And the fastest, most effective ways to make them sparkle.
The Seemingly No-Mess Coffeemaker
One of the big problem areas Handy’s cleaning pros see is a thin soapy buildup just behind people’s faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Scrape off that easy-to-miss filmy layer with a used gift card or old credit card — they’re sturdy enough to swipe off the mess but shouldn’t damage your countertops, Napelbaum says.
You refill those glass and plastic dry-goods containers again and again with cereal, cookies and flour, but how often do you wash them? It turns out they’re one of the germiest items in the kitchen and can carry salmonella, yeast and mold, according to the 2013 NSF International Germ Study. Clean the container and lid after every use (especially any rubber seals), using hot water and dish soap, the NSF recommends.
File “cleaning behind the fridge” under Things No One Ever Wants to Do — Ever. Thankfully, Rapinchuk has two suggestions to make it less of a hassle: Use a long, microfiber wand — she swears by Casabella’s Microfiber Vent Brush — to easily sweep up dust under, behind and in other hard-to-reach crannies surrounding your refrigerator. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum, look for a model with a wide, flat attachment, which can provide a deeper clean.
Just like the baseboards in your home, the corners and trim surrounding your porch can become loose-dirt magnets. Instead of mopping every square inch — and waiting for it to dry — Rapinchuk suggests using a leaf blower to quickly blast settled dust off of those areas.
Since the weather-stripping on many windows is black, you may not even notice the grime that accumulates there. Wipe that area down with white vinegar twice a year to keep the tracks clean, Rapinchuk says. If you look at the weather-stripping and think you see mold — which happened to Rapinchuk’s friend, who thought to look for it only after seeing an allergist about her nonstop sneezing — you may want to call a professional.