clean. Begin by removing the clothes and other items from the closet. This way you can reach the floor as well as the shelves. Vacuum the flooring of your closet. Using the attachment, focus on the corners where the flooring meets the wall as well as the corners of the shelves where they meet the wall. Most likely you’ll find some unsettling surprises in there. Finally, wipe the shelves clean with your microfiber cloth.
Reaching into corners and under furniture is time-consuming and taxing on your body. I recommend working on these hard-to-reach areas during your deep-cleaning sessions for each room. As long as you’re thorough and consistent, you should only need to do this four to six times a year. The devil is in the details, but it makes your home cleaner and more inviting.
— Sydnie Olliff