Have you ever walked into someone’s home and noticed dirt or a smell that is oblivious to the residents living there? You notice gunk on the floor, cobwebs in the corners, and dust on the overhead fan. Then you think to yourself that there are probably spots in your own home that your friends have noticed but you don’t.  I came across a delightful guide written by M. Dougherty, titled “The Lost Art of House Cleaning: A Clean House Is a Happy Home,”  and it was very “revealing”  to say the least!

So, you never deal with a light bulb unless it needs replacing, right? But with today’s longer life light bulbs they can get pretty dirty before they need replacing. Also the light fixtures can get loaded with dust and dead bugs. Take them down, spritz with a cleaning solution, and wipe clean.

Keeping the bathroom clean is never ending but how clean can you keep that toilet? You probably clean your tank fairly often, but what about all the bits and pieces that surround the tank, and the floor itself? For porcelain thrones, Dougherty recommends Soft Scrub with bleach to clean the minuscule cracks that form in the glaze over time. For any non-porcelain parts, she says vinegar will do. Start with the top of the tank and spray all the way around — the lid, under the lid, the seat, down to and on the surrounding floor, and even the walls behind the toilet….yuk but someone has to do it!

We use our computers everyday…sometimes all day. Do you ever clean the dust that accumulates in the keyboard? I am guilty! I usually only wipe down the screen. Places like the TV mount, picture frames, computer printer, keyboards, and remotes are great dust collectors. Use a microfiber rag that you’ve sprayed lightly with vinegar to banish it all. Vinegar isn’t electrostatically charged, so dust will take longer to return to that spot. Good ole vinegar is not just for salads!

Kitchen drawers. Do you ever empty them and clean the drawers themselves? (Ummm no).  Crumbs and dirt love those little compartments. Suck them up with a handy vac, or spray with vinegar and wipe away with a rag. Don’t wait until the crumbs are three inches deep and have taken root in the drawer.

Do you ever think that your ice maker needs cleaning?( Ummm no to that too).  Old ice absorbs food odors, so it’s a good idea to clean and sanitize the whole system every once in a while. Stop the machine from making more ice, pull out the ice bin, and dump the ice. Wash the bin and ice maker with vinegar, or put the bin in the dishwasher if your manual says it’s safe to do so. Wipe the ice maker with a dry rag to remove moisture.

Just like our cell phones which we are touching every minute of the day, appliance handles are culprits for dirt and germs. You touch them many times every day. And you never think about it. Spray them all down an antibacterial cleaner. Take the knobs off the stove, remove the dish and the grease screen from the microwave, and take the canister with utensils that sits next to your stove and put them all in the dishwasher,” Dougherty says. “Do this before bed and by the morning you’ve cleaned half your kitchen, yet touched nothing.” (Sounds like a plan)!

Glass and mirrors….always smudged, streaked and high maintenance! . Dougherty washes dull, smudged glass and mirrors with straight vinegar.

Obviously vinegar is the cleaner of choice and very inexpensive too! Now start from one corner of the house and progress around the perimeter cleaning (and whistling or listening to your fav tunes). Then head to the middle cleaning everything in your path!